Thursday, January 05, 2006

Your Thursday Inanity: 22 Panels, Musings on Alan Moore, A Trip to Borders, Mild Anxiety over Shelf Space, and Peggy's Progress Around the World














Bookslut.com posted this image up some months ago and I thought it was cool so I'm posting it here for you. It makes the art of drawing comic books look really easy, like I could draw any story I wanted within hours just by randomly choosing a panel off of this page and plugging in a quick drawing and some dialogue in word balloons. Sadly, it's a lot more difficult.

As some of you may know, I've kind of gotten into a graphic novel phase lately. I don't think it's because I'm about to get into drawing one myself (the morgue of first comic pages from never-to-be-completed graphic novels that is my closet is a helpful reminder not to attempt such a thing anytime soon, not to mention the unfinished NOVEL that is always sitting on my chest, making it hard to breathe), but probably because I just have a lot of fun reading them. I've been rereading my super fantastic new edition of Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons for the last week or so, and I'm struck again by how brilliant the thing is. I'm having to pace myelf so I just don't steam all the way through to the end. I want to have some Watchmen to read for a couple more nights. Has anyone else read this thing? Does anyone else think it's as great as I do? I'll do a post about it when I finish it. Scan some pages in -- the whole bit.

I'm also reading, simultaneously, another of Moore's famous graphic novels, V for Vendetta, (here's a couple sample pages I scanned in for you -- is that illegal? It feels kind of illegal). I've seen this in bookstores before but each time I picked it up and looked inside I quickly put it back on the shelf, put off by its muted colors and dated drawing style. The artwork (by David Lloyd) just doesn't work for me. It looks like it was drawn, inked, and colored by the person who does the Mary Worth strips for the Sunday paper, except slightly more blurry. But with the movie coming out, and the trailer being so good, and advance word on the film itself being very good, if not ecstatic, (Aintitcoolnews.com is a big supporter now after their crew screened it at their annual Butt-Numb-A-Thon film fest in Austin, TX), I decided I'd endure the art to get the story. I'm a third of the way through it and the artwork is actually growing on me. I know it's not great, but it gets the job done pretty well. So far -- good stuff.

I went to Borders tonight with my $100 gift card I got from my folks for Christmas, and after an hour and a half of shuffling through the store, pudgy and unshaved, wearing my Braves hat over bad hair, looking kind of lost, feeling a little nauseated by my dinner of cheese tortillas, tomato soup, and Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, I bought four trade paperbacks and an Edward Hopper calendar at 50% off. Runaway by Alice Munro, Lolita by Vladimir Nobokov, Collected Prose by Paul Auster, and The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer. These new books join the other books I bought last week (or so) (also with a gift card), on top of my bookshelf between two Harry Potter bookends. I don't actually have any more room on the shelves themselves as of right now. Kind of out of room. Lot of unread books I plan to get to some day hogging space. Like The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker, Pierre by Herman Melville, Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, stuff like that. I will get to them though. One day, I will finish those books.

All right, I'm done with this post. I'm off to read some more Watchman and watch a little Bourne Identity on DVD.

(By the way, Peggy wrote me an email today at about 4PM saying she'd made it to Paris safely and felt a little tired after the flight. I guess she'll be headed to China soon if she isn't en route already. The cat is, right this minute, laying next to the door, waiting for her to come home. I know. Pathetic.)

6 comments:

food for thought said...

Syndicated columnist Bob Novak writes in today’s Chicago Sun Times on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s severe failings, saying “dissatisfaction with Pelosi's performance is pervasive across the ideological spectrum. Her colleagues grumble that under her leadership, the party lacks focus and a clear agenda… This deficiency is referred to by some House Democrats as ''the Nancy problem,'' but it really transcends failings of their party leader. They remain tied to obsolete practices that freeze in place aged committee leaders.”

food for thought said...

Syndicated columnist Bob Novak writes in today’s Chicago Sun Times on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s severe failings, saying “dissatisfaction with Pelosi's performance is pervasive across the ideological spectrum. Her colleagues grumble that under her leadership, the party lacks focus and a clear agenda… This deficiency is referred to by some House Democrats as ''the Nancy problem,'' but it really transcends failings of their party leader. They remain tied to obsolete practices that freeze in place aged committee leaders.”

Fried Pepperoni said...

Can we erase this food for thought crap? STOP MAKING ME FEEL ASHAMED OF BEING A LIBERAL! ENOUGH! GET ON TOPIC!

Okay. Whew.

Anyway, there's a quote by someone smarter than me that goes "We buy books because we think we're buying the time to read them." There's some truth in that statement, don't you think? God knows I've got a shelf full of stuff I haven't even cracked open since the day I bought them. Such as two Alice Munro collections (She's incredible though - just look at how she's made a career of doing short stories. That alone should tell you something) and numerous other paperbacks purchased on the cheap or picked up for free in some way or another.

My personal suggestion would be to start Lolita first. Reading it with James Mason's voice in your head is a real treat.

Did you tell Peggy about our plan to turn you into the jar-pissing, beard and nail growing version of Howard Hughes while she's gone??? Your place is going to smell SO good when she gets back. Awesome.

JudgeHolden said...

I know, especially when Food for Thought posts the same comment up twice. I know that Food for Thought posts up these quotes, in part, because he knows Ill be excited to see 3 comments on my new post, only to be disappointed to see that two of them are his GOP quotes, not to mention the same one. I have the feeling FOF will be around for some time. I'm resigned to it.

Shawn, that quote sounds exactly right. Part of what makes me feel good about buying all of those books is the idea that I will, eventually, have the time to read all of them. I'm interested in the Munro -- the last couple of short story collections I've read (Tobias Wolff and ZZ Packer) have both been very good, and they say Munro is a master of the form, so it should be good. I'm also looking forward to the Paul Auster book. Hand to Mouth is in there -- that's his long essay about the menial and desperate work he did to support his family before he wrote New York Stories. Apparently, Auster worked for months and months, maybe years, on a D&D style baseball game he hoped to sell to a game company. It failed, of course. Stuff like that -- should be good. And I will read Lolita aloud to the cat in my James Mason voice. I wonder if the cat's smart enough to be creeped out when I do it. Hmmm. Then again, Venkman almost always looks a little uncomfortable.

But no, haven't told Peggy about my plans to Howard Hughes-out while she's gone. I kind of want it to be a surprise. She'll open the front door (having travelled from the airport by taxi because, you know, I'm not going to pick her up in my state), and she'll immediately knock over three mason jars of pee. She's going to laugh and laugh.

Peggy said...

But no, haven't told Peggy about my plans to Howard Hughes-out while she's gone. I kind of want it to be a surprise. She'll open the front door (having travelled from the airport by taxi because, you know, I'm not going to pick her up in my state), and she'll immediately knock over three mason jars of pee. She's going to laugh and laugh.

NOT LAUGHING . . . :)

blankfist said...

V for Vendetta... Wachowski Bros. Apparently they haven't any new material to steal... [cough, cough]. By the way, did you know that Sophia Stewart didn't win her case? In case your staring at the monitor mouthing 'what the--', she was the lady who claims to have Terminator and The Matrix stories stolen from her. She didn't know it until she watched the Matrix, and after filing whatever lawsuit or whatever, the FBI told her not only did they steal the Matrix but they had conclusive evidence that they stole Terminator too.

Of course, the evidence of the FBI means little when you're a black female peon going up against Hollywood. [Sigh]... I sound like a whiny liberal right about now, huh?