Saturday, June 02, 2012

Getting My Comics Geek On...Again

I used to be a major comic book/graphic novel reader and purchaser in the late 1980s and 1990s, but parts of life, particularly the financial side, combined to eventually have me leave that behind, as much as I missed it.
Among my favorite comics were/are Love and Rockets, Neat Stuff, Eightball, V for Vendetta, Sandman, Hellblazer, Dirty Plotte, Watchmen and other comics especially from labels such as Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly and, in the great debate/fight, DC over Marvel. I also subscribed to the Comics Journal for years.
I started taking out graphic novel collections from the Buffalo and Erie County Public Libraries about two years ago, namely from my home library, the Crane Branch on Elmwood Avenue, and the downtown main branch, catching up on some Sandman I had missed as well as some other collections of authors and comics I had not previously experienced.
But I really started on this again about a month or so ago, when I checked out two Love and Rockets hardbound collections, one of new comics that came out in 2009, I think, and another of some older material that I had some of but had missed some.
Between weekends and my mother Sheila's doctors' appointments, I read through these fast, and while I have enough reading material otherwise (currently working on Steven Jobs' biography at work and "The Brethren" by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong at home), I have really started to dig into some graphic novels.
I am just starting "Footnotes in Gaza" by Joe Sacco; Sacco is an artist I have enjoyed for years and also read his graphic comic "The Fixer" in about two sittings a few weeks ago. His portrayals of life on many levels amid war and all kinds of struggle is gripping. I also read Joe Matt's "Spent," about as open a book on a man's obsessions, sexuality and art as you will find, as well as a couple of great collections I had missed, the 1995 edition of "World War 3 Illustrated," and a "Drawn and Quarterly" collection from 2004.
I will continue to read more of this material, with joy, glee and anger, and I may even have to visit my old haunt, Queen City Comics, someday soon.  


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