While I had never read any of the comics involved in this remake before, all the buzz around this (and the new Netflix show) finally got me to make aWhile I had never read any of the comics involved in this remake before, all the buzz around this (and the new Netflix show) finally got me to make a day of it and so now I've caught up on the show and read this volume of After Life With Archie.
While I prefer the show's more self aware reboot bent, this is a solid zombies come to Riverdale style twist. At least as far as I can tell. I have certainly read my share of zombie comics and this one still felt pretty fresh and original. Taking a somewhat dated franchise in a crazy spoofy/fanfic like direction. Coming to them at the same time and being introduced to the characters in two very different ways was particularly enjoyable for me....more
A really promising premise combined with really great art and an author who clearly has no personal experience in this space. NOTHING about this storyA really promising premise combined with really great art and an author who clearly has no personal experience in this space. NOTHING about this story comes across naturally, and it's a real shame. Female identifying gamers already face enough persecution without having their plight exploited for money so poorly. Girl gamers deserve to have their stories told well by persons who actually understand what it is like to be a female gamer in the world today.
I am extremely disappointed with First Second, a publisher I have enjoyed a lot in the past....more
A random pick up at the library, I am extremely blessed to have found this delightful little book.
Perhaps the most adult wordless comic I have ever reA random pick up at the library, I am extremely blessed to have found this delightful little book.
Perhaps the most adult wordless comic I have ever read, Sakabashira toes the line between conventional story telling and abstract craziness quite deftly. He goes in so many interesting directions, but they are all tied together with an incredibly strong sense of narrative. I'm sure that more than a few cultural and pop cultural references went completely over my head, but I never felt like it. Knowing and not knowing, the world and its story never seems shallow....more
A really well put together nonfiction comic book. The artist and author come together to make an important, if perhaps notoriously dull subject, engagA really well put together nonfiction comic book. The artist and author come together to make an important, if perhaps notoriously dull subject, engaging and accessible. That said, it did feel rather besotted with the Free Market. ...more
Never having read anything by Myers previously, I enjoyed reading this graphic adaption of his book Monster. While the art felt very similar to many oNever having read anything by Myers previously, I enjoyed reading this graphic adaption of his book Monster. While the art felt very similar to many other graphic adaptions I have read, for whatever reason they all seem to look the same, the artist was much more skilled than many people who get hired to do this sort of thing. My one complaint is that a lot of the panels felt a bit too busy, lacking in a clear visual focus, and so I sometimes found it difficult to read.
My only other complaint is that while Monster did do a good job in showing how bias effects black men in the justice system, I did feel like the main character was a bit of an easy sell. It's a testament to just how problematic I believe current race relations in the USA are that I can still see a lot of people who grew up in situations like mine own really being able to learn from this book and having their eyes opened, at least a little bit. That said, when a character is this sympathetic you miss an opportunity to teach people that they really need to accept people who are significantly different than them. ...more
A really great read for me right now. I would strongly recommend this book to my peers, coming to intersectionality from a western none Muslim perspecA really great read for me right now. I would strongly recommend this book to my peers, coming to intersectionality from a western none Muslim perspective. The most important thing I feel like I took away from this book were ideas of how I can advance the issue of women's rights internationally, and specifically in the middle east, while not relying on the easy racist cliches.
Be warned, it is not an easy book to read, especially if you have a harder time reading accounts of sexual harassment, female genital mutilation, or marital rape etc. But if you can, I think many of my peers would find it very rewarding. Eltahawy not only gives an inside look into her own experienced, and the experiences of the women around her, but also draws comparisons between what I might be tempted to view as "barbaric other" and western practices - some of which continue to this day....more
Certainly not as inspiringly tight as A Game For Swallows, but still very solid. Abirached continues to reveal the every day life of a kid growing upCertainly not as inspiringly tight as A Game For Swallows, but still very solid. Abirached continues to reveal the every day life of a kid growing up in Lebanon during the war.
