Saturday, November 30, 2013

-from FRAN by Jim Woodring. This moment in the story gave me literal gooseflesh. I guess I’m probably ruining the possibility of you having that same wonderful experience by posting this, by putting you on your guard, sorry. Or anyhow you might not be as into meta moments as I am. If you are, there are many other opportunities in the book. Good luck. This book and Congress of the Animals are companions, the way light and dark, or up and down, or the clockwises are companions. In this kind of formal situation mirrors and the moments of doubling are going to be important, so watch out for those. That’s what’s happening here, and what happens with Frank/Fran and Pupshaw/Pushpaw, but this can even happen at the level of an individual panel. Each panel could be a light one or a dark one. A loss can be a gain, suffering could be wearing a disguise. I guess it depends on how you are reading it, your feeling tone, what you hope is happening, the soundtrack that is playing in your head: a pleasant optimistic melody or dark ominous chords and odd intervals. The double spiral on the inside back flap of the dustjacket is a map of the two books together, and the point is to try to balance on the point in-between the spirals, because if you lean one way or the other, you get sucked into one or the other whirlpool. But don’t strain too hard because this is going to happen, and you’re swirling around already as whoever you are.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
by Chogyam Trungpa
-This is the best book on Buddhism that I have read so far, and the one that most resonated with my own experiences and intuitions during the past year. I watched the documentary on Chogyam and read a little bit online—of course he's a weird interesting guy and there's things you wish weren't the case, but all that doesn't come through in this book.
Sibyl-Anne vs. Ratticus
by R. Macherot
-This was fun to read even if sometimes the story logic and panel compositions went pretty limp (we can probably blame deadlines, and anyways it's just a goofy kids' story). This book is a great reference for cartooning trees, grasses, bushes, etc. as panel decoration.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ten Tales Tall and True
by Alisdair Gray

Sunday, November 10, 2013

by Jim Woodring

Couch Tag
by Jesse Reklaw

-I wrote a long review of these, but I forgot to save it. I'll try to write them again sometime when I get some free time.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Hand-Drying in America
by Ben Katchor
-One of the best comic books ever. But was it worth it?