The was an unplanned service interrupting in this blog series yesterday (OK, I went to a garden centre and bought a rose bushlet that I then had to plant and etc), but I’m now back to reading comics all day long. And as before: No reviews, because ain’t nobody got time for that.
War of the Realms: Journey Into Mystery #3-5 (Marvel) by all these people:
There was a decade and a half where I didn’t read any super-hero comics, but then I dipped in here and there and now I’m getting a handful per month. Unfortunately, the ones I like keep getting cancelled. On the other hand, Mile High Comics has this weird thing where you get “cross-overs” with the books you’re buying, and I guess I got this because I was reading Hawkeye (written by Kelly Thompson)? I could get them to stop it, but I kinda like getting these random comics…
This one is more random than most: It’s part of Marvel’s latest (?) mega-crossover thing, and I have absolutely no idea what’s going on.
Or who these characters are.
But no matter: This is totally amiable. There’s gags that kinda work, and there’s fun fights, and it ends with nothing really having happened, really, because it’s a mini-series designed to slot into a mega thing.
Almost Completely Baxter by Glen Baxter (New York Review Comics)
I love silliness (Michael Kupperman is a favourite), but this book just doesn’t connect for me.
So many of these just don’t seem very inspired.
This one did make me laugh, though.
And the one on the left.
About half of these seem to be exercises in taking a still from a movie (or something) and then adding an incongruous title, and that’s just lazy.
OK, that’s a good one.
Salz and Pfeffer by Émilie Gleason (2d cloud)
This book is about Disney characters alternatively torturing people…
… or being tortured. And the last half is also one big giant fart gag, so what’s not to like?
It does feel excessively inconsequential, though.
Trying Not To Notice by Will Dinski (2d cloud)
This is a very non-2d cloud book: It’s a traditionally told story about the most boring characters ever in the history of ever: Stand-up comics and accountants.
It does become a bit more interesting in the final section, which is about what the title says. There’s some eerie, effective scenes in there. But if you sum it up (“oh boy, movie stars sure are delusional!”) (ok, that’s the crassest way possible) it’s all rather slight.
Twists of Fate by Paco Roca (Fantagraphics)
This is the story about Spanish antifascists.
There’s two layers: There’s a comic book artist interviewing a veteran, and the stories by the veteran. It’s a moving story, and I cried a bit when they entered Paris, but let’s face it: This book’s a mess. I immediately assumed that the framing story (“Roca” and the veteran) was complete fiction… because that’s what it reads like. Then bits of the history itself started seeming more and more unreal, what with the “ironic” twist of getting killed just when they were out of danger. They should sell Extreme Eye Roll Insurance with this book, because I sprained my eyeballs.
Worst of all, it reads like an adaptation of a movie: There’s nothing comicsey about the work at all. You can translate it to film, frame by frame, scene by scene, and that makes for a less than idea reading experience.
But there are powerful scenes in here, and that’s mostly when Roca doesn’t have the veteran telling “Roca” how wonderful he is.
Abyss by Saman Bemel-Benrud (2d cloud)
This is an interesting booklet that starts out like an anti-gentrification thing and then spins out in all kinds of interesting way. It’s pleasantly unsettling.
Untitled by Unknown (2d cloud, perhaps)
There’s no text anywhere in this booklet, so I don’t know who this is by, but it was amongst the stuff I bought from 2d cloud recently, so I’m guessing they’re the publisher.
It’s kinda hypnotic. There’s page after page of this mixture of very concrete and then more dream-like imagery…
And then in the middle of the book, there’s this thing, which comes as a visceral shock.
I don’t know what the book is about, but I’m guessing war and death.
It Felt Like Nothing by Fifi Martinez (2d cloud)
This booklet is pretty awesome. It’s got this flow…
… and the marks are so appealing.
Gustave el Aubert Tro Is Contes by Christopher Adams (2d cloud)
This mini seems to perhaps be composed from conversations overheard on CB radio… and other places? It’s got a nice rhythm.
Tim & Thomas 38: Fristelsen by Will and Desberg (Zoom)
This is a direct continuation of the Tif et Tondo album I read the other day, and it’s slightly less depressing. It’s about Tif (I think) going undercover in the fascist organisation, and eventually defeating it (before they make France into a whites-only monarchy).
(That’s the fascists’ propaganda video.)
It’s still a wildly incongruous reading experience… and it’s… not good?
It’s got a nice ending, though: The villains’ ill-begotten money goes to fund childcare for immigrants.
Comics as Poetry (edited by Franklin Einspruch)
Hey, this is really special. I like the Ink Brick anthologies, but they do have a surfeit of works that are simply illustrated poetry. This is much more ambitious, with works that really hint at a comics poetics.
Like the thing above that you have to work out how to read.
And this, which is very… Something. I’m so erudite.
All the work in here is good, but I particularly liked this four page piece by the editor.
Frontier #19 by Hannah Waldron (Youth in Decline)
This is a booklet of weaved material. I was a bit confused about the presentation until I, genius that I am, realised that we’re seeing both the front and the back of these tapestries.
Back. So we’re sort of reading a book of tapestries; how it’d look like if they were bound in this format.
Only on paper.
Mr & Mrs X vol 1 (Marvel) by all these people:
Thompson has written some other super-hero comics I’ve kinda enjoyed, so I got this one.
It starts off amusingly enough. I mean, it’s not actually funny or anything, but it’s OK. The artwork’s a bit confusing, though, because nobody looks like they usually do. I think? Or were all the characters replaced by other people while I wasn’t paying attention? It’s happened before.
Well, I don’t care.
And the action bits (and there are a lot of them) are also not awful, but about halfway through this volume I lost all interest and it was rather a chore to get through. These aren’t bad super-hero comics, but, you know.
Roopert by August Lipp (Revival House)
Well, even for odd books, this is an odd book. I guess it’s meant to look like it’s been drawn on a yellow notebook? But then that means that all the figures have been whited in? And then drawn with blue over the whiteout? That doesn’t make sense, so the conceit falls apart…
It’s just so bizarre. I mean, that’s a very very simple pee joke, but drawn in this style it feels less like a joke and more like a transmission from another planet.
Mami by Diigii Daguna (Peow)
My immediate reaction to this was “oh no, not another European guy doing Japanese comics”, but this is from somebody on Manila, and it’s rather cute. The cartoonist is going for “manic fun”, and only occasionally lands at “incoherent chaos”.
In addition to the fun storyline, there’s also cooking. I like that.
All the Sad Songs by Summer Pierre (Retrofit/Big Planet)
I didn’t know anything about the Pierre, so I thought this was just going to be about growing up and making mixtapes, but it turns out she’s a musician, so
I put on this playlist about halfway through reading. She should have mentioned that at the start so that I could have been listening all the way through. Dude.
This reminds me of an interview I read with a novelist just the other day. She said that people often tell her they like her books because they identify with them, but she finds that so odd: Just liking something because it’s about somebody similar (in one way or another) to themselves. She likes reading about people totally different from herself.
Pierre has a really appealing line, but the pacing of this book seemed way off to me.
You Don’t Get There From Here #46 by Carrie McNinch
I usually read these pretty quickly upon getting them (because I find them really soothing), but this was stuck between some other comics, so I re-found it recently. And went “hm, hasn’t it been a while since I got new issues?” and my subscription had expired. But the good news is that four new issues is coming my way any day now.
This one deals with (among other things) January 2017, so it’s not completely undepressing.
It’s still irrepressibly readable.
But now I think it’s time to go to bed. Another day of reading comics tomorrow? Sure, why not?