Congratulations to Sean (Kleefeld on Comics) Kleefeld for winning two books by Natsume Ono!
“As for one person’s output that I’ve seen at both ends of the spectrum, I’m going to call out Bruce Jones. He’s not especially a favorite author of mine, but I do generally like his work overall. I was especially taken with Somerset Holmes (from Pacific Comics) back in the day, and I believe that was the first time I had encountered his work. It’s been more than a few years since I’ve gone back to see if it still holds up, but most of his work since then has been good.
“That said, his Captain America: What Price Glory? was a train wreck of a comic. I had high hopes between his writing and Steve Rude’s art, but it turned out to be just a mess. I went so far as to email editor Andrew Lis directly to list out all the problems I had with it. He was kind enough to respond and said, in effect, ‘Yeah, we weren’t too happy with how that turned out either.'”
As so many of us do, Sam (Manga Recon) Kusek turned to manga for his mixed emotions:
“My example of two works from the same creative type that are quite different for me, are Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail and Rave Master. Rave Master was one of the first series that I first started reading and while it started off in a really interesting way, the story got really convulted as time went on.
“Fairy Tail is a series that has the same interesting and fun elements that Rave Master had at its start, but has found a way to keep that interest going for a long while. It also represents Mashima’s progression as a story writer and overall artist.”
Alain Mendez turned to classic science fiction:
“I think my big divide on a creator in their works is Isaac Asimov. I love the Robot series with the Caves of Steel being one of my favorite books. On the other hand despite being critically acclaimed I found the Foundation Series completely boring and unengaging.”
All the world is a stage for Alex Brown, but not all of it is worth being in the audience:
“The play I loved: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. Also a wonderful movie. Clever, funny, and thought provoking all at once. Plus it totally plays with Hamlet which is wonderful.
“The plays that disappointed me: anything else. To my mind he’s never hit the heights of r&grd (heh) despite further cleverness.
“Oh I just thought of another one: Don Delilo. The book White Noise by him is terrific, a great deconstruction of life in the modern age. But everything else he’s written is too clever by half, it’s lost its soul.”
Lorena (i heart manga) Nava Ruggero sometimes finds Weezer to be… a little asthmatic:
“Another great contest! In terms of conflicting reactions, I’d have to say my favorite band, Weezer, has done this to me a number of times. Their blue album was the first CD I ever bought (I had only bought tapes up to that time) and it blew my mind with its happy-go-lucky music and, at times, dark lyrics. I was also blown away by their sophomore album Pinkerton. Sadly, they’ve since produced other albums whose names (or corresponding colors) aren’t worth mentioning. And just when I thought their latest album Raditude might bring me back to high school, I was disappointed again by an album with too many ‘lows’ and not enough ‘highs.’ Oh well!”
Sheli Hay applies game logic to the idea of mixed results:
“Any author that I love that has a huge body of work could fall into this category. There is always that one book/story/production that you treasure more than the others. But I think the series that has me forever on a hook is Final Fantasy. There are few stories that I love more than FFVII. A lot of comic authors dissappoint and delight like Ono, but FFVII is so unique in that is traps you for hours of your life. Not the hour is takes to take in a manga, or the couple hours it takes to digest a novel, but literally days of your life.
“And when those days are so flippin’ great? Of course you want more. But here is where Squaresoft/Squareenix has done me wrong. No game that they have produced has been good as FFVII. So they, more than anyone else, has me on the precarious edge of a wholly devoted/never what to speak to them again relationship.”
“The first shojo series I read was Ceres Celestial Legend by Yuu Watase, and I loved it. Good characters and drama, touches of horror and a bit of a sappy ending. I was thrilled when Absolute Boyfriend was announced and hoped for another great series. I was seriously disappointed. It started out okay, and just went downhill from there.”
Matthew J. (Warren Peace Sings the Blues) Brady is sometimes driven to reach for the remote:
“I’ll go with Aaron Sorkin, whose Sports Night was a show that I really liked, being just the right age to learn to appreciate well-written dialogue. I never watched much of The West Wing, so I can’t comment on his creative evolution there, but Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was such a disappointment, especially since it started out so promisingly, but immediately sank to tiresome plots, ridiculous contrivances and misunderstandings, and almost self-parodic dialogue, before being mercifully cancelled. It seems that Sorkin’s career still has yet to recover.”
Rij knows that sometimes it’s not the money, just the time that you’d like back:
“Iain M. Banks, with or without the middle initial is an author who’s capable of producing books I fall in love with on the first page. Unfortunately he’s just as capable of producing works that make me want to throw up and books that I just want to forget ever wasting time on. I love Consider Phlebas, The Bridge, Crow Road and many more. The Wasp Factory is not a bad book, really, I just never want to touch it again as it is the only book I’ve read in 30+ years that has made me nauseous. It’s been years and I still remember the scene in vivid detail. Song of Stone on the other hand was just bad. Uninspired, gratuitous with both sex and violence, boring and even the compulsory twist near the ending left me more annoyed at it’s stupidity than in any way surprised. I’m just glad that I didn’t waste any money on that, wasting time was bad enough.”
Matthew (365 zines a year) Murray ponders the obscure:
“One Night @ the Call Centre was a novel (written in English, published in India) by Chetan Bhagat. I found it in a guest house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and despite the back cover mentioning ‘god’ I picked it up (when you sit on buses all the time while travelling you read a lot of books), read it, and rally enjoyed it! It wasn’t religious, and it gave me an incredibly interesting look into modern Indian culture that I really had no idea about.”
“So when I found Bhagat’s first book Five Point Someone I was really excited! Except it wasn’t as good at all, and in fact I can now barely remember anything about it. I think it was just a typical ‘students at university book’.”
Thanks to everyone who entered!