Monday, December 13, 2021

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 12/11/21

For this palindromic date (well, Saturday was, and that's how I date these posts), I have a big bunch of graphic novels that I got from a big sale from one of those big Internet comics shops. I think the sale was Cyber Monday-themed; it was around that time.

Anyway, some or all of these will get wrapped up to be Christmas presents, because that's how it works when you get to my age: you buy the stuff you want and then get other people to wrap it up for you.

Little Nothings, Vol. 2: The Prisoner Syndrome by Lewis Trondheim - the second (of four that I've seen in English) collection of his autobiographical comics. I wrote about it back the first time I read it.

Little Nothings, Vol. 3: Uneasy Happiness by Lewis Trondheim - same as the above, but immediately afterward. I also wrote about this one about a decade ago.

Skyscrapers of the Midwest by Joshua W. Cotter - I remember thinking this was great, but I haven't re-read it in a long time and I don't think I've seen anything else by Cotter since. (I might not have been looking, though.) I wrote about this one as well.

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness by Peter Kuper - This is a graphic adaptation of the Conrad novel by Kuper, which is why there's a weird title.  (Rod Torfulson's Armada featuring Herman Menderchuck!) I'm not sure if that's weirder than the alternative: crediting the book equally to Conrad and Kuper, who lived a century apart and never met. There's also the "script by Shakespeare, additional dialogue by Sam Taylor" style, which is goofy in its own ways. Adaptations just lead to odd credits, I guess.

Alias the Cat! by Kim Deitch - One of his better books, as I remember it, filled with oddball old media and modern-day stories. I read it back in 2007, but just noted that in the very early days of this blog; I've never written about it at any length.

Steeple, Vol. 2
 by John Allison - I still have not read the first book, which I still need to find a copy of. But now I have the second one - I think as the third story is just finishing up in the webcomic, which I haven't read until I can get caught up. I've loved everything else Allison has done, especially in this universe, so I'm not worried about catching up.

Skreemer by Peter Milligan, Brett Ewins and Steve Dillon - I haven't read this in over twenty years, but I remember it being really impressive, from the era where Milligan was still a crazy icon-smashing Brit import rather than a relatively normal writer of Big Two comics. As I remember, it's a SF gangster epic with some literary ambition: isn't it loosely based on Finnegans Wake or something? Anyway, I'm planning to re-read it soon, now that I have a copy again.

 by Dash Shaw - this is his new graphic novel, and I don't know a lot more about it than that. I feel like Shaw made a big splash about a decade ago, with Bottomless Belly Button, BodyWorld, and the pseudo-collection The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. in quick succession, but has been quieter since then. Last thing I remember seeing from him was Cosplayers, which was pretty small. 

Return to Romance! is a collection of Ogden Whitney comics from the '50s and '60s (I think) edited by Dan Nadel and Frank Santoro. I know Whitney's work from the Herbie comic, which he only drew - I think this collection is comics he both wrote and drew. (Or maybe not: I'll find out.)

One Line by Ray Fawkes - I gather this is another in the line of his One Soul and The People Inside, somewhat formalist takes on using comics to tell multiple interlocking stories simultaneously. I was really impressed by the earlier two books - and, not for nothing, his Possessions series is also a hell of a lot of fun - so I'm back to see him do it again.

In by Will McPhail - a new graphic novel by a New Yorker cartoonist whose single-panel work I've liked. I don't know a lot about it: I gather it's contemporary, and probably some kind of comedy of manners.

A Treasury of Victorian Murder, Vol. 1 by Rick Geary - the original collection of short strips that grew into most of Geary's career for the last three decades. I notice that I wrote about this book just three years ago, so I suspect I may already have a copy of it. (I'm still all discombobulated from my 2011 flood: I'm never quite sure what I used to own and got destroyed, what I used to own and have bought again, what I bought since then, and what I never owned but read another way.)

Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean - One of the great books of this generation, but, again, I see I wrote about it in 2016, so I might already have a copy of it lurking about somewhere.

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