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Good comics (and books)

Started by scarface, September 05, 2014, 07:28 PM

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Today, a new comic book titled "world without end" is available on the forum.

This comic book tells an insightful story about the energy and climate challenges facing our world today. Is this the end of the world? Perhaps not yet... With humor and intelligence, "World Without End" is the fruit of a years-long collaboration between two of the most accomplished contemporary figures in comics and climate research. Together, Christophe Blain ("Quai d'Orsay," Dargaud) and Jean-Marc Jancovici (Carbone 4, The Shift Project) explore our dependence on fossil fuels, the profound changes our planet is undergoing, and the resulting consequences for society as a whole. The dream of endless economic growth might be an illusion... but that doesn't mean we are doomed to destruction, if we take the necessary steps today. A candid and empathetic analysis that leaves readers with a better understanding of today's world and where we go from here.

Link: https://mega.nz/file/BVtUwKBB#8he_D6PFzg9gftefyyShnlW-c8N_SHwJsToi3PqtQf8


Note that a new episode of Thorgal is available on the forum: Neokora

Back from the island of Kalsoy, Thorgal, Jolan and Louve have the unpleasant surprise to find Aaricia and the rest of the village under the influence of a bondage spell...

Link: https://mega.nz/folder/EUs0BRqI#GEzq0IA2LoHP6lOiw-hAyQ


Tonight, a new comic book, titled "Maybe this Tuesday", is available on the forum.

Achilles, a man in his forties, has just buried his parents. He likes to sit on the beach below his house and watch the passing ships heading for the high seas. So much so that one evening he falls asleep sitting on his chair with both feet firmly buried in the sand. However, when he awakes he is unable to move: during the night he has literally taken root. As a huge storm brews over his island, a seagull flies towards him. The seagull, which can talk, informs Achilles on which day of the week he will die: a Tuesday. But which one? That's the question. Fortunately today is a Wednesday. The tide is rising and will soon flood the beach. If the seagull is telling the truth Achilles needs to uproot himself quickly to avoid drowning. It would appear that the time has come for him to cease contemplating passing ships...

Link: https://mega.nz/file/EQNmyDrb#dUNgTT5jYBbsWisbULZqmJ4U8L_JhBtcon3EGribGv0


Tonight, a new comic book, titled Paris 2119, is available on the forum.

In the year 2119, instantaneous transportation technology has altered almost every facet of human civilization, improving countless industries and practices while also leaving behind a growing population who can't afford to keep up. But some people still prefer the traditional ways of getting from point A to point B, including Tristan Keys, a writer who refuses to embrace the technological advances everyone finds so mandatory. When tiny cracks start to appear in the world around him, he has to wonder if he hasn't been a pawn of technology all along...

Link: https://mega.nz/file/9VMXlBgL#_Ho28y9yCK8Sl6LrgbvJppyPTPGCXi7aQzLb9toK1_4


Tonight, a new comic book series, titled the shadows of Salamanca, is available on the forum.

With "Sarah", Christophe Bec is definitely emerging as a high-class writer, able to keep the reader in suspense from the first to the last page, like Stephen King in literature. Remarkably imaged by Italian Stefano Raffaele, "Sarah" arises immediately as a reference: in the register of fear, never cartoon series had indeed placed as high voltage!.

Sarah followed her husband, ranger, in a remote area of Pennsylvania. Their new house is beautiful, but the city of Salamanca is not very welcoming and the people are not more. But isolation does not frighten Sarah, she even seems to need, for a while at least. To find peace and escape the torment, Salamanca however may not be the ideal place.

Link: https://mega.nz/folder/YMESCSKb#Il9L-U-SKnS4Z2EAQxkg-g


Note that a new episode of Thorgal is available on the forum: Tupilaqs

Thorgal had a chance to destroy the Atlantean spaceship and its weapons, but couldn't bring himself to do it, as it also would have meant sacrificing Jolan. His aborted attempts, however, activated Neokora, the onboard AI. First contact was immediately hostile, and the two Vikings were soon forced to flee both the machine, as well as the last survivors of the crew, long thought dead but now awakening. Including Slive the Sorceress, Thorgal's one-time ally, turned enemy...

Link: https://mega.nz/folder/EUs0BRqI#GEzq0IA2LoHP6lOiw-hAyQ


Today, I' going to present 2 books.
They are not available in English, only in French, but maybe some of you have already read them.

