Thursday, December 29, 2016

Some books I've read 28

Door Wide Open by Jack Kerouac and Joyce Johnson
The letters between them before and after On The Road was published. Kerouac is either travelling all over the place, sometimes checking in at Johnson's apartment in NYC, or staying with his mother in the house he bought for her, and then finally being an alcoholic, redfaced stranger. 

Exterminator 17 by Enki Bilal and Jean-Pierre Dionnet
I have no interest in what Bilal has done the last 20 years, but I enjoyed re-reading this book. The first thing I ever read by Bilal was a chapter of this book, but in black and white, in Heavy Metal. I discovered Moebius in the same issue. Mind blown, twice! Real classic sci fi, this, with robots / androids and spaceships, ending in a great final image.

Boyhood Island by Karl Ove Knausgaard
It seems all childhoods in Norway in the 70s were the same. Football, comics (Johnny Puma!) candy (Fox and Nox!), collecting empty bottles, DBS bikes, scary older kids, Blind Passasjer, Pop Spesial, reading books from the library (Desmond Bagley, Ken Follett!), dreaming about girls in class, swimming in the public pool. Hmm, nothing about listening to the radioplays on Saturdays.

Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem
Lethem has written some very good books. I don't think this is one of them. Starts out a bit Mad Max, but then... goes a bit all over the place, even though there are some good ideas here and there. 

Lucky Alan & Other Stories by Jonathan Lethem
It's a couple of weeks since I finished this book. I don't think I remember a single thing. Some guy sitting in a hole?

All Fires the Fire & Other Stories by Julio Cortazar
My first Cortazar, but not the last. Intriguing stories, often ending in, But... what does it mean? Like the title story. Heck if I know! The book is sort of Twilight Zone meets Bunuel, maybe, but then with the twist ending in sight, it rather goes left, finding something more interesting there to look at.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Some books I've read 27

Shout! by Philip Norman
I was pleasantly surprised by this book , as I had read some negative  reviews. It's pretty fair to all members - even Paul McCartney, I'd say. I skipped the first 100 pages, as I felt I didn't need to read about all of their childhood a second time.

Hellboy in Hell: The Death Card by Mike Mignola
I must confess I've  lost a bit of interest in the story, not quite sure who all the characters are, and Hellboy is dead, so what are the stakes, but this is the final book in the series, and Mignola's minimalistic drawings are as elegant as ever.

Some Rain Must Fall by Karl Ove Knausgaard
The Bergen years. Over 600 pages, but there's something compelling about it. Knausgaard trying to find his way in life as a young man and his voice as a writer,  it's something I could relate to. Didn't drink as much, though.

A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Another brick. It's a bit slow in the beginning, and after about a 100 pages I was about to give up on the book, but then it finally took off. Some touching parts, some annoying, as when he goes into his highfalutin essay voice. Will I read Boyhood Island as well? I guess I will.

Gun, With Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem
Philip K. Dick meets Raymond Chandler, but avoiding just being a pastiche. Those final chapters have not become less relevant. Probably my favourite book of Lethem so far, next to Motherless Brooklyn.

As She Climbed Across the Table by Jonathan Lethem
The story of a man and a woman and the hole of nothing between them.  So, sure, it's a pretty clever book, it's Lethem after all, but also a bit hard to get into. Anyway... Amnesia Moon next.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Monday, October 10, 2016

Some books I've read 26

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
A pretty thick book to be Moore, twice the length of Frog Hospital, I would guess. So, what's it about? Oh, the loss of innocence and so on. Lots of brilliant sentences for sure, otherwise it wouldn't be a Moore book.

Katherine Carlyle by Rupert Thomson
Kind of a strange novel from Thomson. I didn't like the main character to begin with, but then the book slowly gets more intriguing.  Beautifully written, as always with Thomson, but not quite one of his best books.

Everbody Behaves Badly by Lesley M. M. Blume
A book about Hemingway writing The Sun Also Rises, and what happened that inspired it. The writer has done her research. There were stuff I didn't know. And most of all, it made me want to reread the novel.

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Boy, they sure drink a lot in this book! I had forgotten. The novel still feels fresh. My favourite chapters are the two Burguete ones, where they travel on the bus and then go fishing.

Dancing in the Dark by Karl Ove Knausgaard
We follow an 18 year old Karl Ove working as a teacher in Northern Norway. It's not as good or interesting as vol. 1. I haven't read the volumes in between. Is it important to read these books in the right order?

The Beatles by Hunter Davies
An authorised  biography. That can be both positive and negative. He knew the Beatles members, but there were stuff they chose not to talk about. There are lots of holes (enough to fill the Albert Hall?) There's nothing about them meeting Elvis or Bob Dylan, as an example. I ordered Shout! by Philip Norman, to see if that will give a more complete picture, even though it's supposed to be pro John and anti Paul.

Moon Cop by Tom Gauld
Another droll, minimalistic and melancholy piece of small genius from good auld Gauld here. Not quite as good as Timecop, but then almost nothing is.

