Haven’t had too much time recently for leisure reading, let alone trawling the library for various graphic novels, trade paperbacks and other items of interest. Normally, I’d read on the train but I’ve had to drive into work much more this semester and what time I have had for reading on the train has been spent in part reading journal articles or reading material for courses I’m teaching.
That said, I have managed to read a few lately and here are some random thoughts about them.
Firstly, I managed to track down a copy of “Rex Libris: I, Librarian” by James Turner. Think Indiana Jones meets Mean in Black meets the library. So librarians are actually highly trained agents of a secret organisation that seeks to promote and protect human civilzation, and will go to great lengths to promote that agenda. The mild mannered librarian is just a front, and patrons (from as far away as outer space or spirit realms) will be pursued by ‘armed and dangerous’ librarians for the overdue books etc. The humor is dry, there’s some interesting philosophical discussion at points, and it works well in the black-and-white vector format. Definitely work a look at.
You can find out more at:
I’ve also just finished Craig Thompson’s graphic novel “Blankets”, which is possibly the longest graphic novel I’ve ever read (582 pages!). It’s basically an autobiography by Thompson describing his childhood growing up in American fundamentalism/evangelicalism, his first love, and his early adulthood. It’s hard work in places, and Thompson’s art isn’t always to my liking, but it’s a very good example of using this format to tell a story.
More information over at:
- Blankets (graphic novel) – Wikipedia
- Topic Shelf Productions – Blankets by Craig Thompson (including preview)
Also, in anticipation of the movie coming out next year I’ve been reading Alan Moore’s “Watchmen”. Credited as one of the most significant graphic novel/comics ever produced, it’s far too complex for me to describe here. (See description over at Watchmen – Wikipedia). It will be interesting to see if the movie is true to the book’s alternate American history set in the 70/80s Cold War, or whether it is revisioned for the contemporary world. My other concern is that the book is really intellectually engaging – whether that comes across in the movie remains to be seen. This is as much a deconstruction of the popular superhero mythos as a critique of Western values. You can look at the film trailer over here.
Finally, I also read “Infinite Crisis”, in the vague hope it’d clear up some confusion over the current state of the DC comics universe(s). Didn’t work for me – to disjointed and definitely not as good as it could have been.