Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Movies

The Nowhere Man: A Comic to Film Comparison of Johann Kraus

Three Portraits of Johann Kraus | this cage is worms

I don’t know why, but writing this feels so surreal…I’ve had the idea to write this one since last year, but I’ve all but put it off until now. So here you go, fellow bibliophiles…

No movie adaptation can capture the true essence of a character, not really in full. Sometimes, they’re so wildly different–whether it be in looks or personality–that your perception of them is all but tainted when you re-read the source material. But sometimes, these differences make for an interesting examination of the character themself–and they might even work better for the plot set in the film adaptation.

I know I’ve mentioned Johann here a fair amount of times on this blog, but for those of you who aren’t super familiar, here’s the rundown of his character:

Johann’s from the Hellboy and B.P.R.D. universe. After a supernatural accident rendered his physical body all but dead, his incorporeal body was kept in a containment suit to that he may live and move about again. A longtime member of the B.P.R.D. (after Hellboy quits), he specializes in communicating with those who have passed.

He’s been in the B.P.R.D. comics for quite a while (since about 2001), and he appeared on screen for the first (and so far the only) time in Hellboy II: The Golden Army, voiced by Seth MacFarlane. I saw HBII before I started reading the comics, but once I started reading them, I realized that there is a major discrepancy in terms of Johann’s personality between the comics and the film. But this is one of the rare instances where it isn’t all that bad.

johann krauss | Tumblr

Nothing quite exemplifies the purest form of these differences than their separate entrances in the comics and the film.

In the comics, Johann first appears alongside the rest of the team in the first volume of the B.P.R.D. comics, Hollow Earth and Other Stories. For most of the first scene where we see him, we only see him from the back as Kate shows him around the B.P.R.D. headquarters. He’s clothed in a heavy trenchcoat and a large hat, and it isn’t until she leaves him to the tutelage of Dr. Manning that we see him take the hat and trenchcoat off, revealing his containment suit–and the fact that he’d taped sunglasses to his helmet to further disguise himself. (sneak 100)

B.P.R.D: Plague of Frogs Volume 1 TPB :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics
from Hollow Earth and Other Stories (2001)

In the film, there’s a lot of hubbub that surrounds Johann’s arrival. He’s been assigned to this division of the B.P.R.D. to keep Hellboy in check. All of the main cast is gathered out in the lobby as Dr. Manning reads off his file. Johann eventually arrives in the elevator, flanked by a bevy of B.P.R.D staff. Once he steps out of the elevator, in all his steampunk-suited glory, he proceeds to CLICK HIS HEELS, TAKE A BOW, and THEN introduce himself. He’s even got his own little Danny Elfman theme in the background as this all goes down. What a guy.

johann krauss | Tumblr
The clip isn’t on YouTube, but man, it’s PRICELESS…

So, you can probably already see the major differences.

In the comics, Johann is a far more subdued character. For most of the earlier B.P.R.D. run, he most often defers to the wisdom of the other agents. He’s still confident in his skills, but he knows that he’s the new guy, and that he’d best leave the work to more experienced agents like Abe, Liz, and Kate. He asks a bit too many personal questions, he stumbles quite a bit, but there’s no question that when Johann gets on the job, he will get it done with a unique, psychic prowess.

In Hellboy II, however, we see a version of Johann who has already built up a sort of reputation. After being enlisted to Hellboy and his team, he immediately assumes command of them, inserting himself as their unofficial leader in all their further missions. He’s a bit of a martinet, in a way, but mostly when it comes to Hellboy, still resentful towards Manning for assigning Johann to watch over him. They’re the antitheses of each other, really; Hellboy prefers to play by his own rules, while Johann is, as Hellboy says, “Mr. ‘By-The-Book’.”

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (7/10) Movie CLIP - Hellboy Smokes ...

But for once, I don’t really mind the change. Not only are Johann’s interactions with the other characters (Hellboy especially) sometimes hysterical, it works seamlessly with the plot. Johann is almost a vehicle for Hellboy’s character development, someone to challenge him like Dr. Manning never could. His influence makes Hellboy begin to realize that his actions have consequences (wHEn wIlL you lEARN). Liz also begins to question Johann’s actions, but comes to realize that he’s had his fair share of hardships in the past as well. (In the case of the movie, Johann lost his wife in the supernatural accident that caused his predicament with the containment suit.) It’s a different interpretation of the character, to be sure, but leave it to Guillermo del Toro to pull it off flawlessly. Can I get a WHOOP WHOOP?

