Every year, I try to read between fifty and sixty books. That’s about a book a week and seems pretty reasonable to me, especially when you factor in all of the blogs, magazines, comic books, and random Internetery that takes up a lot of my reading time these days. Then, at the end of the year, I go through my list of books read (yes, I keep a list), and recommend the best of them to you. And then you can go ahead and ignore me for a year until I do it again. [Read more...]
The folks at Northwest Review asked me to try again. I’m pretty sure that this came during my phase when a rejection meant REJECTED!!!! and I probably never tried again. Idiot Barry. When asked to “try again,” you always take that as a good sign and try again!
When the fabric between two worlds is ripped opened in this graphic novel, Ryoko Kiyami, a classic doe-eyed and beautiful manga boy, finds himself in a new reality, a strange place where the inhabitants all have proportional facial features, fail to leave lines behind them after a quick movement, and are actually quite vulnerable to injury in martial-arts showdowns. Ryoko’s disorientation only increases when the army major charged with his care instructs Ryoko to start classes at the local high school until the major can put the finishing touches on the machine designed to send Ryoko home. His exaggerated and literal expressions, which include a lovelorn look complete with floating hearts and a rain cloud that forces him to carry a mop around, make him an easy target for ridicule, and his affection for Marissa, the school’s queen bee, doesn’t help. Although the graphic novel starts out as a lovingly playful send-up of the tropes often found in manga and in more western-style comic books, it soon takes on a metafictive quality as Ryoko and Marissa recognize their roles as characters in a story and start to challenge the boundaries of their worlds. This heady premise, fortunately, does not negate any of the book’s wonderfully quirky and subversive humor; that humor, along with a nicely developed romance, gives Ryoko’s story an appeal that reach audiences beyond the mangamaniacs—though comic-book fans will nonetheless appreciate several of Lyga’s inside jokes. Ryoko is a fluid, stylized figure amidst the strong-jawed, heavily lined residents of Marissa’s world, completing the effect of an east-meets-west sensibility in the illustrations.
Happy Boxing Day!
It is absolutely killing me that I can’t find my personal copy of the comic below right now. At one point, I owned — for some reason — two copies of this majestic piece of art, and now I apparently own none. Ah, well.
In the spirit of the season, I present to you: Superman and Santa Claus!
And of course they’re fighting the Toyman!
(From DC Comics Presents #67, March 1984. Cover by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez.)
I Hunt Killers is still four months way from its official U.S. release date, but I’m pleased to announce that another country has jumped on-board the international serial killer love train. The fine folks at Boekerij, in Holland, have snapped up the Dutch rights to the series, adding the land of tulips and windmills to the list of countries to be subjected to my depraved blatherings.
Thanks to everyone at Little, Brown and Boekerij for making this happen!