Crapule 2

Crapule2-covCrapule est un chat, un vrai. Le genre qui porte bien son nom. Une catastrophe sur pattes, mais tellement mignon qu’on lui pardonne tout. Il a d’ailleurs un succès fou, au point que Jean-Luc Deglin lui a consacré un nouveau tome pour ses péripéties félines : câlins griffus, accidents de litière, bêtises en pagaille… Mais comment Crapule réagira-t-il face au nouveau compagnon de sa maîtresse ?

Du “100 % vécu” par tous les propriétaires de machines à ronrons, dont on raffole !

(Texte du site de l’éditeur)

Crapule c’est une bande dessinée toute simple qui offre des histoires en 4 cases et en bichromie (noir et bleu), ce qui n’est pas sans rappeler les yonkoma japonais ou les comic strips américains à la différence que les premiers sont présentés verticalement et que les seconds sont généralement horizontaux, alors que Crapule lui est dans un format carré (2 / 2). 

Crapule2-p003Ce second volume nous présente la suite de la relation parfois difficile entre le juste nommé Crapule et sa maîtresse. Si la présence d’un chaton aidait à adoucir sa solitude, celle-ci recherche maintenant un compagnon humain ce qui fait qu’elle “semble moins pressée de remplir sa gamelle et de changer sa litière” et cela mènera à “de précieux moment d’incompréhension et de jalousie” ! (Voir couverture arrière)

Tout ceux qui ont (ou ont déjà eut) un chat trouveront ces situations plutôt familières et hilarantes. Toutefois c’est pas mal la même chose que le premier volume (que j’ai déjà commenté) et la pléthore de récits anecdotiques sur les chats en bande dessinée en font un sujet surexploité au point que c’est difficile d’y trouver de l’originalité. Crapule s’avère donc un peu répétitif mais cela reste fascinant et amusant tout à la fois. C’est cent-vingt-quatre charmantes petites histoires qui offrent une lecture rapide et agréable. À lire, surtout pour les amateurs de chats.

Crapule 2, par Jean-Luc Deglin. Marcinelle: Dupuis, novembre 2018. 128 pages (en bichromie), 20.8 x 16.7 cm, 14,50 €  / $25.95 Can (ePub / PDF $19.99 Can). ISBN 979-1-0347-3357-6. Pour lectorat jeune (6+). Extraits disponible sur le site de l’éditeur. stars-3-0

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© Dupuis 2017. Touts droits réservés.

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Game of Thrones

The epic fantasy TV series Game of Thrones has ended after eight seasons.

Somehow I feel very sad because it is finished and I don’t know what will come next — if anything. However, I am NOT disappointed. To me the end seems to be a fitting one. In some aspects, I am not even surprised. People were expecting that an epic series would have an epic ending, but life is rarely like that. It is the perfect “all evil was defeated and they lived unhappily ever after” type of ending. What else were they expecting? Evidently, the millennials who are not used to not have their way will demand a new ending. What a silly thought! That’s almost funny if it wasn’t so stupid…

Now, without giving away any spoilers, we can only ask that — if all surviving heroes appear to be going on new adventures — what will come next? The very end of the series clearly calls for something more and we know that many sequels / prequels could be in the works. I can hardly wait to see what it will be.

In the meantime, HBO will not leave us hanging dry as they have been announcing several new series of interest. I am particularly curious about the Watchmen TV series (in Fall), the third season of Westworld (announced for 2020) and a TV series adaptation of His Dark Materials (based on Philip Pullman’s young adult novel series and due to premiere in late 2019). The visuals I’ve seen for the first one seem a little disappointing, so I am quite apprehensive about it, but the latter looks incredibly promising. We’ll see…

Game of Thrones has given us a good run and we should be grateful for it. Our collective popular culture shall be much richer for it. And, beside the possible pre/sequels, there is still those two final books (A Song of Ice and Fire #6: The Winds of Winter and #7: A Dream of Spring) that will certainly add a lot to the story as told by the TV series. We just have to be a little more patient…

Amusingly, the controversial last episode of the eight season, “The Iron Throne”, had the highest ever audience (nearly 14 millions of viewers in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen, more than the final of The Sopranos) but the lowest critical response (a rating of 4.4 on IMDb down from an overall ratings of 9.4 and a critical / audience rating of 67% / 36% on Rotten Tomatoes, down from an overall average of 90% / 82% !!).

