Let's see....comic book, comic book, comic book,
comic book, comic book and . . . . comic book


051) Men of Wrath by Jason Aaron and Ron Garney, finished June 10

'Tis the time of year when I find myself checking out lots of comics from the library!

This bloody thing is about violence passing down from one generation to another, and it's a nihilistic joyride, if such a thing is possible. It's not a clean thrill. The protagonist is quickly established as someone impossible to cheer for. Really, this entire Alabama is a people ripe for destruction. But it wasn't a story without purpose. Although any redemption is too small to have meaning, maybe future generations still have a shot? Maybe?

one night


050) X-Men: No More Humans by Mike Carey & Salvador Larroca & al., finished June 9

Here's the recipe for an X-Men comic:
Take some of the greatest and most varied and frankly interesting characters pop culture's produced in the last fifty years

Come up with a really terrific macguffin

Put in a lot of characters with deep-seated grudges and have them sorta kinda set them aside

Have every talk philosophies of love and piece while preparing to beat the crap out of each other

Stack bigger and bigger stakes upon bigger and bigger battles, none of which seems much more thought out than a four-year-old crashing his Hot Wheels together

Deus ex machina

Have someone give a moral to the story, but be certain no one internalizes it
That's about it.
two days


049) Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn, finished June 9

At first I thought I was reading Her---it's a very similar world and the story unfolds in very similar ways. In this case however, instead of an OS, it's a beautiful android. And instead of her attaining sentience on her own, he has to arrange on the black market to have her set free. And that's where the story ends.

Although it took a long time for me to really care about the characters, by the end I did. But this was in spite of the art. The computer-drawn stylings of the characters render them all plastic and android. None of them feel particularly alive. That their lines are often just slightly tweaked from panel to panel only increases the sense of artificiality. (I've read an excerpt from another Luna book, Girls, and it suffered from the same problem. Beautiful people made out of plastic. Just playing with dolls, which gets in the way of having a real human connection. You can pose them, but they don't live for themselves.

Which is a shame, given the excellent worldbuilding and story potential these barbies were plopped down in.
two nights


048) Miracleman Book 2: The Red King Syndrome by Alan Moore (not credited by name) and a bunch of other people, finished June 6

This looked kind of dumb sitting on the library shelf, but the blurbs were ecstatic. So I picked it up and read it. And had a very hard time telling whether I was being punked re its alleged history or if this was legitimately a 1980s artifact. I mean---that's the most, rrm, accurate birth scene I've ever seen in comics. So when I finished I checked Wikipedia and ohhhh...... It's that book. Yep. This is pretty famous. It's a pretty big deal. And yeah, for the 1980s this WAS an enormously ambitious comic and hugely important in creating the modern scene. And mostly it's aged well. It's better than Coffin Hill for instance (see below), but ultimately I don't think it's all that great. I like how it uses backgrounds to add thematic elements (animals killing other animals, for instance), but it tends to be heavyhanded. It's like Moore realized comics can be art---even superhero comics---and he's not going to let ANYONE escape reading a bit of Miracleman without having plenty of art shoved through their irises. For instance, the lone black character has lots of symbolic dreams and thinks about the absurdity of how symbolic his symbolic dreams are, so we can't miss how many layers of crazy crazy symbolism are being packed in. But the evil Mexican hangs out with unlayered Nazis and la de da.

Anyway. It's probably good I've finally read this. It always comes up when anyone from the era that followed (eg: Gaiman, Allred) talks about the genesis of the late '80s / early 90s renaissance of ideas in comics. It's important to remember though, that just because something was good and important and led the way, does it is the best. I accept that it feels that way to those who were changed by it, but let's step back a hundred years and see what history has to say, eh?
two days


047) Coffin Hill: Dark Endeavors by Caitlin Kittredge and Inaki Miranda, finished June 6

I actually liked this volume much more, largely because it focused more on her days as a cop rather than the Big Cosmic Evil aspects of the story. I did have to go back to volume one to check a few things as times progressed. I wish they thought more about when to collect monthlies rather than just make them all the same size.....

Also, I feel constrained to say that the way this book scatters hot dead chicks in their altogethers around is lazy and prurient.
a couple days


046) Coffin Hill: Forest of the Night by Caitlin Kittredge and Inaki Miranda, finished June 4

This is the first collection of a monthly for-adults horror comic from Vertigo. It has a complicated mess of backstory focused in the last decade but going back centuries and still hasn't quite come together to make sense. Visually, it's pretty cool (though character design is pretty everyday), but ultimately I'm not feeling much substance (just a relly good facsimile thereof). Both this and volume two were sitting on the new-fiction shelf at the library, so, since I have it, I might read it as well. Maybe I'll like what comes next. As it is though, if I want to read beautiful New England girls with evil and magic and witches killed centuries ago, I'll just rerereread Rachel Rising.

