Wednesday, July 20, 2005
I always consider it a personal failure to have to resort to retail therapy, what with being a committed anti-capitalist and trainee buddhist and all. But sometimes these things have to be done. I blame my parents for not muting the TV during the ads when I was a kid. Anyway, about a month or so ago, I succumbed. Trouble was, I did it on the internet, which has all the thrill of handing over the cash, but then the pleasure of the things is delayed for the mandatory 28 days. Fiddlesticks.
But here we are! 28 days later (not the film). A package arrives at work. And huzzah! A wealth of books, 2 DVDs, one CD and not a wizard in sight. In your face, world. That said, JK Rowling's creation actually lets me off the hook, as all 6 of the books I've bought are comic books of some description. If half the world can enjoy a kid's book about 3 adolescent magicians, surely I can indulge my passion for cartoons? Especially ones that are less Superman, more everyman. Long time readers will be more than aware of my endless passion for Charles Schulz's Peanuts. The wonderful people at Fantagraphics are compiling every Peanuts strip ever published, in 2 year volumes, every 6 months. We're onto Volume 3, with Pig Pen on the cover, and it just gets better and better. The fact that Matt Groening (The Simpsons, Futurama, God) does the foreword says it all. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, no author has had more of an impact on me and the way I think than Charles Schulz.
Elsewhere, there's a couple of Sin City novels from Frank Miller, 2 more Daniel Clowes books to add to my growing collection of work (he's the dude who wrote Ghostworld), and Sleepwalking by Adrian Tomine, who I'm new to. I'm not sure what attracts me to comic books (the term graphic novel is just wishful thinking). I'm not a great reader of fiction in general as I prefer non-fiction, stories from real life, but comic strips really hit home. Perhaps it's seeing a medium so long associated with being a kid used to frame the adult world, and the ability that brings to play out scenes that sneak under the radar. I certainly wouldn't give any of these to a kid (apart from Peanuts of course. I'm keeping my original collection of anthologies to give to my kids to read. And dribble over. And draw on. Just like I did.) Perhaps it's just because they look more like art, and, as those of you who remember my attempt at my own strip, they're difficult to draw! I mean, anyone can splurge words down on a PC or typewriter. But it takes a special talent and dedication to draw a comic strip.
Or maybe it's just cos I love cartoons.
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