Friday, December 03, 2004
Six books I wouldn't mind finding under my Christmas tree.
Six comics collections are a trip down memory lane
By Whitney Matheson, USA TODAY
Comic books aren't all about capes and secret identities. n Several recent collections unearth rare, underground and early works that don't often get the Hollywood treatment.
Though they're not appropriate for children, they may make adult readers recall childhood trips to the comic shop. Here's a roundup of the best offerings:
The Comics Before 1945
By Brian Walker
(Harry N. Abrams, $50)
Devotees of Little Orphan Annie, Krazy Kat and other seminal comic strips will appreciate this hardcover collectors' volume, which presents works from the turn of the century to World War II. (Abrams published Walker's volume of Comics Since 1945 in 2002.) Along with detailed biographies of the era's most no table artists, Walker includes forgotten gems such as Blondie and Dagwood's wedding in a 1933 Blondie strip and a rare '30s Popeye adventure that some newspapers refused to run. (The gruesome premise involved Wimpy, Popeye's hamburger- loving pal, inheriting a cousin's cow. We'll let you connect the dots.)
Locas: The Maggie and Hopey Stories
By Jaime Hernandez
Along with his brother, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez has been crafting intricate stories of humor and heartbreak since the early 1980s within the beloved black-and-white comic Love & Rockets. Locas focuses on two female Rockets regulars: Maggie Chascarrillo, a Mexican-American musician, and Hopey Glass, her rebellious best friend and on-again, off-again lover. The result is a fluid, multifaceted portrait that at times feels more like a film than a graphic novel. The most challenging thing about Locas may be lifting it: At 704 pages, it's a hefty title, but it's well worth the exercise. (Another Love & Rockets book to try: Gilbert Hernandez's Palomar: The Heartbreak Soup Stories, published in 2003.)
By Masano Amano
Manga, or Japanese comics, is quickly becoming part of mainstream America. Several titles have appeared on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list this year. In one thick volume, Manga Design provides an overview of the genre's biggest artists and most visually stunning creations. Whether readers are already fans of established names such as Spirited Away's Hayao Miyazaki or are just becoming manga-curious, they're likely to find something of note among the 135 biographical entries, which are also presented in French and German. As a bonus, Manga Design includes a DVD featuring a visual tour of a manga superstore in Tokyo, artist interviews and more.
The New Smithsonian Book of Comic Book Stories: From Crumb to Clowes Edited by Bob Callahan
(Smithsonian Books, $39.95)
As comic fans can tell by the title, this coffee-table volume illuminates decades of underground works. But it also devotes chapters to the landmark superhero tales of Frank Miller, Stan Lee and others, along with several pieces by underground '60s pioneers Kim Deitch and Robert Crumb. Full-color pages are reserved for a small final section on contemporary artists such as Jimmy Corrigan author Chris Ware and alt-weekly favorite Lynda Barry. While readers searching for in-depth commentary won't find it here, the impressive work in Smithsonian's collection speaks for itself.
By Dave Gibbons
(DC Comics, $24.95)
Swinging dance halls, slick hairstyles and rival gangs are the elements of several classic '60s movies. They're also a handful of the stylistic highlights found in Gibbons' futuristic graphic novel, which he both drew and wrote, partly basing it on his own life. In this slim, hardcover edition, the artist, best known for drawing DC Comics' The Watchmen, introduces childhood friends Lel and Bok. The hipsters, who live in a futuristic world where everyone cruises on "hover" vehicles, dream of being accepted into a gang called "The Originals." However, they didn't realize membership would lead to tough luck and tougher decisions.
The Rough Guide to Superheroes
Edited by Paul Simpson, Helen Rodiss and Michaela Bushell
(Rough Guides Limited, $12.99)
This stocking-sized title reads like a travel guide of the superhero universe. Unlike many comic-book compilations, Superheroes is designed for readers of all ages and interest levels, earning bonus points for including starred recommendations and heaps of illustrations. Chapters spotlight everything from villains' origins to movies and TV series featuring crime-fighting men in tights. In addition, Rough Guide 's carefully researched A-to-Z list leaves no superhero in the dust: It's perhaps the only place readers can learn everything about Captain America and Captain Underpants in one sitting.
Back to work.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
The Fantastic Mr. Bach
FROM : http://www.portlandmercury.com/2004-11-25/feature2.html
If you were forced at gunpoint to have a three-way with two comic book characters and one had to be a man, who would they be?
SEBASTIAN BACH: I'd have to say Valkyrie from the Defenders--she was fuckin' hot. I find it somewhat weird that I get turned on by a comic book character, but anyway... Oh, I forgot, Cherry Poptart. You should pick up one of those--they're X-rated, but she's a little minx. Or Gwen Stacy, who the Green Goblin killed in Spider-Man #101 I think, or maybe #99--I can't remember the exact issue. Green Goblin threw her off a bridge--she was absolutely awesome. So that's three chicks, and then one of them has to be a man? Huh... Oh, it definitely has to be Mr. Fantastic. Reed Richards, from the Fantastic Four. He has the ability to stretch any part of his body as big, long, or wide as he wants. I'd like to see some party tricks with that fucker.
Well, I have to say, the man knows his comic books.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
CCHQ CLOSING SALE
30% to 50% off on Comics and Manga
December 1 - 18
Store Hours: 10am to 530pm
Monday to Saturday
"It has been a pleasure serving you for the past three years. We have met so many wonderful people and learned so much about life, business and ourselves. We thank you for your loyal patronage."
Khristine and Katya Cheng-Chua
CENTRAL COMIC HQ
3rd floor, FBR Arcade,
Katipunan Avenue, QC
I always thought that CCHQ would've been perfect except it didn't have a coffee shop. But they said they didn't want to smell of food and coffee to mix with the books. Very understandable. There's nothing like the smell of a brand new comic book. Especially those glossy graphic novels. They didn't have the flat smell of newsprint comic books. The graphic novels had that precious scent, otherworldly, a strange mix of the printing chemicals and the airplane's airconditioning system. Although, I would have been perfectly fine to smell the mix of coffee beans and comic books.
Monday, November 29, 2004
TOP 5 Things Heard in Baguio After Authorities Burn P1.3 worth of Marijuana
5. Whoa! Why is Kenon Road is all straight?
4. Everything's sooo GREEN!
3. Wow! These pine trees smell so good.
2. Why do I suddenly have a craving for ube jam and strawberries?
1. LOOK! I'M THE BARREL MAN!
Sunday, November 28, 2004
YOU ARE HERE
i'm now at the GAMEFROG. (Is it THE GAMEFROG? Or just GAMEFROG?)
Anyway, it's a nice quite place. As quiet as netcafes get.
Right beside it is a bar called Aruba and they now have some showband singing some Top 40 song.
Ohhh... I like their keyboards. Nice and black and has that nice clickety-clack sound if i type fast enought.
Another good thing about GAMEFROG is that it's not dark like most netcafe, which seem to think they have to look like some 80s disco pub.
Now, if only they serve coffee this would be a really great place.