B.P.R.D., Vol. 6: The Universal Machine by Mike Mignola

Despite these differences, though, Hellboy II managed to stay true to the character in most other respects–he’s incredibly intelligent, unafraid to speak his mind, and can even be quite philosophical at times. Plus, there’s all the possible shenanigans that can go down when Johann’s ghostly form can slip out of the containment suit…

johann krauss | Tumblr

Strangely enough, though, Johann’s Hellboy II personality does begin to show up in the Hell on Earth run of B.P.R.D., once he’s gained more experience; the Johann that isn’t always understanding towards his teammates, and the Johann who becomes something of a disciplinarian, at his worst, mostly with the likes of Fenix. He’s still reserved at heart, but often hides in the face of the other agents.

Johann Kraus (@Johann_Kraus32) | Twitter

But the only other key difference I see between the comics and Hellboy II is simple: Johann and Hellboy never even meet each other in the comics. By the time he comes to the B.P.R.D., Hellboy’s packed his bags. Which begs the question, really: how would they get along in the comics in some alternate timeline? I wonder about it quite a lot, but I still don’t have an answer.

If you can be any dark horse comics character, who would you be ...

Johann’s always been one of my favorite characters in the Mignolaverse, up there with Abe Sapien and Liz, for me. There’s so many possibilities with him, and he’s a continually complex character, not to mention the design of his containment suits. Whatever your takeaway from the comics and the film may be, there’s no doubt that he’s an absolutely fascinating character.

Today’s song:

Hope you enjoyed this post, everyone! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

thank you for reading.jpg

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (3/31/20)–The Survivor (The Pioneer, #2)

Book review tuesday header.jpg

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

 

Ever since I first read The Pioneer last June, I’ve been itching to read the sequel. It just came out around two weeks ago, and I bought it on my Kindle last week. Needless to say, The Survivor was worth every single penny. 🪐

WARNING: This review contains some major spoilers for the end of The Pioneer, so PROCEED WITH CAUTION if you haven’t read book one, and want to! 

If you want to read my review of The Pioneer, click here! 

Tom Hiddleston Spoilers GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: The Survivor: A Pioneer Novel (9780062658098): Tyler ...

The Survivor (The Pioneer, #2)

After the tumultuous events on Tau Ceti E, the planet where humans planned to settle, Jo and her family and crew have set a course back to Earth. But a haunting message stands in their way, delivering the news that Earth is now uninhabitable, and most of human life was wiped out in an extinction-level event.

Left with no choice, Jo and the others return to Tau. But Jo knows that in doing so, they are violating the peace agreements they barely struck with the Sorrow, the indigenous, sentient species of Tau. A war is brewing, and betrayals wait for her on every corner of her crew…

 

Tears Crying GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

SO MANY FEELS, PEOPLE, SO MANY FEELS.

 

I was so glad to re-immerse myself into Tyler’s masterful writing. She has such a way with words, and understands the intricacies of human nature like no other author I’ve read. The major plot twist that WRECKED ME at the end of book 1 was still fresh in my mind, so I had a decent-ish jumping off point going into The Survivor.

Even though I didn’t feel as attached to many of the characters in book 1, most of them grew on me in book 2. And even if that attachment didn’t quite grow, there’s no denying that they have excellent chemistry, and that they’re masterfully written.

And, as always, we need to give a raucous round of applause to Ms. Tyler for ACTUALLY GIVING US WELL-DESIGNED ALIENS THAT AREN’T JUST HUMANS WITH WEIRD EYES! Not gonna lie, I was SO excited to explore the world of the Sorrow once more, and her lush writing made it all the better. We also get to explore a few more critters that weren’t mentioned in book 1, so that was fascinating, as always.

Ancient Aliens | Know Your Meme

Though I’m heartbroken that this was the end of the duology, I am over-the-moon glad that I was able to discover these novels. They will always hold a special place in my heart. After a week of mulling it over, I think The Pioneer and The Survivor are equal in rating to me, which is to say that I give The Survivor 5, massive stars. 

 

As I said before, The Pioneer series is a duology, ending with The Survivor. [single tear slides down cheek]

 

Today’s song:

 

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful day, and please take care of yourselves!

thank you for reading.jpg

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: March 23-29, 2020

weekly update header.jpeg

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

As always, I hope you are all safe, comfortable, and well during these crazy times. We had our “spring break” this week, which mostly consisted of me sprawled out on the couch reading, but it was quite relaxing, all things considered. Our state now has an official stay at home order, and I have online school almost through the end of April, so next month should be…interesting, to say the least.

I read a LOT this week, and I’m happy to say that I loved most of what I read! Libby (online library) has now become my savior, and I’m now stocked up on library books that I can check out on my kindle. I re-read one of my favorite books, watched The Grand Budapest Hotel and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (LOVED both of those), started learning “No Surprises” (Radiohead) on guitar, and I created an original book tag! Online school starts back up next week, so we’ll see how that works out…but overall, I’ve actually had a weirdly good week!

