Thursday, August 10, 2006

Two reviews

I more or less finished two books last night as bookends to the Aeon Flux movie. I actually enjoyed the movie a lot more than I thought I would. I vaguely remember the cartoon as being really cools but in an experimental film sort of insane way.

I really enjoyed Antony Johnston and Eduardo Barreto's The Long Haul. It’s basically the Western version of heist movies like Ocean’s 11 or, um, The Great Train Robbery. The story is divided up nicely between recruitment and the big heist with not a heck of a lot getting in the way. There’s a setup, a gathering and the execution. A quick three acts that are the perfect quick read for the summer. Crack open a beer or pour yourself 3 fingers of bourbon and enjoy the caper.

It’s a quick read and it the art reminds me of European comics like Corto Maltese, which is good. This isn’t ground breaking stuff and it is all the better for it. It’s plain old fun with great characterizations, a solid plot and solid art. What’s not to like? Tired of the red herrings and loose ends of miniseries that seem padded? Pick this up and enjoy how everything is connected and makes sense.

I also had to stop reading Eddie Campbell’s Fate of the Artist. I didn’t hate it. It simply left me feeling too cold. I like the idea but I was sort of bored by the process of reading it. I think it should be something that students of the artform read, study and examine but I’m not really a student anymore. I’m not trying to break into the medium doing my own thing. I think it should be on reading lists for art schools that have graphic novel courses. There were some neat bits like “Angry Chef” or cook, I can’t recall, and Honeybees throughout. The layout is quite fun but for some reason I can’t seem to explain here I wasn’t drawn into it. It was probably the spicy food I ate just before reading it. I made it like three-quarters of the way through and felt like I got it and wasn’t invested enough to tough it out for the ending, but that’s just me and I’m a navel gazing internet freak.

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