Two books of pictures, one fiction, one non


052) The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone and Josh Neufeld, finished July 8

I found this book through Scott McCloud. Upon reading his plug, I immediately went and requested it at my library. They hadn't processed their copies yet, but once they had, I became the first person in my library system to get the book.

In case you don't know, Brooke Gladstone is cohost of On the Media, a great show I don't listen to nearly often enough.

The book is in the tradition of McCloud's Understanding Comics --- extended nonfiction essay in comics form. It's well put together --- Gladstone and Neufeld (the artist) clearly made a good team --- and I would highly recommend this book to, say, Advanced Placement English Language and Composition courses. I would love to get a couple sets for some of the classes I teach.

For me, though? I'm not so sure I'm the target audience. Because the book curtails rather closely with many of my interests, a sizable percentage of the book is stuff I already knew. At one point about, say two thirds in, I even considered not finishing because I was a little bored. But I DID finish and I'm glad I did. The book had enough new stuff and interesting takes on old stuff that ultimately it was worth my time.

If you're not as entrenched in media studies as geekme, you have to read this book. Like, twice.

Get on it. This stuff is important and defines our lives.

(The book is better.)



051) Wilson by Daniel Clowes, finished July 6

I've known about this book for a while, but wasn't going to seek it out. I'm not a big Clowes fan. Don't get me wrong! I thought Ghost World was good! But I liked his movie better than his book. And I'm excited to have him design Fantagraphics's Barnaby books! The only reason I picked this up is because I happened to see it on a shelf at the library of books set to return to another branch. So why not?

I like the structural conceit of Wilson. Each page is a Sunday-strip-esque piece, six panels, self-contained yet part of the larger story.

I like how, depending on the nature of the story, each page may use a different set of characters from the highly cartoony to the fairly realistic.

Sometimes it's funny and this cantankerous character experiences real growth and it talks about baseball.

It's well made and a good read.

It's also loaded with vulgarities and limited by the very elements I liked about it.

Not a great book. But certainly my favorite Clowes to date. Not that I seek all his stuff out . . . .

couple weeks


Previously in 2011 . . . . :

050) Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut, finished July 1
049) Housekeeping vs. The Dirt by Nick Hornby, finished June 25
048) The Light Princess by George Macdonald, finished June 22
047) Half a Life by Darin Strauss, finished June 17
046) Babymouse: Cupcake Tycoon by Jennifer L. Holm and Matt Holm (siblings), finished June 16

045) Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card, finished June 10
044) Writings from The New Yorker 1927-1976 by E.B. White (edited by Rebecca M. Dale), finished June 7
043) The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, finished May 31
042) Unnamed book by unnamed client (MS POLICY),
finished May 27

041) Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour by Bryan Lee O'Malley, finished May 14
040) Scott Pilgrim Versus The Unverse by Bryan Lee O'Malley, finished May 14
039) Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together by Bryan Lee O'Malley, finished May 13
037) The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse, finished May 11
036) Scott Pilgrim Versus The World by Bryan Lee O'Malley
035) Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O'Malley
034) The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976 by Charles M. Schulz, finished May 1
033) Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli finished approximately April 27

032) Golden Gate by Seth Vikram, finished April 20

031) Batman: Year 100 by Paul Pope, finished April 18
030) The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby, finished April 9
029) iZombie: Dead to the World by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred, finished April 2
028) A Sense of Order and Other Stories by Jack Harrell, finished April 1
027) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard, finished March 30

026) The Black Dogs by Ian McEwan, finished March 21

025) Stitches by David Small, finished March 20
024) Arkham Asylum: Madness by Sam Kieth, finished January 19 or 20
023) Hamlet by William Shakespeare, finished March 18

022) Red Rocket 7 by Mike Allred, finished March 10
021) Missile Mouse: Rescue on Tankium3 by Jake Parker, finished March 10

020) The Hotel Cat by Esther Averill, finished February 28

019) Wonderland by Tommy Kovac and Sonny Liew, finished February 21
018) Redcoat by Kohl Glass (MS POLICY), finished February 18

017) Best American Comics 2010 edited by Neil Gaiman, finished February 12
016) Little Bee by Chris Cleave, finished February 10
015) Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck, finished February 2
014) Cursed Pirate Girl: The Collected Edition Vol. I by Jeremy Bastian, finished January 31

013) Sweet Tooth: In Captivity by Jeff Lemire, finished January 30
012) Sweet Tooth: Out of the Woods by Jeff Lemire, finished January 30
011) Essex County: The Country Nurse by Jeff Lemire, finished January 30
010) Essex County: Ghost Stories by Jeff Lemire, finished January 29
009) Essex County: Tales from the Farm by Jeff Lemire, finished January 29

008) Magdalene by Morah Jovan, finished January 27

007) Knightfall Part Two: Who Rules the Night by a slew of DC folk, finished January 23
006) Bayou by Jeremy Love, finished January 17

005) Mr. Monster by Dan Wells, finished January 10
004) The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, finished January 6
003) The Mystery of the Dinosaur Graveyard by Mary Adrian, finished January 5
002) Batman - Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham by John Wagner and Alan Grant and Simon Bisley, with lettering by the famous Todd Klein; finished January 4
001) Batman: Venom by Dennis O'Neil et al, finished January 2

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