Sunday, November 09, 2008

Random Thoughts (Nov. 9 2008)

* The one comic that I really want to read, but haven't gotten a chance to get yet (for various reasons including money--or the lack thereof--and the shop not having a copy): ACME Novelty Library #19. I really hope to get a copy before the end of the year because my "best of 2008" list will be laughable without it. (Although, by some tastes, my list will be laughable even with it, so...)

* Currently rereading Paradigm for the first time as a whole. I haven't read an issue since it ended back in 2003 (cover dated November, so it's been five years). Have read the first four issues and... I've got to say, this is one weird comic. It goes where it wants, it lies to you, it tells you that it lies to you... It's also a dense read. I own all thirteen issues (both copies of the first one). The original first issue is autographed by artist Jeremy Haun, who I met at Wizard's Chicago con back in 2003. I also bought my "Fight for the sitcom" t-shirt from him then and have loved it ever since. In fact, it and my jacket (which I call The Jacket) are my two favourite items of clothing that I own. The 2003 Chicago con was also where I met Steve Higgins in person for the first time--and Steve is/was a big Paradigm fan. He has several letters printed in issues and I remember spending much of the Friday(?) night at the bar in Chicago talking to him. About what, I don't remember. Wow, that was over five years ago... it seems like forever ago, really. That night in the bar was kind of shitty since it was the hotel bar and I got in before they started carding people (I was only 20 at the time) and the bathroom was in the hotel proper, not the bar itself, so I couldn't leave to use the bathroom or else face not getting back in. Which meant I nursed a single pepsi the entire night. The irony was that I didn't drink back then (despite the legal age in Ontario being 19)... Other than that, it was a good time. But, back to Paradigm... Not sure if I'll write about it here quite yet. Steve should, though. But, I'm enjoying it quite a bit and it works really well when read together. I remember reading it monthly and getting lost here and there. The black and white hurts the book only in that Haun's art isn't always clear on who is who... The writing is a bit obtuse at times, too, but that's part of it. It's weird to think that I was reading this, Automatic Kafka and The Filth at the same time five years ago... I miss 2003.

* I'm rethinking how to go about discussing new comics here since I'm also doing review for CBR of many of the same books. I didn't bother with it this week since the only comics I bought were for reviewing purposes. Maybe I'll switch to extended discussions/reviews of the books I don't review at CBR. Then again, the purpose of those reviews is different from what I do here already. Who knows.

* A week or two back, I reread a lot of Grant Morrison's small mini-series. Marvel Boy, Flex Mentallo, WE3, Seaguy, and Vimanarama. The first four have been discussed a lot by various people, but I don't remember much time or effort spent looking at the last one. It was the third of the three three-issue minis Morrison did at Vertigo a few years back and was generally regarded as a disappointment after Seaguy and WE3. Vimanarama is a sort of cross between Indian culture and Jack Kirby... a superhero comic done with a Bollywood influence. It's understandable why it didn't catch on much, but it's not a bad read at all. Philip Bond does the art and it has some really interesting ideas... and fits well into Morrison's usual themes. A superhero who loses his powers because his one true love doesn't love him; an ordinary guy who becomes a superhero at the end; even an elevated plane of existence where words take the place of the items they refer to. Not a substantial work really, but a strangely forgotten one...

* Question: has anyone reading this gotten the recent Marvel Boy hardcover? If so, did Marvel simply reprint the previous collected version, which broke up a couple of double-page spreads (one of which was pages two and three of issue four) or did they insert a black page to maintain the original art as printed in the issues? Just curious.