NOOOOOOOOK

18 Jun

I got a NookColor! It’s like the coolest thing ever.

 

I’ve been fiddling around on it. I don’t have many books (Complete Sherlock Holmes and the Bible is all) but it’s still cool! It has Internet access and lets you do Pandora. Pandora is this thing I just discovered. It’s Internet radio, and it tries to give you music that you might like based on what you tell it you like. Cool!

 

So now I can google pictures and draw at the same time, and I can save paper. I like that. 😉

 

Well, off to do some drawing and listen to some Electronic music!

 

~Agent M

Calling all Sherlockians!

15 Jun

Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventures of She...

Image via Wikipedia

Yeah I’ve been pushing my whole love for Sherlock Holmes recently.

 

HERE’S SOME MORE!!

 

I just discovered this wiki dedicated to all things Holmesian, but it really needs some help. If you like Sherlock Holmes and would be willing to do some easy editing on a Wiki, please go here!

 

http://sherlockholmes.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

The Final Problem: A Review

14 Jun

Sherlock Holmes (r) and Dr. John B. Watson. Fr...

Image via Wikipedia

So, I just finished reading Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Published in 1893, only a few short years after A Study in Scarlet, the first Holmes book, came out in 1887, it contained eleven good Holmes stories. These were a good read, but, there was something lacking in them, compared to his short stories in Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The stories in that book are brilliant, and some of the most famous, including “The Red-headed League,” “The Five Orange Pips,” and many more. I’m not saying “Memoirs” was bad, but there was something that was not quite at the same level as the “Adventures”. I had just finished a rather long short story in there, which was interesting but a bit dull at times, and I turn the page and am greeted with “The Final Problem.” A bit perplexed, I started reading. (Remember, these books are told first person from Watson‘s point of view)

It is with a heavy heart that I take up my pen to write these the last words in which I shall ever record the singular gifts by which my friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes was distinguished.

What? I was rather confused. I knew there was a story where Holmes was killed by Moriarty, but I did not expect it to come so soon. I have the two-volume set of the complete works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, (All the Sherlock Holmes stories as well as a few essays, the left out some of his historical fiction works and his works on spirituality) and this isn’t even the last story in the first volume! After this is The Hound of the Baskervilles. I put off reading the story for a day or two, but yesterday I decided to read it.

 

It continued:

 

In an incoherent and, as I deeply feel, an entirely inadequate fashion, I have endeavored to give some account of my strange experiences in his company from the chance which first brought us together at the period of the “Study in Scarlet,” up to the time of his interference in the matter of the “Naval Treaty” — an interference which had the unquestionable effect to preventing a serious international complication. It was my intention to have stopped there, and to have said nothing of that event which has created a void in my life which the lapse of two years has done little to fill.

 

 

Tribute to Sherlock Holmes in Meiringen, villa...

Tribute to Holmes near Reichenbach Falls, the place where he died in the story

I read the book, and it was very good, I admit. However, I say the end coming. It was obvious; Holmes and Watson had been, essentially, running away from Moriarty for the entire time, and Watson gets a mysterious letter calling him back down to the hotel he and Holmes had been staying at, leaving Holmes alone with a guide they didn’t know very well, and Watson sees a man walking up the mountain as he goes down. It really was not a very difficult mystery. To put that into perspective, I have only figured out one story, other than this, before the end. I figured out the short story “The Yellow Face,” but it was really not meant to be that hard of a mystery, at least that how it struck me.

 

It seemed more a story of dread than of mystery; it would be like if you saw the end of “The Sixth Sense,” and then watched the entire film. It would rip out all the suspense and make it more about feeling the black anticipation that accompanies knowing the end. You end up just wanting to scream at Watson and Holmes. And perhaps that’s how it was supposed to be: Holmes knew that the letter was a fake and sent Watson off so her could ‘face his fate’. And, the not-shocker-of-an-ending ends with Sherlock being presumed dead, along with Moriarty, having (perhaps) fallen into the waterfalls. Holmes was given time to write Watson a letter, and Watson reads it and then sums up the story in a few short paragraphs.

