I should be doing more Emacs bug database spelunking… but I’m taking the day off, and that means:
Nothing But Comics Today.
12:32: Un uomo un’avventura: L’uomo del Sertão by Hugo Pratt (Faraos)
Oh, wow: New Hugo Pratt!!! I mean, old Hugo Pratt, finally available in a language I can understand! (I.e., Danish.) Huh, this is from that 70s series of comics-for-boys called “One man, one adventure”… A handful of those made it to Norway in the 70s, but none of the Hugo Pratt ones. And they were awful! Absolutely dreadful! Perhaps there’s a reason these Pratt comics haven’t been translated before now?
The tension is killing me, so now I have to stop typing and start reading!
NEW HUGO FUCKING PRATT!!!
As expected, Pratt turns the violence up to 11 (this series of comics was all about different heroic men running around killing people), but Pratt misses the remit, cheekily, by having a woman being the main character here.
Some of the artwork is lovely (see above), but other scenes seem phoned in. I mean, for Hugo Pratt — half the book doesn’t have any backgrounds, but it’s still Hugo Pratt, which is better than… most things. And storywise, it’s basically just a short… scene… of rape and murder, and then it’s over.
The supplemental material says that the publisher required Pratt to tone down some of the sex and violence, which Pratt did, under protest, and that’s the only version that has been published. I guess Pratt over-delivered…
12:58: Umma’s Table by Yeon-Sik Hong (Drawn & Quarterly)
Hm… a long autobio book from South Korea… is that like an industry there now? Hm… Oh! It’s by the same guy who did Uncomfortably Happy. Never mind.
This starts off very whimsical indeed…
… and then turns into a nine hankie, devastating book about parents and dying. *sniff*
It’s great; the way he moves so effortlessly between the time periods is wonderful. Or… it may be effortless for him, but it’s an effort for the reader, because his drawing style makes it difficult to tell the characters apart.
Anyway. Otherwise fabulous.
14:40: Love and Rockets #8 by Jaime & Beto Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
What the… I had an unread issue of Love and Rockets! Just sitting there! Hidden among some other stuff!
Good lord! *choke*
Jaime’s stuff is a lot of fun this time around…
… and Beto’s is … horrifying. I totally didn’t expect that ending, dude.
15:09: U.D.W.F.G. #2 edited by Michele Nitri (Hollow Press)
Impeccably produced anthology from the Italians…
… but the contents were a bit on the light side. Paolo Massagli above, and Mat Brinkman above the above.
15:19: Return to Aldebaran 1 by Léo (Cinebook)
By Léo? Didn’t the Aldebaran nonsense used to have a co-writer? Hm, no, that was the Kenya thing (with Rodolphe).
Anyway, the Aldebaran thing is now I-don’t-know-how-many-volumes long, and… it’s kinda fun? There’s always these mysteries just out of reach?
It starts off pretty well, what with alien animals and space ships and all…
… but the rest of the book is mostly people standing around, being introduced to each other while staring directly at the reader. I don’t think there’s anybody that draws such stiff, staring faces as Léo.
This book just sets up the storyline, I guess. It’s kinda entertaining, but it ends right when you think that things are starting. I guess I’ll keep reading…
16:04: L’arabe du futur 4 by Riad Sattouf (Minuskel)
I remember really enjoying the first couple of volumes, but… I think I was underwhelmed by the third? Possibly?
Since today is dedicated to Comics Reading Only, there’s no time to make any food, so I got some bacon beef pizza. The perfect thing to eat while reading the Sattouf book, which is… long…
It’s… just too long. I mean, Sattouf has an entertaining line and an eye for details (amusing and otherwise), but there’s long stretches of the book where I was just going “well, ok… I’m sure that was… interesting for you…”
But he’s got one thing going for himself: The most annoying character in the history of literature as his father.
18:20: Giant by Mikaël (NBM)
What… what is this dreck? It reads like an American super-hero comic, only on bigger pages and with construction workers instead of spandex guys. Oy! The witty repartee! Vey! The mysterious silent big guy!
I lasted twenty pages, and then I had to bail. This may be the worst comic I’ve tried to read in a couple of years. Pure shite.
18:42: Multiforce Shit by Mat Brinkman (Hollow Press)
Now, this is something.
18:45: The Unknown by Anna Sommer (Conundrum)
I was pretty confused by this.
But it turns out that the confusion is on purpose. A very surprising read.
19:02: Problematic by Jim Woodring (Fantagraphics)
I’m not really a fan of sketchbooks.
But, hey, it’s Woodring.
19:20: Dragman by Steven Appleby (Metropolitan)
… and tedious.
20:44: Elsewhere by Fredrik Rysjedal and anusman Shuo Wang (Kinakaal)
This is a very handsome little book. It’s a Chinese-Norwegian thing, and the Norwegian bit (above) is printed in a slightly metallic-ey grey ink.
The Chinese bit is… not.
Smells really nice, too.
20:51: Eight-Lane Runways by Henry McCausland (Fantagraphics)
Whoa. I wasn’t expecting this. It’s so… much fun. I guess I’m most reminded of whatsisname Schrauwen? Or Yuichi Yokoyama? Anyway, the best.
21:16: The Sea by Rikke Villadsen (Fantagraphics)
Geez. There’s a lot of Fantagraphics in today’s semi-random selection from the stack of unread comics…
Love the artwork.
21:31: Maggy Garrisson 1 by Lewis Trondheim and Stéphane Oiry (Zoom)
Man, is that the ugliest logo ever or what?
I’m flabbergasted! This is a really fun genre exercise. It’s a noir, but very modern. Well, sort of.
The artwork is really right for this kind of thing, but… using the twelve-panel grid like this does get a bit monotonous.
22:00: Splint i Berlin by Flix (Cobolt)
So this is one of those “special adventure” things that they’ve released so many of over the past few years… Is there even a “regular” Spirou being published? I can’t really recall seeing one… but then again, I’m not really looking for that either.
This one is set in East Germany in 1989…
… so we have them running all over Berlin being chased by the Stasi and stuff. It solid: The adventure is classic and it’s pretty funny.
22:35: The End.
Man. I’m really worn out now. There’s nothing as exhausting as spending a day reading comics. I mean, except, like… doing actual work… or hiking… or hoovering…
OK, most things in life are less exhausting, but compared to reading a book all day, or watching movies all day, reading comics is hard work. It’s just such a … full-spectrum medium.
So I’m calling it quits after just ten hours.