Shelf Life: May 2013

Shelf Life: May 2013

TCAF was in May, and I came out of it with a few comics, and a desire to read lots more.

Spike, The Complete Series, by Brian Lynch61. Spike: The Complete Series, by Brian Lynch
(IDW Publishing, 2012)

While Spike was my favourite character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the television series), he’s lost something in the comic. Lynch seems intent on making him a male fantasy of a sex symbol, rather than exploring the complex background depicted in the later seasons of Buffy and Angel. It’s a shame. Even so, it was…interesting to see how Spike came to be king of a steampunk spaceship piloted by giant cockroaches.

62. Testament, by Dennis Lee
(House of Anansi Press, 2012)

63. A Lover’s Quarrel, by Carmen Starnino
(Porcupine’s Quill, 2004)

The Art of Recklessness, by Dean Young64. The Art of Recklessness, by Dean Young
(Graywolf Press, 2010)

I’ve seen the “Art of..” series around, but I think this is the first one I’ve actually read. I don’t know if it’s the subject – recklessness – or if this is the way all the books in this series are written, but I had a difficult time finding any useful information.

The Art of Recklessness reads like stream of consciousness. Young flits around like a butterfly, landing on a topic only to move on to another without exploring in any depth. There are choice quotes, and interesting passages, but on the whole I was kind of disappointed.

Dinosaur Comics: Dudes Already Know About Chickens, by Ryan North65. Dinosaur Comics: Dudes Already Know About Chickens, by Ryan North
(Topato Co, 2010)

Early Dinosaur Comics collected, with subject headers and mouseovers. Some contain questionable content, but largely, they’re awesome, spelling errors and all.

Bought at TCAF.

66. Angel & Faith, Season 9, Episode 3: Family Reunion, by Christos Gage
(Dark Horse, 2013)

Hawkeye, Vol 1, by Matt Fraction67. Hawkeye, Vol 1: My Life as a Weapon, by Matt Fraction
(Marvel, 2013)

I picked this up on the advice of a co-worker, who described it thusly: “Hawkeye may be the worst character in the Avengers, but this is the best comic coming out of Marvel right now.”

That recommendation, coupled with the Hawkeye Initiative, meant that I had to check it out. And I’m glad I did. It’s smart and funny – even if I’m unfamiliar with most of the characters (my Marvel comic collection ends somewhere in the late ’90s, and even then it was mostly the X-books and Spider-Man series that I read).

68. Demeter, by Becky Cloonan
(2012)

The artwork is beautiful, and the story haunting – in part because I can’t place it. I know I’ve read it before, and it’s been bugging me ever since.

Bought at TCAF.

My So-Called Freelance Life, by Michelle Goodman69. My So-Called Freelance Life, by Michelle Goodman
(Seal Press, 2008)

A guide to getting started freelancing, especially for writing, but I would have appreciated a more focused approach. Goodman herself is a writer, so that’s where most of her examples are drawn from, though she also includes other freelance artists where she can (web designers, artists, consultants), these tend to be weaker as they’re not drawn from her practical experience. I kind of wished she’d just focus on writing, and leave the other freelance types to others better versed in their nuances.

Also, clear American bias – especially in regards to tax information – but that’s to be expected. Overall, a solid resource.

70. Trobairitz, by Catherine Owen
(Anvil Press, 2012)

Reviewed for Broken Pencil.

Adventure Time, Vol 1, by Ryan North71. Adventure Time, Vol 1, by Ryan North
(KaBOOM!, 2012)

A friend at work turned me on to the television series Adventure Time, and I’ve been hooked ever since. When I discovered at TCAF that the comic version had been collected as a graphic novel, I had to buy it.

It’s very Ryan North (think T-Rex), very sweet. Kind of like Dinosaur Comics meets Adventure Time – different from the show (it’s a different medium), but still very fun.

72. Lazy Bastardism, by Carmine Starnino
(Gaspereau Press, 2012)

73. Ink on Paper, by Brad Cran
(Nightwood Editions, 2013)

Reviewed for Broken Pencil.

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