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Graphic Novel Nostalgia
Well, folks, it’s time for another round of graphic novels. I must admit that up until my recent vacation I have not been reading very much, maybe it’s the heat of the summer or that I’ve been binge watching too much TV, or that my brain has just been far too distracted to concentrate on words on a page (it’s that one). BUT luckily, on the way out of town, stuck on an airplane with a stack of books, I finally found my Zen reading zone again, up amongst the lofty sun filled cotton ball clouds. So I’ll keep this intro short and sweet mainly because we all know that as an artist I love graphic novels, because it’s the best of both worlds; art plus writing. So without further adieu, I’ll leave you with this quote from the graphic novel, Snotgirl. “It goes without saying, that my blog is amazing, take my word for it.” :D
Plutona by Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, & Jordie Bellaire
Plutona reminds me a lot of a 1980s movie; think Stand by Me meets Adventures in Babysitting, sort of. It’s about a group of kids brought together by friendship and chance that go out exploring one night and stumble upon what they believe to be a dead body. Except that, this dead body is a super hero, named Plutona. Now I am not generally a huge fan of superhero graphic novels or comics, but this is not your usual fair. It is not all slick, graphic, battles between ego driven heroes and villains but more about the everyday lives of those involved. One of my favorite pages is a split rendering of Plutona’s face, the super hero side that says, “Metro City needs me.” And the normal everyday side which reads, “But I have to finish this double shift first.” I mean, don’t we all feel like that from time to time, torn between things we need to do, and never having enough time to get everything done? I guess it’s just nice to know even superhero’s can’t accomplish everything. This story is more (so far anyhow) about the group of kids who find her. It’s short but sweet with some great comic book art within its pages.
I love horror and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, Creepshow. The movies are some of my all time favorite camp horror films. Although I do not always love Stephen King, to me the Creepshow stories are some of his finest. Recently re-released this year, this graphic novella was first released in 1982 a few months before the movie came out. This first edition features 5 stories, my favorite being, Something to Tide you Over. This graphic novel is as fantastic as the film and a must read for all Creepshow fans of the movies. And while we are at it let’s go ahead and talk about the movies for a second, because not only are the stories written by Stephen King, Creepshow was directed by the one and only, George A Romero (R.I.P.). I will have to say that as far as the Creepshow movies, Creepshow 2 will always be my favorite, as it contains my all time favorite Creepshow story, The Raft. IF you haven’t seen Creepshow or read the graphic novel (both of which we have at the library), now is the time to revisit or watch/read for the first time.
Snotgirl volume 1, Green hair don’t care by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Upon first glance of this graphic novel about a green haired gal named Snotgirl, Sonic Youth’s song Goo immediately started playing through my head. I don’t really know why since it doesn’t really fit with the lyrics of the song, I just always pictured Goo as a green haired gal and hey, maybe she was. But, I’m veering off subject here before I even get started. Snotgirl is in a nutshell, about a superficial fashion blogger plagued by allergies. I sort of really love the concept so much that I really wish (as a fellow allergy ridden gal) that I would have thought of it myself. I mean I really want to LOVE this graphic novel so much. And it’s not to say that I don’t, but I will definitely need to read further volumes before I pass judgments. It was enough to keep me intrigued and looking forward to volume 2 that’s for sure. However even though super heroes aren’t my thing really, I was hoping for more allergy related twists, like a super power that emerges from all of the snot, or maybe something less gross, but you see where I’m going here. I think it was a good set up for a first volume and I really liked the teenage vibe of the whole thing and it left enough mystery for me to want a little more.
Andre the Giant: life and legend by Box Brown
I’m sure I’ve talked about this before, but as a little girl in the 80s I loved wrestling. My cousins and I would sit glued to the television watching WWF and Glow, and even before that we loved the wholesome wrestling family, the Von Erich’s. I’ve always loved wrestling for the drama, the glitz, the glamour, the over the top everything, and the pure rush of fun watching wrestling brings. In the 80s especially, wrestling became so popular that it began to cross over with other areas of pop culture. Any of you out there recall Lou Albano appearing in Cindy Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun video, and later managing Wendi Richter? She even appeared at the Grammys with Hulk Hogan as her bodyguard! But like everything in life it’s not all pure fun and good times. As most people know now wrestling indeed has a dark side on many levels, but one of the biggest is the damage done to the physical body of the wrestler, and there is no greater example than that of the late, great Andre the Giant. On one hand, perhaps he was lucky to land himself in wrestling where he achieved great success and fame that perhaps he would have not gotten in any other way. But on the other hand, the damage to his already damaged body maybe wouldn’t have happened without wrestling. This is the quickest little read for those that already love Andre and also an easy introduction to his often heartbreaking story for those who are not familiar with his life.