Four comics could hardly be more different


031) The Sandman: The Wake by Neil Gaiman et al, finished March 18

And so I have made it. All the way through all ten volumes. Two or three or maybe four of which I had not read before, but now have.

And it is a satisfying journey. It is. But—as is typical with my Gaiman experience—it is the short things I like better than the long things. The stories that largely stand alone more than the overall epic arc.

But I do like the arc.

And I think that's all I have to say.

possibly nine weeks

032) The World of Edena by Mœbius, finished March 23 

If I've read Mœbius before, it would have been something short and I do not remember it. Neither can I remember now what led me to finally seek out some Mœbius.

(I may have been delayed because I've often confused Mœbius with Dave Sim—perhaps because Mœbius  rhymes with Cerberus?—and seeing those massive b&w books on comicbookstore shelves was always a bit intimidating as a kid. [Not to mention his later reputation as a nut.])

Anyway, Mœbius has been a big influence on modern science-fiction film and Miyazaki and, of course, comics, so it's about time. I guess many people consider Ednea his magnum opus and it is certainly large and strange and epic, consisting of galactic mysticism and nested dreams. By the end there's no way to know what's real. If you have an allergy to surrealism, do not read.

The art is stunning and lovely, and the writing isn't self-serious even though it's stabbing at large notions like the meaning of life, the purpose of love, the role of government, the weight of dreams, etc etc. I think I'd rather read something else of his, something more grounded, but hey—now I get it.

perhaps one or perhaps three weeks


033) Three Rocks: The Story of Ernie Bushmiller, the Man Who Created Nancy by Bill Griffith, finished March 23

A lot to like about this book. I learned new details about Bushmiller himself and it includes plenty of actual strips. It's not clear exactly what Griffith's points are. He glances around to interesting bits like a moth without clear regard for order or purpose. It's like he had a checklist and figured out how to get each point into the chronology and that was that.

His memoir about his mother was a more coherent work. And other books about Nancy are more persuasive as to its qualities. This one I liked reading but the space it gave on an obvious literary hoax and the weird epilogue suggest Griffith loves Nancy beyond reason.

And I guess that's okay.

one or two weeks

034) Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, finished March 23

This crossover book doesn't just bring together the characters from the two series. Hatke is coming into his full power here. The characters have aged ever so slightly and that adjustment makes the story's thematic beats hit ever so much more effectively. I don't think his publisher would go for this (they won't even let Raina attempt this), and I don't know if he's interested, but I'd love to watch him take these characters into adulthood. Move beyond the kids-on-safe-adventures genre and see what he can do.

(Please don't interpret that desire as a knock on kid-lit. The books are great. But they have their limitations, as with any genre. I want to know what else he can do.)

two days



 2024 × 10 = Bette Davis being Bette Davis

001) Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, finished January 1
002) The Complete Peanuts: 1977 – 1978 by Charles M. Schulz , finished January 6
003) The Sandman: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman et al, finished January 10
004) Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, finished January 17
005) Touched by Walter Mosley, finished January 19
006) Opposable Thumbs: How Siskel & Ebert Changed Movies Forever by Matt Singer, finished January 20
007) Evergreen Ape: The Story of Bigfoot by David Norman Lewis, finished January 24
008) What Falls Away by Karin Anderson, finished February 1
009) Peanuts Jubilee: My Life and Art with Charlie Brown and Others by Charles M. Schulz, finished February 3
010) Legends of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, finished February 3

 A few of my favorite things

011) Roaming by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, finished February 3
012) The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, February 9
013) Things in the Basement by Ben Hatke, February 10
014) A Charlie Brown Religion: Exploring the Spiritual Life and Work of Charles M. Schulz by Stephen J. Lind, finished February 10
015) 1st Nephi: A Brief Theological Introduction by Joseph M. Spencer, finished February 10
016) Dendo by Brittany Long Olsen, finished February 11
017) The Ten Winners of the 2023 Whiting Awards, finished February 12
018) The Peanuts Papers: Writers and Cartoonists on Charlie Brown, Snoopy & the Gang, and the Meaning of Life edited by Andrew Blaune, finished February 17
019) Do Not Disturb Any Further by John Callahan, finished February 17
020) Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke, finished circa February 19
021) 2nd Nephi: A Brief Theological Introduction by Terryl Givens, February 24


Let's start with the untimely deaths

022) The Life and Death of King John by William Shakespeare, finished February 28
022) Might Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke, finished February 29
023) Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez, finished March 4
024) Millay by Edna St. Vincent Millay, finished March
025, 026) The Life and Death of King John by William Shakespeare, finished March 6, 8
027) Murder Book by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell, finished March 11
028) A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
029) The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett and Paul Kidby, finished March 15
030) Karen's Roller Skates by Ann M. Martin and Katy Farina, finished March 18

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