I was thinking over the holidays about how I need to be more accountable for the stuff that people send me and also get around to reading comics more. Life has slowed down a little in casa studs, but still busy in a good way. May attempt that will likely fail and fill me with shame, is to chronicle my reading material for the previous week.
This week’s stack is very European. That shouldn’t be too surprising. I have been on a bit of a Humanoids/Heavy Metal kick lately. Every time one of my local comic stores is having a sale, I try and buy up as much out of print European stuff as possible. This most recent post-holiday shopping season was filled with stellar goodies.
The top of my stack was the original Catalan edition of Pepe Moreno’s Rebel. I have been wanting to get this book for quite a while. there is a modern edition available, but it has an atrocious colouring job. It looks like something that Bryan Talbot photoshoped, or maybe who ever did that humanoids version of Incal.
Here is an original page(image stolen from L. Nichols’ Livejournal)
Ouch, what happened here. Shitty colouring mixed with an image of one of the Trade Center Tower’s blowing up. I don’t know what to say. As far as the book itself goes, I loved it. Published in the early 80’s it has a great style post-apocalypse. It follows a brief period in the life of the leader of a rebellious New York gang, with the brilliant name of Rebel. But there is more than just a name to our protagonist. He has an important and mysterious past. It is pretty much like any other half dozen post-apocalyptic concept that takes place in New York. So you know it has to be awesome.
I had picked up a couple of those Igor Kordey Cable tpb’s on a whim. I am trying to buy as little marvel/dc stuff as possible, but I can’t resist a good bargain. They were ok, not great. I like there are some big idea’s that the creators are trying to work out, but really failing. I have a hard time with hamfisted political interventions. The first collection attempts to discuss the Shining Path in Peru. They send Cable into Peru to intervene in the political mess like some kind of colonial master that seems to know better than the locals, complete with scene where he is captured by the Shining Path and their top mutant talent is overcome with his great manliness in a completely unnecessary sexual encounter. I you can’t tell, I was just annoyed by this lack of originality.
The second collection, Cable the End, explores the messy situation in Macedonia, that figuratively stands in for the Croatian debacle that hit creators, Darko Macan and Igor Kordey on a personal level. I was a little more hopeful with this book, and over all, it was better than the previous, with a unique look at ways of combating in a battle of ethnic genocide. I like how they were able to touch on just how much of a cluster of problems the Balkan debacle was/is. Darko had previously worked on this topic in his excellent Grendel story, Devils and Deaths. Pick it up if you see it for cheap. I am sure there are many dollar bins filled with such a comic.
Back to my Euro-kick is the one and only Alejandro Jodorowsky. I picked up books 1 and 2 of the DC/Humanoid editions of collaboration with Georges Bess, Son of the Gun. Like any good Jodorowsky creative project, this book is a splendor of religious imagery. It can get a little tedious at times. I understand the idea and get it fine, but really, it’s enough. The story follows a young mafia muscle man in brazil, working his way from bottom of the rung, being found in a garbage dump as baby, left to his own devices, because of prehensile tale. He is raised by the midget prostitute that finds him, and a pack of dogs from which he suckles for milk.
As he rises in power, he eventually must go down and hits rock bottom. He goes from Sinner, to Saint, blah blah blah. Allegory runs a muck. The end. The art is great, I want to see more by Bess. But if you want the story, just go watch the Holy Mountain.
When Francois Ayroles was at TCAF a couple of years ago, I totally screwed up on not even talking to him. I have since picked up his Raymond Chandler adaptation, Playback, which takes place in my own hometown of Vancouver. He was actually able to capture a bit of the Vancouver dreariness quite nicely, for a french cartoonist adapting a 70 year old screenplay.
The wonderful gents at the Beguiling published a little book of drawings by Francois, called Key Moments from the History of Comics. It is really quite delightful. Odd little interpretations of comic history and legend.
Lastly a little old school Heavy Metal. Attila by Jose Ortiz and Antonio Segura. This is the first and I think only book that collects from the long running HM story line. Time for some more post-apocalyptic fun, only this one takes place in the middle of nowhere and reads more like a western than futuristic nightmare world. I can’t really judge the story by just reading the first book, and hope more are collected at some point, but highly unlikely. Attila is a sprawling revenge story that feels unsettled, like more should of happened or the characters should be more developed, other than the ample bosom. That seems to be more than sufficiently developed.
What to come next week, I have no idea. time to pull out a stack of mini’s.