 

Rosencrantz and guildenstern are dead GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
all of us cooped up at home trying to amuse ourselves 

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: 

The Survivor (The Pioneer, #2)–Bridget Tyler (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Survivor: A Pioneer Novel (9780062658098): Tyler ...

 

The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace, #1)–Erin Bow (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace) (9781481442725 ...

 

Even the Darkest Stars–Heather Fawcett (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to 4)

Even the Darkest Stars : Heather Fawcett : 9780062463395

 

One–Sarah Crossan (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: One (9780062118752): Crossan, Sarah: Books

 

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (re-read, yet again)

(⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720964 ...

 

When the Moon Was Ours–Anna-Marie McLemore (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: When the Moon Was Ours: A Novel (9781250058669 ...

 

POSTS AND SUCH: 

 

SONGS: 

 

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK: 

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing–Hank Green

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: A Novel: Green, Hank ...

 

Today’s song:

(This one’s been stuck in my head for a good…two or three days now? Classic)

 

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and PLEASE take care of yourselves!

thank you for reading.jpg

 

Posted in Books, Down the TBR Hole

Down the TBR Hole 3-The Last Stand

Happy Friday, bibliophiles! I had a snow day today, so I’ve had some lovely time off to relax, and most importantly…read.

As always, my TBR is in need of some serious cleaning, so hereby begins my third TBR cleansing session…

The Rules

  • 1. Go to your Goodreads To-Read shelf
  •  2. Order on ascending date added.
  •  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
  •  4. Read the synopsis of the books.
  •  5. Time to Decide: keep it or should it go

 

1. On a Dark Wing, Jordan Dane 

Image result for on a dark wing

Blurb from Goodreads: 

The choices I had made led to the moment when fate took over. I would learn a lesson I wasn’t prepared for. And Death would be my willing teacher.

Five years ago, Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her “lucky” break came at the expense of her mother’s life and changed everything. After she crossed paths with Death – by taking the hand of an ethereal boy made of clouds and sky – she would never be normal again.

Now she’s the target of Death’s ravens and an innocent boy’s life is on the line. When Nate Holden – Abbey’s secret crush – starts to climb Alaska’s Denali, the Angel of Death stalks him because of her.

And Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets.

 

Eh…I’d be on board, if not for the veeeery forced-looking romance. Also, buff dudes on book covers never fail to make me cringe, so this one’s a no from me.

VERDICT: LET GO

 

2. The Pledge (The Pledge, #1), Kimberly Derting

Image result for the pledge kimberly derting

Blurb from Goodreads: 

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It’s there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she’s never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

Okay, yeah, this looks like the byproduct of the great Dystopian YA Craze of the 2010s, but at least the whole system with languages actually seems fairly original.

VERDICT: KEEP

 

3. The Truth Commission, Susan Juby 

Image result for the truth commission book

Blurb from Goodreads:

This was going to be the year Normandy Pale came into her own. The year she emerged from her older sister’s shadow—and Kiera, who became a best-selling graphic novelist before she even graduated from high school, casts a long one. But it hasn’t worked out that way, not quite. So Normandy turns to her art and writing, and the “truth commission” she and her friends have started to find out the secrets at their school. It’s a great idea, as far as it goes—until it leads straight back to Kiera, who has been hiding some pretty serious truths of her own.

 

Ooh, this sounds like some arty, contemporary fun! Still in!

VERDICT: KEEP

 

4. Lorali (Lorali, #1), Laura Dockrill

Image result for lorali laura dockrill

Blurb from Goodreads:

Colourful, raw, brave, rich and fantastical – this mermaid tale is not for the faint-hearted.

Looking after a naked girl he found washed up under Hastings pier isn’t exactly how Rory had imagined spending his sixteenth birthday. But more surprising than finding her in the first place is discovering where she has come from.

Lorali is running not just from the sea, not just from her position as princess, but her entire destiny. Lorali has rejected life as a mermaid, and become human.

But along with Lorali’s arrival, and the freak weather suddenly battering the coast, more strange visitors begin appearing in Rory’s bemused Sussex town. With beautifully coiffed hair, sharp-collared shirts and a pirate ship shaped like a Tudor house, the Abelgare boys are a mystery all of their own. What are they really up to? Can Rory protect Lorali? And who from? And where does she really belong, anyway?

Another hapless victim of my insatiable hunger for quality mermaid literature. But at second glance, this one seems mediocre, at best.

VERDICT: LET GO

 

5. Slayers (Slayers, #1), C.J. Hill

Image result for slayers c j hill

Blurb from Goodreads:

Dragons exist. They’re ferocious. And they’re smart: Before they were killed off by slayer-knights, they rendered a select group of eggs dormant, so their offspring would survive. Only a handful of people know about this, let alone believe it – these “Slayers” are descended from the original knights, and are now a diverse group of teens that includes Tori, a smart but spoiled senator’s daughter who didn’t sign up to save the world.

