Sunday, March 04, 2012

Graphic novels

Getting back into the Twitter bookclub has been good for my reading pace, at least (since in my regular rotation I'm still slogging a bit with Henry James' The Golden Bowl). February was graphic novel month - it started with Book #3 - Understanding Comics.

Book #4 - Maus: A survivor's Tale and Book #5 - Maus: And here my troubles began by Art Spiegelman. I had heard about Maus in college, but never read it. While the mice have rather plain faces, they are so expressive. The father and step-mother, in their old age, were portrayed so well. It seemed like my grandparents had walked onto the pages (minus the Holocaust and Jewish faith bits). The story of the Holocaust is matter of fact, yet gut-wrenching. I found myself hoping "maybe this was as bad as it got" and then being proved wrong time and again.

Book #6 - Une Semaine de Bonte by Max Ernst. Wow. Incredible collage work. Although, I have to wonder about some of Ernst's sources for the image pieces, especially the worms and bugs. He must have been tied into some weird publications in order to come up with this. I love the style, except I lament the lack of text. I want a story, a narrative. Combine the surreal images with no text and I can't find one. I struggle to tie one image to the next, except they seem like different perspectives on a scene. Appreciate the art, but can't consider it a novel.

Book #7 - The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman. I've read this several times before, but it's still really good. I especially noticed Gaiman's skill at conveying time and fatigue. I also liked the pages where things are a bit akimbo, off-balance, and the panels are all tilted. A really well-built and well-told story.

No comments: