A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{March 31, 2013}   Comics and manga of the week (86)

areyoumymother_bechdelAre You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel

  • I loved Bechdel’s first memoir Fun Home and I had no doubt about this one being equally good. Where Fun Home was about Bechdel’s father and his suicide, this one is about her mother. But it is no simple linear narrative and is as much about psychoanalysis, acting, creativity and Bechdel herself as it is about her mother. It is a dense work, full of complicated ideas that will take me a few reads to fully grasp but it’s well worth the effort.

Gambit, volume 1: Once a Thief by James Asmus

  • Confession time: I’ve had a crush on Gambit since I first watched the old X-Men cartoon as a girl. There was no way I was not buying this series but I didn’t have high hopes: Gambit has been done badly often and I don’t know Asmus. I was shocked to find something exciting and very readable. Bored of life as a teacher, Gambit decides to rob a rich Russian mobster but his heist gets him caught up in dangerous explorations of ancient ruins and an attack on MI13 (yay! I love that team!). A really fun read that really captured Gambit for me. But the French was worse than usual. I can tell when you’re using Google Translate, writers.

Husbands by Brad Bell and Jane Espenson

  • Husbands is inspired by the Youtube sitcom of the same name about two very different men who wake up married in Vegas. But instead of a continuation of the story, we get an odd series of shorts (with uneven art) parodying different comics and genres. I was sadly disappointed, it didn’t serve the story and I rarely found myself laughing, Espenson can do much better.

La Petite Révolution by Boum

  • I know Boum from her autobiographical comic strips Boumeries. This comic is very different. It is a bleak reflection on the cost of revolution for the poor and oppressed. A quick, thoughtful read with simple art that perfectly suits the tone.

The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers by Nick Roche and James Roberts

  • I used to love Transformers as a kid so I’ve been having a friend re-introduce me to the series through cartoon marathons and the recent, highly praised comic series. The Last Stand of the Wreckers was perhaps not a good place to start, however. It is a comic designed for fans, jammed packed with characters that I don’t recognize and references to a history I don’t know. There is certainly a lot of action and tragedy and by the last issue, I really did want to know how it ended. But those first few issues were a bit confusing for a beginner like me. 🙂

The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, volume 1 by James Roberts and John Barber

  • Now this is Transformers done right. The dialogue is sharp and had me chortling to myself. The narrative is fascinating and deeply political: pondering what happens in the peace after a 6 million year war. There are still a bit too many characters for me to keep track of but they all have distinct personalities and motivations, that helps a lot. I look forward to reading volumes 2 & 3.

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