Time for another #dungeon23 post. For a while, I was updating this every time I completed a page, but it turns out that getting the time to do a post is harder than doing the scribbles once every day or two, so here’s an update that includes three fragments of the shattered hollow moon setting that I’ve been building in this exercise.
The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli
Like all the posts in my 2023 reads list, this comes at a lag, meaning I read this a while back—though in this case, a while back is just last week.
Carlo Rovelli’s The Order of Time is a book that I’ve noticed on the shelf at the local library a few times. Because that particularly library jumbles together all of its English language books in a single room—kids’ books, comics, YA novels, and adult fiction and nonfiction—it’s always seemed a little out of place, and caught my eye each time I’ve been there.
Having finally signed out a copy, I don’t think it took me more than a couple of days to read it, and not just because it’s a slender volume. It is less than 200 pages, but some of those pages are quite mentally challenging and I would credit Rovelli’s lyricism and readability for the swiftness of my reading.
Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters by David Hockney
Like all the posts in my 2023 reads list, this comes at a lag, meaning I read this a while ago. More recently than usual, though. This was something I got access to through work.
The idea of “secret knowledge” has an allure that sells itself, so much so that I had to be cautious as I read this book not to be seduced by that idea, to allow Hockney’s arguments and reasoning to work rather than to be taken as proof without examination. Of course, I’m so unfamiliar with the history of visual art that in the end, I don’t know what to make of his thesis: I’ve read Hockey’s view, and I’ve read the counter-arguments by some, like Christopher Tyler, who think he places the start of artists using optics far too early. Tyler does note how many of Hockney’s arguments rest on subjective evaluations… and yet there may be some qualitative elements that suggest at least some of his subjective evaluations might actually be correct.
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier and Sheets by Brenna Thummler
Like all the posts in my 2023 reads list, this comes at a lag, meaning I read this a while ago.
I recently read a couple of comics aimed at younger readers. Basically, I stumbled onto them at the library while waiting for my son to pick out some comics, and figured I’d give them a shot, as a contrast to the more challenging reading I’ve got on the go at the moment. They’re interesting in different ways.
Raina Telgemeier’s Ghosts is about a pair of sisters who move to a town with a notable ghost population. The story is told from the older sister’s point of view, as she struggles externally with life in a new, bewildering place, and also struggles internally with her younger sister’s cystic fobrosis, with all the complications that presents to her life. They make friends, with human residents and with others, and the internal and external struggles ramp up as things change, finally intersecting on Día de los Muertos. I found the story satisfying, the art style simple but appealing, and the characters pleasant to spend time with.
Brenna Thrummler’s Sheets is a different kind of story. There’s a brother and a sister, and again the main perspective is that of the older sister, but in this case it’s the dad who is struggling with a health problem—clinical depression, brought on by the death of his wife. He’s… a pretty hapless father. The older sister has to grapple with managing the family’s laundromat—their only source of income—and fending off the plotting of a clownishly evil neighbor, a yoga teacher hell-bent on taking possession of the laundromat. She also has to deal with a haunting—a ghost who just wants to be friends, but she doesn’t know that at first. The art style is more less cute and more angular and the coloring more stylized (neither of which is a bad thing), but for me the presence of a horrid villain—even a pathetic, ridiculous one who is revealed to be desperate and terrified himself—made the story a little harder to take seriously. Still, I have to admit I sympathized more with the protagonist in this book, given how much she was saddled with.
#dungeon23 Days 85-109: Harsh Fragment and Subsurface Refuge Complex N43A, Level 1
Time for another #dungeon23 post. This sums up two locales: a large moon fragment and the first floor of a subsurface refuge complex.