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Friday, April 30, 2010

Slog Commenter Book Report: Enigma's Cavalcade of Comics

Posted by on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 2:06 PM

At the last Slog Happy, Enigma says she "got a little greedy" and grabbed three comics. Here are her reviews. Any errors you may find are caused by me in the editing process, and they are not Enigma's fault.

Market Day by James Sturm

I have a hard time describing the experience of reading this book. It was a good story, the art was well done, but I feel like the format was working against it. This is a short read, maybe 20 minutes, and that’s what bothered me when I finished it.

I feel I came into the middle of a story, then was abandoned before the end. It’s an enjoyable read, just one that felt truncated in some way. I felt unfulfilled as I closed the book. Re-reading it to examine the artwork is a pleasant diversion on the bus, but it doesn’t grab you so much you’d come back to it on a lazy Saturday. (Which is my personal criteria for recommending a comic.) I don’t want to not recommend Market Day, because it’s nice, but it's not something I have a great desire to add to my collection.

Other Lives by Peter Bagge

This book came out too late. It feels like it was set in the dying days of the Bush administration. The specter of surveillance and the new fad of Second Life taking center stage in this story of four fucked-up 30-somethings. And oh is everyone full of fucked-upedness. There’s Otis, a paranoid schizophrenic who “works” for the government; Vader, a writer who can’t get over his daddy issues; Woodrow, a leering jackass and gambling addict; and finally Ivy, a needy and confused girl. Ivy doesn’t get as much of a motivation as the three guys, it feels likes she’s just there to cause conflict between a Vader and Woodrow. None of these are people you would want to get to know, and it doesn’t seem like any of them really like each other.

Even with the unappealing characters, I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys comics. The art isn’t the style I typically pick up at the store. Very reminiscent of Crumb, which turns me off with its over-realistic/unrealistic style. But being a free book from Slog Happy I wanted to stretch my comfort level and I was rewarded for it by a thoughtful, if simplistic story. The epilogue saved the story from being a nihilistic tract, and I think that’s the only reason I feel comfortable with it. I don’t need a happy ending, but some hope for the future is welcome.

The Chill by Jason Starr

A little noir style brain candy for your rainy evening, The Chill takes us from Ireland and an ancient Druid legacy to the gritty streets of New York and the corruption of that legacy. A father/daughter serial killer team is terrorizing the city and it’s up to an old cop from Boston to stop them, the man that just so happens to have been there when the daughter’s powers first awoke.
Lots of sex and blood to keep you entertained, plus a little Celtic history thrown in to make it interesting. A fun and quick read.

Thanks, Enigma, for the reviews. Hopefully, she'll bring those comics to a future Slog Happy so the books can get another go-round. If any of these sound like something you'd like to own, you should head out to a comics shop tomorrow for Free Comic Book Day. You'll leave with an Enigma-approved comic, plus a bonus comic or two for free.

And if you've read a Slog Happy book, be sure to send me your review.


Comments (4) RSS

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Enigma 1
These are really weak reviews, Slogland, and I am sorry.
I'm gonna stick with reviewing narratives, cause I'm not good at reviewing comics.
Posted by Enigma on April 30, 2010 at 3:53 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 2
Nah, they were ok.
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 30, 2010 at 4:08 PM · Report this
--MC 3
I don't agree about Market Day. Maybe the reviewer doesn't get the central theme of the book -- a creator finds out that he can't sell his creations any more -- which, if you've ever found yourself in the same situation, is devastating. I expect Sturm writes out of his own experience -- in the book, when the rug maker vows to sell his loom and never weave rugs again, you can hear Sturm saying it, you can hear yourself saying it. And like Rev Ether says, YOU get to tell the story -- you guess what happens next -- the rug maker gets home, and sleeps it off and gets up and weaves again, or follows through with his threat and is desperately unhappy forever, or comes back to it later in life ... this book doesn't owe you a happy ending.
Posted by --MC on May 1, 2010 at 10:05 AM · Report this
The Chill was fucking terrible. Worst thing Vertigo's done in forever.
Posted by Chicago Fan on May 3, 2010 at 7:20 AM · Report this

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