25: the final few


124) The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ primarily by Mormon, finished December 30
    At least of my adult life (and not including certain board books, notably this one), this is undoubtedly the book I have read through the most times. But I think "reading it through" is something Lady Steed and I need to stop doing. We say that everytime we finish, then we just read it through again. We need to find a better way to study the Book of Mormon. What we were doing with the Bible a couple years ago worked pretty well, but really: we need a better plan. Something more in depth.

    One option would be these volumes sound like they might be useful but I'm leery of the cost.

    So we're not decided. But if we do make a decision rather than just go through the book again, you might not see the BofM here next year. We may be finally taking our time and trying to swim in deeper waters.

    Wish us luck.

    just shy of one full year

123) The Best American Comics 2007 edited by Chris Ware and Anne Elizabeth Moore, finished December 29
    Although there was much to like in this collection, there was little to love and I must admit I am deeply disappointed in Ware's selections. Despite his the-lady-doth-protest-too-much introduction, it's clear he was checking boxes and felt obliged to include the Crumbs and Spiegelman and Panter and Barry and Hernandez, etc. This was the sort of plan he used when editing the excellent McSweeney's #13 and it worked there because it was that sort of anthology. But this is supposed to be the Best American Comics of a 12-month stretch, not an education in the best living comics artists, thank you very much. Moore's appendix of 100 notables looks much more consistently interesting than the ones Ware finally selected.

    That said, although I didn't like this one as much as last year's (!), I'm still wonderfully happy to have read it and look forward to next year's issue--or rather, this years issue as it is already out.

    For more thoughts on this subject, visit this post at Fobcomics.

    But here's one shoutout to Chris Ware besides the fact that he himself is an awesome maker of comics: The best thing, the thing I like the most, about your editing is how you arranged the comics. Thematically, they melded one into another quite nicely (although this might just prove that the overall selection lacks variety) (and although in a couple cases this meant it was easy not to notice we'd switched comics) and little touches like throwing Spiegelman before everything and making Seth a coda were borderline brilliant. Well done.

    under a week

122) Pinocchioby Carlo Collodi, translated by Geoffrey Brock, finished December 29
    I've never read the book, don't much like the Disney film, and missed Coppola's when it came out. But Pinocchio is even crazier than I imagined. The book is unhinged, barely manages to keep itself under control as it careens through a mad world of fairies and sharks and puppets and whatever else happened to pass within five blocks of Collodi's imagination. Like Unberto Eco says in his intro, this book bares little resemblance to its Disney progenitor, but that's okay with me. This weird and wild book was a fun pass and one I'll be happy to pass to my kids when they're reading on their own. A good translation.

    under a week

121) Schulz's Youth by Charles M. Schultz, finished December 26
    Christmas was good for my Sparky-Schultz habit: this book and the newest box set from the Complete Peanuts. This is another collection of single panels; these came from Schultz's gags for a Christian youth magazine. Many of them, thus, are quite churchy:

    Young Pillars by Charles M Schultz

    Young Pillars by Charles M Schultz

    but I think the strip's at its best when its just teenagery:

    Young Pillars by Charles M Schulz

    Young Pillars by Charles M Schultz

    For a more details (and samples), see what I wrote at Fobcomics.

    two days