Comics Daze

I was gonna do a computerey thing that I thought was gonna occupy my entire day today, but then it only took like half and hour, and now I’m too restless to do anything else. So: It’s a comic book reading day. Yay!

Snapped Ankles: Come Play The Trees

10:11: Are Comics Books Real? by Alex Nall (Kilgore Books)

This is a book about being an art teacher at a school, and there’s some funny bits in here.

But as he observes here, children often don’t say the darndest things, and that’s reflected in this book, too. It’s just not that amusing, and many of the pieces seem to be geared towards getting likes on Facebook or something.

Black Midi: Schlagenheim

10:42: Blammo Issues 1-5 by Noah Van Sciver (Kilgore Books)

I think I’ve read most (all?) of these issues collected here before…

No I haven’t — this is a collection of the early Blammo issues that I haven’t been able to find. Yay!

I love Van Sciver’s more recent work, and it’s fun to see him trying out stuff here…

… but it’s not actually very good now, is it? I wish I could say that it gets better issue by issue, but that’s not really the case, either. The cartooning and storytelling chops grow by leaps and bounds, but if anything the stories get even less interesting. I guess he didn’t really find his subject matter until a couple years later.

I mean, there’s good stuff in here, but also stuff that perhaps shouldn’t have been included.

Sam Amidon: Lily-O

11:58: Go Fuck Myself by Mike Freiheit (Kilgore Books)

What’s with all these Kilgore Books? Hm… oh! This is from a Kickstarter or something? I’d forgotten.

This starts off very absurdist…

… and then we get a bunch of one-page jokes, and I’m sitting here going “oh deer, is this a compilation of insta strips?” But then! Things start to cohere and turn into this big, interesting narrative.

Very very sneaky.

It’s a good read, and oddly touching.

Gil Scott-Heron: We’re New Here (a Reimagining by Makaya McCraven)

12:34: Alome 1 by Alfonso Font (Tegneseriekompagniet)

This starts off as a standard Spanish action thing…

… but then it kinda just never gets started? I mean, it seems like the exposition goes on forever, and then at around page 40 the story starts. Very odd.

The artwork’s nice, in any case.

Chuck Person: Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol. 1

13:06: Discipline by Dash Shaw (New York Review Comics)

Wow. Reading this is like being submerged in a different reality. Shaw is doing something awesome here.

I mean, I’ve liked all of Shaw’s books, but he’s reaching new heights here. The storytelling just flows so well here — the lack of traditional comics panels leads to a different sort of urgency. It’s just fascinating. I mean, it’s not just “hm, interesting”; it’s a gripping, moving reading experience.

Comic book of the year?

Arthur Russell: Iowa Dreams

13:53: Factory Summers by Guy Delisle (Drawn & Quarterly)

I really liked Delisle’s earliest books, but they’ve been getting less compelling? If I remember correctly. That Hostage book, for instance, wasn’t all that.

This one is better — but it’s feels like a book that’s mostly surfaces. I mean, we’re introduced to a milieu that we don’t often see in comics — a factory — but we just get the observations we expect from a seventeen-year-old (or whatever), which makes sense, but it feels a bit slight.

Still, Delisle’s storytelling is on point, and there’s some magical scenes in here. (Like going up to the roof of the factory.) And it’s interesting and likeable. But it just didn’t quite click for me?

Fairport Convention: What We Did On Our Holidays

14:59: Cracking by Tommi Musturi (Fantagraphics)

Oh right. I’ve read those The Future books of his (which are narrative comics). This is basically just a collection of illustrations.

But it’s pretty awesome. It’s a very large book with excellent reproduction. (And apparently financed by grants from Finnish export institutions, which is nice.)

Fairport Convention: What We Did On Our Holidays

15:10: The Lightshouse in the City by Karl Christian Krumpholz (Kilgore Books)

I’ve read a whole bunch of diary comics…

… but… I’m just not feeling this one. I’m having a hard time understanding why I should be interested in reading these pages, you know? It feels more private than personal.

Fairport Convention: Unhalfbricking

15:38: Fatale by Cabanes/Manchette (Mellemgaard)

Hm… That looks awfully familiar? Have I bought it before in some other language? This is the Danish edition…

I like the artwork and the colouring here…

I’ve only read Tardi’s Manchette adaptations, and they’re really er complicated. This one is even more so. At the start of this I wasn’t really that interested, but it gets wilder and wilder, and the plot takes some really unexpected turns, and before I knew it, I was totally into it. It’s great!

Cabanes does have a tendency to draw people the same, though, so it’s a bit hard to tell who’s saying what to whom. Especially since he’s fond of doing 180 degree shifts in perspective, so you have to go “oh, that’s the one with the square earring, and that’s the one with the pointy earring, so it’s those two in that panel, and not the third one without the earrings”…

But I’m quibbling. This is a lot of nihilist fun.

David Bowie: Hunky Dory

18:09: Montana Diary by Whit Taylor (Silver Sprocket)

This isn’t really a diary comic — it’s more of a traditional travelogue thing. It’s got a very likeable vibe — it flows well, blending information with a personal experience.

Jung Body: Real Eternal Bliss

18:28: Demons: To Earth and Back by Hyena Hell (Silver Sprocket)

I’ve read a couple of issues of this before, but I think this is the best one?

It’s got an easy, no-nonsense approach: It’s just a goofy story about demons and stuff. It’s pretty entertaining.

Melanie de Biasio: Lilies

18:47: This is How I Disappear by Mirion Malle (Drawn & Quarterly)

Again, I was pretty sceptical when I started reading this…

… but it pulled me in. It’s got great flow.

Sudan Archives: Sudan Archives

19:39: Unsmooth 2 by E. S. Glenn (Floating World)

This is absolutely insane. It’s like it’s a thing from an alternate time line where Herge via Joost Swarte was the dominant form for art comics.

This is so gorgeous that it’s hard to accept how incomprehensible the stories are. I think this is some kind of pure genius? I’m not sure.

But it’s fantastic! I love it! I have no idea what it’s all about, but I love it.

What an amazing book.

Lal & Mike Waterson: Bright Phoebus

20:22: Zombillenium by Arthur de Pins (NBM)

This art style is doing nothing for me… and the story is boring me silly. It’s not that this is a bad comic or anything; I think many people would find it pretty amusing, but I’m not one of those.

So I ditched the book halfway through.

20:41: Sleepytime

I might also just be zonked; I got up at five this morning, so I think it’s time to sleep.

But, hey, this was a solid batch of comics. The standouts were… the Dash Shaw and the E. S. Glenn. Those were both awesome (in very different ways).


Leave a Reply