Not much going on this week.
- I read a few more chapters in Sante’s The Other Paris. I’ve never been to Paris and not even read that many books set there. David Beauchard has probably done more for me than Blaise Cendrars or even more importantly Georges Perec did little to flesh out the map in my head. Movies? A few, but I still have no sense of place. My sense of history there is weaker than it should be. It’s necessary to cross-reference a lot of things in order to appreciate the connections he’s making fully. It’s an easily approachable book, but I still feel inadequate. It’s also easy to come away ashamed of being as sedentary as I am now. That period when my friends and I were essentially flâneurs of Hammond and New Orleans were too brief… although in reality that period lasted over a decade.
- Eco’s Numero Zero. It’s funnier than I expected, but I’ve misplaced it.
- No comics. I need to calm the fuck down with the comic books. I have no shame in reading them, but it’s an expensive habit that I cannot afford other than in small doses. I got sloppy there one week and I’m still kicking myself.
- Jessica Jones. Eh… I’m going to keep watching it, but I feel a little manipulated. Some of the narrating and dialogue have lines that make me wince, being old noir detectives tropes. There’s too much telegraphing jaded and damaged there. I’ll stick it out to the end because I’m a comic book junky who dug Alias, but the breathless binge watchers on Twitter have me scratching my head.
- The Man in the High Tower. Honestly this is more enjoyable to watch. I watched the second episode of this last night too. There’s more of that button pushing I feel more directly as a parent now. Fucking horror porn… the evil is just too evil, even though a quick peek at real news makes it more plausible. Fascism is lurking everywhere. Odd little world they have there. It’s been about 25 years or so since I read the book.
Off to work.
- Airboy #3. Because it’s now in the world of Airboy, there’s less semi-autobiographical loathing and more mainstream standard comic book fare. It gave me more of a chance to pore over Greg Hinkle’s art. Only now have a discovered there was a controversy about transphobia being depicted in issue #2. Oh, for fuck’s sake… it’s damned clear that Robinson is tearing chunks of flesh of himself in this one. It’s not sympathetic to transphobia.
- Joe Golem: Occult Detective. I skipped the Joe Golem novels, because, fuck it- I wanted a comic book of it. I have my comic book and it looks pretty fun, in that same vein of retro pulp that I dig from Mignola. Esoteric occult, post apocalyptic weirdness, set in a past that never existed. Now that Hellboy’s universe is near wrecked, this is a interesting playground.
- Howard the Duck #1. Eh, kill me. I’m into Howard the Duck. I swore that i’d read Gerber since i was a kid and never did. Maybe that’s why Chip Zdarsky’s take works so well. Marvel has quite a few silly titles these days. My comic budget requires I cut my experiments down and it’s going to mean much of the Marvel I planned to read needs to go. I’m tempted to keep all of the silly titles and drop the
- The Vision #1. I wasn’t prepared. I snagged this based on teaser art that turned out not to be the cover or the story. Solid art that supports a startling depressing story when a low-key whimsical one was expected.
- Karnak #1. MY LCS has been shorted for weeks. I was so excited. Ehhh… not feeling it. The art is dark and broooding- fun to look at it. No complaints there! The concept is great, especially from someone like Eliis. Recently resurrected warrior monk who sees the flaw in everything and is a cold bastard about it. However, the pacing itself seemed off and the pithy Ellis statements I expected didn’t seem to pop. It’s not the instant success Moon Knight felt like. He might have been writing this during his medical weirdness. I’ll check. Or I’ll just re-read it soon and realize I was wrong.
- Paper Girls #2. Too short. (Kat had the same reaction.)
- Hangman #1. Art’s ok, but nope. I didn’t enjoy it one bit. It’s intended for an audience other than me.
This week (11.11.15) was a much stronger haul and I’ll get to those later hopefully
Someone wound up posting the same Alan Moore video on Metafilter and commenters added some more links.
Alan Moore answers 75 questions from readers on Goodreads. Whew. That’s a lot to chew through and that’s a significant factor in hwy I appreciate him so much. He’s eager to engage and share.
- Robert Altman gets a thumb’s up and John Waters gets a scolding for elevating scum like John Wayne Gacy. (I’ve not watched that Altman film, nor have I seen Polanski’s “Repulsion”.)
