Friday, February 11, 2011


At Langsam they have a considerable graphic novel collection (at least, considering that I didn't expect there to be one at all), so I went ahead and took some out.

Click on any image to make it bigger!

Here they are all stacked on my desk. From top to bottom: Contract with God by Will Eisner; One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry; Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes; Ghost World by Daniel Clowes; Mira Caligraphiae Monumenta; Palookaville by Seth; A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi;
American Splendor by Harvey Pekar (and others); It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken by Seth; Dogs and Water by Anders Nilsen; Britten and Brulightly by Hannah Berry; Wilson by Daniel Clowes; George Sprott by Seth.

A Contract with God by Will Eisner. A fantastic study of place and people, by one of the undisputed masters (and some say the father) of graphic novels.

He does his drawings entirely with a Sable brush, which explains why they're so lush.
Lynda Barry's One Hundred Demons. She does her work on legal pads, with collage and other media thrown in. Autobiographical and hilarious.

I wish I could see the originals--they'd be so textured and human.

 Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes. Told from different perspectives, thoughtful and thoughtless depending on who's talking.
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes. Possibly my favorite of all the books I borrowed. A coming-of-age story set in the 90s. Reading this is sort of like watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia--the people in it are so horrible you feel pretty good about yourself after.

Of course on a second read you realize they're just young and stupid, like we all were/ are.
 Mira Calligrahpiae Monumenta. Actually a book about and of a set of illuminated books from the late 1500s. The script and the illustrations were done by two separate men. They're both just fantastic.
 Some of the pages have this trompe l'oeil going on that's really quite clever.
 The translucent quality of the vellum must have made it quite amazing in person, especially back then.
Palookaville by Seth. This particular volume has both the comics and some explanations of his process, which I always find interesting.
 A Drifting Life by Yoshiro Tatsumi. Have not actually read this yet, but definitely looks promising.
 American Splendor by Harvey Pekar. Different artists worked on this comic so Harvey always looks different. This one is by Kevin Brown.
Harvey Pekar by Greg Budgett and Gary Dumm.
 Harvey Pekar by Gerry Shamray
It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken by Seth. The main character reminds me of myself.
 Dogs & Water by Anders Nilsen. A weird one, kind of sad. The illustrations are sparse and there are no borders, which reflects the sort of nonlinear timeline and the lack of significant plot.
 Britten and Brulightly by Hannah Berry. This one I didn't like as much, mostly because it was sad with very little humor. The art is nice, but I kept getting distracted by the glossy paper. Maybe that's just a me thing.
 Wilson by Daniel Clowes. Again, funny in that It's Always Sunny sort of way. Changes in drawing style add to the tone.
 Quimby the Mouse by F.C. Ware. Disjointed, sometimes tragic, sometimes sad, sometimes senseless.
George Sprott by Seth. Very Canadian, funny and thoughtful. Not as broody as It's a Good Life.

 Skim by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki. This wasn't in the pile but I felt I should include it because I recently discovered it and it is one of my favorite graphic novels ever. It's also a coming-of-age story set in the 90s, but more thoughtful than Ghost World by Daniel Clowes.
Covers. The asterisks indicate my top five favorites.

This was a giant monster of a post, I'll do something of an equal nature on my photographic work later.

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