The Tragedy of the President - Scenes from Political Life (1986-2006), written by Franz-Olivier Giesbert.
The journalist, who in 1987 published a biography of J. Chirac, Mayor of Paris and Prime Minister, looks back on his political career since then, based on interviews with the President of the Republic, his relatives, his political friends and his critics.
Although fascinating, The President's Tragedy is a bit nauseating. These actors seem to be at the antipodes of all notions of general interest. Politics, in the noble sense of the term, is swept away by base tactics. Only the short term emerges, the obsession with power and a disillusioned vision of a France shown as irreformable and destined to decline.

1914: the great illusion, written by Jean-Yves Le Naour.
In 1914, the obsession with war haunted Europe. Even before the Sarajevo attack ignited the fuse in the Balkan powder keg, it occupied people's minds, appeared on the front pages of the newspapers, invited itself into conversations and political speeches. Without anyone actually believing it. However, in just a few days, the world is thrown into a spiral that will crush it. War imposes itself as the quickest solution to lead to the emancipation of nationalities and the advent of a new world.
But Pandora's box is open and the infernal machine launched: for four long years, the war will become global, total and terrorist. In the light of the most recent research, combining diplomatic, military, social and cultural approaches, Jean-Yves Le Naour makes us relive the year 1914 as closely as contemporaries experienced it. This first volume of an ambitious series renews in depth the history of the Great War.


Today, I'm going to present the book L'Empire éclaté.
The Exploded Empire is a book by Hélène Carrère d'Encausse, an international specialist of the USSR, and published in 1978 by Flammarion

Its title, and even more the "exploded" image that illustrates it, dramatizes to excess a book that marks both the rigor and the prudence of the historical approach. It appears that the break-up is at most potential. The fact that the explosives have been in place for so long could be, all in all, reassuring about the explosion, if they had not been suddenly reactivated in recent years, and according to a dynamic capable of upsetting the future.

A confirmed historian of the Soviet Union, Mrs. Hélène Carrère d'Encausse excels here in describing the constant design which, since 1917, has animated the leaders, through oppositions, contradictions, twists and turns, the spectacular aspects of which may have deceived the observer ; superficial. At the moment when he opened the "prison of the peoples" that was the empire of the tsars, Lenin seized the opportunity to put the nationalities, about which he cared little, at the service of the proletarian revolution, which was in no way the engine of these uplifted nations. The empire, then, did break up. But Lenin saw in these free and equal nations — including the Russian nation — a necessary stage, however long it would take, towards their spontaneous decline. The future would show what is involved in this withering away, as in that of the State.

On the eve of his death, Lenin had a desperate vision of what was going to be this reality officially called (the revealing word was his) Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Dominant nation, total state: the Stalinist enterprise has begun. It will find its crowning moment after the war: the Russian Empire is reconstituted. The author expresses in a pithy way a process which can be clearly read in the evolution of official history: "absolute evil", imperial colonization becomes "relative evil", then "lesser evil", if not necessary evil, to become, by a sudden mutation, an "absolute good". This is the moment when Stalin proclaims the victory of the "Russian people" (and not of the Soviet people) and consents to this grandiose admission that, if he had been a severe judge and not a lenient father, he "should have deported the entire Ukrainian people": forty million individuals.

Violent, brutally constraining, contrary to every socialist principle in its method, it was nonetheless always the unitary thought of Lenin. Khrushchev will take it up again in its initial purity with the theory of the "blossoming" of nations, then of their "rapprochement";, finally of their "fusion": an outcome which is itself confused with the completion of communism.

This ideal vision and this doctrine, taken up by the successors, remain, until today, the official line of power. With this difference that the step-nations, federalism, have become more formal than ever, notably in the Constitution of 1977. The "change of nature" announced by Khrushchev is deemed accomplished, and everything is based on the ceaselessly proclaimed existence of the united and unique "Soviet people". The historian regrets that the "incantation", the insistence of which betrays in those who engage in it the "disarray" and even the "panic", is unfortunately not enough to produce the fact. And she is obliged to see the Soviet peoples, who not only subsist but assert themselves vigorously.
The author focuses on a very thorough analysis of the elements and forces likely to promote integration or strengthen nations. First on Georgia, an old "rebel", to the Georgian people who are shown to us to be resistant to any Russification, and who are characterized by their impulsive mood, a tad anarchist, their "rebellious spirit", their "southern fantasy": in short, the robot portrait of a certain Georgian nicknamed Stalin.

Mrs. Carrère d'Encausse goes to the heart of the problem by questioning peoples whose religion is indissolubly linked to national identity. And if this religion is not only belief and practice, but a way of life and philosophy of existence. Such is Islam indeed. But Soviet Islam, forced to adapt to the strict Soviet rule, instead of allowing itself to be integrated, integrated it itself, in such a way that it made communism a "by-product of Islam". And now, through the still mythical "homo sovieticus",emerges an immutable and new "homo islamicus".