While I have read some reviews that criticized I Remember Beirut and A Game For Swallows for being too similar, but i would like to bring to your attention at least one key difference. This book is much more child focused. Rather then spending equal attention on the struggles of the adults around her and the struggles of her childhood self, Abirached really brings the focus on what life for a child in Lebanon was like. I'm not sure if the artwork would be interesting enough for a kid, but otherwise I would recommend this as a much more child relatable book....more
Visually poetic and deeply honest, this book is going to be tough to beat as far as favourite book of 2017 goes. I really appreciated the nuanced wayVisually poetic and deeply honest, this book is going to be tough to beat as far as favourite book of 2017 goes. I really appreciated the nuanced way in which Tobocman approached this story, especially because while this is based off of his real life experience he does not seek to argue that it is a 100% factually accurate from everyone's perspective. So he had a lot more room to make himself look good and romanticize the cause in general, and he didn't take it. IMHO anyway, that's not to say his perspective isn't biased a certain way, based on his personal experiences, but that he's willing to even hold people who are on "his side" as well as himself to account for racist and sexist behavior.
I would not recommend this to people just getting into comics as they may have some trouble following the text, which sometimes ends up in very expressive (Rather then entirely user friendly) places. But as I said at the start of the review, as someone who is very comfortable in the genre I did not find that Tobocman's layouts were unskilled, but rather extremely poetic. He also uses visual metaphor similar to Maus.
Simultaneously thinking and not thinking about gentrification more than I used to, I did find this text highly instructional in the culture of gentrification. The very real war these sorts of creeps wage on the people they replace. Hopefully I will be able to integrate more anti-gentrification action into my life....more
Reading through the reviews for this book I really have to feel sorry for it. It's almost like being the older less attractive sister to a child prodiReading through the reviews for this book I really have to feel sorry for it. It's almost like being the older less attractive sister to a child prodigy, even if it did come second. It's just really hard to live up to the kinds of expectations that people have for you coming off of such an appealing book as Persepolis 1. That said, I would argue that the only real issue with this book is reader expectations. Even on a second read through, I found just as much thought provoking content in this, the "lesser" sister as I did in the original.
As I said in both my review for Persepolis 1 and Embroideries, a big chunk of the reason that people find the first book oh so much more amazing is because it is about a sexually innocent little girl! Even die hard sexists can get behind such a winsome little girl character from time to time because per-pubecent as they are, they are yet "untainted". So the fact that her popularity plummets after her story hits puberty doesn't really surprise me at all.
On top of that, this sequel is also a dramatically different type of story from the first. Rather than experiencing the violence going on in her homeland first-hand, Satrapi has relocated to Europe, where she gets her first real taste of western society and experiences a lot of adolescent angst. This volume is much lighter on both spiritual and political elements, although she does do a lot of political reading here and there.
While this volume felt like it spent a lot less time educating me about the politics and history of her geographic homeland, I felt like I still had a lot to learn from it on a much more personal level.
A) In a culture that sometimes seems to worship at the feet of senseless violence, I find it very interesting to read works by people who actually experience violence.
B) How does one deal with caring about violence that is happening far away from us?
C) How does one deal with being lumped together with radical extremists?
On top of that Satrapi has continued to bring more and more skill and nuance to her work both artistically and in the way it deals with topics. Satrapi, in the tradition of all good memoirs I suppose, allows herself to be extremely vulnerable in this work. Showing a lot of things that don't set her in the best light. Particularly one incident where she scapegoats an innocent bystander to escape the culture police. We get to see Satrapi, warts and all, and I for one feel richer for the experience....more
Warning: This review goes in a couple weird directions. Read at your own peril!
Coming back to this book after several years, and a recent read throughWarning: This review goes in a couple weird directions. Read at your own peril!
Coming back to this book after several years, and a recent read through of all of the Satrapi books at my library, I was rather struck by the unique position it holds in Satrapi's bibliography. While it is certainly worthy of the position, it has become very obvious to me why this book is her most popular. Perhaps I am being too jaded, but I suspect a lot of it has to do with sexism. For who can resist the story of a sexually innocent little girl? That overly simplified bit of paranoia behind us however, let us get down to reviewing the book itself.
Despite this being perhaps on of the easiest most appealing ways to tell the story of the cultural revolution in Iran to westerners, this book really is excellent. This is not to be confused with endorsing this book as the be all end all of everything anyone should ever read on the subject (as some negative reviewers seem to insinuate), but it was an easy entry point for me, and I suspect it does the same thing for many people.
