Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Totally New Content - The Push Man and Other Stories is at the end of the ranting update

If you don't realize by now I usually update this site first thing in the morning when I arrive at the office and nobody else is around. Sure it's a bit of an abuse of office internet but I figure it makes up for the lack of decent living wage. Needless to say content has been limited recently. This is because the office moved and I was without internet and phone for the last 3 business days (and power for 2). Yes, it's a professional organization they just can't organize anything professionally.

So I spent the last few weeks essentially reading a lot of good comics, or if not good at least I was reading a lot. I mean A LOT! So much that I don't remember all the ones I read and since I didn't write up anything on them no reviews will appear here. But I did spend yesterday and today writing up a crapload of reviews on the books I did remember, so there will be content here for a while.

I have to say that just sitting around and reading comics is quite a lot of fun. It was a nice break but I'm going to see if I can keep up my enthusiasm and continue to post over the next few stressful weeks.

So without further ado here's a review:

The Push Man and Other Stories

I really have no idea how to describe this collection of stories. They were captivating but I can’t really use “good” or “enjoyable.” They are successful in what they are trying to achieve but their focus isn’t exactly on happy endings and decent people. Every single one of these stories focuses on some outcast or down trodden individual. They are all clinging to something off the beaten path and seem to have a view of sex that doesn’t match up to the suburban ideal.

There is a lot of sad and desperate people and actions. There is a lot of dead babies and a lot of human life wasted in general. That is sort of the point of the stories. They aren’t here to make you feel happy about life. They focus on the bad bits and how the people in these desperate situation survive anyway and find a form of happiness that I can’t identify with.

Then there is the artwork. It’s sort of the evil twin of Tintin comics. It’s simple character designs appearing in realistic backgrounds and settings. The art is brilliant and so utterly streamlined that it feels like no single line is out of place. It’s sort of the Hemmingway version of drawing. Draw the picture and remove anything that doesn’t need to be there. That’s essentially how Hemmingway wrote. Write a sentence then remove all the words that don’t need to be there. Only this has more in common with John Fante or Charles Bukowski (not that I’ve read any Bukowski so I can’t say for certain) than Hemmingway. It’s about the down trodden, so be ready for that before you jump into these stories. If you’re not expecting that you could be either disappointed or disturbed.

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