074) Duncan the Wonder Dog by Adam Hines, finished October 23

I know I overuse words like beautiful and great and brilliant. One word I do not overuse is genius. And I'm not about to apply it to this book, but I am going to trot it out cautiously all the same.

You see, Duncan the Wonder Dog might be a work of genius. I don't know yet. I won't know until further books come out. But it might be. It very well might be.

Comics are growing up when an out-of-nowhere debut can be as complex and lovely as Chris Ware's best work.

(Read this pdf sample of the first many pages of this huge book.)

It would be impossible to ruin this book no matter how much I gave away, so don't feel leery about reading any of the notes below.

Here's the conceit. Our world, but animals talk. Not in a mickey-mouse way or a cinderella way or a dr-dolittle way. Just a simple, literal, animals that talk.

This leads to startling moments, as we see wild animals interacting with each other, circus animals, pets and humans, passing birds landing on a balcony.

And the necessary complications of life when you have to kill something that talks before you can have a hamburger.

The resultant politics can be read as commentary on race in America or on the environment. But that does not have to get in the way of your enjoyment, no matter your take on those issues.

And, related to that, the terrorist ape Pompeii may be the most terrorizing villain to come out of comics since the Joker. I kid you not. What makes the Joker terrifying? His alien mind.

What can be more alien than another species?

Be afraid.

Read this book. As soon as you can.

Seriously: read this book.

It's the first volume of a planned nine, and so we'll decide later whether or not this is a comics masterpiece, a work of genius. But I wouldn't bet against Adam Hines. Not today, not ever again.

Duncan the Wonder Dog. Let the show begin.

over a week

073) Poem Strip by Dino Buzzati, finished October 15

This icksexy Italian 1960s counterculture take on Orpheus and Eurydice is pretty dang wonderful. The way it references everything that was happening then and the recently past art (eg Surrealism) and contemporaneous European lit and meshes it all into a wonderful series of poems and comics is terribly enjoyable to read. Props to the translator because the poetry really has to work for the book to work.

two days

072) No Arm in Left Field by Matt Christopher, finished October 18

Matt Christopher's middle-reader sports books are the Big O's new love, so I picked this one up (he'd brought it home from the school library) and read it. I can see why he likes them. Every chapter has a thrilling baseball game and the story story is built in the gaps between games. This particular one is about a black kid moving into a white town and making friends even, eventually, with the mildly racist kid (through team play, of course).

They're a fun read. Got sporty kids? Send 'em this way. Matt C does about every sport you can imagine.

off and on over a week

071) Hamlet by William Shakespeare, finished October 18

I am so sick of Hamlet.

about a week



070) The Canterbury Tales adapted by Seymour Chwast, finished October 12


069) A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born by Harry Harrison, finished October 4
068) Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett, finished September 27
067) Modern Masters Volume Sixteen: Mike Allred by Eric Nolen-Weathington, finished September 19
066) iZombie: uVampire by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, finished September 15
065) Knight and Squire by Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton, finished September 12

064) Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment by Bryan Talbot, finished September 21

063) Blacksad written by Juan Díaz Canales and drawn by Juanjo Guarnido, finished September 5
062) 21 by Wilfred Santiago, finished September 4
061) Bone by Jeff Smith, finished August 29
060) Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: Race to Death Valley by Flody Gottfredson, finished on a date that's a little hard to identify exactly
059) Shakespeare Wrote for Money by Nick Hornby, finished August 18

058) Take Time for Paradise by A. Bartlett Giamatti, finished August 11

057) The Shining by Stephen King, finished August 9
056) I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells, finished August 6
055) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, finished August 2
054) Moneyball by Michael Lewis, finished July 12
053) Madman New Giant Size Super Ginchy Special by Mike Allred et al, finished approximately July 9

052) The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone and Josh Neufeld, finished July 8
051) Wilson by Daniel Clowes, finished July 6

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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