03 April, 2014

I Done Gone to the Library

The Pasadena Public Library is a wonder house.

Besides the fact that it's full of wonderful books that you can just go ahead and take, it has a wonderful comic book collection. I first read Watchmen because of that library. And League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Sandman and Preacher and quite a few other wonderful books that I never would have picked up if they hadn't been there just waiting for me.

Libraries are pretty good places, as it turns out, especially for young, vulnerable nerds.

This past week I renewed the tradition and picked up the following books:

Infinite Kung Fu-- Kagan McLeod.

This is a book I've been waiting a long while to read. Like, years. Even when it came out in a TPB (and at a reasonable price), I never got around to actually buying the damn thing. I just looked at it and moved on and eventually forgot about it, which is the way of these things. If I hadn't found it at the library I don't know that I would have ever gotten around to it.

It's about Kung Fu and while I feel that my best Kung Fu loving years are behind me, this should be a good ride. One can always use more Kung Fu treachery in their life. Plus, it's called "Infinite Kung Fu." Who doesn't want to read that? That sounds like exactly what I need right now.

Lost Dogs-- Jeff Lemire.

Any time somebody smiles in a Jeff Lemire comic it seems like it's a set-up for something terrible to happen. And since Lost Dogs is one of his earlier, independent works, I'm fully expecting this to have an emotional palette that ranges from "Being waterboarded" to "Waterboarding your cat."

Not to say that it's going to be bad. I just know that it's probably going to hurt.

I never got around to writing about Sweet Tooth, so I suppose I'll do so here: Sweet Tooth is one of the best books Vertigo has come out with in a long time (or at least since Scalped). While Lemire's art is, um, rough, there is an emotional underbelly to that book that is so delicate that makes me feel like I've been writing wrong this entire time. And that's always a good sign. . .

War's End-- Joe Sacco.

I don't know much about Joe Sacco other than the fact that he tends to do books about war that are non-fiction. Apparently. I'll find out if I'm wrong soon enough.

This particular book is about Bosnia in the 90's, which despite Rick Steves' best efforts, is still not place that makes me think of a good time. Basically what I'm saying is that it'll likely be less merciless than the Jeff Lemire book I picked up.

The Infinite Horizon*-- Gerry Dugan and Philip Noto.

The Infinite Horizon is another book that I've been meaning to read for a long while. Well. Here I am. The library, once again, decided for me.

For those who don't know The Infinite Horizon is the Odyssey told in the modern era with the War on Terror serving in place of the Trojan War. It's a bit high concept for me and I don't have much attachment with the Odyssey outside of that one Wishbone episode, but anything that reminds me of Kings, however tangentially, is always welcome.

Wait. . . Is this title a reference to The Lost Horizon? Oh boy, that doesn't bode well. . .

Before Watchmen: Ozymandias/Crimson Corsair-- Len Wein, Jae Lee, John Higgins, and Steve Rude.

When I heard about this thing, the sudden taste of copper and bad oranges hit the back of my throat. It didn't seem right. When the talent attached to the project was announced and it almost seemed that DC, despite the wishes of the creators, despite good taste, and despite all odds, was trying to do this thing right. It's an especially odd choice when you consider that most alcoholics have less accute cases of self-sabotage than DC Comics.

And, yet, it still seemed wrong. Deeply and bizarrely wrong. I seemed odd that I had to have an opinion about it, to the point at which I had about the same feelings for it as crazy people that I have never met nor care to. It was like somebody was doing fanfic of the Bible. Or slash fiction on the Constitution. And they hired Stephen King to work on it. There's something to be said about leaving some things alone.

Then it came out and nobody cared and went away. That almost seemed like a small mercy. It was one less thing to be outraged about. One less thing to be annoyed about. Plus, since Alan Moore isn't involved in the project (except maybe buying one of the comics to make some sort of a Druidic hex), at least I don't have to worry about there being an obligatory rape.

I'm still curious, though. And I'll be goddamned if I'm going to throw actual money at the actual After Watchmen project. I'm sick, not crazy.


Speaking of comics: I have written some. You can buy them in digital form or in good old analogue. The name of the collections I am featured in are The Freshman Fifteen and Old College Comics Presents. I'm rather proud of them. Everyone at Old College Comics is proud of the work we've done. It might not be the finest or the most polished comic book you'll ever read, but it's independent, it's

I also do a podcast called White Guys, Square Glasses. In this podcast my friend Cruz Flores and I ramble on about a particular movie in each episode. The subject ranges from schlocky camp fests to Japanese action movies to the odd Cold War thriller. It's a good time, through and through. On the latest podcast we reviewed the ridculous voodoo movie The Serpent and the Rainbow.

We're going to be changing the name to A Quality Interruption soon, so don't forget to subscribe to switch over when that happens on the 7th.


*I read The Infinite Horizon. It isn't very good, you guys. You should probably read other things from Duggan and Noto instead.