 

I cried. It was a rather sad story. And it was clear that that was all the story was meant for; to give a good end to Holmes. Yes, he went down fighting and nailed the baddie. The writing was good, but not the same as his earlier works.

It seems like Doyle really wasn’t enjoying writing these any more, and it’s a shame. I think that his early works are brilliant, some of the finest mystery writing of all time. I think that Memoirs was written just because Doyle needed a way to get out. He wanted to write other things. Of course, his escape route failed, as he returned to writing Holmes stories a few years later.

Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A good short story, in my opinion. One of the best in Memoirs. Perhaps one of my favorites, I’m really not sure yet. I’ve been going back and changing my mind multiple times while writing this, and my opinion has changed a lot. The story itself was good, and it was a fitting end for the detective. However, I think it could have been better. Doyle just did not want to write Holmes stories anymore. And because of that, the quality of the work decreased. It truly is a shame, because his early works are some of my favorites. I really wished he had enjoyed writing these to put more effort, perhaps even an entire full-length novel, into the ultimate but heroic demise of my favorite detective.

 

Overall rating:

8.5/10

As I said, the story itself was rather good. It just seemed to me that it was written so he could escape. I think that if he had cared about writing these stories more, he could have still killed Holmes off, but in a way that was better written.

 

 

Doctor Who “A Good Man Goes to War” – Review

11 Jun

Shorter review this time, I promise!

 

So, just finished watching the half-season-finale, “A Good Man Goes to War.”

 

First off:

 

WOAH.

 

 

 

WOAH.

The Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond

WOAH. SRSLY?

 

 

 

WHAT.

 

 

WHAT?!?!?!?

 

 

(Spoiler warning now)

 
Headless monks were FREAKY. Seriously. Ughhh scary. War chant stuff and everything….!!!

 

I really liked the big series 5/6 reunion though. Usually they don’t bring ANYBODY back. Doctor’s Daughter Jenny, Human!Doctor (10), NO ONE. So the big reunion was nice. I had to think back a bit, though, to remember who people were. A second go-around really helped, too.

 

Flesh-baby was downright scary though. Really scary. I did NOT see that coming.

 

That entire episode was confusing, but I must say that the ending was fairly easy to follow. And I say fairly. It was sad and happy and scary, and so good. One of my favorite episodes, definitely. I’ve loved the show even more since Matt Smith and Stephen Moffet got on board.

 

 

Melody River Pond Song was just kinda crazy though. I liked it though. Kinda makes sense…I think. I did NOT see it coming though. At all. It was so good…I mean, River was all yelling at him one minute and then BAM! she’s like, “Hey I’m Melody Pond.” And then his face and his reaction! Genius. And giggling. 😛

 

I actually thought she was his mom at first…But this is a lot better. Didn’t go the easy route.

Rory Williams

Rory! Rory Rocks.

 

I think, this is just a thought, but I don’t think Rory and Amy will stay much longer. Amy was pretty dang ticked, so I bet that at the season break, pop, they’ll be off. The whole creepy poem thing kind of foreshadowed that.

 

But I liked Rory! Great writing/acting for him. Rory rocks. Lone Centurion, HECK YEAH! Rory is one of my favorite companions. Pond too, but Rory rocks.

 

A great episode for a great season!

10/10

 

Late Night Art Dump

10 Jun

Well, it is after 11:00, but I’m only up because I’m watching “Oliver!”

 

I’ve been drawing a lot recently, so… ART DUMP!

 

 

My personal favorites are the green Ferrari, the green haired lady, the guy with spiky hair, and Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch). 😛

 

~Agent M

Mycroft?

9 Jun

Mycroft Holmes

Image via Wikipedia

No, not a new branch of Windows’ operating system, silly.

 

(This’ll be quick because the post yesterday was very long. Sorry I got carried away.)

