Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Jackie Blue

Favourite Comic Reads for 2005
Hi I’m Jason’s wife, Jackie. I like to read a lot of books, and lately I have been delving into Jason’s comic book shelves as I have been running low on novels. And since I tend to be up at about 4am having a snack (breastfeeding makes you hungry all the time) I have some time to read.

Here are the favourite comics I read this year!

Honourable Mention: Western Tales of Terror #4.

Of course I had to read this! To tell you the truth though, I am not a fan of the short story. Either in regular prose or comic books, I find short stories very unrewarding to read. The writers always seem to be first setting up the story and then trying to trick the reader with a twist ending. Or leaving so much unsaid at the end that I kind of want to ask for my money back. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?! I always want to shout, but not in a good way. Anyway, I loved Jason’s art, and I always get a kick out of seeing his final work put in print with words, and finally seeing the story all together. I see the pages in progress but I never read his scripts, so often I am kind of inventing in my mind what the story is about as he is drawing. So it’s always fun to see the final put together.

#5: Concrete, Short Stories 1990-1995 – Paul Chadwick

This is just a short collection of Concrete stories, and I quite enjoy them. He is a little too preachy at times about saving the Earth and whatnot, but since my politics and sensibilities run along the same lines it doesn’t bug me too much. I was confused a bit at one point when he was talking about some of the bad President George Bush has done for the environment, before I realized he was talking about that first Bush, not the current one. Funny how the apple didn’t fall too far from the shrub in that family. Anyway, I love the last story in this collection where he (as the artist/creator) writes himself into the story and interacts with Concrete – basically fulfilling the characters deepest fantasies for a short while, since he has complete control over Concrete’s life.

#4: The Watchmen – Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

This was a re-read for me, I think I read it for the first time about 5 years ago. It’s a good story, with a reality where superheroes were a part of real life and then they fell out of favour. There was a bit of a tickle to my conspiracy theory funny bone when reading it this time… in the story one of the characters (Veidt) creates a horrible monster that he drops on New York, killing millions of people – and this act unifies the world and brings peace to Earth. Kind of strange if you believe at all the possibility that 9/11 was orchestrated to unite Americans and make them support a trillion dollar war machine.

One comment on the art in this book: this guy cannot draw women. They are all ugly with man-hands.

#3: Strangers in Paradise – Terry Moore – Issues 1 to 70-ish

I read SIP issues as they came out for a while, but it just wasn’t working for me this way. I am a story person – I read a lot of novels and love a good story. I do look at the art but it doesn’t hold the same appeal to me as it does to Jason. That being said though, my exposure to comics is mostly only ones that he brings home for himself, which are pre-screened for art I suppose!

But I digress a bit. A typical comic book issue is way too short for me. Not enough happens. By the time the next one comes out I have forgotten what I read in the last issue. This really happened with SIP – with 6 weeks between issues, and the constant jumping of timelines I got totally lost. So I gave up. This spring I read them all again starting at #1 and straight through to the current issue at the time (#70?). I really enjoyed it much more this way! I actually understood what was going on!

I like the story, and he does such an amazing job of bringing Francine and all her insecurities to life. He combines great realism and dealing with real issues… with the gritty edge of intrigue, murder, conspiracy, etc. I was pregnant at the time that I was reading all these, and the issue where she found out the baby had died inside her… well I pretty much lost it. Very gripping. I enjoy the way he portrays so many strong women.

Anyway, the only bad thing about reading them all is that the story isn’t done, and I’ve already forgotten everything. So once it is done totally, I will start over and read them all the way through again.

#2: Nothingface – Kel Nuttal

I really enjoyed this! As a new Mom who loves sleep just about more than anything else I was amazed that I couldn’t put this down and had to stay up late to read it all. Very interesting character that I am really looking forward to learning more about and following along on more adventures with. The art by Yildiray Cinar is really good too, the chaos of his life and his ‘affliction’ are portrayed really well.

#1: Lone Wolf and Cub – Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima – entire story (volumes 1-28)

Another series I tried to read issue by issue but had to wait for it all to end before I read it all through. I really didn’t get this when I started it the first time, I think I read up to about volume 9 as they were being released in the small format books. Somehow I missed the entire overall plot of the books – I would forget the ongoing themes and just read each issue as an independent story.

It makes much more sense when read in its entirety. A very interesting read and an enlightening look at Japanese culture in the Eto period. Ogami Diagoro is being raised in such a way that you wonder if he has any choice in the path that he is on… he lives and acts the way he does only because he knows no other way… it makes me feel sorry for him, yet I don’t know if you’re supposed to get that out of the story. Just a Mother’s view I guess.

Anyway, the art is amazing, he does some really good blood splatters. I like the way he changes his style at times, suddenly a watercolour style is used here and there in the book when the mood is right. His drawings of sword fights get skimmed over by me sometimes (as I am always drawn to the story, I tend to go through pages without words very quickly) and then I would have to go back and look and figure out what was going on. I liked that it made me do that, and I couldn’t just be lazy and skip to the talking parts.

What I am looking forward to reading this year:

Colossus – I really liked this the first time around, and now apparently it is coming out again with extra stuff. Yay!

Lone and Level Sands – this is on its way to us in its new colourized, hardcover version, so I am looking forward to having a read

Empty Chamber – of course!

Last post's title was a song title from:
Last Splash by The Breeders

The side project of Kim Deal's that became her main project when the Pixies called it quits. This was the second album from them. A solid listen.


Blogger The Mad Alaskan said...

WOW! I made the #2 spot! Above Strangers and below Lone Wolf!!

You're the third or fourth person to say they had to stay up late reading Nothingface because they didn't want to put it down. You have no idea how good that makes me feel!

Just wait until we get to the story your hubby will be drawing! Novak in Tokyo! Yakuza, gunfights, city lights,'s going to be fun.

January 05, 2006 2:14 AM  
Blogger Michael May said...

"...I find short stories very unrewarding to read. The writers always seem to be first setting up the story and then trying to trick the reader with a twist ending."

That's exactly the reason I don't write those anymore. At least not until I figure out how to tell a complete story without resorting to the trick ending.

Great list. I second the recommendation of Nothingface. Really excellent book and I'm pleased to be online acquaintances with Kel. (It's also cool to see your son's Christmas letter from Santa addressed from North Pole, Alaska and be able to say, "Hey, I know a guy there!")

January 05, 2006 10:10 AM  
Blogger The Mad Alaskan said...


January 05, 2006 2:38 PM  
Blogger Jason Copland said...

Great post, Jackie!

January 05, 2006 3:41 PM  
Blogger YildirayCinar said...

thanks Jackie...

January 07, 2006 9:11 AM  
Blogger Dave Lewis said...

Good, good stuff, Jackie. (Better than that hack who usually writes here.)

I, too, am excited about Empty Chamber. And I hope The Lone and Level Sands makes your 2006 list!

January 08, 2006 10:21 PM  

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