cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (nana at the window)
Graphic novels:

Allison, John: Heavy Metal Hearts and Flowers: A Scary Go Round Story
(reread. I've actually been reading the webcomic Scary Go Round for years, and its predecessor Bobbins years before that).

Chadwick, Paul: Concrete vol. 1
(It's precious, but I liked this more than I thought I would anyway).

Chinsang, Wayne, writer, and Dave Crosland, illustrator: Heaven, LLC
(okay, actually, I didn't read more than five pages. As satire, it's a little lacking in subtlety...intelligence...purpose...).

Cruse, Howard: Stuck Rubber Baby
(A coming-of-age story set in the 1960s, about a young, white, gay man learning to accept his homosexuality at the same time that he is drawn by his friends into the Civil Rights movement in Dixie. I was brought to tears for the tragedy, and was grateful for the honesty, the humbleness, the generosity of its spirit. God, this was a hell of a thing to read on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. What a good book. Read it).

Los Bros Hernandez: Tears From Heaven
(I think I prefer Gilbert to Jaime).
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (the sky is bleak and lovely)
It's the holidays! Lots of family members that I love and miss and rarely see are en route to visit me and my sister for the holidays, for the first time since we moved Boston. It's very exciting! Too bad the horrible/picturesque winter storms have stranded and delayed 'em all.


Graphic novels/comics/picture books:

Hernandez, Gilbert: Chance in Hell
(I adore this man).

Giardino, Vittorio: No Pasaran vol. 3
(a little anti-climactic, but far from disappointing).

Tudor, Tasha: Corgiville Faire
(a friend saw this and spontaneously bought it for me and sent it to me, along with the news that she's decided to take classes in my library program next semester. I don't know what thrilled me more, the happy news, or the happy dogs).


Manga:

Tezuka Osamu: Dororo vol. 2.


I've not been reading a lot lately. For some reason, whenever I'm not baking (purely for fun! I just made a honey cake. Why not? To buy the honey for it, I only had to tramp a mile through snow, slush, sleet and hail--yes, all of those; the temperature is in flux right now. I got some fennel while I was at it. Normal people buy toilet paper and milk in preparation for bad storms; I buy fennel and brussel sprouts), I'm doing crossword puzzles. Got me why.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (Default)
I am amused and perfectly unsorry that this discussion doesn't really encompass superhero comics. Shaenon Garrity assembles a crack panel to identify which American cartoonists draw really hot men.

Of the ones mentioned, I can firmly endorse Carla Speed McNeil (who draws sexy, sexy people of both genders, but who is also talented and imaginative enough to draw a variety of physical types, including unsexy people--do not take this sort of thing for granted!) and Mike Mignola (I never got anywhere in Hellboy, but both the male protagonists and the poor women who got eaten by rats were extremely sexy in Migola's adaptation of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser), Wendy Pini (I agree about wanting to bone the elves. Hello, Rayek! Pini also gets props for that coveted ability to draw different physical types), Los Bros Hernandez (the mustaches of Palomar are not my thing, but the male characters have the same vibrant sexuality as the female characters; that extraordinary ability to convey the power and presence of sex and sexuality is one of the magnetic qualities of Love and Rockets), and Kyle Baker (you know the protagonist in You Are Here? The one who looks like a young Cary Grant? That's my type, and how).

I would also like to add Phil Foglio to this list. You can go look at the canon of Foglio's cheerful, sexy, funny, sci-fi porn comic XXXenophile if you don't believe me, but you really need look no further than his current work, Girl Genius, which contains two of the most smoulderingly hot men around in comics: Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, and his son, Gilgamesh. You know, Gil, the one I said I wanted to clone a thousand times so I could marry all the clones. In the context of Girl Genius, that's slightly less bizarre than it sounds. Really.)

Oh, and Adam Warren. It's easy to get distracted by Emp in Empowered, but Thugboy--wow.


Looking over this list, it occurs to me that with all of these artists--I think all or all but one of whom are both artists and writers--the sexy characters they've created aren't just physically good-looking, but are also dynamic, memorable, interesting personalities. It's that synthesis of a well-shaped physical form and a lively personality that makes them stand out as sexy. Superhero comics are filled with cookie-cutter character designs of ideal male and female bodies (sometimes idealized to the absurd or even to the point of being grotesque); it's all quite dull. I find some superhero characters very sexy, but only when they have such interesting personalities that they begin to stand out as people. For a variety of reasons, that doesn't happen much.

Anyway. Anybody else know of any American cartoonists who draw really hot men? Inquiring minds want to know, preferably before my next visit to Hub.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (Default)
Graphic novels:

Hernandez, Gilbert: Palomar: The Heartbreak Soup Stories
(this is the work that precedes Luba in America and Three Sisters. I don't mind having read them out of order; although it overall moves forward chronologically, the work tends to jump around in time with flashbacks and flash forwards. All of the stories give resonance to the other stories, however you read them. And they are addictive! As soon as I finished this, I had an urge to go back and reread the other Luba stories. I'm really impressed with what I've read of Love and Rockets, and look forward to reading more).
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (Default)
Graphic novels/comics:

Kelly, Walt: Our Gang
(I don't know whether it's a consolation or a tragedy that decades into the future, we'll still need to be apologists for the half-assed nature of our baby steps away from horrible racial caricatures and stereotypes in our comics. This is charming, but has its wince-worthy moments in that regard).

