SVK (Comic Book Review)

I would like to start by saying that this review might be a little short on details and specifics. That’s because I’d really like to avoid giving away too much since I believe this comic book deserves to be experienced and appreciated without too many spoilers. But I will try my best to gain your interest anyway.

SVK is, as noted above, a comic book (I would like to call it a graphic novel but it’s not paperback or long enough to qualify for that definition) collaboration between writer Warren Ellis, illustrator/designer Matt “D’Israeli” Brooker and London based design studio BERG. It also has a foreword by William Gibson. Yes, THAT William Gibson, the godfather of cyberpunk.

SVK - The comic magazine by Warren Ellis, Matt Brooker and London based design studio BERGIt is the story about “security consultant” Thomas Woodwind and his latest assignment, taking place in future London, or at least it’s the foundation and scenery for the story.

Thomas takes on an assignment where he is asked to locate and return a prototype of a product that one of the lead developers had on his person at the time of him disappearing. The client in question is a key figure (CEO, president, owner, it’s not clear) at the company that developed the product, Mr. Marley, whom with Thomas has a past.

Without giving to much away I will just say that the core essence of SVK is not the high-tech, comic noir of this detective story but rather the questions on morals, big brother-type surveillance society and dystopia that you as a reader will be faced with, in true Orwell/Kafka spirit, the more you get into the adventure.

One of the most interesting aspects of SVK is that you do not only get the comic book/magazine which is in itself very nicely illustrated, but you also get a credit card sized UV light. The interesting thing about this is that it will come quite handy during your read. It’s actually a necessity for the story to live up to it’s full potential.

It’s an exciting take on the production of a comic book and for me personally it was one of the best things I’ve seen when it comes to comics and graphic novels. It’s not just a gimmick, it really brings the story to life and it’s such a perfect fit for this story in particular.

SVK also contains some extra material and two articles. One by Paul Gravett, the director of the Comica Festival in London and one very interesting article by Jamais Cascio that is not only a great read but which also connects well with the story in the comic itself.

I can only recommend, strongly I might add, SVK to anyone who reads and likes comics and graphic novels in general, and to everyone who likes dark, provocative and dystopian stories in particular.

You can order your copy of SVK over at BERG London.

Author: Warren Ellis and Matt “D’Israeli” Brooker

Adaptive Web Design (Book Review)

Adaptive Web Design by Aaron Gustafson

Just the other day I was reading a post on mobile-first responsive web design by Brad Frost (a great read by the way, go check it out) and found it very good. In fact I found it so good that I decided to buy Aaron Gustafsons book, ‘Adaptive Web Design: Crafting Rich Experiences with Progressive Enhancement‘ which the author had recommended.

I chose to get the paperback+eBook bundle and I finished it in two evenings. This doesn’t mean that the book is a light read, it just says something about how well Aaron manages to get his thoughts on paper.

Adaptive Web Design

If you’ve worked with web design for more than a short while you have most likely heard the term progressive enhancement, but how well do you know it, and how much does it influence your work?

Aaron  has suceded in explaining the reason for using progressive enhancement, the basics of the various techniques, breaking it down chapter by chapter and also ending it with a checklist for all your progressive enhancement needs. All in a book that not only covers the theory (or philosophy if you so will) behind it but which also contains plenty of practical examples of how, and more importantly why, to implement the techniques.

Adaptive Web Design consists of six chapters where progressive enhancement with markup (HTML), CSS, JavaScript and Accessibility takes up one chapter each. The first chapter talks about the what, why and how of progressive enhancement and the last gives us the checklist and information about the book, author etc.

The book itself is a perfect metaphor for progressive enhancement in the way it’s laid out, adding more and more advanced features and styles to it and where you, at the end, are ready to boost a wide knowledge on the topic. Sure, you can stop reading after two chapters and still be a better designer/developer than you where when you started but why would you? You’re not the equivalent of a low-tech ancient browser that don’t support the latest features, are you?

I can only wish more, a lot more, web designers and developers get their hands on Adaptive Web Design because I consider it a must have tool in any serious designers/developers toolbox. The more people read it, the less sites breaking when the user has JavaScript turned off and the less non-semantic markup and more accessible content will we see.

In short, this book will help us make a better, more future proof and more accessible web.

Adaptive Web Design
Author: Aaron Gustafson
ISBN-13: 978-0-9835895-0-1


Welcome to the personal blog of Swedish front-end developer and all-round internut, Ludvig Lindblom.

As of now the site will remain fairly inactive since I am currently using it to get a better grasp of the WordPress CMS with all it’s features.

Once up and running I will use this blog to post  ramblings that are too long to post on twitter. Some things will be written in Swedish and others in English, depending on the content and the intended audience.

Categorized as General