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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bargain-hunting strikes not once, but twice!

Girls grabs meWhen you find a TPB on the shelf with the striking and seductive cover seen left. When comics luminary Brian Michael Bendis blurbs it thus:
"The Luna Brothers are the future of comics and it's happening right now. This book is essential for your collection. My highest recommendation."
And when it's going for half price at the Borders 'Everything Must Go!' closing down sale, what's a man to do? Buy it, naturally enough.

And? In a phrase: I like it!

Ever since the glory days of the anglophone comics renaissance of the early/mid 80's, I've been interested in comics which bring the medium's quintessential narrative strengths to genres other than the costumed superhero. Stories of everyday life are ones which I've yet to see satisfyingly rendered in comic form in a way transcending prose, although that might just be because I've not looked hard enough. Art Spiegelman's Maus is a landmark example showing that comics can deal with the real world as opposed to the heroic world, even if its 'everyday' isn't quite the big lives of small things I had in mind.

The Luna Brothers' Girls scratched this itch to some extent. Without giving too much away, and on the basis of having read just the first TPB, I think it is best described as a contemporary retelling of John Wyndham's famous 1957 SF novel The Midwich Cuckoos. This means that it is about the everyday world- that of small town America in this case, rendered strange by the impossible. Where it scores as quintessentially a comicbook is that the impossible strangeness is of a kind whose impact would be undermined by a simple description; it derives its power from the pictures, in other words.

That's all I have to say about this really good comic for now, expect to add that I expect to catch up with the whole story.

Wolf pack
As Borders' long drawn out death continued I found myself paying what turned out to be my final visit last Saturday. Among the detritus of the last few pickings I was lucky enough to find a pile of Lone Wolf and Cub TPBs.

I first read this seminal comic by writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima some 7 years ago, and loved it immediately for its breathless story telling and great art. Even so my collection remained small because, when I thought about buying some more I could never remember which volumes I owned. So I was pretty chuffed on Saturday when I got 7 at half price without a single duplicate!

These TPBs will be prized, read and reread for years to come. I recommend them without reservation to my readers. If you're a stranger to Lone Wolf and Cub, you can check out this #1 Preview over on Dark Horse Comics (you can find the rest of the series previews with a quick search). ;)
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