Sunday, April 25, 2010

local library picks

The library has comics. Here's what I've been reading:

Asterios Polyp (David Mazzuchelli) - How can you not be curious to read this book, what with the glowing reviews, the "8 to 10 years in the making" legend, and Mazzuchelli's reputation for being right at the razor's edge of treating comics as a "serious art form"?

I mean, don't you want to see if he succeeds or flops on his face?

It almost makes me feel bad that I'm not a complete and unabashed fan. I admire it a great deal, it's impressive, I'm glad to have read it---but I wouldn't go so far as some of the reviewers who can find no fault with it. One reviewer noted that while it's largely about a cold, analytical protagonist, told in an often schematic, hyper-intellectualized way, that Mazzuchelli nevertheless undercuts all this with more intuitive, organic sections. And he pokes fun at his rigid, uptight protagonist. This is all true, but the overwhelming impression, despite the book's lovely design and many virtuoso performances, is still to me this kind of schematic quality that's very distancing.

But that's a minor fault given the book's high ambitions that it mostly seems to bring off.
Available at the downtown central library.

Stitches (David Small) - Small apparently had a uniquely bizarre and even horrifying childhood, and he confronts this with blunt honesty and a great deal of style and wit. His loose drawings nevertheless seem dead-on in their suggestion of the characters that populated Small's world.
Available at the Avondale branch.


Chris_Garrison said...

Nice post, Tim. I haven't read either of those, but it sounds like they'd be worth checking out (accidental pun there).

I just turned the titles into links.

I forgot to tell you -- I'm done with that Crumb comic you lent me, so help me remember to get it back to you.

Tim Rocks said...


Tim Rocks said...

But srsly..

I hope you enjoyed it, maybe at the next gathering I can get if from you.