Book Review: The Discworld Graphic Novels by Terry Pratchett

Author: Terry Pratchett
Title: The Discworld Graphic Novels: The Colour of Magic & The Light Fantastic
Publication Info: New York : Harper, c2008.
The Colour of Magic

  • Originally published: Innovative, 1991
  • Illustrated by Steven Ross
  • Adapted by Scott Rockwell
  • Lettered by Vickie Williams
  • Edited by David Campiti

The Light Fantastic

  • Originally published: Innovative, 1992
  • Adapted by Scott Rockwell
  • Illustrated by Steven Ross
  • Painted by Mira Fairchild
  • Lettered by Michelle Beck

Other Books Read by the Same Author:


In this graphic novel introduces Terry Pratchett’s Discworld through an adaptation of the first two novels in the series.  The central character is the hapless wizard Rincewind who is charged with being the guide for Twoflower, the first tourist ever on Discworld.  The pair, along with Twoflower’s Luggage (a sentient chest that moves on tiny legs), have a series of adventures that play on the tropes of high fantasy and sword and sorcery stories.  Meanwhile the gods themselves and a powerful book of magic called Octavo have plans for them.

The adventures are ludicrous and fun and wonderfully illustrated. If there’s a flaw is that the story seems to skip around a bit making me wonder how much of the original novel’s story was abridged for space. Nevertheless, it’s serves as a delightful introduction to Discworld.

Rating: ****

50 Years, 50 Albums (1984): Private Dancer by Tina Turner

I will turn 50 in November of this year, so my project for 2023 will be to listen to and review one album from each year of my life, 1973 to 2022.  The only qualification is that it has to be an album I’ve not reviewed previously. 


Top Grossing Albums of 1984:

  1. Born in the U.S.A. – Bruce Springsteen
  2. Purple Rain – Prince and the Revolution
  3. Like A Virgin – Madonna
  4. Reckless – Bryan Adams
  5. 1984 – Van Halen

Grammy Award for Album of the Year of 1984:

Other Albums I’ve Reviewed from 1984:

Album: Private Dancer
Artist: Tina Turner
Release Date: May 29, 1984
Label: Capitol
Favorite Tracks:

  • I Might Have Been Queen
  • What’s Love Got to Do with It
  • Show Some Respect
  • Better Be Good to Me
  • Let’s Stay Together
  • Steel Claw
  • Private Dancer


Tina Turner died last week so I thought it would be a good time to revisit her seminal 1984 album Private Dancer.  Tina’s personal story of escaping the abuse of her husband (and boss) Ike Turner and emerging as a successful solo artist is something that can’t be separated from the greatness of this album.  If you weren’t around in 1984 it’s hard to explain just how huge this album was and Tina’s quick rise to superstardom.  A woman in her 40s suddenly becoming a rock star was something that just didn’t (and doesn’t) happen.

The first single off this album, a cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” was my introduction to Tina Turner (and I didn’t know who Al Green was until years later).  It’s still one of my favorite of Tina’s songs and a terrific interpretation that I’d argue is better than the original.  “What’s Love Got to Do with It” was Tina’s first and only Number One song and really one of the most perfect pop songs ever. I’ve always thought of the title track (written by Mark Knopfler and originally recorded but not released by Dire Straits) as a sympathetic story song from the point of view of a woman who works as an exotic dancer, but metaphorically it also works as a story of Tina’s experience with Ike and for the mistreatment that many women suffer in show business.  My other favorite song on this album is “Better Be Good to Me” especially the soulful call-and-response she sings with the music towards the end.

This album sounds very 80s with keyboard synths and a soft rock vibe.  A lot of artists from the 60s, Tina’s contemporaries, were trying to fit in to the New Wave/synthpop sound in the 80s and flopped.  But Tina makes it work, most likely because her voice is so expressive and she never lets it get overwhelmed by the instrumentation.  I’m glad I revisted this album because in my mind I know that Tina Turner was a great musical artist, but listening to it makes me realize she was even better than I remembered.  She will be missed but I’m glad her voice will live on.

Rating: ****1/2

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)

Title: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release Date: May 5, 2023
Director: James Gunn
Production Company: Marvel Studios

The Guardians of the Galaxy movies have always stood out from the MCU because they are largely untethered from Earth settings allowing them to full embrace the imaginative and weird.  The third (and final?) entry in the series is no exception.  This movie explores the backstory of Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and how he was genetically engineered by the mad scientist the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji).  When Rocket is injured his friends can’t heal him because of a kill switch implanted by the High Evolutionary’s corporation Orgocorp.  Rocket’s friends go on a quest to find the code to override the kill switch and in the process uncover the full enormity of the High Evolutionary’s eugenic plots.

