Apologies for last weeks absence folks, you know how it is at this time of year. But fear not fellow Comic fans for I am back and with a different spin on things. This week we’re leaving both the spandex and the super powers behind in exchange for something a little more down to earth. This week my main focus is on two properties, Ghost World by Daniel Clowes and Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve.
I owe a lot to the latter of the two, not only has it served as personal inspiration for me but it was the book which got me back into comics a few years ago. Tomine’s largely biographical stories intrigued me in the same way that Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor did. Empathy and interest in the little mechanics of human life has always been an interest to me, not to mention the medium of comics serves as a great mirror for the little things we take for granted. It’s also a great vessel for storytelling, although Optic Nerve acts as a collection of memories, short stories and ideas immortalised in ink. The characters and overall feeling portrayed in these snap shots are much bigger than the page space they take up. Although Ghost World has been made into a motion picture, there is definitive indie film vibe about Optic Nerve. The short stories compiled together is a lot like Richard Linklater’s film Slacker in that sense, the fact it was written and published in the early nineties also adds to that vibe. Although Ghost World is a little less Generation X, its by no means any less quirky.
In fact the whole premise of Ghost World is based on a world of oddities, viewed through the eyes of two oddities who think they’re normal. Enid and Rebecca are the pre-hipster heroes of Clowes book and are a real pair of love them or hate them characters. They hate everything and are extremely fickle, but that obtuse teenage attitude makes for an interesting and often very funny read. Ghost World certainly isnt a book for everyone, it’s somewhat jaded content and weird art style (especially the depiction of strange men) might be somewhat of an acquired taste. But I would definetly recommend you check it out at least.
In regards books due out this week there are certainly a few titles of interest. Firstly the third instalment of Penguin: Pain and Prejudice is released, you might remember I talked about that particular title recently. Definetly worth checking out, the first two issues have been pretty damn dark so far and im very interested to see where they take it. Definetly one of the best New 52 titles from DC so far. Also on DC and it’s third instalment is Huntress #3, no I havent got round to reading this title yet but I have it from a few sources that its definetly worth checking out. Finally, somewhat of a surprise as I believed it to be just a six part min series but apparently not. Garth Ennis releases via Dynamite issue #7 of Jennifer Blood. Although it’s far from his finest hour JB is definetly quintessential Ennis and is a lot of fun, if you havent checked out the previous six issues I’d definetly recommend you give them a read.
As for what I’ll be reading this coming week I’m not entirely sure just yet, so the content of next weeks issue will be a surprise. For those interested in the two books discussed this week, you can pick up a collective volume of Optic Nerve issues #1 – 8 here. And if your after a copy of Ghost World you can cop that book over here. If you did pick either book up or you’re already familiar with them, as always feel free to throw in your two cents.
And on that note I shall bid you farewell fellow comic fans, whatever you are reading enjoy, and I shall see you here next week.