Saturday, October 11, 2014

Greg Broadmore: 'Dr. Grordbort's Onslaught: Excessive Space Violence for Girls & Boys'

To put it plain and simple 'Dr. Grordbort's Onslaught: Excessive Space Violence for Girls & Boys' is pure Victorian steampunk fun. An anthology edition of author-artist Greg Broadmore, the 'protagonist' of 'Onslaught is Lord Cockswain, a bigoted, imperialist, sexist, self-absorbed 'Man of the Empire' (note that I didn't say homophobe as he states he did spend time in the Navy...) Stephen Fry probably sums it up best: 'When steampunk meets adventure and adventure meets comedy and comedy meets ingenuity and ingenuity meets charm and charm meets wonder and wonder meets pleasure. Dr. Grordbort is the future. And the past. Which makes an ideal present.' Nuff said. (9 out of 10)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mark Zuehlke: 'Ortona - Canada's Epic World War II Battle'

In 'Ortona', Mark Zuehlke does an admirable job in portraying the 1943 Canadian campaign along the Moro River which culminated in the fierce contest for the seaside town of Ortona. Overall, the book is a workmanlike, 'Maps and Chaps' piece of military history - which is fine, but I often found it wanting for deeper analysis. For example Zuehlke begins the book describing Montgomery's reason for the advance on Ortona, but does provide the reader with any concluding remarks to the battles' final effect (if any) on the larger Italian campaign. To his credit, he does spend the final chapter providing his personal opinions on some of the personalities and events, but I wonder if this might have been better served integrated with his overall historical narrative. Still, a good, solid effort describing a little known WWII campaign. (7 out of 10)