The movie does a great job of balancing action/adventure, weird and wild settings (especially Orgocorp’s biological headquarters), and a central message of love and friendship among found family.  All the main characters get some good moments and story arcs while newer characters in the Guardians universe are blended in (I particularly like Cosmo the Spacedog as voiced by Maria Bakalova).  And Drax (Dave Bautista) gets to be a dad again.  Like the other Guardians’ movies, popular music is significant and this movie features a lot of great needle drops expanding the playlist into the 1990s and 2000s.

Rating: ***1/2




Movie Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Title: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Release Date: February 17, 2023
Director: Peyton Reed
Production Company: Marvel Studios

In the third (and final?) Ant-Man movie, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) along with Scott’s teenage daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) and Hope’s parents Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Hank (Michael Douglas) are transported to the Quantum Realm.  They find that the life forms in the Quantum Realm suffer under the tyranny of an exiled variant of Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors, playing a character introduced in Loki) and his enforcer M.O.D.O.K. (Corey Stoll). The fivesome find themselves caught between trying to escape and find a way home and aiding a rebellion against Kang and prevent his ability to conquer other universes.

This movie introduces a wonderful visual feast of landscapes and alien characters reminiscent of classic Sci-Fi movies from the 1950s to 1980s.  It moves quickly, has a lot of action, and typical of the Ant-Man series, is also humorous.  The one thing I didn’t like is the storytelling convention of a character refusing to share their knowledge simply for dramatic effect, in this case Janet withholding what she knows from her experience of spending 30 years in the Quantum Realm.  I’m surprised that this movie has been excoriated by critics and fans.  It may not be among the best of the MCU movies, but it is still very entertaining and fun.

Rating: ***1/2





Song of the Week: “Star” by CERES

CERES – “Star”

This song sounds to me like something Beyoncé might perform but accompanied by ukulele.  CERES is a 17-year-old singer and ukulele player from Southern California. You can read more about her in this profile for the KCRW Young Creators Project.

Songs of the Week for 2023






DEEP DIVE – Album Review: Controversy by Prince

I am doing a deep dive into the work of the musical artist Prince.  Each week until December I will post my thoughts on albums released by Prince (and his bands and side projects) focusing on one year of his career. 

This week I’m reviewing Controversy from 1981.

Album: Controversy
Artist: Prince
Release Date: October 14, 1981
Label: Warner Bros.
Favorite Tracks:

  • Controversy
  • Sexuality
  • Ronnie, Talk To Russia
  • Let’s Work
  • Jack U Off


The title of this album is dead-on since Prince’s music and public persona attracted a lot of controversy.  On the title track Prince questions why he is the subject of so much controversy, recites the Lord’s Prayer, and chants “People call me rude / I wish we all were nude / I wish there was no black and white / I wish there were no rules.” This album exudes the raw sexuality we’ve come to expect from Prince but also addresses political and social issues.

Rolling Stone music critic Stephen Holden wrote “Prince’s first three records were so erotically self-absorbed that they suggested the reveries of a licentious young libertine. On Controversy, that libertine proclaims unfettered sexuality as the fundamental condition of a new, more loving society than the bellicose, overtechnologized America of Ronald Reagan.” This is particularly true  on “Ronnie, Talk to Russia,” a song where Prince expresses his fear of nuclear annihilation, anticipating “1999.”

The album is a time capsule of the 1981 zeitgeist including references to the assassination of John Lennon, the shooting of Ronald Reagan, the murder of Black children in Atlanta, and the Abscam scandal.  The tenuous nature of being a Black artist who challenges the status quo underlies the album and foresaw the racist, sexist, and homophobic abuse Prince and his band received from Rolling Stones fans when opening a concert in Los Angeles just before this album was released.

Musically, Prince continues to expand on the funk sounds of P-Funk with New Wave and pop sensibilities.  “Ronnie, Talk to Russia” channels early rock and roll under layers of sound effects and synth sounds, while “Jack U Off” updates rockabilly.  Prince once again recorded the album almost entirely on his own, with contributions from Lisa Coleman, Dr. Fink, Bobby Z, and Morris Day.

Rating: ****


For You 1978 ***
Prince 1979 ***1/2
Dirty Mind 1980 ****
Controversy 1981 ****
1999 1982 Prince and the Revolution
Purple Rain 1984 Prince and the Revolution
Around the World in a Day 1985 Prince and the Revolution
Parade 1986 Prince and the Revolution
Sign O’ the Times 1987
8 1987 Madhouse
16 1987 Madhouse
Lovesexy 1988
Batman 1989
Graffiti  Bridge 1990
Diamonds and Pearls 1991 Prince and the New Power Generation
Love Symbol 1992 Prince and the New Power Generation
Goldnigga 1993 The New Power Generation
Come 1994
The Black Symbol 1994
The Gold Experience 1995
Exodus 1995 The New Power Generation
Chaos and Disorder 1996
Emancipation 1996
Kamasutra 1997 The NPG Orchestra
Crystal Ball 1998
The Truth 1998
Newpower Soul 1998 The New Power Generation
The Vault: Old Friends 4 Sale 1999
Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic 1999
The Rainbow Children 2001
One Nite Alone… 2002
One Nite Alone… Live! 2002
Xpectation 2003
N-E-W-S 2003
Musicology 2004
The Chocolate Invasion 2004
The Slaughterhouse 2004
C-Note 2004
3121 2006
Planet Earth 2007
Indigo Nights 2008
Lotusflow3r/MPLSound 2009
20Ten 2010
Plectrumelectrum 2014 with 3rdeyegirl
Art Official Age 2014 with 3rdeyegirl
HITnRun Phase One 2015
HITnRun Phase Two 2015

