Monday, March 14, 2011

Reader's Diary

Oops!  I had promised a new content post last week and totally dropped the ball.  I apologize, and continue to try and improve both the quality and quantity of these posts.

Today, I thought I'd take a brief look at a handful of graphic novels I've read recently.  I didn't have a whole lot to say about any of them, but I wanted to make note here of having read them.  It was always my intention for this blog to be an accurate reflection of my comics reading life, so I may do more of these "Reader's Diary" posts in the future.  All of these books are parts of series, many with new volumes just out or soon to be published.  It's tough keeping up with reading all of the good comics out there, let alone blogging about them!

I purchased You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation, the second and final collection of comic book stories by the golden age artist Fletcher Hanks, during a recent Fantagraphics sale.  While the stories in this volume aren't as good as those collected in I Shall Destroy All The Civilised Planets, it is wonderful to have the entirety of Hanks's work collected in these two books, both edited by Paul Karasik.

I also enjoyed Fantagraphics latest Jacques Tardi release, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec Volume 1: Pterror Over Paris and The Eiffel Tower Demon.  This book collects the first two adventures of Tardi's World War I era heroine, a crime writer who becomes involved in a series of complex adventures, often with supernatural overtones.  Tardi is constantly confounding my expectations as a reader.  I never know what to expect from this versatile creator, and was only slightly disappointed that this book does not follow the design of previous Tardi releases from the publisher.  Also in the minor gripes department, I would have liked a little bit of context as to where these stories fall in Tardi's oeuvre, something that was nicely handled in the previous books.  That information is available, of course....I found out from the Fantagraphics catalogue that Adele is Tardi's most popular creation, her first adventures were published in the 1970s, and there are nine volumes to date, with a tenth imminent.

I spent some time recently catching up with The John Stanley Library, a series of hardcover books published by Drawn & Quarterly and beautifully designed by the cartoonist Seth.  I read the 2nd volumes of Melvin Monster and Nancy, and the first volume of Tubby.  I like how Stanley always finds a way to inject fantasy into all of his comics.  In Little Lulu, this is accomplished by the stories Lulu tells her bratty neighbor, Alvin.  Tubby is visited in some of his adventures by a tiny Martian friend, and Nancy is reluctantly befriended by the creepy Oona Goosepimple, a great character who injects a bit of Adams Family style weirdness into the stories.  Melvin Monster is of course a full-on fantasy story about a family of monsters, and is my favorite of all of Stanley's works.  A third volume has just been published.

Finally, The Smurfette is the fourth book in Papercutz's new series of Smurfs graphic novels, reprinting the original comics by Peyo.  I caught a bit of the old Smurfs cartoon on TV last night, and realized that the Smurfs have to be the most faithful adaptation of a comic to another medium ever.  Stories, characters, and drawing style all made the transition from page to screen virtually unaltered.  Too bad the producers of the upcoming film seem not to have taken the same approach...


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home