ABC and 123


064) The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg, finished August 15

So I just read another Early Earth book (which I loved), and the library provided me with another. Just like that! This, I believe, came first. But the order does not matter.

This book is primarily concerned, like the other, with storytelling. This time, our primary storyteller is a young man of Nord, the land peopled by the Nord, an Inuit-like tribe. His soul has been split into pieces and he has all but one of those pieces and sets on a quest to find it. It will be found at the South Pole, protected by the woman he will love the rest of his life.

Along the way, he passes through the rest of the world and meets people, collecting and sharing stories as he goes.

Among those are the retelling of some Bible stories, only now they are Birdman stories.

If you'll excuse a dip into the vernacular, Birdman is a dick. I like his kids, Kiddo in particular, but Birdman himself is just the worst. An awful god. Petulant and full of himself and vengeful and petty. Kid is sometimes that way as well, but it's largely to please Birdman. Kiddo is better at standing up for what she cares for. She's the god of choice, if you're given one.

For a book that is very happy being funny pictures, this godhead feels as real and true as any of classic myth---at least to meymmv. Although there are many many reasons to read these books of Ms Greenberg's, I think the religious element is foremost. Although this religion is in some sense satirical, it is also a fair and honest and truthful in ways fiction has best access to.
coupla weeks i guess


065) The Humans by Stephen Karam, finished August 15

This is a really really good play. About free of gimmicks. All realtime, in one go, one family, overtalking and trying to be kind at Thanksgiving. It's heartbreaking because people do dumb things, but it won't let you hate anyone. No villains here. No one's even close.

The essay up front made a point I felt but don't know I would have made on my own. Because of their socioeconomic class, a mistake anyone could make become a mistake that may destroy lives. We're creating a world where one bad decision (or even one day of bad luck) can ruin everything you've built.

It's not fair.

But what can we do besides roll up our pants and keep walking?


066) Space Cat by Ruthven Todd, finished August 16

This was pulished as the Fifties opened and includes a lot of best-guess near-future science fiction along with some over-the-top weird, made-up (fun) stuff. So you have a moon covered in fine dust and rockets that land on their ends, but you also have sentient moon plants living in caves.

Not to mention a cat almost worthy of Esther Averill who manipulates the military into making him a suit and sending him to space along with his human buddy.

I liked the book quite a bit. It has three sequels, two of which are in our library system. I don't know for sure if I'll read them, but one thing's for sure. In this case, the classic is superior.
one day


067) Strip Search: Revealing Today's Best College Cartoonists, finished August 16

This apparently one-year lived plan involved combing the country's universities and publishing their best cartoonists. The results are nicely varied. The grandprize winner is about ready for syndication; on the other end is a proto-Wondermark panel. This being 1999, there are a couple Far Side ripoffs. One, by Tony Morris, contained two gags I know I've seen before and my guess would have been Far Side, but surely Andrew McMeel would have recognized that. Perhaps these exact strips I've seen before or later someone ripped him off. Anyway, I can't find him online today. (And he had a panel AND a strip in this book!)

My favorite was a gratesque afterlife strip by Eric Jones (who I don't think but might be this guy). In my opinion, it was the most adventurous and surprising strip in the book.

Here are the others I DID find online, starting with our grand-prize winner. Stephen Emond, Jacob M. Lightbody, Jan Thomas, Josh Rose, Matthew Wiegle, Alan Davy, David Kellett, Dan Lee (maybe), Cathy Nolan, Donny Fort, Kyle Haradedian, Victor Hernandez, Ted Dawson.

I guess that's not a bad percentage. A bit under half.
one day


068) A Contract with God by Will Eisner, finished August 18

This is high on my list of Books I'm Embarrassed Not to Have Read, so it's nice to check it off. I'm also glad to say that this seminal work holds up excellently. Although there were precedents, the first "graphic novel" was, in a very real way, this.

