Friday, February 27, 2009

Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library

The Acme Novelty Library is huge.  Twice as tall as the typical comic book, and sturdy between it's hardcovers, it's an almost confusing mix of panel arrangements, small fonts and very clean graphics.   One of the first things you notice when flipping through the book are a good number of pages that mimic the look of the kinds of adverts that will be familiar to readers of american comic books of the late 60s and early 70s.  Quite delightful!

But once you get past it's size, the visual layouts and how the book feels in your hands,  and start reading through what are mostly one page stories, you immediately realise that this is a book about tragedies - self-inflicted and thoughtlessly inflicted upon others, born from ignorance, an ignorance that's purely the result of the character's thoughts, ideas and beliefs. 

Chris Ware's characters are a lonely and alienated bunch.  They're trying to fill what they think is lacking in their lives by getting into relationships with people or machines, but selfishness or plain stupidity keep getting in the way and the result is emotional hurt to one or both parties.  

It's mostly poignant stuff, and occasionally depressing.  

For a Wikipedia Entry on Chris Ware and his work, click here.

While browsing the web for more on the author, I came across this Time article:
the depressing joy of Chris Ware (Nov 2001)
If you live in Singapore, there are many copies in the National Library branches, under the Call Number 741.5973 WAR.  The Central library alone has 3 copies.  


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Song of the Month series begins

A new series! Song of the month. And the song for Jan 09 is from Mary Chapin Carpenter.
A simple song, told like a simple story, that brings up deep thoughts and feelings of time passing by, family relationships and the meaning of life, and certainly what it's like to travel through the freezing darkness of open space for what seems an eternity.

Mary Chapin Carpenter wrote a children's book based on the song, titled "Halley Came to Jackson", which is on Amazon, where you can read formal as well as customer reviews.The lyrics are available on this page in Yahoo's Music site.

See the Amazon MP3 widget on the right navigation bar to listen to a snippet. It'll be there till next month's song is loaded into it.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Who Watches the Watchmen

Just read this article from NYT's site:

Watchmen Skulk to the Screen - published Jan 30, 2009

Which sent me back to my old copies of the series. I've not read and re-read the Watchmen as much as Lord of the Rings or the Sandman series. Which perhaps added to the sheer enjoyment that overcame me on this most recent reading.

Strongly recommend you read the graphic novel before you see the film. I'm confident that no matter how good a job Snyder does on the Watchmen movie (and he should do good, based on his work on 300) the movie will pale in comparison to the richness of the original comic series.

If any of you is interested to borrow my copy (individual issues, individually bagged) to read, give me a buzz.

Watchmen is truely awesome. Moore and Gibbons totally outdid themselves on this collaboration.