I’ve Been Reading a Lot of Comics Lately


After a rainy Sunday afternoon, my Goodreads inventory has been updated with quite a few graphic novels, the most highly recommended among them Tamara Drewe, Posy Simmond’s modern updating of Far from the Madding Crowd—but I would also urge you to take a look at volume 5 of Villard’s Flight anthology; in some ways I liked it even more than The Best American Comics 2008 (although that series has significantly improved in the last year).

This weekend’s reading was sort of the culmination of a recent burst of graphic novel reading which began with a plunge into recently translated works by Osamu Tezuka; I’d been a big fan of Vertical’s eight-volume edition of his Buddha, so I was looking forward to Dororo and Black Mask. The latter turned out to be a rather entertaining medical drama, provided you were willing to buy into its more absurd starting premises—work with the story, and it’ll work with you. But Dororo… I have to admit, after two strong opening volumes, I was seriously disappointed with the way Tezuka scrambled to tie everything together (and not all that neatly) in the third batch of stories. And then there was MW, which was billed as “a chilling picaresque of evil,” but felt a bit more like a cartoonish action movie romp: “good mindless fun masquerading as a statement about good and evil,” as I put it on Goodreads. But even there, the artwork was superb; you can see why Tezuka has so many fans in Japan and around the world.

1 December 2008 | housecleaning |