Comics Daze

Yes, a new comics readin’ day, just a couple days after the last one. But before I start:

I tried reading this book yesterday. I don’t know why I bought it — I distinctly remember “well, I’m not going to buy that one”, but then I did anyway? Because I’ve done my time in the 50 American schlock horror comics mines, and I don’t want to do no more.

The reproduction here is excellent — I don’t see a colourist listed in the credits, but this has to have been recoloured for this edition, right? Looks great.

But the stories are so bad. So bad. Even on a 50s horror scale, these are awful. Charmless and gormless — the writers didn’t even try.

Why on Earth is Fantagraphics foisting this shit onto the world? OK, my fault for buying it…

I had to ditch it five stories in. Perhaps the rest of the book is pure genius? I kinda doubt it.

The Beatles: 1962-1966 (1)

10:31: Macanudo: Optimism is for the Brave by Liniers (Fantagraphics)

And speaking of odd decisions — I think I’ve read a previous volume in this series, and I hated it, so again, I have no idea why I bought this… Sorry!

Well, the artwork’s still attractive, and the humour is still threatens to give your eyeballs sprains from rolling so much.

Most annoying is the way he strokes the egos of his readers — being a book reader is so special! (This is what Tom Gauld specialises in.) It’s cloying and it’s annoying being sucked up to this way.

The Beatles: 1962-1966 (2)

11:09: Hacienda #1-2 by Dave Ortega

I got there from here. These two issues are very dense — they’re packed with story and intrigue.

It all feels very vital and intense. Now, both issues have stories that does with reality TV, which is a bit odd, and there are so many characters that are drawn the same that it’s sometimes hard to decipher what’s going on (especially since there are many plot twists and turns and meta stuff), but it’s still a thrilling read. Really entertaining.

Various: Smalltown Supersound Remix Anthology (1)

12:08: Monster Fan Club by Jason T. Miles and others (Floating World Comics)

This is a large-format magazine — it’s an anthology, I guess, but most of it is one er narrative illustrated by Shaky Kane. And I have absolutely no idea what’s going on in the story, but it’s kinda intriguing anyway.

The other bits are even more mysterious.

George Harrison: All Things Must Pass (1)

12:26: Are You Willing To Die For The Cause? by Chris Oliveros (Drawn & Quarterly)

Wow, a book by Chris Oliveros — I guess he finally found time to do comics after handing over Drawn & Quarterly to other people.

Well, that sounds like the classic way to start a fake documentary — “found documents” — so I had to do some quick googling. The FLQ existed, apparently.

The FLQ story is told in a fairly straightforward way — perhaps deceptively straightforward, because it’s more twisty than you’d think just by flipping through the pages. It manages to be pretty thrilling while being as undramatic as possible.

He plays up the inherent absurdities in being a terrorist organisation.

It’s really well told. I’ve read many books about similar things (i.e., information dense documentary comics), and they have a tendency to either fall into the Wikipedia trap, or to start aping TV documentaries (with talking heads dropping by for a line or two). Oliveros avoids all that and keeps things interesting. (Well, the FLQ history is pretty interesting all on its own, but you know what I mean.)

I was a bit disappointed that this is just the first volume, though… I hope that he does finish the second volume.

Lou Reed: The Bells

13:32: What Awaits Them by Liam Cobb (Breakdown Press)

This is a collection of different stories — each one isn’t exactly brief, but they feel like vignettes.

And have wildly differing approaches to the artwork.

It’s really good! In many ways, the pieces remind me of mid-70s French comics, with their mix of politics, humour and slightly abstract plots. It’s impressive, and these are affecting stories.

John Zorn: Homenaje a remedios varo

14:10: The Crying Horse on Callowhill by Soso Capaldi (Desert Island)

Love the colours. This is an intriguing book — it starts off pretty straightforwardly, before getting more abstract and then…

wowzers. Good stuff.

14:20: Mending a Rift by Jean Wei (Shortbox)

This is a cute little sci fi kind of thing. But a very mundane sci fi.

It’s charming and wistful.

14:26: Your Mother’s Fox by Niv Sekar (Shortbox)

This is like Allegorical To The Max. But I’m not quite sure what it’s trying to say.

Which is nice. Lovely artwork.

14:31: Sobek by James Stokoe (Shortbox)

Wow, that artwork…

It’s a quite amusing story — I guess it’s almost a shaggy dog story? In some ways, it could almost have been an issue of Groo? But with this artwork.

Very entertaining.

14:41: Two Dollars by George Olsen

This little booklet collects various images…

… and illustrations. It’s nice.

Golden Grrrls: Golden Grrrls

14:44: Yuck Factor by Heather M. Loase

High concept!

It’s really good.

I think I should probably start considering making some food… I can feel my brane powrs are going…

Bush Tetras: They Live in My Head

15:13: Dungeon Zenith vol 5 by Sfar/Trondheim/Boulet (NBM)

This collects two recent Dungeon albums.

As with other Trondheim serials, this now such a huge backstory that there’s more than a few headscratchers here. But it’s a reasonably self-contained plot… about cultural differences and superstition and rituals and stuff, and you can’t help feel that there’s a metaphor lurking here somewhere. And it has the most depressing ending you could imagine. But done as a lark.

Looks like most people liked it, but there’s:

Le bebe dévoré qui renonce à vivre en fait c’est l’album lui même, jeté dans la fosse par ses createurs. Oooops. C’est raté

The second album is a more straightforward classic adventure (get one macguffin to fix the second macguffin), and it’s fun. Boulet’s artwork is on point.

Jlin: Perspective

16:04: A Terrified Child Played By Jeremy Strong by Ezta David Mattes

Oooh gorgeous!

This is the first chapter in a projected graphic novel, and it’s really intriguing. It’s brief, and I have no idea where it’s going, but I want to read more. I think it could be a banger.

Cat Power: Cat Power Sings Dylan (1)

16:12: Transitions by Élodie Durand (Top Shelf)

I like the graphical flourishes…

… but it’s a pretty dull book. Heartfelt, though.

17:04: I Must Be Dreaming by Roz Chast (Bloomsbury)

This book is all about dreams.

It’s pretty good, but it’s not exactly revolutionary.

Cat Power: Cat Power Sings Dylan (2)

17:46: Ironhead by Gerald Rose (Breakdown Press)

Oh, this is a children’s book… I should pay more attention when ordering things from Breakdown Press.

It’s amusing.

17:52: A Cat’s Day by Genie Liang (Shortbox)

After a couple of pages of this I was starting to wonder whether it’s supposed to be read left-to-right or right-to-left — the storytelling is so choppy.

It’s a simple story that has one point, like: “relax sometimes”.

It’s… just not my kind of thing.

Armand Hammer: We Buy Diabetic Test Strips

18:16: Safari Honeymoon by Jesse Jacobs (Koyama Press)

I’ve missed so many comics from Koyama. I mean, it’s not unusual for me to miss books, but most comics publishers have a mail order business and you can buy all the books you’ve missed, but Koyama never had that… So this is from 2014, and I got it from ebay.

It’s pretty amazing. And harrowing.

18:33: Cavity by Michelle Theodore (Shortbox)

Wow, this is weird. Or perhaps I should say original.

It’s about a cavity, but the cavity is this creature living in her mouth.

It’s like a very cute horror story. It was so horrific I had to read very very fast.

Nondi: Flood City Trax

18:42: The End

And I think that’s enough for today.

Leave a Reply