The final season of the series was plagued by controversies. First, many fans were very disappointed with the ending, some (nearly two millions!) even starting a petition demanding a rewrite of the entire last season! On top of that, not only a Starbucks coffee cup could be spotted in episode 8.4 (#71) sitting on the table in front of Daenerys, but also plastic water bottles could be seen at the feet of both Samwell Tarly and Ser Davos Seaworth during the “council of the Seven Kingdoms” in episode 8.6 (#73)! 

Television will never be the same…


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The Predator

Predator-dvdIs this a comedy or an action flick? A little of both, I guess… It has great action scenes, although not always believable. In a nutshell, it tells the story of a group of misfit soldiers fighting against an alien monster in pursuit of another alien monster. They get help from an unsuspected genius and one of the bad guys is not what it seems. The story is not really original but it is entertaining enough. In fact, the whole movie is just setting up the ground for the next one (or two — but no release date has been announced yet). It might push the Predator franchise into superheroes territory ! Powersuit, yeah! I can’t wait to see that! 

The movie did relatively well at the box office (returning nearly twice its investment) but disappointed the fans of the franchise and the critics (getting only a 5.4 on IMDb and a 32% / 35% on Rotten Tomatoes ). It’s an average sci-fi action movie which remains nevertheless fun to watch. stars-2-5

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Ottawa Tulips Festival 2019

This year, my visit at the festival was VERY disappointing. It was more of a festival of unopened tulips!

[Not] Pretty Woman

Several flower beds had almost no flowers in bloom!

In the past, I have always visited the festival toward its end and many tulips were past their prime to say the least. This time, I wanted to see the tulips at their best so I had decided to visit more at the beginning (like four days after it had started). Considering that we had to coordinate the availability of three persons (my wife, my sister and myself) and that I had to request my day off weeks in advance, it left us with little choice and flexibility. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate at all. First, the late spring (it has been generally cold and rainy in the last month) delayed the growth of the tulips and the festival had to offer mostly unmatured flowers. Second, like last year, it was raining on the day of our visit!

According to the Ottawa Citizen, the organizers of the 67th annual Tulip Festival were saying that the “Visitors (…) didn’t seem deterred by warnings of later blooms.” The article, published after the opening week-end, explains: “The wet, cool spring has pushed back the tulip blooms. Glenn [Janna Glenn, a spokeswoman for the Tulip Festival] said the gardens are between 50 per cent and 60 per cent blooming right now. While that means the gardens might not be at their most stunning on opening weekend, there will still be blooms for visitors to see later into the festival, she said.” This is clearly false advertising since five days later, at best, 40% of the tulips were blooming. In this Trumpian era I understand that a spokesperson would lie to promote their event, but a respectable journalist should know better than to repeat and validate such blatant lie (but, hey, it’s the Ottawa Citizen… unprofessionally hiding the truth in order to favour a profitable event and please the local merchants association is really not beyond them!)


Which is which ?

My main complain (beside the weather, obviously) is that many varieties of tulips are mixed inside each flowers beds (to make nice, colourful arrangements) and the identification tags are spread along the beds in a manner that makes it impossible to know which flower goes with each tag. Therefore we cannot know the name of each tulips for sure. This problem seems to have always plagued the festival. I am sure it could be possible to make labeling tags that include a small picture of the tulip so it could easily be identified in the flower bed — or at least provide a brochure that list all the tulips displayed with a picture and a small description. It would be so much nicer to be able to name each tulip (particularly when you take pictures) — without having to spend hours afterward googling each one!

