Daytripper by Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba

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The genesis of writing as an art is usually generated by the life authors live in. The writing process is shaped by family, friends, love, opportunities, and the idea of mortality. This is what this wonderful graphic novel is about. It’s a must-read for all.

While it deals mostly about death(s), it is not a morbid piece. It’s more nostalgic and a tad sentimental, really, because as the graphic novel states,

And sometimes we die to prove that we live.

What’s particularly special for me is how it incorporates the life of a writer, which I’m trying to be now. Sometimes it poses questions on the craft.

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Sometimes, it just lets people in on lives of writers like me and our inability to believe we have something good to say.


This is definitely one of the most memorable graphic novels I’ve ever read. There are no metaphors, no allegories, no morals to tell.

It just tells life and how it is, how it could be, and how it could end. This novel is not just for writers. I’d recommend that you read this before you die.

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Troll Hunting

Even if I have a regular subscription to Netflix now, I try not to binge-watch and just pick a few enjoyable episodes/programs to relax after a long work day. The latest series that I finished is not a mainstream trending topic because, well, it’s in the children’s category. When I saw that DreamWorks and Guillermo del Toro had an animated series voiced by the late Anton Yelchin, I knew I had to watch it.

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I didn’t know of the books it was based on, but Trollhunters season one is a TV series for everyone, not just kids. If you need something light-hearted and funny, then have a go at it. The pacing and foundation of the mythology takes a while. There are no limits to streaming channels, anyways. By the end of the 26 episodes, though, you’ll feel like Jim, Toby, Claire, Blinky, and AAARRRGGHH!!! is your new squad. Because of repetition, you’ll also be able to memorize Jim’s lines when he whips out his amulet thingie:

For the glory of Merlin, daylight is mine to command!

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For a TV budget, the animation is very impressive. Del Toro was quoted to have been grateful to the team who really stretched the limits of imagination and went the extra mile to create something magical for the small screens. Of course, what brings the animation to life are the voices behind it and the late Anton Yelchin did a brilliant job in articulating the woes of teenage life while training to be a hero. Del Toro assures, however, that Yelchin is not going to “leave” the program despite his death because as it turns out, they have material to last until another season. Yep, they’ve just been renewed for season 2! Woohoo!

For comedic punchlines, I LOOOOVE Toby, voiced by Charlie Saxton. He’s super funny and chubby and cute, but so are Blinky, the wise and formal mentor of Jim and AAARRRGGHH!!!, Toby’s wingman and the group’s muscle guy/troll. The characters are voiced by Kelsey Grammer and Fred Tatasciore, respectively. Claire’s okay. I like the boys better.

Speaking of funny moments, the best laugh out loud moment for me was when Toby adopted a gnome and named it…

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GNOME CHOMPSKY

(I want their Funko Pops! AAAAAARGHHHH)

The first season ended on a cliffhanger and will be continued with 13 more episodes in the next installment. I’m now a fan and I’m even considering watching it again just for fun. I am glad I found this gem on Netflix and I can’t wait for next season!

Songs of a Beast

Caught at a very vulnerable moment (plus the hormonal time of the month), I burst into tears and a river flowed from my heart today when I listened to a new song from Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast soundtrack. The film will be out soon in my region, and Disney’s full throttle in promoting teasers and snippets and live social media schedules but THIS caught my interest the most.

Sung by the classical-pop crossover sensation Josh Groban, it expresses the emotional side of the tough but lonely Beast’s longing for Belle. In the animated movie, everybody except the cursed man had a feature song. Written by award-winning composers Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin) and Tim Rice (The Lion King), here’s Evermore.

Now I know she’ll never leave me

Even as she fades from view

She will still inspire

Be a part of everything I do

Wasting in my lonely tower

Waiting by an open door

I’ll fool myself, she’ll walk right in

And as the long, long nights begin

I’ll think of all that might have been

Waiting here for evermore.

It’s just so…SAD. Cursed human or not, it’s just a universal feeling of melancholy and helplessness when all you could hope is for the one you love to stay forever. The orchestration and arrangement are beautifully done, but fans have to wait how non-singer Dan Stevens, who plays the Beast in the film, does this justice. We’ve all seen and put on repeat how snippets of Emma Watson’s singing has become viral. Disney’s choices to cast non-singers in lead roles to perform is making me curious, and maybe Stevens will be a revelation. Josh Gad, Luke Evans, especially Audra McDonald, have the pipes. Behind-the-scenes footage reveals how great they were (McDonald’s singing a new track too which sounded lovely).

Groban’s rendition will be hard to top, but Stevens, like Watson, might pull it off with simplicity and earnestness that will still make longtime fans of this fairy tale moved (or cry like I did).

Looking at the video’s comments made me remember that there was a Broadway staging of Beauty and the Beast with Alan Menken in charge of the musical too. I researched and found out that Groban also recorded an older Beast song titled If I Can’t Love Her. Same theme, choppier sentences, same soaring melody. The singer included this track in his Broadway covers album called Stages.

Evermore feels like an extended version of this one! I can’t wait to see the movie. Some reviews are in, but I usually just take it with a grain of salt not until I’ve seen it myself.