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 just finished Rick Remender‘s Uncanny X-Force: The Dark Angel Saga and OMG its a wild ride! I’m convinced this is the best thing to come out of Marvel in a long time. Seriously put down what ever you’re reading at the moment and give Uncanny X-Force a try. Never before has Marvel assembled a more bad ass entertaining group of psychotic killers who do a very poor job disguising themselves as superheros. I’m not saying anything else and chance spoiling it for you…I mean look! Deathlok just went Ted Bundy on a bad guy!
Also just a heads up for X-Force fans, according to IGN, Marvel has plans to release two more X-Force series including a new Uncanny X-Force run by Sam Humphries and Ron Garney…
Recently coming home from a trip I took the opportunity to re-read Astro City written by Kurt Busiek. This is an original series, but the characters are clearly steeped in those comic archetypes that we all know and love. It’s so apparent that Good Samiritan is based on Superman; Winged Victory a more feminist Wonder Woman. These are not simply retreads though. Each issue demonstrates a spin on these characters that brings a more human aspect to their existence. Rather than go the Frank Miller route, Busiek chooses keep the series relatively light and hopeful. This is also helped by the wonderful art of Alex Ross and Brent Anderson. Personally, I like Ross’s use of poses and iconography to indicate the statuesque awe which these heroes are granted by the non-powered residents of the city that they protect. I highly recommend checking this series out.
I love Jeffrey Brown. Typically he’s known for writing angsty, relationship books about the women that he’s lost. But lately he’s been changing it up a bit. His book Darth Vader and Son started out as a web comic, written and drawn by Brown over the course of a year. This comic is typically single panel and hilarious. It works off the premise of Darth Vader as a single dad to a young Luke Skywalker. Their interactions serve as a reminder that we don’t always have to be so serious about our iconic characters. The hardcover is a quick read but a wholesome delight that you can share with all ages. Highly recommend.
Darth Vader and Son is available at the Salt Lake City Public Library here.
You can also find more of Jeffrey Brown’s delightful work here.
GNZAP and SLCPLALTPRESS launched this blog in March 2012 because we wanted to talk about the things we love: comics, sequential art, zines, and alternative press. Thanks for sticking with us. Like Captain America, we don’t plan on going away anytime soon.
“My name’s John Constantine, and here I stay: haunted by London. And London, haunted by me.”
John Constantine. Does that name ring a bell? You might remember the 2005 film Constantine staring Keanu Reeves as THE John Constantine. You know the smart mouthed, streetwise, black arts magician who kicks demon a$$? Yep he’s even more awesome in his own comic Hellblazer. Which is probably one of the greatest on-going horror series of all time and written by some of the best writers in comics. Give it a read!
From now until Halloween we here at SLCPLALTPRESS will be sharing with you some of our SPOOKIEST reading recommendations. Guaranteed to send shivers down your spine! Also, make sure to check out the post 5 Scary Graphic Novels and the Halloween edition of From The Vault! By the end of October you’ll be an expert of the macabre…or insane!
What better way to start then with the godfather of horror, H.P. Lovecraft! His CthulhuMythos has been scaring innocent souls for generations! Here are a number of Lovecraft based graphic novels that will give you NIGHTMARES!