To measure the significance of this phenomenon, it is necessary to read the study of comparative demography on which the book is based. Basically, general decline, in particular of the Russian group, in the face of an accelerated growth of the Muslim group: eighty million in the next few years. If we add the sixty million from Ukraine and the Caucasus, to stick to them alone... "The national question, which Khrushchev said was solved, is now a demographic question. »

Like Soviet dissident Andrei Amalrik in 1970 in "Will the Soviet Union Survive in 1984?" and sociologist Emmanuel Todd in 1976 in "The final fall", Hélène Carrère d'Encausse predicted accurately the near end of the USSR. However, unlike these two predecessors, she writes that the USSR will break under the pressure of the rise of the Asian republics of the USSR with high birth rates, in opposition to the republics of Eastern Europe with low fertility rates. According to this reasoning, the population of Muslim origin would have become the majority in the Soviet Union while the ruling class of the Party, the Army and industry was very largely of Russian origin, therefore of European culture. This distortion would necessarily have posed a problem of legitimacy of political power.

It turns out History invalidated this theory, since the Soviet Union's challenge actually came first from Poland in August 1980 with the creation of the Solidarność trade union, then from the Baltic countries in July 1989, to protest against the German-Soviet pact of 1939, and finally from East Germany in October 1989, which led to the fall of the Wall, on November the 9th.


Lately I presented the book "1914: the great illusion", written by Jean-Yves Le Naour.
I read it and the beginning of the book of Jean-Yves Le Naour is excellent. I guess you won't read it, since it's in French, so I translated the introduction in English.
I guess that Maher, Vasudev or Guliver will be happy to read the passage below. It's well written and highly detailed.


Maybe you don't know what caused World War I. Is it due to the failed putsch of Hitler? Read the introduction below to find out.

"You will be back before the leaves fall from the trees," William II told his soldiers in August 1914. The leaves, however, have fallen, and will fall again, again and again, before the fighters return, bitter, in their defeated country. In 1918, the deposed Kaiser, fleeing to the Netherlands, was no longer there to welcome them. Everywhere, the old aristocracies were swept away, the Russian, German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires had crumbled, and the American power was revealed, Bolshevism triumphed in Russia and soon fascism in Italy. The era of the masses and totalitarianism was taking shape, while the specter of a new conflict was already taking shape, in the recesses of an ill-crafted peace, which would definitively end the quarrel between the European countries at the cost of their annihilation, leaving room to the American-Soviet confrontation for forty years. The 20th century was definitely a child of the Great War.
The leaders of 1914 were not aware that they were putting their finger in a gear that was going to crush them.


Chronicle of an announced death

On the evening of June 27, 1914, three starving, elated and romantic young students, three starving wretches who imagined that they could change the history of the world, entered the cemetery of Sarajevo and meditated for a long time on the grave of one of their own, Bogdan Zerajic. Four years earlier, this disheveled Serbian nationalist had also believed that the Austrian order in Bosnia-Herzegovina could be overthrown with a simple revolver, and that's why he had watched on the Appel quay, the main artery of Sarajevo, the passage of the military governor. But he had missed him. At least he hadn't lost everything since he had blown his brains out with his last bullet and, with his suicide, had become a kind of martyr for the Serbian cause, an example to follow. It is on his grave that, since the age of 17, Gavrilo Princip was coming regularly to meditate on the glorious future of Serbia and on the bad fate to be reserved for Austria-Hungary whose fall will have to be hastened in a way or another, like, yesterday, that of the Ottoman Empire. This June 27, 1914, he was not even 20 years old, but his pockets were stuffed with bombs and Browning. Tomorrow, he and his acolytes swore it: they will kill the titular heir to the Habsburg tyranny and free their brothers with this coup.

