Monday, June 10, 2013 – 7:00 p.m.
Enjoy a cool “B” while watching Kick-Ass kick “A.” Don your mask, slip into some spandex, and grab a baton or two on your way to a free screening of Kick-Ass in the first installment of The City Library at Brewvies. Lucky superheroes will win prizes, including copies of the Kick-Ass graphic novel written by Mark Millar and illustrated by John Romita, Jr.
About Kick-Ass (from imdb.com) Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a super-hero, even though he has no powers, training or meaningful reason to do so.
Location: Brewvies, 677 South 200 West
Contact Information: (801) 524-8200
Alan Moore‘s, Bram Stoker Award winning graphic novel, Neonomicon is a mind-blowing, shocking addition to H.P. Lovecraft inspired / Cthulhu mythos fiction. Illustrated by Jacen Burrows, who’s art you might recognize from the frightening series, Crossed (another very SERIOUS horror comic). If your an Alan Moore fan or H.P. Lovecraft fan you have no choice but to pick this up.
Neonomicon was adapted from Moore‘s previous Lovecraftian short story, The Courtyard (which is collected in this graphic novel). Unlike other fictions inspired by the old gods, Moore modernizes the genre, adding critique to the controversial unspoken elements of racism and sex. Neonomicon is one of Alan Moore‘s darkest works to date and has already created quite a stir, inciting some libraries to ban the book. So get it while it’s hot!
Warning: Neonomicon puts the M in mature and the E in explicit. Not only is it not for kids, but do not…I repeat DO NOT eat Chinese food while reading this book. Mid-way through the book I just about lost my lo mein noodles. It was that awesome!
Jacen Burrows! You owe me lunch! *shaking fist*
I’m obsessed with North Korea. It all started about 5 years ago, after watching Vice Founder Shane Smith in The Vice Guide to North Korea. It was the first time I got a glimpse of the most isolated country in the world. Not just read about it, but actually “seen” it. The whole time my heart pounded and I could feel my anxiety rise. It was exciting and I felt like I was watching something forbidden…waiting for my parents to walk in at any time. Since then I’ll watch or read anything on the subject.
This is where Guy Delisle‘s Pyongyang: A Journey In North Korea comes in. It gives us a humorous look into the countries people, customs and government, from an outsiders perspective. North Korea really is a fascinatingly odd little country (at least compared to the U.S.) and if your as curious of a cat as I am, give it a read.
Available for check-out!
It rarely happens, but here’s some titles that give us warm fuzzies.
Strangers In Paradise-Francine and Katchoo Forever! SO Excited that Terry Moore is bringing back this ground breaking series sometime in 2013. (Ed. Note: Sadly not currently available at the SLCPL. But it should be, well worth acquiring.)
Fables-Snow and Bigby are the bomb! Watch how opposites attract and the backbone couple of this series emerges.
Spider-man Loves Mary Jane-This series takes the Spider-man origin stories and plays them from the POV of Mary Jane Watson. It’s fun PG comics that anyone can read. (Ed. Note: Sadly the SLCPL only has two vol. of this series, but since each volume is a one-and-down self-contained story, it really doesn’t matter. Again this is available cheap and well worth it.)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-Alan Moore won’t ever admit it, but I genuinely think that he meant this to be a romantic comedy. The banter between Miss Mina Murray and Allan Quartermain is magic.
The Rocketeer-Cliff Secord and his girlfriend Betty are such a wonderful homage of classic 30s serial characters. It’s shocking to discover that they are Dave Stevens original creations.
Most of these are available at the SLCPL for check out. Happy Valentines Day!
“What a brick…” I laughed to myself as I flipped through Anomaly, one of the largest graphic novels I have ever seen (370 pages to be exact). At first glance, I notice Anomaly is very reminiscent of Star Wars and Star Trek, which I dig. So screw it, I thought. This baby’s coming home with me. Good decision!
Earth 2717. The planet is dying and most of its population lives in space. There are no longer individual nations or corporations, just the all powerful Conglomerate who cares more about profit then life and will use any force necessary to get it. Jon, an Enforcer, joins Samantha, the daughter of a powerful Conglomerate executive, and her team on a suicidal peace mission to another world far far away. Everyone who has every traveled there, was never heard from again…
Anomaly is an anomaly among graphic novels. It’s one of the first graphic novels to create an interactive experience by combining print with a digital device, like your smart phone or tablet. Download the free interactive app, aim it at a specific image or link in the book and watch video and 3D images jump right off the page. It’s something you really have to experience. You don’t need the app to enjoy Anomaly, but its really really cool and adds even more depth to this sci-fi epic.
Available for check-out.
