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Monday, June 2, 2014

Just in case you were looking for a really reliable dephagmotiser or maybe an aether oscillator

Broadmore, Greg (2009) Doctor Grordbort's Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory  Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Comics

 
Whether you are a diabolical villain or a futuristic super hero, chances are you have been looking for an inexpensive wave disruptor gun, or perhaps an infinity beam projector?  I know, how about a portable Massmotron, or a Destroxulonic Plosive Force Destabiliser, or maybe a bifurnilizer or a plosice inversion klug or a hydroblaugh.  All these amazingly deadly creations can be seen (and perhaps even ordered) from this beautifully illustrated catalogue.
 
The tone of the catalogue is alternately complimentary ("Featuring crisp, glossy red accents and a pleasingly angled stabilizing fin, this atom ray gun will let your enemy know that he (or it) is dealing with a gentleman of no small sum of character and flair") and condescending ("Order [a goliathon] right now or consider one's self a snotty cur.") but throughout the prose is wonderfully constructed.  The images are remarkably believable, so convincing that you will picture yourself riding a Lazoplod or an amphibious  attack-type walking war wagon into battle, firing your phlosgiston over-charger wave pistol at whatever meager resistance your enemies have managed to cobble together.
 
I could tell you that this is a parody of a catalogue and would be useful for teaching students how to write a parody, and that would be true, but the bottom line is that reading this book is a whole lot of fun.  It creates a sort of a steam punk world through testemonials and even a brief comic short in the back showing the latest adventures of the incredibly insensitive colonialist, Lord Cockswain.   In the very back section there is a pin-up page of Moon Mistress versus the Metal Men that has said superhero wearing some remarkable revealing underwear that might cause this book to be challenged.  That is too bad because that image is not at all connected to the rest of the book (and could, I suppose, be removed). 
 
I suspect anyone from fourth grade on up would find this book enjoyable, though it seems targeted toward middle school and high school boys. 
 

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