"I wouldn't be surprised if some Serbian bullets were waiting for me there." On the eve of his departure for Sarajevo, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was unable to hide his anxiety and he opened himself up to his aide-de-camp, Count Harrach: "Bosnia, to tell the truth, is not an easy destination for the crown prince of the Austro-Hungarian throne". Its annexation to the empire, in 1908, made Serbia scream, and it only dreamt of bringing together the Slavs of the South in a single federal entity, and nearly provoked war with Russia. With a little more than 50% of its population made up of Serbs, more or less tormented by nationalism, Bosnia is not safe, but a prince mustn't show that he is afraid: this land is part of the Austro-Hungarian crown and the Archduke is at home everywhere, let it be said. So he will go, even if he feared a bad blow. One imagines that, because of this particular situation, rigorous security measures were adopted and that everything was implemented to ensure the protection of the Imperial Prince and his wife, but, as surprising as it may seem, amateurism dominated in this matter and General Potiorek, Governor of Bosnia, showed such carelessness that, later, when the war broke out, authors would claim that the attack in Sarajevo was the result of a plot hatched by Austria itself in order to get rid of a prince it did not like and finally gave itself a magnificent pretext to put an end to Serbia once and for all. The hypothesis was grotesque, of course, but it must be recognized that the authorities of the dual monarchy acted with culpable irresponsibility. If the Archduke's travel plan was established in September 1913 by General Potiorek, delighted that Franz Ferdinand came to attend the military maneuvers planned in Bosnia from June 25 to 27, 1914, there was no obligation to announce the news to the press, which was however done in March and set in motion the conspirators of all stripes who had more than three months to prepare their weapons. The second mistake, and not the least, was to schedule a reception in Sarajevo the day after the maneuvers, on June 28. This day, in fact, is not trivial for Serbia since it is the Vidovdan, the national holiday which commemorates the battle of Kosovo (1389) by which Serbia was defeated by the Ottomans and lost its independence for five centuries. This day of mourning and meditation is nonetheless a day of glory, which exalts the resistance to the oppression of the fatherland, given that on the evening of the defeat, the knight Obilic managed to sneak up to the camp of the victors to assassinate the sultan there. The parade of a Habsburg in the streets of Sarajevo therefore didn't fail to appear as a provocation in the eyes of the Serbian nationalists and one can legitimately wonder about the will of the Austrian authorities who had chosen this date: is it an assumed humiliation or a simple coincidence of the calendar without vexatious intention? Still, Princip and his associates were well aware of their history and saw themselves as the heirs of Obilic. They too had to resist oppression and bring down the foreign tyrant.

Above all, the specter of the attack loomed furiously from the first days of June 1914, when the Serbian government itself sent alarming signals that its Austro-Hungarian counterpart did not want to hear. Was Franz Ferdinand still warned of the threats to his person? Bilinski, who did not believe for a moment the warnings of the Serbian ambassador, did not even take this precaution, but it seems that the archduke was nevertheless aware of the bad luck that some wanted to book for him, since he was showing concern about this painful visit to Bosnia.
Nothing was written. On June 27, at the end of the afternoon, the tragedy could still have been avoided. At this moment, in fact, Conrad von Hötzendorf, the chief of staff of the imperial army, took his leave, announcing that he had to go to Karlowitz, in nearby Vojvodina, for an inspection of the troops. An officer then proposed to follow the general since, after all, maneuvers were finished, and that they could do it without a boring official reception in Sarajevo. Franz Ferdinand seemed to hesitate for a moment, but General Potiorek, who was governing the town and wanted to be honored with a visit, reminded him of his promise. Because any change of program would inevitably be perceived as cowardice by his detractors, the archduke unenthusiastically confirmed his presence in the Bosnian capital. On June 28, when the couple woke up, the day was therefore already completely planned: after a mass at the Hotel Bosna,they had to go to Sarajevo by special train and cross the city by car to the town hall where the municipal authorities were to give the best welcome to the Imperial Prince. After which, it was planned to inaugurate a museum, have lunch in the residence of General Potiorek, then visit a mosque and a carpet factory in the afternoon. They would end the day with an inspection of the garrison and a return to the Bosna hotel before leaving for Vienna the next day. Everything was therefore foreseen, except the crime.

They were six. Six potential assassins posted all along the Appel Quay where Franz Ferdinand's car was to pass by shortly. Armed with bombs and revolvers, they were awaiting the fateful hour, bewildered by the virtual absence of soldiers on the route that the Imperial Prince had to take and that the newspapers imprudently revealed that very morning. If only it had rained, but the weather was radiant and magnificent, so Franz Ferdinand quite naturally opted for an open car, a "landau", which allowed him to be seen by his good people. For more visibility, care was taken to install an imperial flag on the car, which had the advantage of designating it from afar to the cheers of the public as well as to the sustained attention of the terrorists. It is a little before 10 a.m. when the motorcade set off in Sarajevo decked out in Austrian colors, to the cheers of the friendly crowd that gathered as the Archduke passed by.
Installed under the trees of the Appel quay, with his back to the river, Nedeljiko Cabrinovic detonated his bomb and threw it with force at the imperial car, but it bounced off the hood of the car and exploded on the ground, injuring two officers in the vehicle directly following the crown prince and a few onlookers. Pursued by the crowd and by the police, Cabrinovic jumped into the Miljacka River, which, unfortunately, was almost dry. Wading miserably in the mud, he was quickly joined, but tried to escape his pursuers for good by swallowing the contents of a tube supposed to contain cyanide, but which only had the effect of making him vomit. Despite the blows and the insults, Cabrinovic adopted the posture of defiance: "I am a Serbian hero", he said to the policeman who asked him his identity.

