product review: Zatchels Foxton Kilworth bag

Zatchels Foxton Kilworth 1First of all, I am very much aware that dark brown isn’t in the Foxton range, or the Charnwood one (essentially those are the same bags, but Foxton and Charnwood each come in 4 very distinctive colours that aren’t found in other Zatchels ranges). Let’s just ignore that fact for a moment, I’ll get to it later in this review.

The Kilworth model is a classic design, just slightly different from other classic smaller bags. It looks sufficiently different from all the well known types of classic and vintage style satchel/handbag to make it really pop, whilst all the same it is a bag you can literally use anywhere. Whether it is for the office, a night out, your ‘punk outfit: Kilworth has you covered.
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The Bohemian Partition

Bohemian Partition map
Map of the fictional Bohemian Partition (Marcos Eduardo Ceia)

Based on the real-world United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine (down to the use of the same color scheme), this map purports to be the work of an international commission for the “Bohemian Question.”

The scenario has ethnic Czechs rising up against a Sudetengerman-led government after the Second World War. The Sudetenland was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938, with the acquiescence of France and the United Kingdom — but without the involvement of what was then Czechoslovakia. In the real world, most Germans living in the border region were expelled after the war.

The map was created by Brazilian artist Marcos Eduardo Ceia. Click here for the original.

Book Review: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain RailroadLet me first start by saying that Big Thunder Mountain is one my favourite rides in Disneyland Paris (the only Disney resort I’ve visited), only narrowly beaten by Les Mystères du Nautilus. So of course, when Marvel and Disney announced that everyone’s favourite runaway main train was being turned into a comic, I was excited.

Design wise, it’s very pretty. Like all other Disney Kingdom series books it comes only in hardcover. Which is bad because it means a fragile flap and a higher price than what you’d pay for a trade paperback version. On the upside, once the flap is removed, you get a really nice sketch of the ride. That aside, from personal experience I know that Marvel soft cover editions tend to be rather more robust, so I’m not really into Disney’s money grabbing ways here, pretty look or not.

Photo of the day: 15.6.2016 (day 167)

Now onto the story: Disney is basically retconning the original ride back story for their Californian park, making this one the one and only correct one.

For ride and Disney geeks, this is of course really interesting, and probably worth reading for this alone. It still leaves all the other Disney parks hanging when it comes to their back stories though, and to be fair, reading this comic, that’s not a bad thing.

Without giving away anything of the story: it’s a fun enough tale when it comes to a mining town setting in the Wild West era of the United States, with just a little hint of the Weird West we’ve all come to love.

In itself the characters are nothing original either and development is simply lackluster. The story is, all in all, just like the characters: plain unoriginal. Also the choice of the female lead/heroine feels a little forced. Whilst I applaud strong female characters, it just feels very force fed in this story, possibly because it’s just not an original story. It’s, once again, daddy’s girl isn’t pleased with society’s view on how a women should behave and look, and rebellious as she is, she “does something about it”. But in the same way we’ve seen hundreds of times before. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, trying as it may, is just not an original story, it doesn’t manage to grab and hold attention properly like it should. And sadly nothing can really change that.

The art is alright, but also not the most fine comic art (definitely not the worst either so there is that).

All in all, it’s just rather disappointing. It feels like Disney figured that people would buy this book anyway because of the popularity of the ride (they’re not wrong) and that because of that, they didn’t have to do a real effort. I can only hope they are doing a better job with The Haunted Mansion because this was one of the most disappointing comics I’ve read all year. It certainly does no justice at all to the iconic ride so many have come to love over the years.

“A Place of Bright and Blaring Color”: New York Night in 1946

Life magazine in August 1946 featured a series of photographs taken by Andreas Feininger of New York City at night. The text that introduced the pictures was quite evocative and is worth quoting in full:

In New York the first lights start to come on at night long before the last light has gone out of the sky. The skyscraper workers, scurrying toward the end of day, turn the tall office buildings into bright honeycombs whose illuminated blobs seem to drop down to the darkening rivers around the island. Then the advertising signs taken over the streets of the city, competing so violently with each other that they throw on the sky a glare seen 60 miles at sea. Their clutter is thickest in the streets around Times Square where, in the world’s greatest neon gallery, the enormous acreage of blaring tubes and bulbs and the unashamed piling of color on garnish color make a confusion which is dizzying, outrageous and always wonderful.

Click here to read the original article, available on Google Books.