Sadly I wrote a big review of this book and wordpress dissolved it into thin air as soon as I pressed “publish.” Bummer.
This comic is about Annah, and told through the eyes of people/animals who regularly interact with her. She’s described as a confused bisexual tease with some lovable quirks. Annah never gets to speak for herself, which is honestly a little too “male gaze-y” for my taste, and there’s some kind of weird management of the subject of mental health which was kind of uncomfortable.
But the story remains interesting and unique, and the illustrations are adorable. Especially “Pidgy” the pigeon. I’d read an entire book about Pidgy.
find a copy here
Tons of cartoonists you like + tons of missed connections ads = really exciting interpretations of strangers’ actual lives! This is a nice (&varied) comic anthology that will keep you amused for a few long, rainy bus rides. It might get a little awkward when the perv next to you is arching his neck over to see what you’re LOLing at, but whatevs.
It’s a similar concept to Ellen Forney’s Lust, but it’s less of a coffee table book and more of a read-y book.
For reals, check it out.
The Voyeurs is an illustrated partial-memoir of a few years of Gabrielle Bell’s life. Read it! I really liked it.
I found it to be rather enjoyable for the following reasons:
1. The art (and also, from a reader’s standpoint, it wasn’t super-easy to mix up different characters). 2. the personal-ness. 3. You really get your read’s worth: lots of stuff happens. 4. Made me want to pick up more of her books. 5. The complex of social and anti-social and self-deprecation meets art meets creativity. 6. The fact that my bff (i wish) Valerie Solanas gets a hearty chunk of story (in a way that may or may not have shadowed patterns from Solanas’ life)
This wasn’t really a book review, so I didn’t title it as so. But check out the book!
I like Ellen Forney’s comics.
(I think I first saw her work in some anthology when I was a teenager, before I even really knew that comics existed beyond the sunday funnies and Superman– and that WOMEN CAN WRITE THEM)
Marbles is a memoir about getting diagnosed as bipolar and dealing with it. It’s quite good. It’s arranged into an engaging story that you don’t want to put down. Even when your laundry load’s up 3 blocks away at the laundromat and you know that if you don’t get your ass off the couch soon to go and get it that one guy who sleeps there might start going through your stopped dryer and claim that perfect hoodie that you found on the corner of 8th ave and California st the other day for himself– it was still hard to pull myself away.
There are lots of dimensions to the book: Forney talks about her early skepticism of the diagnosis, the lengthy process of finding meds that aren’t awful, “coming out” at bipolar to other people… She also clearly did a nice chunk of research on famous bipolar artists and writers and weaves that into the story. She does a solid job of combining dark, raw moments with hilarious moments– at times it feels diary-like, like you accidentally found it while you were creeping through her bedroom…
FIND A COPY AT YOUR LIBRARY
I am taking a drawing class at CCSF right now (something I’ve literally wanted to do for years, and was finally able to make the time for) , and am therefore on a bit of a drawing kick. OMG, I’m not super skilled at it, but drawing is awesome. I’ve always been a margin doodler and a cartoon scribbler, but I’m beginning to look at how “good” (i.e. legible and clear) drawings are put together for the first time. Lines, man! It’s an entire secret world.
I grabbed Sophie Crumb Evolution of a Crazy Artist from a shelf at work (a library) because I judged it by its cover and it was big and looked nice. So the big thing you need to know is that Sophie Crumb is R.Crumb’s daughter. He’s a famous comic artist. Dudes really like him. If you read the reviews of this book on Amazon.com, you’ll see that people (seemingly mostly R.Crumb fans) are generally kind of upset about this book, saying that it wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the parental fame.
True, it would be otherwise next to impossible for a female comic artist to get a hardcover retrospective of her work published through WW Norton & Co. There’s a lot more space in the mainstream comics industry for men. duh. But in my mind, the book gets an “A.” It’s a pretty awesome concept. Sophie is a constant drawer, and her parents have archived her lifetime of drawings so far. This book contains the highlights. Read in succession it’s almost kind of biograhy-like, and has qualities ranging from totally weird to sobering. You don’t even need to care about the Crumb family to appreciate this book; it stands nicely on its own. She’s really talented. The style and skill that she already had even by age 12 was totally nuts and well-put-together.
Find a copy at your nearest library here
Activity: Ask a graduate student (or an ex grad student) about the weird “coping” obsession that they got while in the thick of their grad program. I guarantee you that almost all of them will have one. I’m talking about the *obsession* that they had no prior interest in, that’s most likely completely irrelevant to their current life, and that they would care less about if they’d chosen to do something reasonable instead of going to grad school.
Mine was Archie Comics. Though I remember merely feeling positive-neutral about the tiny Archie comic strips that were wrapped around stale pieces of Bazooka gum that I’d get at 7-11 when I was a kid, I could pretty much care less about the freckled strawberry blonde heart-thob and his cast of one-dimensional stereotypical pals.
Then grad school was about halfway done and I was suddenly scouring the library and comic store for everything Archie that I could find. I don’t know how the fuck it happened. But it happened. And then I graduated and pretty much forgot all about it.
Until I ran into ARCHIE MEETS KISS at work nearly a year later. My heart pooled up with a sick little nostalgia and I immediately checked it out. On the cover, USA Today calls it “Wonderfully Bizarre.” I agree. It’s classic Archie fare, with the addition of, um, KISS (you know, the band). “WTF?!?” you ask? Obviously it was a result of Magic gone awry! It ain’t genius, but it’s amusing enough. And I did like that tons of random characters from various eras were featured, like Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Dilton the nerd, and Kevin Keller the first gay character from a couple years ago. It’s a fascinating co-marketing effort, to say the least!
Find a copy HERE