PG Tips No. 4:
Paul Gravett's Recommended Reading
In a regular series of PG Tips articles, Paul Gravett reviews books of and about comics from his recommended reading list.
by Stéphane Blanquet
Editions de L’An 2,
You may have caught the supremely creepy graphics of French visionary Blanquet (“blon-kay”) in Fantagraphics anthologies Blab! and Zero Zero, but here you get a sumptuous 128-page adults-only feast of his paintings, animation, dolls, bedroom installation, drawings on nude models, and of course his comics, rounded out with an interview, critiques and bibliography. A “tearful monograph” that truly brings tears to the eyes, and yes, it’s bilingual.
by John Dunning & Sacha Mardou
Teasing and moody, influenced by Lynch and Clowes, this 33-page psychodrama is told in two parts, in two voices, from two perspectives. Let yourself be pulled inside the desires and dreams of sultry freelance illustrator Lolajean, self-mythologiser and pornographer, and of an enigmatic Hollywood-bound writer she meets in a motel. This debut collaboration shows real daring and talent, more please.
by Andrew Foley, Scott Mooney and Nick Craine
Join Peter Orbach’s zany journey and “near-life experiences” travelling through a new streamlined purgatory, where “hell’s become one big karma wash”. A witty script and promising art in this 152-page romp. For sample pages check out Mooney’s site www.moon-man.com.
Capote In Kansas
by Ande Parks & Chris Samnee
Troubled author Truman Capote established the ‘whydunnit” with his controversial true murder novel In Cold Blood. In this intriguing 128-page biographical insight, Parks and Samnee explore how he came to research and write his landmark study of the American nightmare and the price he paid for it. A slice of literary noir.
by Alex de Campi & Igor Kordey
“Good boys grow up to be soldiers.” A financially and morally bankrupt government (sound familiar?), a wave of bizarre terrorism, and one soldier boy turned official assassin with added girlfriend problems, all thrown together in a disturbingly plausible near-future London. This comes in three 48-page monthly chunks of barbed satire and steely intelligence. A health warning - Smoke is good for you.
The Alchemist’s Easel
by Al Davison
Lucid, symbolic, revelatory, dreams can be all these things and much more when translated into comics. This is a 176-page collection of dream-inspired comics at their very best from the author of The Spiral Cage. Visit his site at Astral Gypsy to find out more. Sleep tight.
by Grant Geissman
Foul Play, that ghoulish baseball game, with intestines for base lines, severed arm for a bat and decapitated head for the ball, must be one of the most notorious EC horror schlockers of them all. Here it’s reprinted straight from the pulpy comic book as one of a lucky 13 classics, plus one never-before-published EC story, “Wanted for Murder!”, drawn by Al Williamson and intended for the aborted Picto-Fiction magazine Crime Illustrated #3. Before each tale, Geissman profiles the 14 artists, sprinkling loads of wonderful rare and unseen art and artefacts. EC newbie or fan-addict, you need this all-colour 272-page tome. Choke!
Everett Raymond Kinstler
by Jim Vadenboncoeur Jr & Everett Raymond Kinstler
“It’s about time!”, in the words of admirer Sergio Aragones. At last, a 240-page authorized, copiously-illustrated biography and art book on this American illustration legend, from 1942 to 1962, from “uneducated kid” to bravura comic book and pulp magazine illustrator to portrait painter of presidents. This is going to be gorgeous to look at and fascinating to read for its first-hand memories.Posted: August 6, 2006
PG Tips is a monthly sidebar to Paul Gravett’s Novel Graphics column in Comics International providing shorter reviews of the latest recommended books of and about comics.