books what i've read

Apart from watching Wonderboys, hitler raps and drawing dwarves,

I've read a few more books from the college library. I was going to go through 'Safe Area Gozorade' by Joe Sacco but it looked a bit heavy for me right now so I might check it out later. If 'The Fixer' is anything to go by, it should be dense but worth the effort.

I was also trying to convince myself to check out 'World War Hulk' but after 10 minutes browsing through it, I became very bored and put it back so.. no go for you Hulky :( EDIT: It would seem the volume I picked up only has the 2nd half of the event in it, AFTER the interesting stuff has happened and the Hulk is expelled from Earth so.. I got to wrestle with the crappy end of the stick.

So here is what I have actually read in the past couple of weeks.

'Carnet De Voyage' by Craig Thompson was the first, a 2 and a half month travel diary kept by the artist as he goes on a promo campaign for his book 'Blankets' around west Europe. The book is naturally more.. sporadic in terms of plotlines and layouts compared to Thompsons earlier work as everything is based on what the artist is seeing and experiencing or reminiscing on in the hotel room that night. However this doesn't detract at all from the brilliant art work or method of delivery; it may cause his hand to cramp in agony from arthritis but Craig Thompson is a master of the bezier stroke pen swish. Well worth your time.

Next is 'David Boring' by Daniel Clowes. Being a Clowes fanboy I ripped this off the shelf and devoured it quite quickly and for most, I was on a super-grungey euphoria rocket of comic pleasure. The story is told from the perspective of David Boring, a young man who is controlled to some extent by his unusual sexual taste (no surprises there) , anal prerequisites and bizarre talent for being able to identify what a woman's ass will look like by examining any other part of her body or personality. The protagonist is also a comic head (duh) and this is used by Clowes as a veihicle for metaphors as he uses a 50's retro comic-style cutaway to explain in euphamism otherwise disturbing emotional scenes, which actually tends to enforce their strength. Very effective! My only twitch with the book was that I kinda drifted off towards the end of the 3rd chapter but I have a tendancy to want to read through a graphic novel ASAP and resent being bogged down with excessive dialogue. Again, definatly recommend checking this out.

Then I read 'Preacher:Gone to Texas' by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon with fantastic cover artwork by Glen Fabry. As I kid I was given a cover art book which contained all of the preacher covers and so I was well aware of the imagery and style that the comics entail, but for some reason I never actually got round to reading the bloody comics. Loosely, the comic is about a trio of intrepid comrades who are marching across America to find God. And mess his shit up for being such a baby. There's Jesse the possessed preacher, Cassidy the Irish drug addict vampire and Tulip, the ... er.. girl. Its gritty, its gorey and I love it.

Big underground comic guy John Porcellino with 'King-Cat Classix' was next. Well, I THINK I read all of it; kept skipping and thumbing through so my order of reading became a bit confused but I tried to absorb it all eventually. My impression was a very good one of this work; Self explanatory diary style, Jeffrey Brown-ish but alot looser and more fun. I don't know, it was kinda like reading a Brown without that horrible sadness from those awkward adolescent years coming back to wash over you in acidic waves for hours after you put it down. Except for the tear-renching story about the dog he loved who died which made me cry for about 10 minutes. So, very intimate but amusing little comics, big bundle, big book. Another recommendation.

And finally, 'Embroideries' by Marjane Satrapi. Now, I'd enjoyed what I'd read of Persepolis until I put it down at my friends house (about 20 pages) and I really enjoyed watching the Persepolis aniamtion but Embroideries really dragged on me. My assumption is that this is caused by the piss-poor translation job thats been applied to the work so every emotion seems out of context and every character swears at innappropriate times (every sentance) and its a real shame. I feel through the images what Satrapi was trying to tell me about her fellow female's sexual experiences but I couldn't dig beyond that realm of understanding based on my previous qualm. So, if you can get a French copy of the book, give it a read and you might enjoy it.

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