Sunday, 20 November 2011

Amateur critics, recent reading

So, in case you hadn't noticed, I buy comic trades and collected editions. My earliest exposure to comics was The Beano and Dandy at school when I was 7 and then the comics at the library, which are, of course, all collected versions. To be honest, I didn't know they existed in issue format until a lot later. I much prefer reading a whole story arc together, instead of waiting for 10 pages to be delivered every 2 weeks (if they're shipped on time). I suppose the downside is that not all good comics are collected into a trade book.

Anyhow, I've never been out of things to read, and the Internet is pretty useful in that way because of the amount of blogs and sites where people write about what they've read. Robot 6 has a pretty interesting series of articles about reviews and criticism and how the proliferation of digital media has changed these. For me it's straightforward- I read reviews in order to gain a better idea of what something is about- film, book, whatever. Whether the review is positive or negative is secondary. There are certain things I like to read about/watch: aliens, monsters, dinosaurs, twisted fairy tale stuff, crime noir- so if any of those elements are present in a concept I find interesting, I'll go for it. And that's that, really. I dont' know, maybe I'm a weird kind of sociopath who's not interested in people's opinions, but if something looks interesting to me, I'll go for it regardless of what other people think. Ultimately, it's all very subjective.

Some recent additions (haven't got around to reading them all):

Habibi by Craig Thompson

The Facts in the Case in the Departure of Miss Finch by Neil Gaiman, Ocean by Warren Ellis
Green Manor vol 1 by Fabien Vehlman and Denis Bodart, Morning Glories vol 2 by Nick Spencer
Forty-Five by Andi Ewigton, The Clarence Principle by Fehed Said
Fish & Choclate by Kate Brown, Cradlegrave by John Smith
Astro City: Life in the Big City and Confessions bu Kurt Busiek

I've read a lot of praise about Kurt Busiek's Astro City superhero series and deservedly so. You know when people say such and such is a 'realistic' take on the superhero? Well, this is genuinely it. For example, someone with abilities like Superman would just never be able to stop- there are always more and more problems that are going to need solving. How do you choose which ones to address and which to ignore? Do superheroes make the place they live in safer or more of a target? Simply amazing books- sad, unique and uplifitng all at the same time.

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