Hernandez, Gilbert: Sloth
(damn good stuff. Confusing, but good).

Bertozzi, Nick: The Salon
(Ping! The positively pornagraphic Picasso penis panel! I was going to write, "infamous," but then I decided to work that alliteration.

This is definitely not a comic for children--aside from the frequent full-frontal nudity--both women and men, which is refreshing!--there is semi-explicit sex and discussions of sex acts and scatological pranks, and several people's heads are ripped off, unsurprisingly resulting in death. The unfortunate comic book store owner in Georgia who is being crucified by local prosecutors for accidentally having given a sample from this to a kid on Free Comic Book Day a couple of years back definitely did err in doing so. That said, trying to criminally prosecute someone for giving a sample of this to a kid is nutty--it's racy, adult, regularly violent and not appropriate for kids, but not harmful.

It is mondo fun. Picasso charms me, the writing is clever, and the art's excellent).


Misako Rocks!: Biker Girl, Rock and Roll Love
(I think the inking is attractive, and would be lovely if the linework was stronger to begin with and if it wasn't often shaded or filled in with dull, ugly tones and scrapy lines for hair. This is my only positive comment on these books, as they are poorly written, inexpertly drawn, unfocused, banal, and badly in need of some editing, especially the one that's a barely fictionalized chronicle of her own teenage crushes when she first came to the states. However, the fact that they are bad books will not necessarily pose a barrier to the right readers. God knows, I've enjoyed crap in my time; even now, I voluntarily watch Torchwood).
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (the covers of this book are too far apar)
Graphic novels/comics/cartoons:

Rucka, Greg, writer, Steve Rolston, artist: Queen and Country: Operation: Broken Ground
(that's a lot of colons).


Caldwell, Ben, penciller and colorist, Bill Halliar, inker, Michael Mucci, writer/adapter: Bram Stoker's Dracula
(I was surprised by how much I liked this. It's a stylish, colorful, cartoony adaptation of the material, and I think actually my favorite version of Dracula to date. (No, I have not ever seen any of the movies.) It's worth checking out if only for the art. Caldwell's Jonathan Harker is downright woobie, which makes me care more about his part in the story, and, as that is a fairly large part, more interested in the story altogether).


Frazetta, Frank: Small Wonders: The Funny Animal Art of Frank Frazetta.


Moore, Alan, writer, Oscar Zarate, artist: A Small Killing
(stunning art, particularly the large establishing panels).


Various: Drawn and Quarterly vol. 4
(contributors to this volume include Hincker Blutch, Bocquet, Fromental and Satislas (a collaborative trio), Henry Mayerovitch, Frank King, Nicolas Robel, Miriam Katin, and Ron Rege Jr. Notable pieces include the biographical short "The Adventures of Herge," by the abovementioned trio; "Hester's Little Pearl," which is a weird parody of The Scarlet Letter retold in the style of Little Lulu, and, irritatingly, uncredited; and reprints of some of King's classic Gasoline Alley strips).



Hernandez, Gilbert: Luba in America
(whoops, I'm reading stuff out of order. Well, what the hell, the stories jump around in chronology and memory so much anyway that I don't think it matters.

Have I mentioned that so far, the Hernandez stuff is blowing my mind? It is. I have become ridiculously fond of Fritz and Venus. To think, this stuff has been around for ages, and I'm only just reading it now. What the hell have I been doing?

I love it with far less reservation than Strangers in Paradise. I think it's because it's less of a soap opera and more of a sort of sprawling chronicle of family relationships and individual stories; less rides on you liking or believing in any one character or romance, and the various sorts of bad life choices carry less weight and are less frustrating to watch--you're invested in the family as a whole, not just three or four characters.

It's also so intense and flamboyant that it can't be easily derailed by weird twists. It's like going to a carnival: you expect color and fervor and bizarre spectacles).
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (Default)
Graphic novels:

Talbot, Brian: The Tale of One Bad Rat.


Hernandez, Gilbert: Luba: Three Daughters
(I was initially freaked out by the big boobs, but eventually I realized that it was a deliberate choice of character designs, and the boob size is thematically meaningful. Stop laughing at me, you fucker, it is!

I've put off reading any of the Hernandez brothers' work because I knew it was going to be like jumping into the deep end of a pool: you shouldn't do it unless you're prepared to swim. Like swimming in the deep end, though, it's a lot of fun if you're ready. I look forward to more).


Richardson, Mike, and Rick Geary, authors, Rick Geary, artist: Cravan: Mystery Man of the the Twentieth Century
(Rick Geary work is fun even when there are no horrible murders!).

Eisner, Will: The Name of the Game.

Van Lente, Fred, author, Ryan Dunlavery, artist: Action Philosophers vol. 3
(I've nothing at all against popularizations of complicated subjects, but some of these feel uncomfortably pat. Maybe I just don't entirely agree with some of the characterizations of the persons under discussion).


Manga:

Otomo Katsuhiro: Akira vol. 2.

January 2017

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