Tag: pop culture

Webtoons and Where to Start

If you haven’t heard yet, WebToon is a platform for serialized graphic novels. Yeah, these are comics, and some are gorgeously drawn and deeply potted narratives that you don’t want to miss. Here’s our guide on how to get on board, starting by genre.

Webtoon has a website, if you want to see the art blown up, but it’s most alive on the app.

 

 

Best of the Best – Lore Olympus 

 

Lore Olympus 
Image via Webtoon

 

This comic tops the overall WebToon list with extreme regularity, and for good reason. The art is outrageously beautiful, the characters are complex and compulsively likable (or outrageously easy to hate), and the plotting is gorgeous. Persephone has left the mortal world to go to university on Olympus, but things get complicated almost immediately. This is a must read if you have any interest in myth, fantasy, or just really like fantastic graphic novels.

 

Paranormal – Krueger & Faust 

 

Krueger & Faust 
Image via Webtoon

 

Alice Kruger has been through a lot. No spoilers, but she’s had a bit of a bad year, and now, her cat knocks a pot off a windowsill and hits her on the head. This gives her the power to see supernatural beings, including the monster in her closet? Most people would be understandably put off, but Faust’s alright, and he certainly has problems of his own. Read this if you like a quality combination of paranormal silliness and dire peril.

 

 

Action – Phantomland 

 

Phantomland
Image via Webtoon

 

This comic has everything – an optimistic rookie paired with a cantankerous vet, a supernatural plague that erases your memories and makes you hard to kill, vaguely sketchy military organizations. The magic is seamlessly embedded in the world, the characters are compelling, and there’s plenty of running around stabbing and shooting people. It’s a classic model done in a very new and interesting way. And it has journalistic integrity.

 

Intrigue – My Dear Cold Blooded King 

 

My Dear Cold Blooded King 

Image via Imglogy

 

Mei is pretty normal. She’s been selling her family’s apples since her brother died in the Blood King’s army. Then she accidentally saves the life of the new Blood King’s young brother, and gets taken to the capital. It turns out her family is more connected to the capital than she thinks, and she’s suddenly on the radar of the Blood King, his chief generals, foreign royalty, and the most fearsome criminal in the empire. Mei is smart and tough and way out of her depth (or anyone’s).

 

 

Slice of Life – True Beauty

 

True Beauty
Image via AuthGram

 

After being bullied in middle school, Jugyeong decides she’ll learn how to do ‘beauty’ and become popular at her new school, which kind of works. It’s an interesting examination of the weird contradictions of beauty standards, without getting too philosophical or stepping on the story. This comic is funny, heartfelt, and relatable, but watch out for the cliffhangers! This also regularly tops WebToon lists, which it deserves.

 

Fantasy – Muted

 

Muted
Image via Twitter

 

Camille’s whole family died in a fire when she was young, and she had to live with her very severe aunt, now head of the Severin witch family. Everything goes (more) wrong when she tries to summon a demon for a rite of passage, and can’t summon a bird like she should. The art is beautiful, and the setting, a manor house in Louisiana, is elegant and immersive. Alligators, gal pals, and family secrets make this a must read.

 

 

Romance – Ms. Abbott & the Doctor 

 

Mrs. Abbot and The Doctor
Image via Anime Planet

 

This is not your standard romance. Cati Abbott is the orphaned daughter of idealists who died in ‘Amazonia’. Taken home to some more industrialized country by her anthropologist mentor, she’s considered charmingly eccentric, at best. Enter the town’s tight laced doctor. Chaos ensues, and they realize all this petty conflict might be something else.

 

Crime – Purple Hyacinth 

 

Purple Hyacinth 
Image via 41a

 

Lauren has always been able to tell when people are lying to her. After losing someone close to her, she becomes a police officer, but never stops trying to find out what happened. Her power makes her an effective officer, but when an assassin offers her information and help in stopping his boss, and maybe even with her mystery, it’s hard to turn down the opportunity to save lives and find answers.

 

 

Comedy – Cursed Princess Club

 

Cursed Princess Club
Image via Webtoon

 

Gwendolyn is a bit of an ugly duckling compared to her anime eyed sisters, but this doesn’t bother her or her family. Her very caring father decides that his three daughters will marry his BFF’s three sons, easy as it gets. The only problem is that Gwendolyn’s suitor is terrified of her. Running into the forest so her sisters don’t see her crying and boycott the whole thing, Gwendolyn meets a bunch of other princesses under strange curses.

