Wednesday 30 June 2010

Swoon Now! Recent Releases

As promised here's a quick round up of some noteworthy books released in the last couple of weeks. Starting Korea As Viewed By 12 Creators (which follows the previously released Japan As Viewed...) which is a collection of short stories set in Korea six of which are from indigenous creators and six from European. This mixture allows for not only an insight into Korean storytelling but also an outsiders introduction to the country itself. Some lovely art styles captured.

The Playwright (Top Shelf) is written by Darren White with art by Eddie Campbell and is described as "a dark comedy about the sex life of a celibate middle-aged man". And when that man happens to be a successful British scriptwriter obsessed with the unobtainable female form one can't help think of Dennis Potter. The book deals with the character in a detached way referring to him only as the playwright, avoiding any speech and using the non-judgmental descriptive boxes above each panel to carry any information which is sometimes juxtaposed cleverly with the art. For me it has a level of complexity that Daniel Clowes' Wilson lacked.
Dame Darcy's magical Meatcake (Fantagraphics) collection is a book to pour over. Like Edward Gorey with smatterings of the Brothers Grimm all living in a world just next door to Tim Burton, each page is overflowing with dense line work and Victorian Gothic design.
Artichoke Tales (Fantagraphics) is the first full graphic novel from Megan Kelso who has previously produced books featuring her short stories. Taking a decade to complete it tells the story of a young woman set against the background of a civil war. Simple clear lines beautifully capture a simpler way of life in this otherworldly family saga.

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