My Reading Stack from the last couple of months November 20 2018

It’s been active couple of months with some family stuff throwing a quick wrench in, so I haven’t read as much I would have liked. Please enjoy.

If you want to send a book or comic for me to check out, you can mail to me at

#2147 – 720 Sixth St
New Westminster, BC
V3L 3C5

I got this lovely collection of comics by Hong Kong cartoonist Chihoi a bunch of years ago at tcaf. I slept on reading this and really should have gotten into it sooner. It’s a beautifully sentimental book that gets to some deep heart hits. You ca see some growth throughout the book with stories getting a little more teeth and taking in unexpected directions. I really enjoyed it.

I started reading Scott Snyder’s batman run over the summer and got sidelined by life stuff and forgot to write about it. I have a weird relationship with batman comics. They were really pivotal for me when growing up. The Breyfogle run will always be super import for me.

I stayed reading batman stuff for years, all the while also staying on top of weirdo Avant guarde comics. There was a point though that they got kind of completely unreadable. Like editorial direction and interference just made it into garbage. A friend of mine that stays on top of this stuff told me that he had been really enjoying it.

The is the first 3 books of the Snyder run, drawn for the most part by artist Greg Capullo. I think Scott and I are pretty close in age, so we probably think of similar story arcs when we think of batman.

I don’t think of this work as a guilty pleasure, and that term kind of bugs me. We shouldn’t feel bad for enjoying something. Taste is subjective. We can be critical about work and still find enjoyment.

I think of this stuff as if Snyder and Capullo are doing fan fiction. From what I understand, the sales are good enough on the title that they didn’t have to deal with too much editorial interference. It’s fun silly and a lot of shit blows up. It’s like watching a fast and furious movie in a comic with less corona.

Read Spinning by Tillie Walden on the flight home from Vegas. I brought it so I could have something grounding after all the madness. It’s been sitting on my shelf for far too long with lots of people asking me if I read it. Well I did read it. I liked it.

While I don’t necessarily feel like the intended audience, I found it compelling. There something I really appreciate the way that Tillie tells her story in such sparse open way. Giving ideas time and place, but not forcing anything.

And find myself getting sick of memoirs of exceptionalism. This book really works for me, in letting the mundane be present. Struggles don’t need to have perfect endings, life isn’t perfect. We want things to work out, but that’s not the case often and we find ways to move on and process.

I love this weird freaking book from uncivilized. The whistling factory by Jesse McManus is a great collection of his work. There’s no table of contents, or list of where things were originally printed, but I know Jesse has had his stuff everywhere. I think his first published comic was in a Kramers ergot.

Jesse is one of the great inkers, putting down layers of stuff everywhere, creating this surreal dynamism. It’s vibrant and full of life and energy, taking the characters through horrible joyous and hideous realities.

I think I picked this up in Bellingham earlier this year at a small little comic show. Night Time by Travis Rommerheim is a lovely surreal riso comic with a great bold blue colour. The cover kind of under sells the book. The art is really great. Nice full figures and a great sense of movement. It’s a short story taking place in one day of the life of performance artist that seems to just be weird enough to add interesting flourishea. There’s alao a great gag making fun of Johnny Ryan that made me laugh pretty hard.

I’ve been going through a bit of a nostalgia phase. I can’t release focus on deep interviews right now, so I have been reading oldies. This is a recent collection of prime batman comics of my youth.

I remember that time in the early 90s where DC was going through a phase of destroy the man characters after the success of the death of the mulleted superman. I remember how hokey those were and getting lost in how silly it all was. For batman, before the endless knightfall crossover that revolved around batmans fall and return, they did a storyline of just beating batman up. The premise was great, bane wants to destroy batman, but first has him dealing with an endless array of villains. It’s basically batman getting his butt beaten. The stories are pretty silly for most part. One writers work does not age well, with batman fighting “gang bangers”. It’s like the writer heard of NWA and made up his mind. Really bad writing by chvck d!xon. But their some weird art that sticks out to me, with this expressionist batman with ears that stick out from the side of his head.

The Doug moench stuff is much better. He has this one villain called metal head that swings a barb chain at people that comes out of his mask like a dude with a top bun. It’s amazing. An S&M leather dude mad at batman. The artwork on metal head is top notch end of career Jim Aparo. Love it.

There’s a lot of great covers included by Sam Kieth, Kelly Jones, Michael Golden and early Travis Charest.

Read hellboy in hell on my flight to Vegas. I read this originally when it came out as issues and it wasn’t a great way to keep track of what was going on. After deeply immersing myself into hellboy over the last couple of months, a lot of the references clicked on for me, but I don’t think enjoyment of this book is necessarily linked to that.

I guess I am saying read this book in one sitting. It’s very open with ideas passing through. I feel like all the hellboy books preceding this volume are Mignola working on building his story telling muscles, to know how to work trim the fat and step away from direct literal and linear ideas.

It really is Mignola at the top of his form, putting a career’s worth of cartooning development into one volume.

Rita Fürstenau sent me some of their minis published by Rotopol in Germany. Firstly, every thing I see from Rotopol has been great. Strong well produced art comics with a great attention to the print quality.

Rita’s mini, In Winter is quite lovely. Kind of perfect to read on this cold day at home. Winter isn’t quite here yet, but the cats are in deep hibernation mode at home.

The mini is about finding one another through times of loneliness and solitude. Quiet and impassioned, I very much enjoyed it.

She also included some fold out zines that again, are really beautiful and impeccably printed.


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