John Constantine, Hellblazer vol. 14: Good Intentions
Azzarello's interpretation of Constantine can be debated, I suppose, but the art is amazing - first Richard Corben and then Marcelo Frusin whose drawings are somewhere between Mignola and Giardino. Also, I like that the horror is mostly implied.

Starlight by Mark Millar and Goran Parlov
A Flash Gordon pastiche - it has some charm. The artist got his Moebius down pat. But the script lacks something. Personality? Quirkiness? Surprises? It feels like a film pitch, and in the end, unfortunately, it's a bit forgettable.

Monday, October 3, 2016

On the Camino

Internationally acclaimed cartoonist Jason’s first full-length graphic memoir is about his experiences walking a 500-mile pilgrimage for his 50th birthday.

Northwestern Spain, observed with the eye of an artist, chronicling both the good (people, conversations) and the bad (blisters, bedbugs) he encountered on his journey. Full of quiet incidents, odd encounters, small triumphs, and the occasional setback, On the Camino is the first implicitly autobiographical long-form work by a master cartoonist. Black & white illustrations throughout.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Lorrie Moore

"In my chest my heart had gone from the rapid flicking of a playing card on bike spokes to the loud erratic knock of a sneaker in a dryer."
-A Gate at the Stairs

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Wicklow Way

I've walked the Wicklow Way, from Dublin to Clonegal. About 130 kms in five days. Ireland was pretty amazing, very... what's the word... green! But it screwed up my knee, so I didn't get to walk the Camino Portuges as well, which was the plan. Oh, well... some other time. A couple of sketches coming soon.

Friday, July 29, 2016

RIP Marianne Ihlen

Thursday, July 28, 2016

RIP Richard Thompson

I discovered Cul de Sac quite recently. It's brilliant. Alice for president.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

And then

Some books I've read 25

I've tried out some mainstream comics...

Planetary: book 1 by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday.
Some clever dialogue, but the characters still remain distant. Nice drawings, but ugly, plastic-y colours and, even worse, blurs added in photoshop to add movement. Just... stop, okay?

Jupiter's Legacy: book 1 by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely
I liked that Flex Mentallo story by Morrison and Quitely, I still have all the issues. Quitely is a great artist, but it seems like his drawings now are scanned from pencil lines, not fully inked, and personally, I find that less appealing.

The Fade Out: Act 1 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
My favourite of these books. An interesting story, well drawn. I like the colouring! I assume it's done on a computer, but it has a nice, handmade feel to it. Will be getting the next two parts.

Dark Corridor by Rich Tommaso
Tommaso goes pulp and a bit Tarantino. I'm a big fan of his cartooning. There can sometimes be a bit lack of focus in his stories, but it seems like in this book he maybe had to wrap things up prematurely.

Have gotten some more Saul Steinberg books...
Steinberg at the New Yorker by Joel Smith
Saul Steinberg  - Illuminations by Joel Smith
Saul Steinberg by Harold Rosenberg
The Inspector by Steinberg

All worth having. And I ordered The Labyrinth a month ago, and it still hasn't arrived, dammit.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Camino panel 11

Getting closer to the end. Twenty pages left, of which there are
4 almost finished
6 half finished
10 just begun

The book, called Un Norvégien vers Compostelle in French, will be published by Shampooing in January, then in Spanish, English and Norwegian in the spring of 2017.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Varden 2

Walked up to Varden, the outlook point in Molde, with a view of the whole fjord. The last time was two years ago, I think. Or one year ago? It sort of started this whole rediscovery of nature thing. Yeah, I'm getting older.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Some books I've read 24

The Passport by Saul Steinberg
I'm a bit late discovering Steinberg. The book is brilliant, of course. Pure drawings.

Scar Strangled Banger by Ralph Steadman
Don't have a lot of Steadman books, only the Alice in Wonderland one. This is a nice one to have, with lotsa great drawings, still as relevant today.

Sandman Overture by Neil Gaiman
Okay, it looks amazing, but one week after finishing the book, there wasn't a single image or panel that stuck in my head.

Hellboy in Mexico by Mike Mignola
Not really essential. One short story drawn by Mignola, the Corben stuff, though great, has already been published in other books. Now it's just a matter of waiting for the final book.

Patience by Daniel Clowes
Clowes is a genius and the ending is perfection. 

Mary Wept over the Feet of Jesus by Chester Brown
Another genius. His artwork is amazing. It's even more interesting because of the fact that Chester Brown finds it interesting. And also sometimes funny, especially the story The Talents, where the whoremonger slave is looking sort of like Chester.

Cult Movies vol. 1, 2 and 3 by Danny Peary
I remember borrowing these books from the library in Oslo, back in the days when it was not that easy to find all these films. I don't agree with all his choices, and he can sometimes be overanalyzing things a bit, but still, these are pretty interesting books.  

Currently reading:
Breakout by Richard Stark

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Camino panel 10

I've drawn the last page of the book, which will be page 180. 105 pages are finished, the rest are in different stages of half or almost finished. There's about two months work left, I'd guess.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Number 4!