Sunday, September 3, 2023

Some books I've read 60

The Amazing Spider-Man: The Master Planner 

Steve Ditko's last issues before he split. The last two or three are the weakest, so either he ran out of ideas or he lost interest. I will always prefer Romita, and later Andru, but Ditko deserves a lot of credit for creating the main characters in the comic and laying the groundwork for all that followed.

The Amazing Spider-Man: Spider-Man or Spider-Clone

Peak Ross Andru here, with inking by Mike Esposito or Frank Giacoia. The Jackal and the Gwen Stacy clone storyline, and then The Kingpin. Script by Gerry Conway and Len Wein. When I think about superhero comics, this is the stuff that pops out in my head. One more volume to go, publication in May, next year.

Captain America: The Red Skull Lives

Okay, the stories aren't all that interesting, but the art by Jack Kirby and in a couple of stories Gil Kane, is all dynamite.

Les aventures de R. Crumb by Robert Crumb.

This is one of the French translations of Crumb, published by Cornélius in a beautifully designed book on heavy paper. I don't have much by Crumb, mostly Fritz the Cat and the early sketchbooks, but I found a cheap copy of this book and will look for more.

I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore

Hmm... Not really to my taste, this book, the writer moving away from reality into fantasy / magic realism. I found it hard to care about the characters. Or character, really. Which is a shame. Moore can still write a killer sentence, though.

The Stones by Philip Norman

After all the Beatles books, I had been looking for a biography of Rolling Stones, and here it is! Well written, not too dry, and skipping some of the less interesting later stuff. But I still find Mick Jagger to be a bit ridiculous, I must confess.

Kiki Man Ray by Mark Braude 

The story of Kiki de Montparnasse, her relationship with Man Ray and Paris in the 20's. How she moved from being a model to a singer and also an artist before the traditional sad ending. Where's the biopic?

The Twilight Years: Paris in the 1930s by William Wiser

Not bad, some good stuff, Henry Miller arrives and meets Anais Nin, James Joyce is an asshole to Sylvia Beach, but I prefer Wiser's earlier book, The Crazy Years: Paris in the Twenties.