“Every Man Dies Alone” or “Alone in Berlin” (German: Jeder stirbt für sich allein) is a 1947 novel by German author Hans Fallada. It is based on the true story of a working class husband and wife who, acting alone, became part of the German Resistance. Fallada’s book was one of the first anti-Nazi novels to be published by a German after World War II.

The story takes place during World War II in 1940 in Berlin. The book conveys the omnipresent fear and suspicion engulfing Germany at the time caused by the constant threat of arrest, imprisonment, torture and death. Even those not at risk of any of those punishments could be ostracized and unable to find work. Escherich, a Gestapo inspector, must find the source of hundreds of postcards encouraging Germans to resist Adolf Hitler and the Nazis with personal messages such as “Mother! The Führer has murdered my son. Mother! The Führer will murder your sons too, he will not stop till he has brought sorrow to every home in the world.” Escherich is under pressure from Obergruppenführer Prall to arrest the source or find himself in dire straits. Nearly all those who find the cards turn them in to the Gestapo immediately, terrified they themselves will be discovered having them. Eventually, Escherich finds the postcard writer and his wife, who turn out to be a quiet, working class couple, Otto and Anna Quangel. The Quangels’ acts of civil disobedience were prompted by the loss of their only son, who has been killed in action. They are arrested and brought to trial at the Volksgerichtshof, the Nazi “People’s Court”, where the infamous Roland Freisler presides. The Quangels are sentenced to death; Otto is soon executed, but Anna dies during an Allied bombing raid, while still on death row. (via Wikipedia)

I red this book some months ago, and it´s hard to not get engaged in the storyline about the Quangels’ and their action towards the Nazis as a result due to the loss of their son. However, despite having a great story based on a true story, I still felt something didn´t strike me full on and left me longing to pick the book up and read and also feeling sad when the book was finished. Not sure why I felt that way. Nevertheless, it´s has a strong illustration of German resistance against the Nazis. In the autumn of 1946 Fallada wrote “Alone in Berlin” in just 24 days and died a few months later, weeks before the book was published. Sad that he didn´t get to see the success of the book years later.

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Ray Gun was an American alternative rock-and-roll magazine, first published in 1992 in Santa Monica, California. Led by founding art director David Carson, along with founding editor Neil Feineman, Ray Gun explored experimental magazine typographic design and unique angles on the pop cultural currents of the 90s. The editorial content was framed in a chaotic, abstract style, not always readable (it once published an interview with Bryan Ferry entirely in the symbol font Zapf Dingbats), but distinctive in appearance. That tradition for compelling visuals continued even after Carson left the magazine after three years; he was followed by a series of art directors, including Robert Hales, Chris Ashworth, Jason Saunby, Scott Denton-Cardew, and Jerome Curchod.

In terms of content, Ray Gun was also notable for its choices of subject matter. The cutting-edge advertising, musical artists and pop culture icons spotlighted were typically ahead of the curve, putting such artists as Radiohead, Björk, Beck, Flaming Lips, PJ Harvey and Eminem[citation needed] on its cover long before its better-known competitors. Those choices were guided by Executive Editor Randy Bookasta (and founding editor Neil Feineman for the first five issues), along with an editorial staff that included Dean Kuipers, Nina Malkin, Mark Blackwell, Joe Donnelly, Grant Alden, Mark Woodlief, and Eric Gladstone.

Ray Gun produced over 70 issues from 1992 through 2000. Owner-founder-publisher Marvin Scott Jarrett (one-time publisher of a late-1980s incarnation of Creem) also created the magazines Bikini, Stick and huH.[citation needed] Jarrett is currently editor-in-chief of Nylon, a New York–based fashion magazine.The most notable common thread among all of Jarrett’s magazines (from his latter-day Creem through Nylon) has been an attraction to dynamic next-generation graphic design.(via Wikipedia)

Loved Ray Gun.

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Zeroville is a 2007 novel by Steve Erickson on film’s upheaval in the 1970s. It was named one of the best novels of the year by Newsweek, the Washington Post BookWorld and the Los Angeles Times Book Review among others, and in winter 2008 was one of the five favorite novels of 800 novelists and critics in a poll of the National Book Critics Circle. The novel was also shortlisted for the Believer Book Award.