 

 

Mycroft was Sherlock Holmes’ brother. Brother?! Brother. I know. I was weirded out too.

 

Funny thing was in the show (“Sherlock”) he’s all skinny and kind of annoying. In the books he’s fat and kinda lazy.

 

HA.

 

Yeah…

 

Anyways.

 

Back to inking a Ferarri.

“Sherlock” – a TV/Movie Review

8 Jun

Sherlock Holmes in "The Man with the Twis...

Image via Wikipedia

I wouldn’t be that surprised if a lot of people are confused with this title, so let me explain:

A while back, BBC did a series (British for ‘season’, as in TV season) for a TV programme which was based off of Sherlock Holmes, but set it the modern day, aptly named “Sherlock“. I say TV/movie because the series is only three episodes long, but they are an hour and a half in length, each.

Anyways, let’s start with the actual review:

I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. I haven’t read all the books yet, but I rather enjoy it when I do. Not too many kids are into reading them, or at least not too many that I know, but they are very well written. That being said, I also like watching movies and TV shows, but the problem is that there are a lot of Holmes spin-offs, but a lot of them are not very good. I haven’t watched too many, just because Netflix is a bit limited sometimes. You may have heard about crazy Lord of the Rings fans, who get mad when the movies don’t do justice to the books, and get all psycho and complain a lot.

Well…

I’m a bit like that when it comes to Sherlock Holmes.

Now, I’m not all crazy about it staying EXACTLY the same as the books. I don’t mind when they deviate a little, or when they even make up their own story lines. Whatever, I get that it can be hard to stick to something. My problem is the acting and the writing. My biggest beefs:

Sherlock Holmes (2009 film)

Playboy genius superhero? Yes. Amazing detective who has some social problems? No.

  1. Sherlock (actor): Most of the time, you don’t get a very good actor playing Sherlock Holmes.* I’ve watched a few movies and TV stuff, and it seems pretty hit-and-miss. It is the biggest turn off for me when I see a picture of whoever’s supposed to be Holmes looking completely unlike the original character! Prime example: Robert Downey Jr. I liked him (as much as you could like him) in Iron Man, because he really fit the part. When I saw posters for the Sherlock Holmes movie, however, I knew it was not his character. I will admit that I did not see the movie. It just didn’t look like something I would like. I was pretty sure it was going to a butchered, sigh-worthy portrayal of the books.
  2. Sherlock (writing): I watched a movie version of “Hound of the Baskervilles” not too long ago. The actor who played Holmes was cringe-worthy enough, but the writing was pretty horrid as well. It completely ignored how the original Holmes was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle! Very annoying factor that you unfortunately cannot foresee, and only realize once you start watching. I especially hate it when they make Holmes a lady-killer. He’s a withdrawn, odd, rather emotion-less man who can’t make friends very well in the first place, let alone a girlfriend.
  3. Overall Writing: Outside of problems with Sherlock, my biggest peeve is when they totally butcher the story. You can waiver a bit off the original, sure. I don’t even care if you totally make up a new story line, but keep it so that it matches the style. I also don’t like it when they rush through the story. The books are generally not very fast-moving books. And when you try to condense something slow-moving while not upping the pace, it just gets weird and hard to follow. If you think you can improve the story so it works better with whatever medium you’re using by either adding in things of your own making or from other Holmes stories, go ahead. I get that you really can’t do all the stories word-for-word, line-for-line. But if you do make changes, make them ones that Sir Doyle himself wouldn’t mind, or might actually enjoy.
  4. Watson: Watson is not a high priority on my list to be frank. Sure, the books are told through him, but I give movies and TV more wiggle room with Watson than I do Holmes. Nigel Bruce was alright at playing him. I thought that he did a good job. Looking back, perhaps if he was a little less over-the-top goofy, I’d have been a little happier, but whatever; it was the 1940s and Basil Rathbone‘s Holmes makes up for my little issues with Watson. However, I look at that movie poster next to me and think that Watson looks more like a villain who’s holding young women in his basement for ransom rather than the former-Afghanistan medic who’s the gluey-friend that keeps Holmes from completely falling apart, while still maintaining a good business and a, for lack of a better word, cute marriage with Mary Watson.

