Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Graphic Lit -- 10/9

Well lookee here. I was actually able to run some comic reviews in the paper this week:

"Modern Arf"
edited by Craig Yoe
Fantagraphics Books, $19.95.

This rather intriguing and smartly designed anthology attempts to examine the relationship between "high" and "low" art. Topics in this first volume include Salvador Dali’s influence on comics, sketchbook work by "Mutts" artist Patrick McDonnell and a doozy of a story by Jack Kirby. There’s also some great work by artists you’re probably not familiar with, like Jimmy Hatlo, Hy Mayer and Antonio Rubino. Let’s hope future volumes prove to be as filled with treasure as this one is.

"Age of Bronze: Sacrifice"
by Eric Shanower
Image Comics, 224 pages, $19.95.

There’s never been a better time to delve into Shanower’s staggeringly ambitious take on the Trojan War than with this paperback release of the second volume. Shanower keeps things squarely aimed at the human participants in the legendary conflict, with the Greek gods staying offstage. That, along with the characters’ subtle psychological underpinnings, plus a wealth of archaeological detail, gives the book a grounded feel that makes the story seem fresh and exciting, no mean feat. Moreover, Shanower’s art is sumptuous and assured, making purchase of this book a no-brainer.

"Scream Queen"
by Ho Che Anderson
Fantagraphics, 56 pages, $12.95.

Anderson, best known for the rather turgid "King," plays to his strengths with this sordid little horror story about an angel of death coming to reclaim a previously ignored victim. The book is almost too slim — there are a number of unanswered questions and loose connections that plague the reader rather than tease. Still, "Queen" proves that Anderson is not an artist to be trifled with, and I look forward to seeing what he does next.

Copyright The Patriot-News, 2005

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