Things I did in Bangalore this weekend

  • Conducted Infinite Rampage, the KQA quiz on comics, comix and graphic novels. Which was the reason I was in Bangalore in the first place.
  • Somehow managed to be placed second in the Open quiz that followed.
  • Managed to spend my eight-month-old Premier book coupons on worthy Items-on-Wish-list. Bought six volumes of Spirou, that I had promised to buy when I saw them in Walden a couple of weeks ago. Also bought ( and finished reading yesterday ) Fantasies of a Bollywood Love Thief by Stephen Alter, an informal look at the Bollywood machine. It’s actually more of a making-of-Omkara, but alternate chapters are dedicated to various aspects of Bollywood, and I must say that Alter manages to be pretty informative without dissolving into film-journalistic cliche. And now I want to watch Omkara all over again.
  • Found a new edition of The Mammoth Book of Vampires, ed. Stephen Jones. I had bought the older edition of this book at Guwahati, a long long time ago and after much soul-searching – what to do, finances were tight at that time. But the last story in that collection, Kim Newman’s novella Red Reign made up for it all. This was the novella, incidentally, that spawned the Anno Dracula trilogy, possibly my favourite Vampire series of all time. It’s written in the same fan-fictioney, shared-universey vein as Philip Jose Farmer’s Wold-Newton novels and Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – an alternate history of real and fictional characters revolving around a new society of vampires and humans. The new edition of tMBoF has Newman’s Andy Warhol’s Dracula, which is a sequel of sorts to the third book in the series, and which was only released as a limited edition book-format before, muhuhahahaha. Am really, really glad I picked this up.
  • Seriously disappointed by the graphic novel collection at Blossom and Bookworm. Most peeved at the fact that they are not stocking newer volumes of Negima and Genshiken, two Del Rey Manga titles I’ve been following closely. There are tonnes of DC/Marvel TPBs, but nothing substantial that I wanted. Pah!
  • Ganked Borrowed the third book in the Watch series, Twilight Watch from madhav. Why, why, why isn’t it available anywhere I look? Gah!

Infinite Rampage Update

Questions are done. Almost. A couple of finishing touches left. Twisting the knife oh-so-deep and all that. Oh all right, I am joking.

Hmm, and in addition to the normal prizes by the KQA, there will be prizes sponsored by White Drongo. And audience prizes from My Vault. Er, yeah, I am giving away a couple of surprise gifts from my comics. Stuff I guarantee you will like.

And today, I made my first post on . Oh, the things I run into when I am researching ( tee hee hee) a comics quiz…


Infinite Rampage!

I have been avoiding quizzes and quizzing for the last seven months, for a variety of reasons that I won’t go into right now. But when there was talk of doing the next edition of Graphic Rampage, the comics quiz ( the first edition of which I conducted for the KQA two years ago and which got blasted into limbo last year), I just had to do it. I am referring to this version of the comics quiz – “Infinite Rampage”, a fanboy touch that I cannot resist. And oh, the original name was supposed to be “Infinite Civil Secret Rampage”, but there’s only so much geek humour one can infuse into a name without the joke falling flat.

So Infinite Rampage it is, this Sunday October the 14th of 2007, in Daly Memorial Hall, Bangalore. Worlds will collide, pulses shall pound, the universe will never be the same again, as Hoary Hyperbolic Homonyms take over your quizzing moments.

Here is where you can take a look at the preliminary round of the previous Graphic Rampage. The quiz will be in the same vein, the only thing I have to take into account is that the Fanboy Quotient has definitely increased in the last two years – I mean, there are more people who have read Sandman and Watchmen and who know the differences between their Ennises and Ellises.

In other news, Hitman/JLA# 2 came out last week, and if it were not for my busted Internet connection, I would be SO reading this book right now.

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Finished William Goldman’s What Lie Did I Tell this weekend. Brilliant book on screenwriting and what makes movies tick, equally good as ( and better than in parts, I thought) Goldman’s earlier Adventures in the Screen Trade. While Adventures was more of anecdotes about the star system and the Hollywood machine, Lie goes deeper into the mechanics of storytelling in films. There are bits of classic screenplay moments – the crop-duster scene from North by Northwest, the zipper scene from There’s Something About Mary, the orgasm moment in When Harry Met Sally – each of these scenes are discussed and deconstructed in detail somewhere in the middle of the book. Elsewhere, Goldman also talks about “the Pitch”, how to sell a story to bored executive producers and studio heads. He comes up with pitches for his own screenplays,using a minimal number of words to describe The Princess Bride, for instance and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He talks of the whys and hows of script doctoring, why a Studio would want the storyline of a movie script to be changed because it isn’t “happening”, and how an idea or two just leads to a completely different angle to the movie. ( The good part: he infuses his writing with good, solid examples throughout. The bad part: He tends to talk a little too much about himself.) All of this written in a witty and affable style that never bores you, or makes you think he’s driving the point home too hard.

Some other high-points of the book – Remember those forwarded emails about “Top Ten Things that only happen in movies”? The kind that go – “You will find a parking space right opposite your building, without fail.” and “In a movie, you can pay a taxi driver the exact fare without looking at your wallet.”. Well, Goldman explains WHY these rules HAVE to exist. I used to be pissed about screenplay writers adapting novels and changing storylines at their own whims. Goldman explains why this is not only an important thing, but also necessary for a movie to work.

In short, a very, very engaging look at the business and the art of screenplay writing.