I’ve been reading this comic anthology (amongst other things) for weeks now, possibly due to the fact that it’s 400 pages long. Essentially, this is a study, an overview of modern (non- fantastical) comics with some interesting texts by the likes Charles Schulz and Ivan Brunetti. There’s also somewhat obviously, a lorry load of examples from the powerhouses of the genre – Chris Ware, Art Spiegelman, Robert Crumb, Daniel Clowes and Joe Sacco to name a few. Some of the aforementioned artists also discuss classics such as Peanuts. On top of this there are some nice examples of classic Peanuts strips, included for the reader’s education and amusement.
Ivan Brunetti, Schizo comic creator, edits this coffee-table-crushing volume. His book enters the currently very busy realm of the comic collection. What this volume does well is to throw in bits you perhaps wouldn’t expect to see, such as double spreads on Henry Darger (below) with details of some of his unusual projects.
Another rare treat is Chris Ware (above) and Art Spiegelman’s interpretations of a Peanuts strip. On the Chris Ware front there are also some excerpts from his eagerly anticipated (by me at least) ‘Building Stories’.
While there are some strips that won’t please everyone and the content is quite straight (in terms of comic narrative) the collection as a whole is pretty impressive. It’ll be hard purchase to avoid for most comic fans.
Tom Gauld’s very small comics volume 3 is out. Do I need to tell you this is amazing? I hope not. With a small poster, a two colour fold-out and a another comic as well for £4, this is bargain of the century. He has another book ‘Hunter and Painter’ coming out very soon. Watch this space. Well maybe not this exact space…you know what I mean.
What is it with comic books? There are no good ones for ages and then dozens come out at once. Blame or thank Christmas I expect. There I am reading the new Kramer collection and then suddenly there’s a new Chris Ware, The Anthology Of Graphic Fiction and this new Maakies collection.
Tony Millionaire’s Maakies is brilliantly witty, dark, sick and still quite sweet (somehow). This is a complete collection of the first 5 years worth which means it’s a chunky book to be sure. It follows the exploits of Drinky Crow, Uncle Gabby and a few other strange characters. It’s the kind of thing that you can read a few strips a day and just chuckle away to yourself.
After being marooned...
It normally takes months and months for a new Chris Ware product to arrive and since we only quite recently had the Rusty Brown book I thought we’d be waiting longer, but apparently not. The Acme Novelty Library volume 17 is upon us. Thank You Chris. You made my day. I’ll review it in a while when I’ve sucked it all in.
It’s a really lovely cover, I think he's outdone himself.
Nice little disclaimer on the back too.