söndag 14 oktober 2012

Back from the comics store, September edition

So anyway, I got some stuff at the Gothenburg book fair, now that I have a house to put it in.

Li Österberg's stuff is always good. I prefer when she writes her own stories, but Patrik Rochling's scripts are very good, and make the people depicted in the stories people, instead of just characters in a story. Norwegian Jason is likewise always good, but I tend to only buy his stuff when it's on sale, as the hardcover editions are quite a bit on the pricey. Kvarnby serier contains comics by people who're studying a two-year course in the art/trade of making comics. And Den mystiska ön is and excellent adventure story for kids, reviewed here.

I bought some regular books as well; the Italian Renaissance is almost always enjoyable stuff, and I've always like the classical Dutch paintings. You can't go wrong with a huge book on evolution (unless, perhaps, if you're a teacher in some southern U.S. states), and I don't know much about horses, so why not get a book about them? Döda rummet is a pun on August Strindberg's classic novel Röda rummet, and an enjoyable fantasy by Per Demervall and Ola Skogäng about an alternative present where a cult has grown around the dead Strindberg... Or is he really dead? And Corto Maltese is of course a classic (although in my honest opinion, a somewhat overrated one).

This pic turned out crappy and does no justice to the four first volumes of the collected Duck works of Don Rosa, the brilliant writer-artist who unfortunately isn't doing any more stories because he's fed up with the lousy renumeration from the Disney juggernaut (I should add that the Swedish publisher of his works treat him pretty decently, though, as far as I know). Seriously, if you haven't read his stuff, you should – he's more or less the modern (or post-modern) Barks. I got these ones signed, and a sketch in one of them too – ha! Valhalla is an excellent album series by Dane Peter Madsen and his collaborators – though to be honest, it's just good a couple of albums into the series, and only excellent from about album 5-6 or so. This is the fourth collection of three albums, so it's well into the "excellent" phase. You gonna start reading this series, and you should, collection 3 containing albums 7-9 is the place to start, and you can expand your collection from there. Kiki of Montparnasse has received quite a lot of accolades, but I haven't had the time to read it yet.

Uti vår hage is a brilliant mixture of inspired silliness and crazy slapstick, sort of the Marx Brothers on steroids and in comics format. Well recommended. Zits is a modern classic (and I got my copy for free for having translated it). Elvis is also a bit of a modern classic here in Sweden, looking askance and through the eyes of a somewhat obnoxious anthropomorphic tortoise at the daily drudgery of modern (family) life. It's done by real-life couple Tony and Maria Cronstam, and you have to wonder exactly how much of it is from their own life, and to what extent they're just inspired by and/or extrapolationg from their own life. The strip is mainly played for laughs, but does occasionally delve into social commentary as well – which on one occasion seemed to flummox some less-than-competent critics who actually believed that the Cronstams were laughing at wife abuse, when it was simply the critics who were too stuck in their own prejudices about the Elvis strip to understand that particular strip. (I mean, good grief – seriously, a critic owes the works and artists/writers he reviews the courtesy of actually trying to understand what they're trying to say.) And finally, Norwegian Arild Midthun is a talented artist whose duck art reminds me quite a bit of the old master Vicar.

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