*The two exceptions I have found to this rule are Basil Rathbone and Benedict Cumberbatch. Both of them play a very different Holmes, but they are both excellent actors and very enjoyable to watch.

 

Photograph of Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holme...

Original Holmes. One of the best.

 

So,  four things. Seems easy enough, right? Not quite. I found that Basil Rathbone’s Holmes movies all got 3.5/4, just because Watson could be at times a bit too goofy. Basil Rathbone is one of my all time favorite actors and is just an amazing Holmes. For some 1940s black and white films, they really do the books justice. I didn’t think I’d ever find anything like them.

 

Until I watched “Sherlock”!

 

Most of the time Holmes movies and TV adaptations are taken out of their original, late 1800s habitat and dropped into the modern world. This can be at times a bit odd, and even a turn-off. Basil Rathbone’s Holmes was set in the 1930s/40s, which I didn’t mind too much. Seeing Holmes fool some Nazis was fun, I have to admit. But, imagining Holmes in the modern world of the 2000s seemed a bit scary. But, I had heard very good things about it and still wanted to see it.

 

After watching all three episodes and mulling them over, I really have found that I quite enjoyed them. One of the writers for it is Stephen Moffet, who I absolutely adore. He’s written the latest two season of Doctor Who, some of the best writing in the entire series’ history, if you ask me. I was quite excited when I saw his name up on the opening credits.

 

 

 

The Predecessor. Lookin' good.

Benedict Cumberbatch did a great Holmes, but all-together different from Basil Rathbone’s interpretations. This Holmes

is a bit darker and a little less social. Of course, keep in mind, so was the original. I say darker, but I really don’t mean all that much darker. I think it was just something that came along with being moved into the 21st century; I’m sure that in contrast to the upright, polite Britain of the 19th century, Holmes truly was the bohemian he was described as, and was viewed as strange and darker. But as society has moved on and embraced less-polite behavior, the character had to be tweaked a bit to maintain that ratio between Holmes and the rest of us. They’ve replaced him smoking habits (And I think his opium and other drug habits) with Nicotine patches; good move I say. I couldn’t see Holmes smoking a Camel and pondering the Red-Headed league, and I admit a pipe might be out of place in 21st century London. He doesn’t quite look like the way I always imagined Holmes, but he’s over six feet and he has a really cool name like his predecessor Basil Rathbone, so that’s got to count for something. On a personal note, I think he’s kind of cute. Not the character, because Holmes is a bit odd, but Benedict Cumberbatch. Seriously.

 

Anyways.

 

 

On Location 3f

Different, but good.

Martin Freeman, who plays Watson, does a good but all-together totally different Watson than I’ve ever seen. Unlike the usual fat-and-jolly Watsons you see, he plays a thin, good-looking Watson with an interesting past in the Afghan war (Funny how it all works out, huh? War then, war now). He’s thought to have Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder, after being shot i n the field and having a limp, but it’s later shown to be psychosomatic (he doesn’t actually have a limp, his brain just thinks he has one). He strikes me as more scared of Holmes than he was in the books, but then again, Holmes is a bit darker and scarier.  I like the fact that he doesn’t just acquiesce to everything, but points out Sherlock’s short-comings (mainly in the emotion department) and behaves like a quazi-normal human-being, trying to make friends and maintain a good relationship with his girlfriend, in stark contrast to the rather-inhuman Holmes. (Don’t even get me started on Watson’s girlfriend. I have a theory about that. But, moving along.)