When I first read this book college around 2010 I think it's fair to say that this book changed my life. Not all at once certainly - but looking back anyway, I can't recall any earlier point where anything made a genuine effort to have me see people in the Middle East as peers and not either exotic other or evil incarnate. So, really, I am very glad that this book is so popular. As a first person nonfiction experience from a place so often maligned by American media, love it or hate it, this is an important read.
Of course, disclaimer, another really appealing part of this book for me was the way it explains history through personal narrative. Some people learn better from lists of facts that clearly outline every minute detail history, and some people learn best from long rambly narratives that tie everything together with stories and abstract concepts. That said, most people fall somewhere in the middle. Having read one too many negative reviews on historical narratives that I find educational, I would like to point out that both of these ways of learning IMHO are equally valid.
While "Factual" people would like to argue that a lot of the more narrative and personal approaches to history are biased, I would argue that even supposedly objective lists of facts are almost never devoid of all bias. Therefor, having people present their biases more openly actually leads to a much more balanced overall education, then if you have to spend a large amount of time parsing out the inevitable bias of so called facts. People can come up with facts to back up pretty much anything and do a really good job of obscuring just how unfactual their facts really are.
Persepolis, on the other hand, spends a great deal of time unpacking Satrapi's entire world view. Putting much of her early life, good and bad, serious and silly, on full display. Therefor it is much easier for people to realize the limitations, both accidental and diabolically purposeful, of the narrative.
For one thing, while she is very personally spiritual, Satrapi family does not seem to be anything more than culturally Islamic. So I should probably find some stories about actual Muslims people, either inside or outside Iran, to get a better idea about the religion itself rather than just the politics of this one Islamic state. For another, particularly in this first volume, Satrapi is very pro-west.
Going from Embroideries to Persepolis 1 I was also struck by how much simpler the art is in this earlier volume. While it does make it a bit harder to differentiate between people, it also reflects her simpler understanding of things as a child. The dramatic and highly contrasted style does a very good job of reflecting the austere and violent times that Satrapi has lived through without getting overly gruesome. I really appreciated how Satrapi worked to make this as all ages as she could have.
Reading through all the Satrapi graphic novels (plus movie) that I could this month, I really did enjoy coming back to the root of it all in the end. Reading about Marjane's childhood is vital to understanding her work overall and is the conception of many of the things that I find so interesting about her which I will probably explain in more depth in another review/video. ...more
A small subtle book, coming back to this book as a (at least relatively) more mature woman, I find a sumptuous feast of material where once I only sawA small subtle book, coming back to this book as a (at least relatively) more mature woman, I find a sumptuous feast of material where once I only saw a somewhat odd/novel followup to Persepolis. While Satrapi certainly could have gone the factual and plotted route of things, that would have been stepping back from Persepolis rather than stepping forward. Retreating rather than digging deeper, not only into her subject matter, but also deeper into the art of what she is creating with her art.
While Persepolise 1 certainly was a daring work, I'm sure the story was much more palatable to many people because it was about a little girl who was not overtly sexual. Mot average people just don't want to talk about sexually active women. At least not in a positive and/or everyday light. They certainly don't want to think of their mothers, aunts and grandmothers and what they may or may not be seeing or doing. It's certainly the kind of book that will rub a lot of people's arbitrary sensibilities the wrong way, and the troll in me applauds Satrapi for this act of daring alone.
But, as a whole, there's a whole lot more here to appreciate then just shocking the conservative cultural norms of the west. I also really appreciate the easy nuance and personhood it brings to Satrapi's family. These women are not just civilians, not just subjects, not just foreigners or even terrorists as some would have us believe. They are everyday women, but with their own personal twists - nothing terribly exotic about it. The stories that these women have to tell are human stories, full of weirdness and silly details, losers and heart break.
As usual, Satrapi's artwork continues to express so much - even though she is working with such simple elements. Her faces are so strong and expressive. Every detail communicating something about the person beneath. I've certainly drunk the kool-aid on this one, so maybe it's a complete waste of time, but I would highly recommend that you read this too....more