Ike Jerome, a 24-year-old architecture student inspired by the few films he has seen, rides the bus into Hollywood. Jerome is initially portrayed as violent and short tempered, his social ineptitude is slowly revealed as borderline autistic. With a tattoo of Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor as they appear in The film A Place in the Sun on the back of his head which he keeps shaven. His appearance is anachronistic and jarring to most of the people he encounters in 1960’s LA. He gets his first job in the industry as a set builder during which time he meets an aging film editor, nicknamed Vikar, whom he befriends and begins a dreamlike journey into the world of films that eventually ends in tragedy and almost horrific discovery.

Zeroville discusses the supernatural power of films over people and how films become like gods in our worship of them. Vikar’s bizarre discovery of the frame found in every film ever made confirms this. Zeroville is partially a critique of the ways movies and Hollywood changed in the 1970s, as the old studios are taken by young renegade filmmakers (symbolized by the veteran editor Dotty Langer). Vikar laments on the disappearance of film from Hollywood: “‘I’m in the movie capital of the world,’ Vikar says, ‘and nobody knows anything about movies'”. Zeroville’s plot is woven with two older stories or myths, that is, Abraham’s sacrifice and the legend of Perceval. (via Wikipedia)

When I heard about Zeroville, the book I was intrigued and then I managed to see a trailer of the upcoming film version online as well, which became the trigger to get the book. Steve Erickson has written a novel that stands out for sure, but his film obsession via Vikar Jerome becomes almost a bit too much in the end and you are almost forced to know the many movie references to be able to extract the layers in the book. And the constant presence of something supernatural would be fine if Erickson had handled it a bit more intriguing in my opinion. What is Erickson´s main purpose with the book? I red another review were this question were also stated, is it only for the already initiated or does he want to invite the reader to become as much a cineaste as the antisocial antihero Vikar? Yes, it´s kind of cool to follow Vikar´s journey into the real Hollywood and the collapse of the studio system and the temporary marriage of the independent film spirit with big studio money, but at the same time you do feel that the story sort of fades out the longer you come into the book to sort of fizzle in the end. Zeroville wants to be smart and different, but at the same time it feels like Erickson is snickering in the background of his own smartness, that others might only feel a bit confused by. Zeroville is like the bastard child of David Lynch and Chuck Palahniuk, but the satirical metaphysical set up never really reaches those heights I was expecting at least.

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So I have finally seen all 6 seasons of the tv show Nip/Tuck. The series focus on “McNamara/Troy”, a cutting-edge, controversial plastic surgery center—but, particularly its founders: Drs. Sean McNamara and Christian Troy, portrayed by Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon. Each episode featured graphic, partial-depictions of the plastic surgeries of one or more patients procedures. Much of the series’ drama is derived from the tumultuous personal lives of its main characters (including the doctors’ loved ones).

The show premiered on July 22, 2003, and concluded on March 3, 2010, with the 100th episode. While the show was initially set in Miami, at the end of the fourth season it was relocated to Los Angeles and many of the characters have followed along. The show has earned 45 award nominations, winning one Golden Globe and one Emmy Award. (via Wikipedia)

It´s been a pleasure to tag along the weird lives of Sean McNamara and Christian Troy and yes maybe the show dipped a bit in the final season, but I will look back at Nip/Tuck as a weird and intriguing tv companion. #Nip/Tuck

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Yaroslav Horak (Harbin, 1927) is an ethnic Czech-Russian, then London-based, now Australian-based illustrator and comics artist, best known for his work on the newspaper comic strip, James Bond.

He was the second artist for the Daily Express strip James Bond from 1966 to 1977, then for the Sunday Express and the Daily Star from 1977 to 1979 and again from 1983 to 1984. In total Horak worked on 33 James Bond comic strips after taking over from John McLusky. Horak also created the comic series Jet Fury and The Mask, in addition to working on other comic strips such as Andrea, Mike Steele, and Captain Fortune, Cop Shop and Sergeant Pat of the Radio Patrol. (via Wikipedia)

Horak is my favourite James Bond illustrator. Great style and use of ink.

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