July Reading

I’m behind on my reading posts, so here’s part one of me catching up.

For July I decided to take a break from regular old just plain text and tackle the stack of unread comics that was threatening to topple over and crush me or a loved one. So here’s all the comicking I did during the month.

MOME vols 1-10 (various, Fantagraphics)

Are you interested in comics that aren’t about superheroes or wizards or ninjas? Would you like to read more stories about everyday people dealing with everyday issues? Are you interested in writing, art, and humor that pushes the envelope? And would you like to be cured of all this? Then I heartily endorse the MOME series.

Maybe it’s just that ten-in-a-row is way too much MOME for any human, I don’t know. But man, there was a whole lot of nothing here. Paul Hornschemeier does an excruciatingly drawn out look of a woman who, over several issues, sleeps with the guy from the ice cream shop and regrets it. There’s a bunch of the same tired “Oh my god that’s so wrong” humor. There’s everyone and his accountant illustrating their dreams. And Sophie Crumb, good grief the Sophie Crumb.

There was some stuff I enjoyed but I don’t remember enough of it to tell you what it was. All I know was, after it was over, I suddenly wanted to read every X-Men book I could get my hands on and that, friends, is no way to live.

Emma vols 5-7 (Kaoru Mori, CMX)

Becky gives me grief about reading a manga about a maid in Victorian England who falls in love with a gentleman who is well above her social status, but it was a sweet and fun book. This is not to say I’m going to continue with other maid-related manga, but it was a nice change from the usual for me.

Dragon Head vols 7-10 (Minetaro Mochizuki, Tokyopop)

More manga. I finished out this intriguing and gripping series. I highly recommend this title. There are very few books, movies, or TV shows I’ve seen that capture the feeling of capital-A Apocalypse so well. I’m not going to spoil the ending, but while I’m sure a lot of folks might have a problem with it, I find it to be 100% appropriate. Great series.

Dungeon (various volumes, Louis Trondheim and Joann Sfar, NBM)

Utterly delightful books that I’m going to talk about at greater length soon.

Hikaru No Go vols 9-12 (Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata, Viz)

This series just gets more and more fun. I really would like to see, though, a girlfriend for Hikaru. I know it’s a “sports” manga and playing Go is the main subject, but it would be nice to see Hikaru have to deal with a non-Go issue for a bit.

Rex Mundi vols 3 and 4 (Arvid Nelson, Dark Horse)

Okay, so I like this alright? But I really can’t say why. There’s magic in it, but it serves no real purpose. It’s an alternate history, which is nice, except that World War II happens earlier here and a French dude is Hitler. And then there’s a mystery about the Holy Grail that looks like all the basic boilerplate Mary Magdalene, Templars, Merovingians stuff yet again. But still I read it. No idea.

I also got caught up on Wasteland, BPRD, some Showcases, and Usagi Yojimbo, but all of that is good stuff and I’ve raved about it enough before.

Tomorrow: August Reading!

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3 Responses to July Reading

  1. Dave says:

    Didn’t read it. From the looks of the link it’s not my thing.

  2. Otro Dave says:

    I think indie comics have the same problem that indie music and films do; it’s often just a lowered bar. Pointless conversation pieces between two vaguely boho or middle American people are automatically considered high art. Existential angst and random bullshit are considered worthwhile for their own sake. It’s tempting to just write off Sophi Crumb as having notoriety for being R. Crumb’s kid, but I suspect her popularity has as much to do with her self-important black and white scribbles, gold to comics snobs (to be honest, I never liked her dad’s stuff either). Every girl with an ironic t shirt who can draw a human form (and some who can’t) and every guy who worships the Hernandez bros thinks they’re a genius and comic connoisseurs who look down their nose at you for reading Scott Pilgrim or superhero books eat it up.

    I went to a warehouse indie rock show several years ago, and there was this atrocious band there. I forget their name, but they wore improvised retro costumes and played out of tune noise, and the crowd LOVED them. They sold records at the end of the night which turned out to just be circles of plastic, and people thought it was funny. I was just thinking shit, I didn’t like Andy Warhol that much the first time, you know? Or you check out these newer bands like Lavender Diamond and whatever’s on K or Dischord or Touch and Go this week and you realize that they all have this vintage sweater wearing, introspective kitsch thing down so it doesn’t matter if they’re producing anything worthwhile. And the same way these shit bands get lumped with Q and Not U’s “Power” or Mirah’s “C’Mon Miracle”, these shit comics get lumped with Exit Wounds and Demo. I won’t even get into “indie” films produced by Warner Bros, but you get the point. Fantagraphics just seems like a company dedicated to this principle.