Sunday, October 26, 2014

September Reads Part III

Yes, October is nearly over and I’m just finishing September’s reads. I can’t wait to see how far behind I’ll get during the holidays... Well, regardless, here’s the last of the September reads (and in case you missed them, here’s Part I and Part II): 

Youth is Wasted (2014) Noah Van Sciver (Adhouse Books)

Van Sciver’s short stories are honest, daring, often hilarious, and impossible to ignore. After reading this collection, I certainly want to check out his 2012 graphic novel The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln


An Iranian Metamorphosis (2012/2014) Mana Neyestani (Uncivilized Books)

An exceptional graphic memoir by Neyestani, an Iranian cartoonist whose cartoons featured in a children's publication landed him in a prison nightmare worthy of Kafka. While Kafka's Metamorphosis is a clear inspiration for this black and white graphic novel, it is not heavily derivative of that work. Neyestani instead creates something with a hint of the bizarre, yet very personal, unique and moving. Seek this out!


Thor: God of Thunder, Vol. 1: The God Butcher (2013) Jason Aaron, Esad Ribic (Marvel NOW!) 

The God Butcher tells the story of Thor during three periods of his life: the young Thor, the modern day Thor of the Avengers, and a future wearied, nearly depleted Thor. All the while, Thor battles Gorr the God Butcher, who has apparently been killing the gods for centuries. Now it’s Thor’s turn. Or is it? I love Aaron’s work on Southern Bastards and am eager to start Scalped, but despite some interesting artwork from Ribic, this book is painfully repetitive. 


Fatale, Vol. 5: Curse the Demon (2014) Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips (Image)

Brubaker and Phillips bring the story of the mysterious Josephine to a wild and satisfying conclusion. Now that the series is complete, noir and/or horror fans have no reason not to experience this stunning work. 


Hicksville (1998) Dylan Horrocks (Drawn & Quarterly) 

I first heard of Dylan Horrocks after reading his short story “Steam Girl” in Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rick and Strange Stories edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant I instantly fell in love with Horrocks’s modern-day story of two young social outcasts and knew I’d want to read more of his work. After reading Hicksville, Horrocks’s work has now become a must-buy. 

Hicksville is the story of Leonard Batts, a young man who travels to New Zealand to gather research for a biography of world-famous cartoonist Dick Burger. When Batts arrives in Burger’s hometown of Hicksville, he can’t believe all the animosity the locals have toward cartoon legend. Hicksville is so rich in its storytelling, character development and pacing that it’s almost too good to be true. This is a book I plan to return to again and again. I can’t say that about very many books, but few are as good as Hicksville


White Cube (2013/2014) Brecht Vandenbroucke (Drawn & Quarterly)

Belgian cartoonist/illustrator Vandenbroucke’s first book is filled with color, humor, and absurdity as its two main characters - pink-faced twins - seek to understand the world of modern art. The short episodes are often hilarious jabs at the art world, but just as frequently fall flat. I think Vandenbroucke possibly assumes too much (at least as far as American audiences go) about the reader’s knowledge of art and artists, making some of the jokes go over our heads (or at least over mine). Yet I look forward to more from Bandenbroucke.


The Hidden (2011) Richard Sala (Fantagraphics) 

I love Sala’s art and the surreal/horror/German expressionism going on, but the story didn't completely work for me, at least not on a first reading. This is my first experience with Sala's work, but I hope to read more.


I’d love to hear about what you enjoyed last month...or this month! 

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