Anyway, even if I took less pictures than in the previous years, we found ways to make the visit interesting despite the disappointment (and deception). There was still some tulips to be enjoyed (even if many had not bloomed) so it was not a total waste of time (although taking a six hours trip — roughly three hours of driving to go and three hours to come back — for a three hours visit is certainly not an optimum use of my time; but the landscape on the way [flooded in some places] was interesting to look at and I had made a good playlist of classic French pop songs to listen to on the way)…

CTF-Master-Logo-Vertical-ED-350pxThe 67th edition of the Ottawa Tulip Festival is centred on only one venue: the Commissioners Park near Dows Lake. The park’s 30 flower beds are offering more than 250,000 tulips to enjoy. There is also many other activities like the Tulip legacy walking tour, or visiting the Tulip Plaza’s marketplace, or the Heritage pavillon with its Canadian Tulip Festival Museum, etc. The festival, which was established to celebrate the historic Royal gift of tulips from the Dutch to Canadians in the wake of the Second World War, is held until May 20th. stars-2-5


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The Walking Dead Compendium Three

WalkingDeadCompendium-3-covAfter watching the ninth season of the Walking Dead TV series, I wanted to go back to the comic book to compare the storytelling. I was not sure with which volume I stopped reading so I borrowed the latest big compendium at the library. The third compendium (published in October 2015) covers volumes 17-24 (issues #97-144). According to my borrowing history at the library, I should have read until vol. 25, but I don’t remember any of it so it is good that I read all that again to refresh my memory before going on with the next volumes. I still have seven volumes to catch up on (since the latest issue [in May] is #191 and the latest compilation is vol. 31 [#181-186, released last March — although vol. 32 (#187-192) is coming in August 2019]…


Page 3

This third compilation covers the Negan story arc (vol. 17-21) and the beginning of the whisperers story arc (vol. 22-24). Reading the comic after having seen the TV series provide quite a strange experience: some events happen on TV, but not in the comic and vice versa. Which is more troubling is that some events happen in both but not to the same characters and some characters are dead on the TV series but not in the comic (and vice versa). Really weird. It’s like having a peek into a parallel universe! Very confusing…

I don’t want to talk much about the story itself, to avoid spoilers, and anyway detailed synopses can be found on fan sites. The storytelling is excellent. It is fluid, easy to follow and has lots of twists, downturns and surprises. Of course, in such epic like the Walking Dead or Game of thrones, you cannot have any real “happily ever-after”. If not there wouldn’t be any story. And, when you are dealing with the end of the world as we know it, bad stuff keeps happening and you have to expect the worse case scenario. 


Page 264

I like Kirkman & Adlard black and white art. It is realistic and dark, detailed and fluid enough so you can clearly understand what’s happening and follow the action. It has improved considerably since the beginning. However, there is something I don’t like in the way they draw the characters’ faces (I am not sure what: is it a little static? Too much shadow?). And, of course, there is a lot of graphical violence, although less as the story progress (or is it that we notice it less?). Anyway, overall, it is a well-written and interesting story that makes for a great comic.

I have never been a big fan of zombies but what interested me into this story is its post cataclysmic aspect. It is a setting that not only has good story potential but also allows to push the human psyche to its limits and reveal our true nature. In the beginning it was a story of survival, but now it becomes more and more a story about rebuilding a society. I can’t wait to see what will happen in the next volume, what will be the differences with the TV series. From now on, I’ll go back to read the comic volume by volume, as the next big compendium (#4, covering vol. 25-32) will only be released in October 2019. 

You can also read my comment on the TV series and the first eleven volumes of the comic — which I wrote in January 2011 !

The Walking Dead Compendium Three, by Robert Kirkman (story) and Charlie Adlard (art) [with inking by Stefano Gaudiano, gray tones by Cliff Rathburn and lettering by Rus Wooton]. Berkeley: Image Comics (Skybound imprint), October 2015. 1088 pages, 25.9 x 16.9 cm, $US 59.99 / $C 79.50. ISBN 978-1-63215-456-9. For mature readers (18+). See the back cover. stars-3-5

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© 2015 Robert Kirkman, LLC. All rights reserved.

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