 

Foreign Language – Flawless 

 

Flawless
Image via PicDeer

 

WebToon also publishes foreign language stories translated by fans. Flawless is a strange, philosophical examination of relationships, blindness, and how we treat others. Mostly it’s just fun though. Elios grows up in an orphanage, and when his foster sister gets in trouble, he ropes in Sarah, a local girl who gets into a ton of fights, in order to retrieve his sister. They somehow become friends, and end up going to the same high school. A fun read. (originally published in Indonesian)

 

 

Featured image from ComicsBeat

Finest Twitter Flash Fiction to Lighten Up Your Feed

From puppy pics to political news, Twitter is a wonderful place. It’s also home of a wave of flash fiction writers. Here are a few to follow to add some fiction to your feed, even when you don’t have time for short stories.

 

1. T. R. Darling

 

Image via Twitter

 

The absolute best Twitter flash fiction has to offer. Fantasy, mystery, and magical realism combined and intertwined in full stories under two-hundred-eighty words, with a philosophical bend that’ll make you contemplate the combination of genres.

Soon to be a book even.

 

 

2. Mythology Bot

 

Image via Twitter

 

This little bot may not know much, but it certainly has bizarre and whimsical grasp of mythological elements. At the risk of feeling like you’ve thrown a bunch of fantasy books in a blender, follow this bot for some strangeness on your feed.

 

3.The Ghost of M.

 

Image via Twitter

 

Ominous and dare I say emo, this twitter provides story snippets of only a few lines. If you like horror or even just vague unease, follow for these tiny ghost stories.

 

 

4. Ritter Coldriss 

 

Image via Twitter

 

For moody magical realism, look no further. Brief character sketches build strange and unlikely worlds, sci-fi flare, and elegant prose that are sure to have you excited for these stories on your feed.

 

5. King Talib

 

Image via Twitter

Here, moody landscapes combine with strange stories, told one line at a time in a threaded feed. Moody and atmospheric, these stories will leave you questioning their reality and even your own.

 

 

 

Featured image via iStock 

 

Filming Begins on Sally Rooney’s ‘Normal People’ Adaptation

If you were unaware, the soon to be cult classic and heart-wrenchingly-real bestseller (like it weirdly broke me) of the year, Normal People is being turned into a twelve-part series. Sally Rooney became the youngest author to win the Costa Novel Award in 2018 (beating us all to it) before her book was named 2019’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards. The word-weaving powerhouse that is Ms. Rooney has helped pen the pending adaptation alongside Alice Birch and Mark O’Rowe.

 

Image Via Virginmediatelevision.ie 

 

The novel follows the ever-changing, often infuriating relationship between Connell and Marianne post-Irish economic downturn. The two occupy very different social circles at school; Connell is popular and well-liked (but just a dick), while Marianne (super clever) is ostracized and ridiculed. The two form a connection in secret which begins since Connell’s mother is Marianne’s family’s cleaner. After they escape the irrelevancy of secondary school, Marianne blossoms and Connell does not. Both go to university and have very different experiences, all the while remaining in each other’s lives (to a certain extent). The novel examines all the idiosyncrasies that make us “normal,” bringing to light various traumas and insecurities that are often ignored by an indifferent society.

According to Virgin Media Television, the adaptation being produced by Element Pictures (The Favourite, The Lobster)—expect some nuanced and potentially fucked up feels. It will star Daisy Edgar Jones (Cold Feet) as Marianne and Paul Mescal debuting as Connell. Room (oh this is going to be heavy) filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie McDonald will serve as duel directors.

 

Image Via Inews.co.uk

 

Rooney, also serving as an executive producer, said: “As a long-time admirer of Lenny Abrahamson’s work, it’s a special privilege for me to be working alongside him on the adaptation of Normal People. I couldn’t be happier with the cast and team we’ve put together, and I’m very excited to watch them bringing new life to the story on screen.”

 

Image Via Independent.ie

 

Abrahamson added: “It’s incredibly exciting to be bringing Sally Rooney’s extraordinary novel to the screen with such a brilliant cast and crew. It’s also lovely for me to be shooting in Ireland again and telling an Irish story after shooting abroad. The film and TV industry here is full of talented and committed people who can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world.”

