I remember seeing well worn paperback editions of this series in the public library, when I was younger. I was hesitant to read it because although itI remember seeing well worn paperback editions of this series in the public library, when I was younger. I was hesitant to read it because although it seemed to be from the same tradition and era as Tolkien, everything I'd heard about it said otherwise. When I thought I was ready to approach it in high school, I was steered away from it by a well-meaning librarian. I think now it was something of a disservice, but I forgive her. I loved the BBC television series that was aired on PBS here in the States. It managed to tell the story well and I absolutely loved the sets and costumes.
So I began this several years ago, and only got as far as the showdown between Flay and Swelter. Still I love the language and Peake's psychological approach to his characters. Learning about his artwork, I have a much deeper appreciation of his genius. It is truly sad he is not better known today....more
I was disappointed enough with this title that I didn't bother reading past the first few chapters. The author talks about visiting a live video tapinI was disappointed enough with this title that I didn't bother reading past the first few chapters. The author talks about visiting a live video taping of a local afternoon television program where Oprah Winfrey was interviewed. He couches everything in the context of being one degree away from fame, which is something I've personally contemplated, but not enough to write a book about. While he seems a personable enough narrator, very little of his prose jumped off the page and made me want to read more.
I can't recommend this book and I am less likely to read anything else by him. I read somewhere most of his books are on the subject of sports journalism, which is a subject I have no interest in. That I read "Hunger Manifesto" is probably all I will read of him....more
With Gary Trudeau publishing his forty year retrospective this year it is hard not to be impressed by syndicated cartooning. Charles Schultz is the onWith Gary Trudeau publishing his forty year retrospective this year it is hard not to be impressed by syndicated cartooning. Charles Schultz is the only other syndicated cartoonist that comes to mind who has a more impressive collection of work, but there are many who have benefited from syndication, becoming national bestselling cartoonists, despite breaking conventions in the system. All the same, writing for mainstream newspaper media seems a breeze compared to the challenges faced by Gay and Lesbian cartoonists who also want to tell their stories.
I learned about Robert Kirby's "Curbside" back in the mid-ninties, years after I'd begun collecting gay comicbooks. I was immediately impressed, because his formula of telling simple stories about relationships between gay men was something I'd attempted to do at the same time, but never found my voice or stride. Robert had something I didn't have, which is a real drive to be published in as many newspapers as he could manage.
The Gay press media landscape has changed over the years, but there has never been a syndicate, that I know of, that have helped the careers of gay cartoonists in the same way that Trudeau, Schultz and other mainstream cartoonist careers have. Kirby and others who want to see their work in print have to hit the pavement and talk to editors first hand, convincing them to make room in their papers to publish their comics. And I know first hand that newspaper editors will make room for paying advertising long before they will print cartoon strips.
Ultimately it depends on the artist and his own discipline to regularly produce quality work and send it out. So the real heros in the cartooning world are people like Kirby, who syndicate their own strips to unsympathetic editors, often for no immediate compensation. Nowadays, newspapers are finding it difficult to maintain their readership. Here in Seattle, we no longer have dedicated gay and lesbian owned bookstores where you know you can find the major gay newspapers. Instead you have to rely on adult bookstores and bars where these things are left on faith that they will get into the hands of the people who need them.
But because Robert Kirby did all this work in the early nineties, he eventually found publishers like Cleis Press who were willing and interested in collecting his strips into published books. "Curbside Boys:The New York Years" is the second such collection. The first collection is incidentally selling for about seventy dollars at Amazon.com, although I would like to point out Mister Kirby is not getting any money from these used copies.
This second collection is a complete story, where the protagonist and his roommate meet, fall in love and then move on. It stands on its own more than anything Trudeau or Schultz ever wrote. Having read the original "Curbside" many years ago it is difficult to compare, but this feels more mature and studied than his earlier strips.
I really enjoyed seeing young men struggling to connect with each other in these stories. Nathan and Drew, the main characters seem fickle twenty-somethings and yet like all young men, vulnerable to the opinions and reactions of others. Their relationship counterpoints the supporting characters lives, Kevin and Rain who break even more stereotypes about black men than I've seen before or since in a gay comic strip. All the same, the drama is difficult to sustain within the context of six to eight panel stories.
Kirby returns to the story-telling techniques that worked for him in earlier strips, bringing back his own "greek chorus" character modeled after himself. He keeps the same squared nose on this character from earlier strips, which helps clue the reader into the fact that this character can directly editorialize for the cartoonist. All the same, he returns to telling the story rather than spending a lot of time with back-story, allowing the characters to tell their own stories.
"Curbside Boys:The New York Years" is a must read in the lexicon of gay comic books. The themes are adult and there is a lot of male sex, but the images are clean and appealing. Anyone who happened to pick them up might keep reading because the emotions and situations are universal....more
I really enjoyed this book and the movie that was based on it. There are some uneven points in the plot line, but over all this is a quick and enjoyabI really enjoyed this book and the movie that was based on it. There are some uneven points in the plot line, but over all this is a quick and enjoyable read....more
The title is misleading as this is basically an overview of astrology with an incorporation of modern science and astronomy information. I'm not goingThe title is misleading as this is basically an overview of astrology with an incorporation of modern science and astronomy information. I'm not going to review it further unless I check it out from the library again. A good basic primer, but not worth the purchase if you are looking for more in depth information....more