So I read a bunch of stuff, then got really distracted. Here’s a couple of the graphic novels.
RED EYE, BLACK EYE by K. Thor Jensen
Grabbed this one from the library on a lunch break.
It’s the travelogue of a guy who gets dumped/fired/evicted, so he buys the legendary unlimited Greyhound pass and travels around the country. The protagonist seems like a big jerk, and I honestly found myself wondering how he’d ever attained a girlfriend (with his bad attitude and rape threats toward women at the bar) in the first place. It really wasn’t the travel story that I wanted it to be. Reminded me a little too much of pretentious bro-art snobs living off their parents’ dime. But the whole thing was structured fine, and I liked the art. get a copy if you’re into that.
Truth is Fragmentary by Gabrielle Bell
I waited for this one for a few months from the library. It’s mostly a travel diary as Bell moves between speaking engagements, readings, and sabbaticals out in the country. Bell has a peculiar knack to write/illustrate a daily diary in the most disconnected of ways. Like, a series of actions but not a chronicle of self. or something. I typically really like her work, but maybe it wasn’t the right time for me to read this one. At times I skipped parts because I felt bored, and at other times I was frustrated that she didn’t seem more excited about getting to travel to different places in the world. Call it envy if you need to. Regardless, much like real life, there were still moments that were delightful to read through. Like too-familiar bouts of awkwardness, for example.
Like, really long.
I first heard her read at some event here in san francisco, and have since been very allured to what might just be her signature blend of punch you in the stomach poeticness, honestly, familiar self-loathing, really really good observations and fairly enormous humor. I read her writing like some kind of a secret (but maybe it was spoken a little too loud and those involved forgot to wonder if anyone else could hear).
I guess that this is a really crappy book review for a rather nice book: It was full of stuff I like reading about like queers and gender and a dog and some sex and some addiction and gambling and travel. The story, itself, did not follow certain conventions that I found myself expecting it to follow (a pleasant and disarming surprise). There weren’t typos, and for the most part, the timing was good. I was not disappointed by the writing. The end.
I’m trying to better feed my local economy and small industry and stuff that I care about, but this time around I totally crapped out and bought the book on amazon. See, there were these seriously awesome shoes that were discounted to $20. and I needed to add at least $5 to my bill to get the free shipping. And this book. I already knew that I was going to buy it. It’s a process.