Monday, April 2, 2012

Some Books I've Read 7

Chump Change by Dan Fante

I didn't like this book that much. I'm not sure why. Its style is quite close to Bukowski and the writer is not unafraid of portraying himself as unsympathetic. But Bukowski carried real pain, and Fante, or his character Bruno Dante, comes off as just an alcoholic creep, and it's a bit hard to care about what happens to him.

Nobody Move by Denis Johnson

Terrific, fastmoving book with funny dialogues. It has made me curious about his other books.

What It Used To Be Like by Maryann Burk Carver

A great, touching book about her marriage to Raymond Carver, written without bitterness, even if she had the right to. It's hard to read about their toughest, most alcoholic years when there were occasions of Carver hitting her, then after his litterary breakthrough he leaves her for another woman.

Nancy is happy by Ernie Bushmiller

Is it funny or not? Not sure. Occasionally it is. Sometimes the real groaners are funny. Sometimes not. It's interesting to see WW2 seep into the strip. I'll probably stop buying the series after this book. I'm not sure if I need the complete collection.

Krazy and Ignatz by George Herriman

I've been on a Krazy Kat kick lately, getting the five colour books. To be honest, I've never been crazy about the strip, never quite seen the magic. But I think I'm slowly getting there. I'm only reading three or four pages at the time, though. Reading more, it seems to lose something.

Jeffrey Jones – A Life In Art

I've always liked the paintings of Jeff Jones. I still have my copy of The Studio and also Idyll and Yesterday's Lily. Looking through this new book you can see some Frazetta and Wyeth in there, but a lot more moody - there's a quiet quality uniqe to Jones. The book also makes me want to pick up my paint brushes again.

The Ballad of The Salt Sea by Hugo Pratt

All the writings about the colourized, reformatted version just published in the US made me re-read my old black and white version. It's one of the first graphic novels and it still holds up. In the first half the drawings are a bit uneven, but the second half is all great, looking just as fresh today. There are several of the best and most poetic sequences ever made in comics: The Monk seeing Pandora and going crazy. Rasputin shooting what he believes is The Monk. The meeting between Cain and The Monk on the beach. Sl├╝tter being lead to his execution. The goodbye scene. I think this might also be the first comic I read where the characters actually change during the story (Rasputin being an exception). Earlier comics, of super heros or Franco-belgian humour or adventure strips, the characters were constant, the same at the end as in the beginning.

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