 

In an interview with Irish Independent, Sally Rooney once said, “There is a part of [her] that will never be happy knowing that [she is] just writing entertainment, making decorative aesthetic objects at a time of historical crisis.”

This is the sort of thinking that contributed to prose that is thoughtfully rooted in realism and, inevitably, to a kick-ass television show as well.

 

Normal People will premiere on Hulu and BBC next year. Go read the book in the meantime.

 

Featured Image Via Independent.co.uk

'Game of Thrones' Cast Members

‘Game of Thrones’ Cast Sends Video Messages to Dying Fan

What do we say to the God of death?

You ever have this strange feeling like you miss someone you’ve never met? You look for them everywhere and in everyone, but nothing fills that void. Then maybe you realize that the person you miss might just be a part of yourself, a tiny fraction rooted in uninhibited truth. A fraction that is often felt and filled when you pick up a book or stumble upon a story that negates any emptiness. Because sometimes, a good story is exactly what you’ve been looking for—what you’ve missed.

Image Via Theverge.com

George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire became the friend a lot of people never knew they missed. Stories like the ones that take place in Westeros operate as a distraction: a distraction from the things that might agitate us. A good story strips away our day to day worries and allows us to just be… well, us, even in the face of our own mortality. At this moment in time, the internet is flooded with GoT news, theories, and tidbits—impassioned discourse. People rally behind certain characters, resonate with certain themes, and complain about certain lighting issues.

What we see is a part of ourselves—a part that we choose to share with each other. Stories like these connect us. I’m not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing. Countless miracles and monstrosities are happening around the world at this very moment; we choose to focus on fiction.

Not Today.

 

Today we can focus on both. I read an article on WCVB’s website—about an eighty-eight-year-old woman in hospice from Rhode Island. A woman who loves a good story. This woman’s name was Claire Walton, and, like the rest of the world, she was and is a fan of Game of Thrones. Last week, she found herself marinating in anticipation for Sunday’s episode of GoT‘s finale season—an episode that had been hyped as containing one of the biggest battles sequences ever put on film. Claire joked with her care providers that she wanted to meet the cast before she died, but would settle for watching “The Battle of Winterfell/The Long Night.”

It is reported that caretakers at HopeHealth in Providence reached out to the cast regarding her fandom, and magic ensued. Ten actors from the series sent Claire reverent messages—most notably Liam Cunningham, (Sir Davos Seaworth), Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel), and Josef Altin (Pypar).

“I hope you’re fit enough to watch the battle,” Cunningham said. “I wish you the very best. I hope your days are not bad and I hope you can manage. Take care!”

You can watch some of the messages via video a hospice care provider posted on Facebook:

 

Claire watched the episode in its entirety Sunday before dying Monday afternoon. Her story reminds us of one thing:  a good story can change lives—it can bring fame and joy to people as well as hope and understanding. A good story can teach us a little bit more about the human condition, bring people together, or just make someone’s day. Claire Walton’s motives were simple. In the end, she just wanted to watch her favorite show and fill herself with the type of joy that can only come from the company of a friend or a good story. Something about that feels more triumphant than the perfectly timed placement of a Valyrian steel dagger.

The HBO series set various viewership records Sunday night.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Metro UK.

John Cusack and Jack Black in High Fidelity

Jake Lacy Joins Hulu Adaptation of ‘High Fidelity’

Exciting news for fans of High FidelityAccording to this article from ComingSoon the upcoming adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Nick Hornby has found its co-lead. Jake Lacy was announced to join the series in the role of the television show’s secondary character, Clyde.

 

 

The cover to High Fidelity featuring a man covering half his face

Image Via Goodreads

The book tells the story of a pop culture trivia obsessed man called Rob. His girlfriend, Laura, leaves him, with Rob both confused and relieved by this due to his obsession with trivia. The series adaptation will be gender flipping the roles, with Rob becoming a woman and Laura becoming a man called Clyde.

 

 

 

The book was previously adapted into a feature film in 2000 starring John Cusack and Jack Black. The Hulu adaptation has been ordered for ten episodes and Zoë Kravitz will play the lead in this series. The television adaptation was originally scheduled for release on Disney+ before being moved to Hulu, as Disney was reportedly uncomfortable with more adult content on their family friendly platform. The series has no set release date yet but it should be intriguing, especially considering the gender flipped roles from the book.

 

 

Featured Image Via Deadline