I told myself I wasn't going to be sucked into this "Absolute" thing. I had all of my original trade paperbacks and had read and re-read them severalI told myself I wasn't going to be sucked into this "Absolute" thing. I had all of my original trade paperbacks and had read and re-read them several time over the years. Sure, I LOVE the Sandman like nothing else, but my humble trades had served me (and the dozen or so people I had lent them to) just fine, why did I need to spend $400 re-collecting a series that I already had and had already read?
The answer: because they're pretty. Like, really really pretty.
I broke when I read on Neil's blog that they were going to be re-coloring the early part of the series. Those early issues, which I've always thought had kind of chintzy art and look kind of, well, terrible in the trades have a new life in this volume. The high quality paper and dramatically improved color separations completely change the scene where Morpheus escapes from his prison, giving it a power that it's lacked for all these years.
Also, the form of these books dramatically changes the experience of reading these stories. Thumbing through the trade paperbacks simply can't compare to sitting in your favorite chair with an oversize, 8 pound book on your lap. It turns reading Sandman into a physical as well as mental and emotional experience in a way that I hadn't anticipated.
So yeah, I'm basically a patsy for DC's marketing department. But I really don't mind. These stories have been an intrinsic part of my life for about a decade now, and purchasing each of these new volumes feels like a celebration of the power of their power. I just can't wait until I have volumes 3 and 4 and I can shut myself away in my house for a couple of days and read the whole thing at a single go.
AND, it also means that I have my own personal copy of The Sandman which nobody but me will ever touch as well as a lending copy. So anyone that hasn't read this yet, now's your chance. Come and find me......more
Everything about this was incredible, and I really couldn't stop reading it. Bechdel's comic memoir focuses on her relationship with her family, and pEverything about this was incredible, and I really couldn't stop reading it. Bechdel's comic memoir focuses on her relationship with her family, and particularly her father, and the way that those relationships have influenced her life. She movingly and sensitively tells us about her father, a high school English teacher, collector of antiques, and closeted homosexual, in his terms: through the lens of Proust, Fitzgerald, and Joyce (it made me want to read Ulysses! Ahh!) The illustrations are simple, and for awhile put me off from reading the book. However, once I got into it I noticed the expressiveness and the subtlety of her drawings, conveying the details of her home and the complex emotions wrapped up in all of her (or anybody's) memories of family life.
If anybody ever wants to roll their eyes about comics being a legitimate art form again, they just need to read this and shut the hell up....more
I was a huge fan of the Punisher when I was a kid, and I checked this book out from the library to try to remember why. It was written by Garth EnnisI was a huge fan of the Punisher when I was a kid, and I checked this book out from the library to try to remember why. It was written by Garth Ennis with art by Steve Dillon, the kick-ass creative team behind the Preacher series, so I thought it might be fun.
The thing is, Punisher's not fun. He's sadistic and twisted and motivated purely by hate. This makes spending 12 issues of a comic book series (or even one issue) really disturbing to me now (after making a Punisher Halloween costume when I was 10). I'm not even talking about morality or ethics or anything like that. I'm talking about finding pleasure in a stupid comic.
And I still can't tell you why I liked this stuff so much as a kid. I guess it was just a matter of having inflated juvenile power fantasies and thinking guns were cool (which I definitely do not any more).
And I think it's interesting that I am still very much a fan of my other childhood favorite vigilante Batman. Punisher and Batman have almost the same origin story and the same calculated and almost clinical approach to what they do. The difference is that Batman wrestles with the choice all the time. Punisher has left choice behind: There's nothing he can do except gun down criminals. There's no tension and no humanity in his character, so the only boundary there is for a writer to push is how sadistic they can make him and how many creative ways they can come up with for him to kill people. Yawn....more
Guess what? Identity politics, the lack of an industrial economy, and too much education are making young Americans into a bunch of whiny, self-obsessGuess what? Identity politics, the lack of an industrial economy, and too much education are making young Americans into a bunch of whiny, self-obsessed assholes!
Tomine has a great illustrative form. His lines are clean, his characters are clear and expressive, and the way that he uses and conveys beats in scenes between his characters is impressive. However, despite some incisive and biting commentary about relationships between twenty- and thirtysomethings (some of which admittedly cut pretty close to the bone for me), the characters in this comic are so selfish and stupid that it's a drag to read....more