Quite a few commentators have dismissed the big-screen adaptation of the first volume in Ransom Riggs’ bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children young-adult series as “Tim Burton’s X-Men”. In comics we’ve learned to accept the coexistence of dozens of super-teams among the numerous universes over the past century, many of which aren’t superfluous and forgettable. Meanwhile in movies, someone gathers a few paranormals and no one can think of any other basis for comparison beyond the X-Men. Y’all do know “school for kids with powers” isn’t a rare pop culture concept anymore, right? Besides, I called dibs on the joke four years ago and beat the rush. See below.
Presented below is my full list of books, graphic novels, and trade collections that I finished reading in 2015, mostly but not entirely in order of completion. As I whittle down the never-ending stack I’ve been stockpiling for literal decades, my long-term hope before I turn 70 is to get to the point where my reading list is more than, say, 40% new releases every year. That’s a lofty goal, but I can dream
Presented below is my full list of books, graphic novels, and trade collections that I finished reading in 2014, in order of completion. Three were part of a 3-in-1 Sci-Fi Book Club edition and made sense to read back-to-back, but consequently took up more reading weeks than I expected. A few other items were pure catch-up of books that had been sitting on the unread shelf for far too long and were technically irrelevant by the time I got around to them. As I whittle down the never-ending stack that’s bothered me for decades, my long-term hope before I turn 60 is to get to the point where my reading list is more than, say, 40% new releases every year. That’s a lofty goal, but I can dream
On an overly reductive level, it’s a WWII-set X-Men vs. Groundhog Day. Jacob Portman is a present-day 16-year-old misfit who finagles his way to an obscure island near Wales to investigate his sketchy family history after his grandfather dies under violent circumstances. A trail of mystery and oddities leads Jacob into a place outside of time where a most unusual headmistress presides over a coterie of kids with impossible powers and features, here called “peculiars” instead of “mutants” — living in secret inside an endlessly repeating day for their own protection. There are super-powers, magical feats, disgusting things, poetic moments, terrifying evils, an open ending that begs for further journeys, and that mad, mad picture collection. I was left satisfied and ready for more.
According to the author’s official website, as of February 2012 the book has been optioned for big-screen adaptation, with big names attached such as director Tim Burton and screenwriter Jane Goldman, between whom I can easily see this being renamed Big Fish: First Class.
Please note the Courtesy Spoiler Alert at this point, where I’m about to delve a little further into character specifics. If this is still on your reading pile, now’s the time for a graceful exit, and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.