The dragon eggs have fallen into the wrong hands. The Slayers must work together to stop the eggs from hatching. They will fight; they will fall in love. But will they survive?

 

Oh boy…did somebody say formulaic?

VERDICT: LET GO

 

6. Fragile Bones: Harrison & Anna, Lorna Schultz Nicholson

Image result for fragile bones harrison and anna

Blurb from Goodreads:

Meet Harrison and Anna.

One is a fifteen-year-old boy with an uncanny ability to recite every bone in the skeletal system whenever he gets anxious ― and that happens a lot. The meaning of “appropriate behaviour” mystifies him: he doesn’t understand most people and they certainly don’t understand him.

The other is a graduating senior with the world at her feet. Joining the Best Buddies club at her school and pairing up with a boy with high-functioning autism is the perfect addition to her med school applications. Plus, the president of the club is a rather attractive, if mysterious, added attraction.

Told in the alternating voices of Harrison and Anna, Fragile Bones is the story of two teens whose lives intertwine in unexpected ways.

 

Hmm…I’m all for the autism spectrum representation, but the utilization of it feels like a plot device…no bueno.

VERDICT: LET GO

 

7. The Movie Version, Emma Wunsch 

Image result for the movie version emma wunsch

Blurb from Goodreads:

In the movie version of Amelia’s life, the roles have always been clear. Her older brother, Toby: definitely the Star. As popular with the stoners as he is with the cheerleaders, Toby is someone you’d pay ten bucks to watch sweep Battle of the Bands and build a “beach party” in the bathroom. As for Amelia? She’s Toby Anderson’s Younger Sister. She’s perfectly happy to watch Toby’s hijinks from the sidelines, when she’s not engrossed in one of her elaborately themed Netflix movie marathons.

But recently Toby’s been acting in a very non-movie-version way. He’s stopped hanging out with his horde of friends and started obsessively journaling and disappearing for days at a time. Amelia doesn’t know what’s happened to her awesome older brother, or who this strange actor is that’s taken his place. And there’s someone else pulling at her attention: a smart, cute new boyfriend who wants to know the real Amelia—not Toby’s Sidekick. Amelia feels adrift without her star, but to best help Toby—and herself—it might be time to cast a new role: Amelia Anderson, leading lady.

I sense one of those rare coming-of-age novels that doesn’t involve a girl meeting a boy in order to change herself…*rubs hands together*

VERDICT: KEEP

 

8. Being Henry David, Cal Armistead

Image result for being henry david

Blurb from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old “Hank” has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything –who he is, where he came from, why he’s running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David-or “Hank” and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of–Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead’s remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home.

Awww yeah…this sounds lovely. 

VERDICT: KEEP

 

9. Anthem for Jackson Dawes, Celia Bryce

Image result for anthem for jackson dawes

Blurb from Goodreads:

Megan Bright and Jackson Dawes are two teenagers who first meet each other on the hospital ward where they are both being treated for cancer. Megan is scared and worried about her illness, but Jackson seems to be an old hand, having been on the ward for ages. And everybody loves Jackson! He is a whirlwind of life and energy, warmth and sparkle. Megan will need to borrow some of Jackson’s extraordinary optimism to face her and Jackson’s future. A moving story of first love and a remarkably powerful debut novel.

 

Yikes…whoops, must’ve stepped in a puddle of The Fault in Our Stars ripoffs…

VERDICT: LET GO

 

10. Shooting Stars, Allison Rushby

Image result for shooting stars allison rushby

Blurb from Goodreads:

Everyone agrees that the paparazzi are the scourge of the earth. They’re low. They’re despicable. They’ll do anything for that perfect shot. And yet…how long could you go without your Us Weekly fix?

Meet Josephine Foster, or ‘Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo knows that the public-and the stars-have a symbiotic relationship with the paparazzi. She doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on a major undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett-teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her-at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: fine portrait photography classes, and maybe even quitting her ‘zo gig for good.

Everyone at the retreat wants to know: what Ned’s in for? But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment . . .

Bad photography puns aside, this looks cute.

VERDICT: KEEP

 

RESULTS: 

KEPT: 5

LET GO: 5

Image result for everything is perfect gif

Another successful TBR cleaning! Hopefully I can let more go next time, but I’m glad I caught some of the awful stuff that had piled up in the dark recesses of my TBR…

Today’s song:

This is the cutest little video!!!

 

That just about wraps up this post! Have a lovely day, and take care of yourselves!

thank you for reading.jpg