 

As a side-note, the scenery is awesome and the music is interesting. They pull a lot of cool stuff off without special effects and the show never looks cheesy. I also adore the fact that the living room in Holmes’ house is set up a lot like the book’s illustrations and the one in the time of Rathbone: the big fireplace in the middle with some windows beside it and chairs and the like surrounding it.

 

The story-lines are often cherry-picked from several Holmes stories; a main idea from one, a few minor bits from several other stories, and a dash of new things, along with the modernization. Watson, instead of publishing his adventures with Holmes like in the books, maintains a blog, as does Sherlock. (I think. I might be wrong but that’s how it seemed.) There’s lots of other stuff that would be too boring to go into, so just watch the show.

 

My complaints with the show are very few. I think Sherlock is made a little too out-there sometimes, and most of the police officers are just kind of mean and spiteful towards him. I understand this, but I think you should have some who are nice to him. The only other thing that gets me is they make so many jokes about Watson and Holmes being a couple. They’re not, and it’s always like “Oh are you two together?” “Oh no no no!” Watson has a girlfriend. Holmes just…fails with girls. So badly it’s funny. (He tried flirting with one girl who works in the morgue so he could look over a body and it was really rather funny.) It’s not canon. I realize that yes, if two guys are walking around and sharing an apartment, that unfortunately in modern society unnecessary eyebrows are raised. I also know, however, that the BBC is prone to doing that. Look at David Tennant’s time on Doctor Who. Russel T. Davies seemed to live off of those jokes. In “Sherlock”, they over-do it so much, that it not only gets repetitive, it gets predictable and dull. It’s like in a Disney movie, when all of the sudden the scene either gets brighter or dimmer, and the music suddenly changes; you can tell a song’s about to start. Except it’s a Holmes x Watson joke.

 

Other than that though, it’s a great show. I really do love it! I hear they are currently filming, and I can’t wait for it to get out onto Netflix in the US.

 

Overall rating: 9.8/10

A well-executed show based off some great, classic books. They are exciting and scary in a good way, like the Sixth Sense was. The shows take interesting turns and will surprise you, especially “The Great Game”. The acting, writing, and almost everything is superb. Cut down on the swishy jokes and you’d get a 10/10.

 

 

Gonna Be Busy, But I’ll Update

4 Jun

Today will be another busy day, but I figured I’d tell you about why I’m so randomly busy and update you on life to boot!

 

I had a very busy day yesterday. I actually woke up at around 7:30, and I got up really quickly to jot some stuff down for a request I’m drawing. I then spent 1.5-2 hours drawing it. Usually I can sketch in somewhere under an hour, but that’s because I use boring poses. So, I spent a good while just staring off into space thinking, and then I drew some little rough sketches on the back of a coupon thing I have, and then I picked one and started drawing.

 

Not only was the pose difficult to recreate, but I drew them rather small and they’re a difficult character that I’ve never drew before! So it took a while. I’ll try and color it on Tuesday and I’ll post it when I’m done.

 

So, now it’s about 9:00, and I get up and get on the computer. I talked to a friend on the computer for a really long time, and I finally got done probably around 12:00. So, I went and I read some Sherlock Holmes for a bit, and that put it to about 1:00. A little later my mom told me she was going to Target, and so I tagged along and got some weird combination of lunch and dinner at Wendy’s. We then went home, I ate, and we all got into the car and drove to my church.

 

The church I go to is kind of old, and there’s a kitchen downstairs that really needed cleaning. So from about 4:30-8:30, I was down there with my parents. Eventually my mom put me to work and I scrubbed counters, cabinets, the fridge, two ovens, and the dishwasher (which I think didn’t work). I went up at around then, because we were practically done. The church was having a Men’s Movie Night (Which I kept calling Men’s Movie Monday because that’s an alliteration) and I was standing around, eating trail-mix and a tiny bottle of water that the pastor gave me. 🙂

 

Close to 9:00, my mom and I left and went to eat. I wasn’t really hungry, but I had a churro and a Vanilla Coke. At around 10:00, we popped back to the church and picked up my dad, and got home at around 10:30.

