Out of the Box Library Tour, Part 1 - We just moved, so we loaded the books onto the shelves willy-nilly to get them out of the boxes. Thought I’d do some shelf reviews of Mandy and Ian’s wildly unorganized and heedlessly expanding library. Here goes, left to right:
X-Men: Asgardian Wars - In 1992, this was the greatest thing I’d ever read. Loki gives some people the power to realize their dreams, but at the cost of their imagination. I still think about the architect guy from this story sometimes. If someone went back and cut all the unnecessary text from 80’s comics, I bet they’d be super fun to read. The Art Adams and Paul Smith pencils are still great.
Dan Clowes, Pussey! and Caricature - I reread Caricature every couple years. I don’t have anything to say about these that smarter people haven’t said. They’re great, and if you haven’t read Clowes, you’re missing out.
A Sandman book - I loved these. I wonder if they hold up?
Poems to Read - A gift from M’s grandparents on the occasion of her college graduation. I should read more poems. I bet there are some good ones in here.
Lynda Barry, One Hundred Demons - I want to take Lynda Barry’s class so I can steal all her secrets.
A book from Mandy’s Childhood, I can’t make out the title. We have a bunch of these, and in my head, they’re all The Phantom Tollbooth.
Will Eisner, To the Heart of the Storm - I love Eisner’s brush, but I never fell in love with his stories the way it seems an earlier generation did.
Fantastic Four 1234 - A weird Grant Morrison/Jae Lee out of continuity FF book. Kinda scary. The Sue/Namor/Reed triangle never had as much urgency for me as it did in here.
A Graphic Cosmogony, Nobrow Book - Started this, got to the Mikkel Sommer story, it’s like 2nd, and stopped because he makes me a little overwhelmed, stunned on the line between inspired to greater works and terrified that my ineptitude will be revealed.
Uncle Wiggly’s Story Book - What is this? No idea. Phantom Tollbooth.
Anders Nilsen, Rage of Poseidon - Present for M last Xmas. She liked it, I should read it.
Jared Gardner, Projections - My favorite History of Comics book. The bit in his introduction about Happy Hooligan should be required reading for all Comics classes.
X-Tinction Agenda - I loved this when I was in middle school, and it still resonates in a way that makes me wish it weren’t awful. But it is awful. I keep telling Mandy she doesn’t need to, shouldn’t read it, but she wants to be a completist.
The Education of an Illustrator - Nice essays about the state of contemporary illustration and teaching it. Got it when I was in school for Illustration, but it’s come more in handy now that I’m a teacher.
Nigel Slater, Tender - We get lots of free books because of Mandy’s job. Most go to family, books behind bars, or Chop Suey, but sometimes there’s a gem. This is a nice English book about gardening. Has some recipes, but more serves as a broader guide to how to eat certain veggies, sort of guidelines for best practices. Like, chard: good sautéed or blanched for 1 min. Nice with cream or lemon. That kind of thing.
To be continued….