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Holiday loot, part 2

You'll recall that part 1 of my holiday loot recollections actually began some time between the two December birthdays that I celebrate every year. Therefore, part 2, subtitled "Comics," and featuring an interesting triangulation of my tastes:

Exhibit A: The Perry Bible Fellowship: The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories (Amazon). You would be well within your rights to ask me why I got a book the content of which is already entirely online. You would be well within my rights, however, to remember that the book has been out for less than 3 months, received more than 27,000 pre-orders, and is heading for a 3rd print run already. I'm a big believer in supporting webcomic artists by picking up their books even if (and even because) their work is available online. Also, PBF is high-larious and utterly incorrect in the process. It makes me laugh and wince at the same time. Also? Here's from an interview with Nicholas Gurewitch:

I encountered a letter to a newspaper that questioned how I could make light of Jesus comically. She wondered, in her letter, whether I had any fear of God. Reading her question, I did have fear of her.

The Invention of Hugo CabretExhibit B: The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Amazon) is a graphic novel in the sense that it's a story told at least partly through images, but the illustrations and the prose alternate pages and sometimes sets of pages. Invention is a much more earnest story, and the drawings are (intentionally) much more cinematic. It won the Caldecott medal this year, and is in that sense a children's book, but honestly, it's a little more all ages than that. The rhythm of the illustration, and that the book features automata and references the birth of cinema, are part of its appeal for me.

Apropos of nothing, the author is the first cousin, once removed, of legendary Hollywood producer David O. Selznick.

The Nightly NewsExhibit C: The Nightly News (Amazon) was the one book I saw over the holidays that made me cheer inside when I saw it. A lot of folks are putting it on their Best of 97 lists, and with good reason. Take one part V for Vendetta, update it by about 20 years, and add in equal parts of media fatigue, contemporary graphic design and infographics, and you've got the makings for TNN. Seriously, it's the kind of book that, 20 years from now, will either mark a milestone in the industry or a missed opportunity. It's that interesting, and that different from anything else being published. Hickman's working on several new projects right now, and it will be equally interesting to see how his style persists, changes, etc.

Interesting to me, at least. That's all for now.


I read The Invention of Hugo Cabret last year after picking it up at my kid's school's book fair. I even managed to beat my wife the Children's Lit scholar to it. Great stuff, IMO.

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