Everyone’s A Critic: A round-up of comic book reviews and thinkpieces
• Eddie Campbell has been offering one great critique after another lately, first on
Asterios Polyp and David Mazzuchelli’s ability to convey a sense of place, and then on Rutu Modan’s Exit Wounds (“The impressive thing about Exit Wounds is that there is a keen organizing intelligence at work at every single level of it, from top to bottom.”
• Jeet Heer ruminates on the concept of the “proto-graphic novel,” i.e. graphic novels that were published before the term became ubiquitous.
• It’s a few days old, but this review of R. Crumb’s Genesis adaptation by Bill Kartalopoulos is still well worth your time.
• I don’t always link to Tucker Stone’s “Comics of the Weak” round-up, but this one’s worth noting, as he mimics the prose of “controversial French writer Michel Houllebecq,” which leads to bits like this one on Batman:
Gotham City has but two types of people-those who wreak violence, and those who have violence wreaked upon them. The first type are all men, for the most part, although the occasional lesbian is permitted participation, as long as she has previously received approval from whomever currently holds the title of most cruel. (Said participation is usually considered an important story point, further cementing the little respect or interest that these stories have for women–there are few other places in fiction where “the bitch can stay” is considered interesting or dynamic.
• David Welsh writes about the wonder that is Junko Mizuno.
• Katherine Dacey Rumiko Takahashi’s Rin-Ni: “Takahashi’s latest series gives ample proof that while she may have a limited repertory, she’s the undisputed master of the supernatural mystery.”
• Bill Sherman looks at Vol. 1 & 2 of Inio Asano’s What A Wonderful World and declares: “If [Asano] occasionally over-iterates his themes, that’s consistent with World’s cast of rudderless urbanites still in the process of figuring out where they stand in the universe.”
• Rob Clough calls Tom Gaud’s Gigantic Robot “a beautiful-looking book about ugliness that is almost meta in the self-indulgence of the format.”
• Matthew Brady on The Deformatory: “The beauty of Sophia Wiedeman’s work is that one could come up with several possible interpretations.”
• Johnny Bacardi does his usual pamphlet run-down, which is always worth reading.
• Late to the party, but still worth reading: Michael Buntag on Darwyn Cooke’s Hunter.
• Our own Sean Collins reviews the Abstract Comics anthology: “What I liked, I liked for more than just the strips themselves–I liked them for the proof they offer that comics really is still a Wild West medium in which one’s bliss can be followed even beyond the boundaries of what many or even most readers would care to define as ‘comics.’ “