 

So, there you have it! And, by the time I’m done writing this, turns out we won’t be having company tonight, but rather tomorrow, so hopefully I can get whatever cleaning I’m going to do done and do a podcast! Yay!

 

God bless,

 

~Agent M

So Sorry!

3 Jun

I didn’t have time for a podcast today! 😦 I officially got up at nine, and was gone from roughly two in the afternoon until now (ten at night), so I didn’t have a chance. I’ll try and do another one soon though!

 

~Agent M

The Search for WondLa – A Book Review

2 Jun

A book to read while on vacation. The Search f...

Image by justjason via Flickr

Yep! I finished that book I had told you about a few days ago. I finished it…two days ago, I think, but I hadn’t gotten around to posting anything.

 

The book in question? “The Search for WondLa“, by Tony Diterlizzi.

 

It was a big book, too. Not huge, but definately big. It’s 477 pages long, but it was filled with lots and lots of illustrations. Tony Diterlizzi is one of my favorite illustrators, and he draws mind-blowing things.

 

The book’s out-lying premise is rather sci-fi- leaning: a human girl who’s been raised her entire life underground by a robot is running away after her home being attacked and wrecked. But don’t let a short synopsis fool you; this is the book that just keeps on giving.

 

We start out with a rather confusing first chapter. The entire opening bit of the story is confusing, and you won’t really understand anything until you get into the second part of the book, which is split up into four sections, when things start making more sense. It starts out with a young, twelve-year-old girl named Eva Nine, who’s been raised in a secret, underground facility by her ‘mother’ robot, aptly named Muthr, and has never seen another real human her entire life. Muthr keeps on telling her that she is special and unique. This of course raises the question, is she alone? Or is this some strange experiment, homeschooling gone wild, where she is just totally isolated from the world? Or, could it be that she is somehow different, or belongs to a race of a different kind of human, that is being experimented on or forced into isolation? The questions continue to pile up once Eva is forced to leave her home when a mysterious person (or being) attacks her home, forcing her to leave Muthr behind. She ends up meeting some interesting characters, and the book has a very interesting story arc, which I won’t be giving away. 😉

 

What I really like about this book is how the plot unfolds. Most plots unfold in the same way, shown in the diagram to the right. This is a plot chart, showing how most every book you’ll read will progress. However, this book doesn’t really do that. Imagine that instead of going down after the climax, it goes up again, and then has another climax. It keeps going and going, have bigger and bigger climaxes as it goes along. It’s quite an enjoyable read, and you won’t want to put it down!

 

What I like a lot about this book is it isn’t straight up science fiction. DiTerlizzi blends sci-fi and fantasy elements together, creating a very unique read. It’s not like fairies and magic fantasy, but the way he writes, the creatures he has, the plot twists included, all remind you of a story book instead of harsh science. However, there are some moments that are very sci-fi, that are airing on the brutal side, and are a bit scary.

 

The ending, too, is well executed. I’m not leaking any info here, but this book was made for a sequel. One thing that bugs me with books that have endings that are supposed to make way for sequels, is they are very rarely very good. Often times, they think that endings are ‘all or nothing’ ordeals, as in you have to tie up all the loose ends or none of them. I’ve read several books with complete “Umm…What?” endings, where you’ll have just spent a lot of time reading, only to find out that this was a waste of time and you’ll have to shell out another $9-$20 to find out what all that text was actually getting at. However, this book ends in a very good way; most of the ends are tied up, you understand pretty clearly what was happening, but there is just enough empty space to need a sequel, without being completely left hanging. I though the end could have been drawn out a bit more and could have been a little longer, though. I was very confused at something that they had said, but I’m hoping it will be answered in the next book.

I bought this book at my book fair, but it would probably be found in the ‘middle’ age group, somewhere between 7-9 grade, in my opinion. It’s a fun read and I suggest adding it to your summer reading list, as I did myself!

 

Overall: 100%