Wednesday, December 25, 2019

M. Sasek's Stone Is Not Cold

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Some books I've read 42

The Ghost in Love by Jonathan Carroll
A dog that talks? Fine. It's not the first time that has happened in a Carroll novel. But I found there to be too many fantastic elements, there doesn't seem to be any rules, and at some point you start to lose interest.

Ou les roses ne meurent jamais by Gunnar Staalesen
One of his best. And quite the touching ending, I'd say, without giving away too much.

Under snøen by Ragnar Hovland
Maybe not his best, and the ending was a bit lacking, but the Hovland tone is there, and sometimes that is enough.

Eline og Julia tar ferga by Ragnar Hovland
Great novel, and loved that Hovland completely ignores the solution of the plot, giving no answers to what happened or who the killer is. Always wanted to do that.

Sjølmord i skilpaddekaféen by Ragnar Hovland
A collection of short texts. His funniest book?

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
Still have the single issues I bought back in the 80's, except #1, that seems to have disappeared.  Reread it, and it's still very impressive, the structure and all the details, but I still feel no emotional connection to the story. Swamp Thing is still Moore's best comics in my mind. Not watching the TV show.

Dirty Plotte by Julie Doucet
Reread all the issues, all 12. Man, I miss her comics! She had the right to move on, of course, but still...  There should be a whole book just about Robert the Elevator Operator.

Walt & Skeezix by Frank King
Beautiful book of the Sunday pages in glorious colour. This is the French edition at 35 euros. The American  editions just got a bit too expensive. I'm not made of money, y' know.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Some books I've read 41

The Paris Husband by Scott Donaldson
Not sure if it brings anything totally new, but Donaldson is usually good on Hemingway. A different perspective on The Paris Wife novel, about Hadley and their years in Paris in the 20's, by Paula McLain. And it's a pretty thin book. 

Hemingway in Italy by Richard Owen
About Hem's relationship to Italy, from his War experience there to him falling for Adriana Ivancich in his middle age.

The Letters of Ernest Hemingway vol. 4: 1929 - 1931
There's supposed to be 17 volumes of this, I think. The guy sure wrote a lot of letters. But I found this volume to be less interesting than the previous ones. He's in Key West by this point and there's a lot of writing about fishing . Also, not that he knows it, but his best work is behind him, in my opinion.

To Siberia by Per Petterson
Written in a female voice, we follow a brother and sister before WW2 until the 50's.  One of his best novels, and beautifully written, of course.

Echoland by Per Petterson
His first novel and the first Arvid book. Some people and things happening  were later reworked in To Siberia, making it clear that the main female character in that novel was based on the writer's mother.

John Landis by Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan
A long interview with Landis and also people he worked with, like Joe Dante and George Folsey Jr.

Naïf. Super by Erlend Loe
Re-read it in French. I read it in Norwegian when it was published in the 90's and Loe became sort of a spokesman for Generation X. With mixed feelings, I'm guessing. Holds up quite well. It's still funny.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Friday, September 13, 2019

Drawing from 89

(obviously influenced by Bernie Wrightson's Frankenstein illustrations)

Friday, July 26, 2019

Some books I've read 40

Syvsoverskens dystre frukost by Tor Aage Bringsvaerd.
It was fun rereading this novel by my favourite Norwegian novelist in my teens, following different characters in New York and then... it gets weird.

Eye in the Sky by Philip K. Dick
Inception before Inception.

The Crucifix Killer by Chris Carter
I've been thinking it would be fun to do a serial killer comic, and to do that I'd need to read a serial killer novel. This book has all the cliches of the genre, with more than one nod to Seven. The sollution was pretty effective, I must admit. Probably not gonna do the comic, though.

Autumn in Venice: Ernest Hemingway and His Last Muse by Andrea di Robilant
Hemingway falls in love with a 30 years younger Italian woman and then writes a novel about it, Across the River and Into The Trees. Great title, bad novel, well, I must confess I haven't read it, yet. This is the older Hemingway, who had lost some of his talent and who mistreated his wife, Mary. It's the beginning of the end.

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe
Okay biography, going album by album, but the writer spends too much time on analyzing songs.

Master of Kung Fu: Fight Without Pity by Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy
Martial arts meets James Bond. The Gulacy stuff is brilliant, but there are filler stories by less inspired cartoonists as well.

Copra Round One, Two and Three by Michel Fiffe
Ditko meets David B. Love the drawings and storytelling, not totally hooked on the story.

Sempé à New York
A collection of all his New Yorker covers + an interview in both English and French.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Books bought in Toronto

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Eye in the Sky by Philip K. Dick
The Road to Los Angeles by John Fante
Dreams from Bunker Hill by John Fante
Doppler by Erlend Loe
Graphic Ink: The DC Comics Art of Frank Quitely

+ I picked up Is This How You See Me? by Jaime Hernandez at the Fantagraphics stand.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Some books I've read 39

Wait Until Spring, Bandini by John Fante
His first novel, about his childhood. A lot of it rings true, it gets a bit melodramatic towards the end. The book has the Fante voice, but it's not quite the masterpiece that Ask The Dust is.

The Brotherhood of the Grape by John Fante
A screenwriter helps his old bricklayer dad on a final job. 

West of Rome by John Fante
Two stories, the main one being My Dog Stupid. The middleaged Fante was a bit more sentimental than the young Fante.

Beatles '66 by Steve Turner
A month by month retelling of this year in the life of The Beatles. The recording of Revolver, "more popular than Jesus", the decision to stop touring, John meeting Yoko, George going to India, Strawberry Fields / Penny Lane.

Paul McCartney: The Biography by  Philip Norman
800 pages split evenly between The Beatles and Paul solo. Famously, Norman was quite dismissive of Paul in Shout! This biography is pretty fair, it seems to me but not leaving out the moments Paul was not "the nice  Beatle". Some new stuff, like the days he spent in jail in Japan, worrying if he would be locked up for years. Could maybe have cut a few pages about his ugly divorce.

Science Fiction by Serge Clerc
One of four big collections of Clerc's work, this one looking at his science fiction stuff, a mix of drawings and comics, a lot of it from the pages of Metal Hurlant. Not cheap, but includes a signed and numbered print in the front of the book.

Currently reading:
The Big Hunger : Stories 1932 - 1959 by John Fante
The True Adventures of The Rolling Stones by Stanley Booth

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Some books I've read 38

Bad Boy by Jim Thompson
About his youth as a bellboy and different other jobs. A bit too self-congratulatory.

Savage Night by Jim Thompson.
A man integrates life in a small town getting ready to kill someone. Goes on for a bit too long, even at 150 pages. So, I gave Thompson another try, but this book reminded me that I'm not really a fan.

Hellraisers by Robert Sellers
Drinking stories from Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole and Oliver Reed.

1933 Was A Bad Year by John Fante
Semi-autobiographical novel about the writer, age 17, dreaming about becoming a baseball pro and getting away from his bricklayer dad. Fante's language sings.

The Simulacra by Philip K. Dick
Okay, it's been a while since I read it, so I don't remember exactly what happenss. His books get mixed up in my head after a while. There's a robot and someone's divorced, I assume. Not his best and not his worst, I'd say.

El Mayor by Moebius
Sketchbook strip by Moebius, in a Spanish version that I can't read, but I  can enjoy the drawings. Not quite Airtight Garage, or 40 Days in the Desert, but still.

Off Season by James Sturm.
Libtard dog whining about Trump, so his wife ditches him. Actually, a beautiful book by one of the most undervalued cartoonists around.

Currently reading:
First Love and Other Novellas by Samuel Beckett