Confusing autobiographical graphic novel about one young man's coming to terms with religion and sexuality, dressed up in post-apocalyptic sci-fi fantConfusing autobiographical graphic novel about one young man's coming to terms with religion and sexuality, dressed up in post-apocalyptic sci-fi fantasy drag. Lush (often excessively so) self-taught art is filled with symbolism, too much of which is understandable only to the author. I had to read this book twice to make sense of it, and even then a lot was left un-understood. And the neopagan goddess worship stuff is spread on thickly, so much so that this book ended up reminding me a little too much of a Left Coast Jack Chick tract, only with better artwork.
Thank goddess the author let me know that he finds all women's bodies beautiful, no matter what they look like, because the artwork suggests that all women share the exact same perfect body-type: ginormous, perky boobies and long, shaven legs. No complaints from this reader (Dawn is hawt after all), but it does seem a tad ironic given the obvious "feminist" (as in the "women's spirituality studies" brand of feminism) leanings of the comic and the author.
If I were a troubled adolescent (again), rebelling against the religion of my parents and seeking desperately to get laid, I would definitely give this book a higher rating. As it is, with the neopagan '90s receding into the distance in the rearview mirror of history, I wonder what sort of audience this book will have in the coming years. ...more
I really enjoyed this book. It has been my favorite of Rucker's transrealist novels thus far, that is for sure. Other reviewers have noted that RuckerI really enjoyed this book. It has been my favorite of Rucker's transrealist novels thus far, that is for sure. Other reviewers have noted that Rucker and his sf is a light-weight PKD, but I would suggest that instead Rucker writes like someone with the security of a non-writing career, and so has the "luxury" of being able to do things like create characters, whereas Dick was writing for a living, and doing so at a pretty low payscale. He generated lots of ideas but not the best prose, in other words, whereas Rucker at his best is awesome ideas and a great story. Here, in a thinly veiled autobiography (and what another reviewer summed up as "Rucker does Catcher in the Rye"), Rucker explores the themes of adolescent alienation, only here the alienation is literal as well as figurative. ...more
I enjoyed this novel far more than I initially expected, and especially relished the central sections, an astoundingly accurate reminiscence of a percI enjoyed this novel far more than I initially expected, and especially relished the central sections, an astoundingly accurate reminiscence of a perceptive adolescent's take on Christian, particularly Roman Catholic, theology. Those who endured confirmation classes of any sort as a teenager will appreciate Joyce's vividly imagined/remembered preachments and conversations on sin, hell, and God. As I was reading this novel, I remembered a night of drinking with my best friend noyoucmon, 15 or so years ago, in which we enjoyed a "hell off": I read descriptions of Tibetan Buddhist hells from Words of My Perfect Teacher, while he read from the present volume. Fun times. ...more
With the two words, "hey, wait..." two young lives are changed forever. A haunting look at shattering consequences and shattered dreams. Excellent, alWith the two words, "hey, wait..." two young lives are changed forever. A haunting look at shattering consequences and shattered dreams. Excellent, almost wordless comic, drawn and plotted in Jason's inimitable style, with a less than fully satisfying (or sensible, at least to me) conclusion. (Ok, I get the bus scene--it's the pages before that have me befuddled.)...more
This is a disappointing finale to an otherwise excellent series. The love triangle stuff continues here, and by now, it has become pretty tir2.5 stars
This is a disappointing finale to an otherwise excellent series. The love triangle stuff continues here, and by now, it has become pretty tiresome. Katniss still can't make up her mind about whether she loves Gale or Peeta more (and, honestly, who is to say she really loves either of them), and the resolution to this dilemma makes for pretty weak tea. Too much of the action happens off-screen, as in the previous two books, but here there is simply no excuse. I mean the reader doesn't get to see President Snow die for chrissakes; Katniss makes a surprise decision at his execution, blacks out, and then comes to in a world without President Snow in it. Seriously? After all the hell that bastard has put her, and the rest of Panem, through, and we don't even get to see him die? The scenes in the Capitol are muddy and unclear, as we follow Katniss' troupe of commandos through yet another rendition of the Hunger Games, while the real rebel forces fight the war off-screen. Some commentators have seen a cruel streak in the entire series, and while I disagree that the first two books were unnecessarily violent or cynical, too many of the deaths in this installment did nothing to move the story forward, and, in fact, actually seemed to lessen the emotional impact of the first two books. My other complaint is that this book seems to actively undercut the message of the first two stories, about rising up and fighting an unjust system in which the majority of people's lives are wasted in the service of a bubble-headed elite. Perhaps Collins is trying to say that all violence and all warfare are ultimately futile, even in the service of noble aims, but that message rings hollow in light of the righteous anger conjured up by the first two books....more
The angelic images of the author as a young man, learning to walk in spite of being told it was impossible and defending himself against scho3.5 stars
The angelic images of the author as a young man, learning to walk in spite of being told it was impossible and defending himself against schoolyard bullies, will stick in my mind for a long while. It is quite sickening to realize that, for many people, attacking those who apparently cannot defend themselves is a way of life; it is equally heartening to see that Davison is one "spacka" or "cripple" who has learned to fight back (and who, apparently, seeks to teach others to do the same through his Martial Hearts program). Powerful illustrations, in a variety of mediums and styles, convey the deepest feelings of the author, the pains and the joys, that he has faced coming to terms with the "spiral cage" of his life with spina bifida. I also appreciate the role that faith--specifically, Nichiren Buddhism--has played in Davison's life, in helping him (and hopefully others) to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. An awesome comic book by an awesome character....more
Sensitive retelling of H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man from the perspective of an adolescent girl in a small town. This town, a nowhere filled with noSensitive retelling of H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man from the perspective of an adolescent girl in a small town. This town, a nowhere filled with nobodies, is suddenly home to a mysterious, bandaged man named "Griffen." Suspicion, friendships, and violence ensue. The artwork is deceptively simple-looking but quite powerful and resonant....more
Interesting, well-written, and thoughtful post-apocalyptic future set around Nuin (New England). Free-thought and science flicker on an island in theInteresting, well-written, and thoughtful post-apocalyptic future set around Nuin (New England). Free-thought and science flicker on an island in the mid-Atlantic, where Davy spends his days recounting his early life in a medieval world of post-American city states centered around the Holy Mercan Church. Fascinating details. ...more