Technicolor, immortals, a princess and superheroes: books and graphic novels

I knew the word “technicolor” in my teens but vaguely thought of it as meaning just in color, instead of black and white; GLORIOUS TECHNICOLOR: The Movies’ Magic Rainbow by Fred Basten explains why Technicolor was once a name and a company to conjure with. While some movie makers had been interested in filming in color even back in the silent days, the tech just wasn’t there. The Technicolor company developed the first color movie that was anywhere close to visually satisfying, then went on to refine their process until we got the vibrant colors of films such as The Wizard of Oz. This required not only overcoming technical challenges but uncertainty about whether there was enough public interest to justify the money, and makeup and set decorating professionals who weren’t sure how to work in this medium (several female stars resisted doing color films because they’d got their B&W look perfect). Interesting.

NO LESS DAYS by Amanda G. Stevens is a Christian fantasy about David, an immortal (with unusual restraint he’s less than two centuries old) bookstore owner who witnesses a YouTube daredevil surviving an apparently fatal stunt — is it possible he’s also unkillable? It turns out the daredevil is indeed another longevite, but David now has to deal with one of the others killing to protect their secret; whether to share the truth with the woman he’s fallen in love with; and how his immortality can possibly fit into God’s design. This is a warm, non-judgmental Christian fantasy (and after so many evangelicals endorsed Brett Kavanaugh it’s nice that Stevens takes consent and abuse issues seriously) but after the intriguing opening it slowed down and got way too talky to old me.

PRINCELESS: Make Yourself by Jeremy Whitley and multiple artists has Princess Adrienne continuing her efforts to rescue her sisters (all locked in towers by Dad until handsome princes can rescue them) while dealing with issues including her kinky hair, other characters’ same-sex relationships, and dwarven gender roles. This didn’t hold me as well as other volumes, partly because it’s been so long since I read one (I don’t remember the characters in one subplot at all) and it’s a bit heavy on Social Issues For Younger Readers. However I really loved that when Adrienne’s dwarven sidekick tells her grandfather she’s become a smith in defiance of dwarf tradition, he’s cool with it (it’s really amazingly rare to have fantasy characters bend on proper gender roles).

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: Family Business by Mark Waid, James Robinson and Gabriele Dell’Otto has a woman who claims to be Peter’s long-lost sister recruit him to wrap up one of their CIA parents’ last missions, involving a stockpile of Nazi gold guarded by a mecha. This is good fun, though the sibling angle is obviously a ruse (not the first time, either — a supposed sister turns up in the Revenge of the Sinister Six novel trilogy).

#SFWApro. All rights to image remain with current holder.

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