Tenement stories from between the Wars. My favorite of the four is the title tale, but each includes well drawn and sympathetic characters. He's the Father of the artform for good reason.

three noncontiguous days


The other books of 2018

1 – 4
001) Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 3 by Ta-Nehisi Coates &‎ Brian Stelfreeze & al., finished January
002) The Complete Peanuts 1950-2000 by Charles M. Schulz & al., finished January
003) The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, finished January 10
004) El Deafo by Cece Bell, finished January 12

5 – 9
005) Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack, finished January 13
006) Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve by Ben Blatt, finished January 15
007) Glister by Andi Watson, finished January 18
008) Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, finished January 20
009) The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun by J.R.R. Tolkien, finished January 21

10 – 11
010) The Vision by Tom King et al., finished January 23
011) Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds, finished January 24

16 – 16
012) Anthem by Ayn Rand, finished February 8
013) The City in Which I Love You by Li-Young Lee, finished February 14
014) Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle, finished February 21
015) It Needs to Look Like We Tried by Todd Robert Petersen, finished March 7
016, 017) Fences by August Wilson, finished March 8

18 – 20
018) The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton, finished March 13
019) Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away by Tim Leong, finished March 22
020) Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen, finished March 25

21 – 25
021) M Is for Malice by Sue Grafton, finished March 28
022) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany; finished March 31
023) It All Started with Hippocrates: A Mercifully Brief History of Medicine by Richard Armour, finished April 6
024) Don't Bump the Glump by Shel Silverstein, finished April 14
025) Coriolanus by Wm Shakespeare, finished April 16

26 – 32
026) The Trouble with Reality by Brooke Gladstone, finished April 24
027, 28) Coriolanus by William Shakespeare, finished April 26
029) The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost, finished April 28
030) Twisted Tales from Shakespeare by Richard Armour, finished April 28 or April 29 depending on when midnight happened
031) Bless The Child: A Romance of Redemption and Glory in the Ancient World by David J. West, finished May 1
032) The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody by Will Cuppy, finished May 3

32 – 34
032) Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, finished May 9
033) Stargazing Dog by Takashi Murakami, finished May 9
034) Vader Down by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato, finished May 18

035) The Book of Mormon: A Reader's Edition edited by Grant Hardy, finished May 23

36 – 50
036) Bad Kitty Camp Daze by Nick Bruel, finished May 24
037) I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups by Chris Harris, finished May 24
038) The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua, finished May 30
039) Princess Leia by Mark Waid et al, finished May 30
040) Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral, finished June 12
041) Everything You Need to Know About a Mission by Ralph Thomas, finished June 13
042) The Invisibles by Grant Morrison et al, finished June 14
043) The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe, finished June 15
044) Material Volume 1 by Ales Kot & Will Tempest & al., finished June 23
045) Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav, finished June 30
046) The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins, finished July 7
047) Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier Vol. 1: The Man On The Wall by Ales Kos, finished July 7
048) Monster Verse: Poems Human and Inhuman edited by Tony Barnstone & Michelle Mitchell-Foust, finished July 10
049) Poems Dead and Undead edited by Tony Barnstone & Michelle Mitchell-Foust, finished July 10
050) Mary's Monster by Lita Judge, finished July 11

51 – 57
051) Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, finished July 18
052) Hostage by Guy Delisle, finished July 21
053) The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg, finished July 22
054) Paper Girls, Vol 4 by Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, finished July 24
055) Chocolate: The Consuming Passion by Sandra Boynton, finished July 25
056) [Aelian's] On the Nature of Animals translated by Gregory McNamee, finished July 27
057) Blue Yodel by Ansel Alkins, finished July 27

58 – 63
058) The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater, finished July 31
059) Bandette Volume 1: Presto! by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, finished July 31
060) Legends of Zita the Space Girl by Ben Hatke, finished August 3
061) Darth Vader: End of Games by Kieron Gillen & Salvador Larroca, finished August 6
062) How to Read Nancy by Paul Karasik & Mark Newgarden, finished August 10
063) The Selected Poems of Donald Hall by Donald Hall, finished August 14

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

* the most recent post in this series *

final booky posts of
2007 = 2008 = 2009 = 2010 = 2011 = 2012 = 2013 = 2014 = 2015 = 2016 = 2017

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