061) Bad Kitty for President by Nick Bruel, finished November 27
The Bad Kitty books are about a hundred thirty pages, heavily illustrated, smart, funny. This one teaches about presidential elections and it's a bit uncomfortably on the nose at times for a four-year-old book. Also, I'm so charmed that Bruel is able to talk to a cat for so many pages and never lose me.one day
061) The Sculptor by Scott McCloud, finished November 26
depending on how you count, either twelve months or two, three days
I ended up returning to my original plan and picked it up from a local comic shop (this one this time). I was with a kid and he read his comic and I read 20+ pages of mine as we ate the best known gelato. Then I tried to pretend like I didn't just buy a giant book for myself right before Christmas so I stashed it on my nightstand and didn't touch it for about a year.
When I picked it up again, I just started over.
And then read it through.
As I intend to do again.
Scott McCloud has just proved he is not merely a theorist.
This is a beautiful book about the difficulty in balancing a life of art and a life of human relationships, and it does it with tools I've never before seen applied to the question. It's nuanced and ambiguous and beautiful and sad and happy. Upon finishing it, all I wanted to do was create and to kiss.
Which aren't, in the end, all that different.
059) Thurber by Burton Bernstein, finished November 21
at least eighteen months possibly three years
The text is problematic and it's easy for me to see why it made some of Thurber's family and friends angry, as well as why modern readers sometimes find is unreadable. Bernstein gets fixated on lesser topics like whether or not adolescent writings yet smell of genius or young Thurber's prolonged virginity. But I find these things easy to excuse because I loved living my hero's life. I flew through the early years. Once he hit success, I slowed down quite a bit, and he certainly doesn't always come off like a winner. Sometimes the pages-long quotations from letters is great and sometimes I wish Bernstein would have edited his sources a bit more.
Regardless, the book never became a chore, a thing I Just Have to Finish. I always was happy when I picked it up, even when his life was falling apart or he was disappointing me. The people you love will disappoint you. Certainly Thurber had something to say about that.
I don't know if I should recommend the book or not. If you want to read a biography of Thurber, there are other options. (Here are one and two.) Bernstein's came first which makes it important, but not necessarily best. Which is best? I don't know. If another one comes to me, I'll read it, but for now, it's been too too long since I've simply read the man himself. Whether I'll start with an old favorite or something I've only recently acquired, I don't know, but 2017 is not far away.
058) The Complete Peanuts 1997 to 1998 by Charles M. Schulz, finished November 19
Rerun's on the cover of this volume, and rightly so. He has emerged as a vibrant and full character, consistently funny and honestly sweet. This entire collection is filled with an artist still at the peak of innovation. Andy and Olaf travelling the country hasn't quite figured itself out yet, but you can see it happening. Snoopy as a Valley Forge soldier, given another ten years of Peanuts, might well have become as iconic as the WWI Flying Ace.a month
Amazing. Forty-eight years and still going strong.
One of the truly great American originals.
Previously in 2016