Monday 5 October 2009

Presuming On His Senses! Stitches & 3 Story

Our on and off again relationship with the internet has allowed me a small window into the world of recently shipped books. So before the moment passes, here's a few books I'd like to bring to your attention: David Small is better know for being a children's book illustrator. Stitches is his graphic memoir and while such books can always be in danger of slipping into mundane event-listing, Small makes his story worth telling. Nimbly tip-toeing through potentially melodramatic cliches such as difficult parents and a sickly childhood eased by a love of comics, he finds a story that resonates with the theme of finding one's voice both literally and metaphorically. Maybe the art wears its influences on its sleeve, particularly Will Eisner, but Small remembers to utilise the medium with moments of abstract. The book even managed to pull of a powerful moment that stayed with me for some time.

The Hospital Women's Auxilary Bridge Club (from David Small's Stitches) from Stitches: A Memoir... on Vimeo.

In 3 Story: A Secret Life of the Giant Man, Matt Kindt shows us the world of a boy who doesn't stop growing in adulthood. The interesting point with this book is that he uses three perspectives on the man's life: the first is from his mother, the second, his wife and the third I won't reveal. His intention is for the giant man to remain an enigma. We don't know what he is truly feeling or thinking. Literally, nobody can get close to him as he grows taller and this narrative device allows a sense of his isolation. This detached tone leads to an absence of true poignancy for the character (the first story is perhaps the most moving) but succeeds in making a pulpy idea very real. Jeff Lumire is a big fan of the book. Other releases include the second volume of Umbrella Academy entitled Dallas. Gerard Way continues to infuriate those who wrote him off before he'd written a word by taking us through a world that Grant Morrison probably visits twice a year for a holiday. Sprawling, ambitious and keeps the reader on their toes (as comics should). After reading recent interviews with Alan Moore where he has moaned about the comic industry, movie adaptations and even some of his old titles, the tone of 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom is delightfully light. It's also suitably self-aware given its subject is the history of porn. If the pictures seem a little randomly thrown together it's because the text was written a few years ago. And Buffy volume 5 continues to be a crowd pleaser. Given that the writers include Jane Espenson (Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Angel), Steven S. DeKnight (Smallville), Drew Z. Greenberg (Dexter) and Doug Petrie (CSI, Tru Calling) there should bleedin'-well be something for everyone.

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