14 November 2004

Sequential Art Reading

I really have been reading other things, just much more slowly than usual. NaNoWriMo does that to me. Anyway, here are the latest comics (aside from Books of Magick: Life During Wartime and Ocean).

  1. Baker Street: Honour Among Punks by Guy Davis and Gary Reed. Imagine Sherlock Holmes reincarnated (sort of) as a punk woman. Weird, no? But it's also really, really good. I think this is one of the best graphic novels I've read in a long time. Probably ever. I helps that I read the whole Sherlock Holmes cannon recently; I picked up a lot more of the allusions than I might have otherwise. Even if you've never read anything Holmesian, though (or would that be Sherlockian?), the story is fabulous all on its own. The black and white artwork, slightly sketchy in places, somewhat messy (not the right word, but I can't think of a better) in others, perfectly conveys the grittiness of London and the punk scene.
  2. Mark of the Dog by Silvio Cadelo. Now this one has got to be one of the most strange things I've ever read. The art is gorgeous and detailed and technically near-perfect (a lot of European comic artists seem to make beautiful art). The story is enganging (though, as I said, weird). I am amazed, actually, that anyone could take such a bizarre story, and such an odd structure, and make it work. Because it does.
  3. Chobits volume 4 by CLAMP. What would a list of my comics reading be wihout something by CLAMP? I'm halfway through this story and still enchanted. Now if I could only find the last four books cheap . . .
  4. The Ruler of the Land volume 1 by Jeon Keuk-Jin and Yang Jae-Hyun. This is one of my eBay finds. I got a lot of the first three books. I'm not really sure I'll keep reading it, though, beyond those three. It has some nice art, and cool martial arts, but it seems to be one of those books where the story is little more than an excuse for showing kung fu. Not that I have anything against kung fu. Kung fu is cool, and I'd probably study it myself, if I were younger (yup, I'm 32 and already feeling old). Anyway, I'll see how I feel after the next two volumes.
  5. Maison Ikkoku: Domestic Dispute (volume 8) by Rumiko Takahashi. Funny how this book really progresses very little in terms of plot, and the slapstick comedy is pretty similar in each issue, yet it remains a charming story for which I eagerly await each volume's arrival in my local library.
  6. Bone: Eyes of the Storm (volume 3) by Jeff Smith. I've read volume 4 already (blogged somewhere back there), and the library doesn't have any more until volume 8 or something. I guess I'll have to buy the one-volume edition for myself soon (as I am one of the very few comics readers who hasn't already).
  7. The Ruler of the Land volume 2 by Jeon Keuk-Jin and Yang Jae-Hyun. Well, the characters are developed a bit more in this volume, which is promising. I'm a little more engaged with the story, so if it keeps imporving, I may keep reading.
  8. Leave it to Chance: Trick or Threat (volume 2) by James Robinson and Paul Smith. This is a cool book. I'd read volume one ages ago, before we moved to Duncan (the GVPL had it). It's one of those few "all ages, both sexes" books that are actually successful (not counting manga, though). The main character, Chance, is a girl, but she's a girl even boys could identify with. She's tough and smart and adventurous, and she actually wears clothes that someone might wear in real life (not all that common in comics, alas, at least not for female characters). This is a book a whole family could be fans of toether.
  9. Leave it to Chance: Monster Madness and Other Stories (volume 3) by James Robinson and Paul Smith. I haven't much to add that I didn't say above, except the title really should hae been "and Other Story," since there is only one other story besides "Monster Madness." But hey, it had zombies and hockey, so I can forgive.
  10. Shutterbox volume 1 by Rikki Simons and Tavisha. This one's "Amerimanga" (i.e. American comics in manga style, published by a manga publisher). The art is mostly really lovely, but sometimes slips into not-so-good. The story is an intriguing one, and the characters are interesting. I'll probably look for volume two, though it won't be right at the top of my list.
  11. Dark Angel: The Path to Destiny (volume 1) by Kia Asamiya. It probably doesn't say anything good about this book that I don't remember much, even though I read it recently. The art is really nice, but I think (I'm really trying hard to remember) the pacing of the story was too fast. I like that it began in medias res, but then things happened too suddenly, before I really had much sense of the main character. I need to know him before I can care about him. Anyway, I'll probably read volume 2 eventually, but there are a lot of more memorable books in line ahead of it. Though maybe, if I re-read it, I might feel differently.
  12. The Ruler of the Land volume 3 by Jeon Keuk-Jin and Yong Jae-Hyun. Well, this volume doesn't seem to add any more insight into the characters, so I felt I was pretty much in the same place I was when I finished volume 2. No progression. And actually, though there was a lot of fighting, not all that much seemed to happen to advance the plot. Like several others I read recently, this series is pretty far down my list of things to read next.
  13. Culdcept volume 1 by Shinya Kaneko. This book is based on a video game, which is not a recommendation at all, for me (especially since I haven't played the game). In fact, it's a recommnedation to not read it (I've got the get that post about novelizations and anime-izations written; a lot of it would have relevance here). Anyway, I did read it, and was pleasantly surprised. While it's not one of the best things I've ever read, and its origins as a game show quite lot, it was pretty fun. Plus it has a plucky girl protagonist, who's pretty well-developed (in terms of character, that is).
  14. InuYasha volume 13 by Rumiko Takahashi. Now this book is one that never disappoints. It just sucks your farther and farther into the story, until you must read the next volume. And the art's pretty (and it has, not one, but two pretty-boy white-haired characters).
  15. InuYasha volume 14 by Rumiko Takahashi.
  16. Strangers in Paradise: David's Story (volume 14) by Terry Moore. You know, I'd forgotten how much I love this series. I used to buy the comics all the time, but it's one of the ones I never managed to catch up on after The Year Without Comics. Moore's art is slick and gorgeous, and his characters are fascinating. Plus, I liked getting David's backstory. He used to be quite the violent badass. Now I'm going to have to find the rest of the volumes so I can read the whole story. I wonder if the library has any (not much hope of that, but you never know).
  17. InuYasha volume 15 by Rumiko Takahashi.
  18. InuYasha volume 16 by Rumiko Takahashi.
  19. InuYasha volume 17 by Rumiko Takahashi.
  20. Crescent Moon volume 3 by Haruko Iida. Yay! I finally got to read more of this cute and pretty story about werewolves and fox demons and tengus and vampires (well, one of each). It's not really a hugely deep story (though it does have some subtle and interesting things going on), but it's a lot of fun. I've mentioned before how I'm a sucker for werewolf stories (I'm an even bigger sucker for fox-demon stories).
  21. InuYasha volume 18 by Rumiko Takahashi. You know the writing's good when the decisions a fictional character makes about his love life leave you feeling slightly gloomy the next day. Argh. I need volume 19 now!

Phew! I really need to update these lists more often. I've been reading a lot of comics as I write my NaNo novel. It's becuase I can read them in relatively short chunks, I think, between finishing my writing for the day and falling asleep. They drive out my own words for a while so my novel doesn't keep me awake (so instead, last night, my latest issue of InuYasha kept me gloomily awake for a while--after it made me cry!) (Only a little.)

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