- He loves The Blind Owl! This is no surprise, but it’s still great to see in print. Reading the quotes from the book on the Wikipedia entry remind me that it’s right in Moore’s wheelhouse. Flann O’Brien too. Heh.
- He’s perfectly justified to turn up his nose as DC, but he’s being petty about most of his work there. He waves off any love for John Constantine for most of his existence. Oddly, he loves Garth Ennis, which makes me wonder where his cutoff point on Constantine is. I have no affinity for the work of Ennis. Eh, my favorite Constantine is Jamie Delano’s anyway. It’s baffling why anyone would want Moore to write any comic for DC or Marvel at this point.
- It’s fun to see how he waves off he doesn’t read comics much, but he’s familiar with Phonogram, The Wicked + the Divine, and Saga. Oh, you fibbing old bastard. He mentions Si Spurrier and I feel a twinge of guilt for not picking up The Spire. That’s a wrong that needs righting.
- He’s met a demon from the Book of Tobit, eh? Asmodeus?
- Has he ever visited Providence, Rhode Island: ” I’m a big fan of remote viewing.” Ha!
- Lynd Ward. This seems like something Biblioklept posted and I passed to a coworker at bookstore, then forgot. Oops. Madman’s Drum. I need to remember that.
Annotations of Moore’s Providence. I’ve not yet read Providence yet. I probably should have scooped up that comic, but Neonomicon got under my skin in a way I didn’t like. As impressive as it was, I hesitate to go for a second helping of that horror.
Whaddya know? Titan Comics recently published The 6 Voyages of Lone Sloane Vol. 1 by Philippe Druillet.
Lone Sloane, couverture Pilote.
La Saga Elric
Dragon’s Dream. Yragael Urm
He’s on a Lovecraft tangent, calling him a closet modernist.
Disinformation has an interview with Alejandro Jodorowsky. It’s Jodorowsky being Jodorowsky.
The nifty thing about that was the interviewer mentioning the artists Philippe Druillet and Enki Bilal. I looked up their work and all of it is familiar, probably from those same old copies of Heavy Metal I read on the school bus ’77 to ’81. (Yragael: Urm is extremely familiar.) If I ever knew their names, I forgot them.
Kat bought “Jodorowsky’s Dune” for a birthday of mine, and I’ve yet to remember to watch it. Looking up these guys in connection with that project, led me to those illustrations from an early script that made quite the splash recently, and then led to the comic strip, Fabulas Panicas, which I know I’ve never seen before.
Sometimes I miss the older days of the internet, but not on days like this. None of this was online in such detail even a decade ago. Cry for Grantland all you like.
More kneejerk reactions to comics. No, these aren’t review:
- Papergirls #1. The girl at the LCS recommended it, even though I’d already snagged it at my own bookstore. I thought it was a pretty good callback to everything fun about the ’80s. I’ve been on a bit of a nostalgia trip about that already, wishing Elijah could have as much fun semi-disposable adventure pulp to chew through when he’s old enough. Chiang’s art is easy to appreciate. Kat loved it. She confiscated my copy for her own collection.
- Black Magick #1. Not feeling this. Art is nice photorealistic style, but the occult cop walking into a hostage negotiation felt a little too pastiche and not reinvention. Again, this is the sort of thing that I’m often wrong about in the long run. So many people on forums were declaring this to be their favorite debut in quite some time. Recent Rucka interview.
- Art Ops #1. This is more my thing. It’s still hitting too many familiar beats (dead girlfriend, tragic attack resulting establishing flawed protagonist, mysterious toppling of agency that holds back the chaos) in setting up a comic, but Allred’s more my style.
- Captain America: Sam Wilson #2. I was pleasantly surprised by how Spencer put Captain America back on track in engaging American issues again. He makes a deft pivot tricking readers who thought he might be turning Steve Rogers the heel in issue #1, having him oppose Wilson in a plausible way. It’s fun to see how light he makes this in contrast to Brubaker’s run, despite the heavy issues, substituting SHIELD assembling fragments of a Cosmic Cube for what seems to be drone attacks. The commentary is there, but it makes no pretense of the medium it’s in.
- Karnak #1. My LCS has still not put this in my hand. They keep getting short-ordered.
- Island #4. It’s embarrassing I haven’t read Pop Gun War yet. I ordered it just now after it being on my wishlist for close to ten years, something I didn’t realize when I was reading Wrenchies. I love that it’s an anthology that keeps tossing out stories that have me itching for another installment, only to have me completely forget what I was waiting for when a different creator drops in another piece. I’ve loaned Wrenchies and all of my Prophets to a comic artist friend at work in hopes of converting him. I cannot figure out why Roque Romero’s work looks so familiar. Yay- more Multiple Warheads. The Gael Bertrand piece I could have followed for hundreds of pages. Island has a great running theme with dealing with spaces and environments. Very immersive.
- From Under Mountains #1 & #2. I’m undecided on this one, but I’ll still keep buying it. It’s slow unfolding, but that’s not a fault. #1 sets up the conflicts. #2 sets up the worldbuilding. As sparse as it it, it feels smart, but I’m nagged by it feeling more like a sketch than a fully developed story. I’m not quite there on the art, but I like her other work. It still deserves my attention.
More stuff from last few weeks, but good enough for now. Elijah running me in circles today. Otherwise, this might get stuck in draft for a few months, then deleted.
No, I’m not bored with blogging. A minor cold has laid me low. It was bad enough that I threw in the towel at work to go home. It’s rare when manager shifts overlap, meaning we all have to suffer through our schedules. There’s no leeway for sickness or emergencies without uprooting someone else’s life. Sometimes that’s impossible. I was lucky enough to have another manager come in at same time I did.
It’s the Louisiana governor’s race that has been my primary distraction. The number of vocal Vitter dead-enders online stuns me.
Yesterday evening, after Elijah went to bed, I put boards in the bags of some of my comics mostly from the ’80s. Hardly any of them are worth anything. A friend swiped my early issues of Sandman many years ago. Most of my issues are Watchmen are somehow missing now too. The first printing of the Killing Joke is supposed to be in those long boxes but it has yet to surface. The art in many of the superhero comics I bought then was outright boring. However, some of the outlier trash that surfaced was more interesting than the random issues of Captain America, Batman, and Daredevil that turned up. What the hell was wrong with me to buy Slash Maraud?! It’s godawful embarrassing shit, but I’m glad I have it, much as I love having those seven issues of Sonic Disruptors stowed away. Tailgunner Jo is in there somewhere too, although I don’t recall it being junk, just relatively obscure, and Haywire, which was indeed junk. Then again, I could have just bought more Batman comics.
I went back to my comfort zone after that dip by laying out many of early Hellblazers to bask in the glory of Dave McKean covers.
Dark Horse will be reprinting the works of Moebius in the United States for the first time in 20 years. This was announced at the New York Comic Con and slipped right past me, until I was reading this piece in the Paris Review on Moebius by Robert Pranzatelli just now. I’m outight giddy with excitement. Affordable editions of his work have been out of my reach my whole life, because even when they were in print here, I had no money.
Some of the post Secret Wars Marvel titles have been underwhelming me. I reserve pointing fingers at the disappointing ones yet, as I might just have Marvel fatigue yet again. One that surprised me in a good way is Sam Wilson: Captain America #1. This wasn’t even a comic I was planning on picking up, but it popped up in the limited titles my bookstore carries. I bought it yesterday, read it last night, and liked it quite a bit. It didn’t blow my mind. It’s a solid start that echoed the beginning of the excellent Brubaker run, realigning itself for looming social issues that fit our era better than what was going on back in 2005. With Acuña on art plus Spencer digging into racism and nativism, I’ll commit to it.
The Sons of the Serpent are stand-ins for the Oath Keepers and the Minutemen Project militia, obviously. The Sons of the Serpent have always been racists. I’ll be genuinely surprised if Spencer doesn’t connect them to the Gadsden flag. In fact, I should tweet at him. Ah, the miracles of Twitter! When it’s superhero comics, most people have to be in silly costumes. So it goes.
Now I’m finding out that the new Captain America is pissing off the usual suspects. Good.