Franz Ferdinand was furious. Especially since his wife was grazed by a projectile and she was very slightly scratched. Needless to say, the Archduke arrived at the town hall in a state of advanced nervousness and did not fully appreciate the warm welcome reserved for him. The burgomaster and the municipal councilors of course heard a detonation, but they imagined that it was a salvo of artillery, like the one which, just now, greeted the entry of the imperial couple into the city. It was therefore very inappropriate for the burgomaster to begin his speech with this sentence: "Your Imperial and Royal Highness, on the occasion of the gracious visit with which Your Highnesses have deigned to honor the capital of our country, our hearts overflow of happiness..." Out of his hinges, Franz Ferdinand interrupted him immediately: "Herr Burgomaster, what good is this speech? I came to Sarajevo on a friendly visit and they dropped a bomb! It is unworthy! Sophie, who greeted the assembly with a smile as if nothing had happened, immediately calmed them down by whispering in their ear. The Archduke therefore took it upon himself, but when it was his turn to make a speech, they brought him his paper stained with the blood of his officers and he saw red. No more question of following the announced program: Franz Ferdinand wanted to go immediately to the hospital at the bedside of the wounded, and in particular of Lieutenant-Colonel Merizzi. He did try to persuade Sophie to go alone, but she refused. The atmosphere however was heavy: if an individual had thrown a bomb, There may be a second one who will not miss it. Cautious, Major Höger, a member of Franz Ferdinand's chancellery, asked General Potiorek to evacuate the street or, at the very least, to deploy armed men along the prince's route. This advice of good quality was however swept away by the narrow mind of the general who made it known that the troop which had just maneuvered the previous days were still in campaign dress and that the regulations prohibited them from forming a hedge of honor in this uniform. The rules, like it or not, are the rules! Was the general aware that death lurked around the crown prince? The mediocre Potiorek was definitely not up to the situation. Of course, Franz Ferdinand could also have taken his precautions, staying longer at the town hall while waiting for the crowd to dissipate, or getting into a covered car rather than taking the "landau", so easily identifiable and in which he was such an easy target, but the Archduke wanted to show that he was not afraid. He was wrong. Courage sometimes borders on imbecility.

It is then that bad luck added its decisive weight to the already heavy scales of history. The mayor, whose car lead the way, probably did not understand that the procession was now going to the hospital, and resumed the route set by the program of festivities. Thus, as they were driving down Appel Quay, the driver made a fatal error when he turned sharply onto Franz Joseph Street and left the Appel quay. As the driver of the Archduke's car automatically followed the vehicle in front of him, he in turn began to turn sharply onto Franz Joseph Street, prompting the intervention of General Potiorek who bluntly asked him to turn back, taking into account the modification of the itinerary. The car therefore stopped and began a maneuver to turn around. Fate dictated that this stop took place right in front of Princip, who seized the opportunity to leap towards the prince and shoot him twice. Franz Ferdinand was only hit by a bullet, but in the jugular vein, so his minutes were counted. The second bullet hit Sophie, whom Princip had not aimed for, and who lost consciousness immediately. Count Harrach, who had rushed, asked him if he was in pain. "It's nothing," replied Franz Ferdinand. And he repeated "it's nothing" several times, in an ever weaker voice that eventually died out. It is 10:30 a.m., the First World War was underway. We will never know if, without this attack, it could have been avoided.


Tonight, the story "Creepy House" is available on the forum. It's a small ebook in English, that I bought on the Fnac website.

Summary: Susan Hunter is terrified as she is alone at night in a house she considers full of evil. A raging storm adds to her terror. She kept hearing noises in the house. Could it be caused by the storm? Or were there monsters inside? This story is short but intense. The tension is constant and never eases. Will she survive the night? Are there really monsters in the house? You'll be at the edge of your seat reading this and you will never guess the ending.

Link: https://mega.nz/file/RUdnyKIb#U7nKeg6SiHLu9vCxFaL1AML5fE2OSf3_oSt_Ukw3Bhc