Friday Fictioneers – The Upward Journey

First step … born, swaddled, loved

Next step … walking, running, climbing

Next step … friendship, school, long summers

Next step … playing, fighting, first love

Next step … success, heartbreak, graduation cap

Next step … leaving home, college, responsibilities

Next step … first job, marriage, children


Next step … home ownership, bills, anniversaries


Next step … promotions, failures, gray hairs


Next step … aching body, children grown, retirement

Top step … can’t see what’s past this step but I must keep climbing.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly photo prompt flash fiction challenge on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Addicted to Purple blog.  See additional stories from the prompt by other writers here!

50 Years, 50 Movies (2004): Tropical Malady

I will turn 50 in November of this year, so my project for 2023 will be to watch and review one movie from each year of my life.  The only qualification is that it has to be a movie I’ve not reviewed previously.


Top Grossing Movies of 2004:

  1. Shrek 2
  2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  3. Spider-Man 2
  4. The Incredibles
  5. The Passion of the Christ

Best Picture Oscar Nominees and Winners of 2004:

Other Movies I’ve Reviewed in 2004:

Title: Tropical Malady
Release Date: 24 June 2004
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Production Company: GMM Grammy | Rai Cinema |TIFA | Kick the Machine | Anna Sanders Films

Tropical Malady tells two separate but related stories set in contemporary Thailand. The first involves a romance between a soldier assigned to a rural area, Keng (Banlop Lomnoi), and the romance he forms with another young man he meets there, Tong (Sakda Kaewbuadee). In the second story, a soldier (also Lomnoi, possibly the same character) journeys alone into a forest to track and kill a tiger with the spirit of a shaman (also Kaewbuadee).

It is a slow-paced movie for the most part without a strong conventional narrative, which makes it hard to follow.  The film can be quite bizarre, especially the second story which is a tonal shift from the first. But it’s beautifully filmed and full of ideas, feelings, and imagery that I’m still trying to process.

Rating: ***1/2


50 Years, 50 Albums (1977): I Remember Yesterday by Donna Summer

I will turn 50 in November of this year, so my project for 2023 will be to listen to and review one album from each year of my life, 1973 to 2022.  The only qualification is that it has to be an album I’ve not reviewed previously. 


Top Grossing Albums of 1977:

  1. Bat Out of Hell – Meat Loaf
  2. Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track– The Bee Gees
  3. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
  4. The Stranger – Billy Joel
  5. Out of the Blue – Electric Light Orchestra

Grammy Award for Album of the Year of 1977:

  • Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
  • Aja– Steely Dan
  • Hotel California – Eagles
  • JT – James Taylor
  • Star Wars (soundtrack) – John Williams conducting the London Symphony Orchestra

Other Albums I’ve Reviewed from of 1977:

Album: I Remember Yesterday
Artist: Donna Summer
Release Date: May 13, 1977
Label: Casablanca
Favorite Tracks:

  • I Remember Yesterday
  • Love’s Unkind
  • Take Me
  • I Feel Love


Boston’s own Donna Summer was on top of the world in 1977 as the reigning Queen of Disco.  Working with producer Giorgio Moroder, Summer created this concept album which filtered several decades of popular music filtered through disco.  The final track “I Feel Love” is most famous for representing the future through its Moog synthesizer sound.  And the future is in this song which can be heard in New Wave, house music, and today’s EDM.  Unfortunately, the rest of the album doesn’t equal the strength of this one song. Songs include the swing-inspired title track (which is fun, but doesn’t deserve a reprise) and the 60s girl group sound of “Love’s Unkind.”  The third track “Back in Love Again” is a pastiche of The Supremes, I guess? And that’s pretty much it for the concept.  The album is pretty short and the rest of it is straight-up disco with “Take Me” being the only other notable cut.

Rating: ***

Song of the Week: “What You Did” by Hannah Jadagu

Hannah Jadagu – “What You Did”

The hard rocking “What You Did” is the first song off of Hannah Jadagu’s debut album Aperture, released today. The 20-year-old Jadagu is currently a student at NYU and originates from Texas.


Songs of the Week for 2023






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