I’ve been trying to branch out and read more non-fiction in graphic novels so I decided to pick up “The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afganistan With Doctors Without Borders” and “How To Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less.” Both of these books had the potential to be incredibly depressing and hopeless. To whit, the conflict between Israel and Palestine seems almost completely unsolvable, from just about any perspective, “The Photographer” takes place in the mid-80′s, during the war between the Soviets and the Mujahadeen, we all know how that turned out. The books both take place in the Middle East and are viewed by outsiders who don’t entirely understand the language and the culture of the countries they are visiting and the narrators don’t have total autonomy, though for different reasons.
“The Photographer” is based on diaries, photographs and recollections by Didier Lefèvre, a French photo-journalist accompanying the humanatarian organization Doctors Without Borders. Most of the book chronicles the day-to-day work of the doctors, many of whom returned to Afganistan 2 or 3 times. For individuals like myself who are not familiar with the region or its culture, it was very illuminating to see the Muslim world depicted without any particular political bent. One of the genius aspects of this book is the incorporation of Didier’s photographs, which are often shown in sequence, not unlike film stock or comic panels. The interaction between the photos and Emmanuel Guibert’s (a close friend of Lefèvre’s who helped reconstruct the trip) art is fascinating and fairly unique in the world of comics. Beautiful, beautiful photography and from back in the olden times before digital cameras were around.
“How To Understand Israel In 60 Days or Less” by Sarah Glidden is a horse of a different color. Glidden, the writer, illustrator and narrator is travelling to Israel on an all-expense-paid Birthright Tour that all Jewish people are eligible for (once they pass a thorough background check, as illustrated towards the beginning of the book) to try see if her understanding of “the situation” between Israel and the Occupied Territories is accurate. Through the course of the tour she becomes more confused and upset, trying to cling to her “the Birthright is trying to brainwash me into thinking that Israel is in the right and Palestine is in the wrong” narrative. It is satisfying to not have Glidden come down definitively for or against Israel’s occupation at the end. Be warned, both these graphic novels are fairly long and contain a good amount of history and culture. Not easy reads, but very good ones.
These are both available at the SLCPL for check out here and here.
I recently picked up and re-read Craig Thompson’s memoir opus Blankets one evening. At 600 pages it’s a bit of a doorstop, however the pages flew by. I had read it for the first time about 8 years ago, and felt that a re-read might yield a different reaction. To be honest life events have not been so awesome in the last little while and I wasn’t sure whether this bitter sweet tale might rip open a new hole inside my soul. Gratefully it didn’t.
This seminal autobiographical graphic novel is an incredibly apt choice for this time of year. Obviously due to the fact that the key events of the story take place during winter time in Michigan and Wisconsin respectively. (Seriously anyone who complains about winter time here in the west should go to Michigan where they would laugh in your face…) However, also I think it’s because in winter-time we cocoon ourselves in order to maintain any precious amount of heat that we can. In Blankets I found that Thompson brings to the page the warmth of nostalgia when looking back on his romance with Raina. You can almost feel it emanating from the page as you read.
Another storyteller might look upon this story with anger and bitterness but Craig takes a more agnostic approach. While he may not understand everything that happened in his childhood, he clearly believes that it has led him to become the man he is. And that man isn’t perfect but he is content, no longer a searcher. No longer restless or conflicted. There’s solace in that at least, especially in the cold hand that fate can often deal us.
This is but one aspect of this story, trust me I could go on for (web) pages, but I’ll just urge you to check it out. It’s worth the heft.
Check it out here at the Salt Lake City Public Library.
I tend to pick up a series after its been compiled into a graphic novel or when the Library adds them to it’s massive collection. The up-side, it’s free. The downside, I chance missing out on a really great series. In this case, the series was John Rozum‘s Xombi. In almost 30 years of reading comics, I can honestly say Xombi is one of the most uniquely bizarre, pleasurable reading experiences I’ve had in comics. Xombi is up there with the weirdest of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison!
Puns, nuns with guns, killer snow angels, secret cults, a floating magical skull fortress, religious superheros, talking coins…ahhhaha my mind! Join David Kim, Nun of the Above, Nun the Less and Catholic Girl,on an epic horror adventure!
Available for check-out!
As we near the end of the year here’s 5 Great Graphic Novels Released in 2012.
Of course they are all available for check out at the Salt Lake City Public Library.
For a link straight to the catalog just click on the pic above.
Recently I re-read Pax Romana and discussed it with a group of friends. I had read it a few years ago back when it was originally released, the rest of the group were first time readers. Having had a few years to digest the story and go over it’s complexities, I have found it to be a real fascinating read. It made me think about the impact of technology and sociological engineering. There is also time travel, which is always awesome. Of course Hickman is not for the weak, he wants you to re-read and think about what he’s discussing. If this kind of intellectual comic appeals to you then I strongly suggest checking it out.
You can check out Pax Romana at the SLCPL here.More of Jonathan Hickman’s work can also be found here.