It's been a big month for comics (well, last month). New, long awaited releases from both Peter Bagge and Dan Clowes, some tough to track down underground arrivals at Green Apple, a couple of new collections of classics, and the return of a both Old Man Logan and Dogs & Water, two books I was worried we wouldn't get back in stock. So without too much ado, here's the lowdown:
- Peter Bagge's Other Lives is a story about identity. It's focus is on the lives of three men, former outcast college students, geeks as it were, once obsessed with role playing games now living in a real world where technology has developed in a way that they may finally pursue their fantasies, albeit from behind a laptop. Perhaps that synopsis makes the book sound a bit slow (who wants to read about a bunch of losers?), but once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. The story is not truly about geeks, but more about a crippling culture over-saturated with multimedia. Bagge remains one of the best contemporary voices in graphic fiction.
- Dan Clowes' Wilson is presented in a single gag-per-page, almost Sunday strip format with an odd connectivity between strips to create the book's story arc. It is an episodic journey through the life of a middle aged egoist, masterfully illustrated in an array of different styles. I recommend this article posted on Blog Flume entitled A Few Ways to Think About Wilson if you're interested in reading more. It was written by Ken Parille, editor of the upcoming book Daniel Clowes: Conversations (Conversations With Comic Artists).
[ A quick note before continuing- Dan Clowes will be appearing at The Booksmith on Haight Street, on May 13th. I believe you need to buy tickets? I'm sure the folks at The Booksmith will be happy to give you all the information you need. ]
- Yoshihiro Tatsumi's Black Blizzard has finally been reprinted, with a new cover design by Adrian Tomine & Tim Hensley. Basically the story is a hard boiled crime kind of novel. It was written about fifty years ago, but what I'd like to highlight is the fact that it's one of the very few Manga comics I've ever found myself invested in. Tatsumi's style was groundbreaking in its time, and he's influenced generations of Japanese artists since his initial debut. Very much worth taking a look at.
- The Complete Milt Gross is not only one of the most fascinating collections of work by an original American comic genius, but it features a fold in introduction by Al Jaffe! Remember MAD fold ins?! Classic!
Okay, that's all for now. I've been away for a month and the work sure has piled up. More comic news next time. All right? Good luck.