Thursday, 16 September 2021

Alrightgames: Disney's Frozen Mini Top Trumps Card Game

Disney's Frozen Mini Top Trumps Card Game

2014 / Trumps card game / 2+ players / UK


I figured she'd end up with a more educational or substantial set for a special interest at some point in the future. This one was for the sake of having an accessory to a film she likes for under £2, and saving me from having to actually watch it.

The actual game isn't very appealing, even if a one-year-old was capable of understanding it. She prefers our Find the Snowman variant with vocalised Family Fortunes sound effects.

Monday, 13 September 2021

Alrightgames: Star Wars: Heroes and Villains Puzzle

Star Wars: Heroes and Villains Puzzle

Jigsaw puzzle / UK or something


A sturdy, decently-sized floor puzzle that may even hold some nostalgia this time, so it's a shame they used such a blurry image. Distinguishing between white people wearing mostly white was also more tedious than satisfying.

Friday, 10 September 2021

Alrightgames: Disney's Beauty and the Beast Puzzle

Disney's Beauty and the Beast Puzzle

1994 / Jigsaw puzzle / France


Not very appealing to look at, especially as a 35-year-old man, but rotatable stones and indistinguishable birdies made it suitably fiendish. That may just be how things work out by chance rather than skilful design though. It was nice of the previous owners to spare us the fun of having to add the glitter ourselves.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Ranking The Who albums

Just found out they done a new one. Shows them Beatles up a bit, doesn't it? Lazy.

Here are My The Top 12 The Who The Albums. Thankfully not so productive that there's a mound of stagnation to dig through, appreciated.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Ranking the Green Day albums

Are the ones you liked as a teenager the best because they're the ones you liked as a teenager? Yes, obviously. This isn't Beethoven.

Let's hear what the damned kids are listening to with The Top 13 Green Day Albums.

Monday, 30 August 2021

On the Omnibuses: August

The World Treasury of Science Fiction

Ursula K. LeGuin, Nine Lives (1969) ***

Clingy clones.

Anthony Burgess, The Muse (1964) ****

Bogus journey.

Steve Allen, The Public Hating (1955) **

Simplistic celebrity satire.

Fritz Leiber, Poor Superman (1951) ***

Dense dystopian deception.

Thomas M. Disch, Angouleme (1974) *

Back to escapism, plz.

Damon Knight, Stranger Station (1956) *****

One of the best SF stories I've ever read.

Boris Vian, The Dead Fish (1955) **

Terry Gilliam's Mr Bean.

Kirill Bulychev, I Was the First to Find You (1977) ***

Ancient astronaut autoarchaeology.

Walter M. Miller Jr, The Lineman (1957) *

Fifty boring pages of vintage bigotry. Great pick, man.

Tor Age Bringsvaerd, Codemus (1968) ****

There's prophetic satire and then there's just now.

P. G. Wodehouse, The Jeeves Collection: Three Books in One Volume

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves (1963) ***

A significantly later permutation on the same old thing, on a more sustained scale. Time has not dimmed nor developed the purgatorial saga, though the back references are tellingly excessive and calling a character 'Stiffy' is surely taking the piss by this point.

Jorge Luis Borges, Collected Fictions

The Aleph (1949) ***

I remembered this being disappointing after the previous one. It's largely back to the fabricated epitaphs of his first book, whose purpose and value escapes me, but we're back in the philosophical and literal labyrinths before the dazzling finale.

Faves: 'The Immortal,' 'The Writing of the God,' 'The Aleph.'

Terry Pratchett, The Rincewind Trilogy

Sourcery (1988) **

I couldn't resist the price per story of this seemingly arbitrary and incomplete omnibus, but hadn't been looking forward to further Rincewind tales after the first one put me off reading a second Discworld book for a decade or so. After reading some (slightly) later books, this seemed disappointingly light on the trademark wit and not entertaining generally, unless you're actually into the story. It would probably be more palatable as animation.

Eric (1990) **

I didn't read the original illustrated version, which is surely more worthwhile. Along with the brevity, that would've been a more fitting format for these generally. A shame the story itself was just a straightforward literary parody sequence, though the bit about eternity was clever.

H. P. Lovecraft, The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft

The Thing on the Doorstep (1933) ****

A comparatively straightforward later horror that's enhanced through the presumably unintended ambiguity of mental illness or a gullible con job. I misremembered it being a bit pervy too, which is all Alan Moore's fault.

The Haunter of the Dark (1935) *****

A fittingly haunting and comparatively restrained swan solo. Public domain access and cartoon critters have made the writer overrated as hell generally, but he was really good by the premature end.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Ranking the Rush albums

The Canadian trio have never been a particular favourite, but some of their albums crept into that list once I explored beyond the ones I was supposed to like to discover the ones I really did.

I'm still not clear on it, so I'd better write it down. Here are My The Top 19 Rush Albums.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Ranking the Black Sabbath albums

Basking in the infernal glow of old favourites I don't listen to much any more, plus the rubbish ones I hardly ever did anyway. Heed The Top 20 Black Sabbath Albums!

Saturday, 14 August 2021

The neglected prologue of The Simpsons

Where to start and end your Simpsons rewatch is one of the most tedious discussions out there, endlessly repeated with minor variations (since you asked, I called it a day after season nine, but might not make it that far next time). Some people skip over the first year or two, if they don't have particular nostalgia for the era and their thirst for rapid-fire gags outweighs their need for stories to have a beginning, but even those who watch properly never recommend going back to where it really began with the original Simpsons shorts.

Monday, 9 August 2021

Alrightreads: Comix

Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

1985-86 (collected 1987) / Ebook / 128 pages / USA


I don't feel I missed out too much, but swap a childhood Garfield annual or two and it could have been a favourite, while still requiring translations from my mum.

Lorenzo Mattotti and Jerry Kramsky, Fires & Murmur (Feux & Murmure)

1986-89 (collected 2017) / Ebook / 112 pages / Italy


Daumal meets Seuss in cubist colonial horror and introspective wank.

Fave: Fires

Worstie: Murmur

Viz, Viz: The Spunky Parts – Yet Another Compilation Annual of Issues 32 to 37

1989 (collected 1990) / Ecomics / 128 pages / UK


The romantic photo stories are getting better and the increasingly over-the-top violence and gore would have been hilarious when I was 12. Most of the old timers are boring by now, and the relentless royal features completely tedious, but The Fat Slags inject some fresh, high-cholesterol blood and the Billy the Fish saga becomes almost unironically gripping.

Faves: Billy the Fish, The Fat Slags

Alan Moore and a galaxy of greats, The Worm: The Longest Comic Strip in the World

1991 (collected 1999) / Ebook / pages / UK


Appropriately insular indulgence about cartoonists by cartoonists for cartoonists. If it feels lacking as a graphic novel, that's because it belongs with the souvenir programmes.

Steve Vance, Cindy Vance and Bill Morrison, Simpsons Comics Extravaganza

1991-94 (collected 1994) / Ebook / 128 pages / USA


I had one of these issues back in the day (with several years' transatlantic delay, which was the style at the time) and was impressed by its authenticity, especially compared to what I was used to from cash-in tie-ins. It's not particularly funny, but if, like me, you starve yourself of Simpsons for a decade at a time so you can look forward to enjoying the classics all over again, it makes a nice midway treat.