Comic Book Cache – Round 4

9 Aug

Once again we revisit Comic Book Cache.  This may be the last one since it took so long for it to come out, but we’ll see.  So, what is comic book cache?  Well, my goal was to get comics into the hands of people who may not necessarily be privy to the art form.  The styles and genres are ranged from superheroes to memoirs, but all of them are accessible in their own little way.  To check out the full list of comics that readers had a choice from check out the Master List.  Also, check out Round One, Round Two, and Round Three for some other great reviews.

And now we’re off to the races!

Phonogram: The Singles Club by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie

Derek Humphrey, 21
Musician

Prior Experience: I used to read Spiderman comics during the early 90’s, but didn’t really understand them entirely. It was mostly for the visuals. Also, at some point as a kid, I read a Sonic comic. Once.

Why: I’m a music fan. I’m obsessed. I figured it’d be interesting to give a comic with a vinyl on the cover a shot.

What: Honestly, I liked the story-telling, but I feel like I probably should have read the first volume. Also, I don’t know how I feel about the magic aspect. Still, overall it was pretty good. The characters were well written, and the music references were awesome (especially the glorification of Blondie).

Stood Out: The artwork wasn’t actually that special to me. Neither impressive or lackluster. However, the humor really worked. The characters were varied enough to be interesting, and their story-lines appear to interweave well enough to be very entertaining. Still, probably shouldn’t have come into it on the second collection.

Difficulty: Not at all. Just a little hard to put the story into perspective when you jump straight in.

Words or Art: I’m more of a words guy. I’ve noticed this when watching movies with subtitles too though.

Read more: I would definitely, but I’d probably make sure to get a bit more background info before hopping into a series.

Ed. Note: Check out my review of Phonogram from awhile ago here.

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The Alcoholic by Jonathan Ames and Dean Haspiel

Ashley Johnson

Student

The esteemed Irvin Yalom states that the root of every psychological difficulty can be boiled down to; death, meaninglessness, isolation, and authenticity. This book is the perfect example of his theory.

Jonathan A. is young sexually confused person who is struggling with an alcohol addiction. He is overall struggling with being truly authentic to himself. Authenticity is something in which people strive for and in general most people have issues with this at some point. He, on the other hand from the very first introduction of alcohol had created a wall around himself and portrayed something other then who he was. Loosing a best friend as Jonathan did would be hard for anyone. But his situation was very different, in that, he was in love with his best friend. This tossed a kid who really did not have any other friends to begin with onto a long road of isolation. Thinking that he was completely alone he put all of his energy into school yet still managed to ultimately do nothing with his life but drive taxies. Furthering his isolation the only people he had in his life was his family, which all died soon after his best friend left him. Isolation can lead to many psychological and abuse problems.

Death, it followed him everywhere. It is correlated with all of the various episodes of isolation. This endless cycle eventually ended in a complete sense of meaninglessness which caused the whole cycle to continue again.

This was the first graphic novel that I have ever read and it was so intense and interesting that I will definitely continue reading these books. On a last note, I give Jonathan A. a huge amount of credit to be able to publish such a personal life journey with the world. I believe that is were great books lay, in the middle of honest truth and astonishment.

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As a special bonus, Ashley also did another review for:

Daytripper by Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon

We have all said it and heard it a thousand times justifying something to ourselves or rationalizing something to someone else, “you could die tomorrow.” And that is true, theoretically it is possible that any giving person will die at any given moment, but once those four words strung together are said enough times it has become more of a figure of speech then anything with actual meaning. I seem to say it most when I am trying to convince myself into doing something new or challenging. This is just something I know to say to myself to give me an extra push to do something, but do I really mean do this (whatever task) because I am actually going to die tomorrow? My bet is no.

This is until I finished the first chapter of Daytripper. The book is a series of points in this mans life where he dies. Moments significant to the insignificant but never the less he did “die tomorrow.” Moments that he never questioned his morality. He just lived his life never knowing when his time was, as do we all.

It is an intriguing point to mention though, that in this book we were able to see what his life would have turned out to be if he had not died, something we can not do. The book gave me a realization that we are all really finite beings. That saying “you could die tomorrow,” is only a saying because it is true. People die tomorrow, and today, and next week and years from now. But no one ever outsmarts or outlives death. As much as that should be a depressing and stark realization to come across in a book, I find it empowering to have discovered such a simple yet overlooked meaning to a phrase that I have so often said.

Carpe Diem.

Ed. Note: To check out my review from awhile ago of Daytripper, click here.

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Thanks again to all of the participants.  And, if you want to participate, check out the master list and pick a book – I’d love to hear your review.

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