Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blogging about books... jumping prematurely into a challenge...

Dewey, over at the hidden side of a leaf takes a moment to Black Hole, by Charles Burns. It's a solid write-up of a pretty amazing, if somewhat disturbing, graphic novel. Dewey finishes up the post by pointing out that none of the bloggers she reads regularly write much about comics/graphic novels, and that maybe she needs to "host a graphic novel challenge!"

I keep meaning to write more about graphic novels, and putting it off for some reason. Over at 79 Soul I used to write about comics a little bit, and a number of the blogs I read are comic blogs, but I haven't really been in a position to pick up much new material lately.

Still, I love a challenge (even one that hasn't officialy been issued yet!).
(and, even if I can't spell the word correctly the first time around)

There are several works that I think would be interesting to write about on here, and I thought I'd go ahead and mention which ones I'm going to be taking a look at, so that other people can read them and give their opinions as well.

First, I think I'm going to start with something by Sam Kieth. He has a pretty long history of writing believable women in his stories, and many of his books focus on the lives and experiences of women. So, to that end, I'm suggesting that we take a look at Four Women first.

I want to warn anyone who is thinking of picking it up that it deals pretty frankly with sexual assault and rape. I've read it once before, and it can be really difficult to read- it definitely deserves a trigger warning. Noting that, I remember thinking it was a powerful comic, so I'm looking forward to reading it, now that I've got a few years distance between it and myself.

I'd love to know what other graphic novels people are interested in taking a look at- do any of you even care about comics/graphic novels?


Jaclyn said...

I'm not a huge graphic novel fan, but there are a couple that spring immediately to mind: Satrapi's Persepolis, and Bechdel's Fun Home.

I'll definitely be picking up Four Women -- when is the due date?

N1nj4G1rl said...

I'm a huge comic book geek - well I would be if I could afford it anyway - so this project sounds like fun! I'm always looking for new artists to drool over and writers to read. A personal favorite author is Allen Moore, one of his most interesting works that I've read so far is A Hypothetical Lizard.
Are you planning on sticking solely to western graphic novels or are you going to be including some manga as well?
I will also be picking up Four Women and looking forward to reading it.

Roy said...

Oooh, Alan Moore is one of my favorites, too. I haven't read Hypothetical Lizard, so I'll take that under advisement. I was a big fan of Watchmen and League, and the Top 10 books are pretty good, too.

I've got more knowledge and experience with American and European works, but I'm always open to suggestions about manga, too.

N1nj4G1rl said...

wow, I can't believe I spelled his name wrong...head to the desk moment that was. Guess that's what I get for posting super fast so no one at work will know.
Most manga isn't really feasible for this kind of thing I suppose because they are usually long series which require lots of money, but a particularly interesting one is Chobits by CLAMP. It's got some crazy issues in it, as most things written by the CLAMP ladies do.
Another awesome American series is Ultra done by the Luna Brothers. It's out in GN format but if you don't mind spending a little extra and dealing with the hassle the actual comics are definitely worth having. The cover work is unique with each issue done like a different magazine.

Roy said...

Don't feel bad- spelling is by far not my strongest area, and I'm constantly fixing mistakes on here when people point them out. In the titles, for example.

That would definitely be one of my concerns with manga- I used to work in an import hobby shop, and I've definitely seen how long some of the series can get, but I assumed that there are probably some that might not be as long. And even if there aren't, it can't hurt to have suggestions for things I should be checking out anyway. =)

Dewey said...

Hi Roy! I know you from Cara's blog, right? Maybe I will put together a challenge, especially with encouragement like this, but I have that 24 Hour Read-a-thon this weekend, so it'll have to wait until at least after that. Meanwhile, since you like comics blogs, here is the blog of a friend of mine:


Sovawanea said...

I read some of The Sandman in high school. I just have a general impression of it being pretty, sad and having lots of Shakespeare references. That would be my only experience with graphic novels. I think largely because I read fast and they are usually very short, it's economically a better deal for me to spend the money on thicker books. They just last longer. I'll see if I can find a copy of Four Women soon.

Jaclyn, you are the second person to mention Bechdel's work recently. Perhaps it should be moved up on my reading list, too.

Torri~ said...

I always love to see things like that on comics and novels both western and eastern. I'm still a big geek at heart.
The only manga that's coming to mind right now is Angel Sanctuary by Kaori Yuki, it's pretty long but it's completed and it's the kind of series that has social, religious and taboo themes bursting out of every page. For one the main character is a boy who's in love with his sister and is also the reincarnation of a female angel that went against god and was sentenced to an eternity on earth, constantly reincarnating in lives doomed to misery. That's just the main character.
It's around 30 issues long if I recall but if you get into it it's well worth it.