But now that I've knocked it, I should add that I do appreciate that it didn't read like anything else I've read lately from the big monthly publishers. So props there.
under a week

Previously in 2014 . . . . :

Books forty-sixth through fifty-first
051) Men of Wrath by Jason Aaron and Ron Garney, finished June 10
050) X-Men: No More Humans by Mike Carey & Salvador Larroca & al., finished June 9
049) Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn, finished June 9
048) Miracleman Book 2: The Red King Syndrome by Alan Moore (not credited by name) and a bunch of other people, finished June 6
047) Coffin Hill: Dark Endeavors by Caitlin Kittredge and Inaki Miranda, finished June 6
046) Coffin Hill: Forest of the Night by Caitlin Kittredge and Inaki Miranda, finished June 4

Books forty-second through forty-fifth
045) Castle Waiting: The Lucky Road by Linda Medley, finished at midnight so either June 2 or 3
044) The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami and translated by Ted Goossen, finished June 2
043) The Round House by Louise Erdich, finished June 1
042) Best American Comics 2014 edited by Scott McCloud, finished May 31

Books thirty-seventh through forty-first
041) The Brothers K by David James Duncan, finished May 18
040) Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis, finished May 18
039) Skandalon by Julie Maron, finished May 1
038) The Final Story by Jeff Shaara, finished April 29
037) Shutter Volume 1: Wanderlost by Joe Keatinge and Leila Del Duca et al, finished April 29

Books thirty-second through thirty-sixth
036) The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis, finished April 27
035) Zero Volume 1: An Emergency by Ales Kot et al, finished April 22
034) Deadly Class Volume 1: Reagan Youth by Rick Remender, finished April 19
033) Animal Man Vol. 4: Splinter Species by Jeff Lemire et al, finished April 17
032) Swamp Thing Vol. 4: Seeder by Charles Soule et al, finished April 15

Books twenty-eighth through thirty-first
031) Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, finished April 6
030) The Frangipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith, finished April 2
029) The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Wisdom and Wit in the Wild West by Steve Sheinkin, finished March 29
028) Vivian Maier: Self-Portraits edited by John Maloof, finished March 23

Books twenty-sixth through twenty-seventh
027) Passing by Nella Larsen, finished March 18
026) Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson, finished March 17

Books twenty-second through twenty-fifth
025) Ghost World by Daniel Clowes and Terry Zwigoff, finished March 16
024) Hawkeye: L.A. Woman by Matt Fraction and some very talented artists, finished March 15
023) Hawkeye: Little Hits by Matt Fraction and a large number of artists, finished March 14
022) Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction and David Aja and Javier Pulido, finished March 12

Books twentienth through twenty-first
021) Does Santa Exist?: A Philosophical Investigation by Eric Kaplan, finished March 11
020) Babymouse #8: Puppy Love by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, finished March 11

Books sixteenth through ninteenth
019) The Book of Mormon, finished March 3
018) Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse by Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos, finished March 1
017) Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle, finished February 26
016) Drawings II by Jake Parker, finished February 19

Books twelfth through fifteenth
015) The PreHistory of The Far Side: A 10th Anniversary Exhibit by Gary Larson, finished February 18
014) Nation by Terry Pratchett, finished February 16
013) Fences by August Wilson, finished February 10
012) Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, finished February 6

Books tenth through eleventh
011) Adverbs by Daniel Handler, finished February 4
010) Death by Chocolate: Redux by David Yurkovich, finished February 3

Books sixth through ninth
009) The End of the World by Don Hertzfeldt, finished January 31
008) Ms. Marvel: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, finished January 24
007) Drop Shot by Harlan Coben, finished January 18
006) Cardboard by Doug TenNaple, finished January 15

Books first through fifth
005) The Complete Peanuts: 1991-1992 by Charles M. Schulz, finished January 10
004) City of Brick and Shadow by Tim Wirkus, finished January 9
003) Harem Scarem in El Cerrito by Neva Calvert Carpenter, finished January 4
002) iPlates Volume II: Prophets, Priests, Rebels, and Kings by Stephen Carter and Jett Atwood, finished January 4
001) Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, finished January 3

final booky posts of

2014 = 2013 = 2012 = 2011 = 2010 = 2009 = 2008 = 2007

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