Long Weekend = I Read a Stack of Books

Well, summer’s over. Labor Day (in the United States) is upon us and I just steamrolled my way through a stack of work and decided to take a break with some comics. If Josh were here, he’d be jealous. With a relatively short stack of comics this week, I can now turn to my ever growing stack of comics and trades to pick out reading material for the long weekend.

I thought I’d take this moment to share with you the top 4 books on my stack that I will be reading, which all happen to be digest sized and of the non-superhero variety, oddly enough. These should provide a nice pause in the action before I dive into the last three trades of Sandman (I’m almost finished!).

Love The Way You Love, Vol. 4
by Jamie S. Rich & Marc Ellerby

I picked up the first three volumes of this book while binge shopping at Isotope. I’m usually dead set against these digest sized, Manga-esque type comics, but if anything has changed me in 2007, I’ve come around to this format and Love The Way You Love has definitely helped. The story is about Tristan, who is the singer in a kickass band, and Isobel, the fiancee of the label exec trying to sign Tristan’s band to a deal. Tristan and Isobel have fallen in love and much hijinks ensue.

I found the first 3 issues to be fantastic, quick reads and honestly forgot to check to see if any other volumes have been released. It looks like volume 5 and 6 are either out or solicited, so I’ll have to track those down because I know as soon as I finish reading volume 4, I’ll want to keep going with this fun, infectious story.

Long Hot Summer
by Eric Stephenson and Jamie McKelvie

Now I have to claim a bit of ignorance here. My local comic shop got this in the other day and I grabbed it as fast as I could, thinking it was “new” work by Jamie McKelvie (of Phonogram fame). Turns out, this came out like 2 years ago and I had no idea. Some comics journalist I am, huh? It’s hard to keep track, okay?!?! Anyway, this jumped out at me, mainly because of McKelvie’s art, but also because of the Mod symbol and scooters on the cover. There have been many books recently that take place within a Mod subculture, scooters, suits and music a plenty. Chynna Clugston’s Scooter Girl comes to mind as one that I also enjoyed. This book looks to be a one-shot, telling the tale of a girl and the 2 guys enamored with her in the summer of 1988 in Los Angeles. Just flipping through this book is interesting in the context of appreciating Jamie McKelvie’s art, from an evolution standpoint between this book and Phonogram. Not that it’s worse or anything, but you can definitely see how he’s honed his storytelling abilities between then and now. I’m even more excited for the upcoming Suburban Glamor, whose release is fast approaching.

Nothing Better, Vol. 1
by Tyler Page

Another chapter in my comics ignorance, also known as my inability to keep up with creators I like. Tyler Page is the creator behind the series Stylish Vittles, that I (as well Josh, I think…) picked up at San Diego a few years ago and enjoyed immensely. Turns out, since Stylish Vittles ended, Tyler Page started a new comic, Nothing Better, which as far as I can tell started out as a print comic, and then Tyler moved to releasing online. He won the Xeric Award grant and was then able to publish this trade. I may have gotten the initial facts wrong, but that’s the gist. But that’s regardless because this book looks great.

The setting once again is college, as we watch two girls, roommates, adjust to college life and I’m guessing there’s probably some growth in store for each of the characters. Just by looking at the cover and the first initial pages of this book, I can already plainly see how Tyler Page has grown as an artist, with the artwork looking clearly more developed than his work in Stylish Vittles.

***

In going over these 3 books that I have on deck to read, I noticed a few things they have in common. As mentioned above, they’re not super hero books. Listeners of our audio podcast may remember I’ve been whining about wanting a “relationship” type book to read. Well it seems as if I’ve got 3 of them right here. Additionally, there is a subtle theme of music in Love the Way You Love and Long Hot Summer, which makes me think about other books that have music as almost a supporting character. And finally, all three books are interesting in terms of the creators involved – either starting out or honing their abilities within visual story telling.

Putting all that high brow analysis aside, I’m psyched because it looks like I’ve got 3, non-overwhelming light reads ahead of me before I dig in and try and finish the Sandman epic. I’ll be sure to come back with detailed reviews of these three books once I’m done reading, but if you’ve read any of these books, be sure to let everyone know what you think of them.

Comments

  1. Love the Way You Love is a book that i think more people should read. Its some of Jamie’s best work in my opinion. Vol. 5 came out a few weeks ago also and i have yet to pick it up.

  2. Love the Way You Love is fantastically good. I have a soft spot in my heart for comics that center around bands somehow. I do need to pick up Vol. 4 & 5 though.

    I also love ‘Days Like This’ from Oni Press as well. J. Torres wrote this one…another great book.

    Have fun reading Ron and I can’t wait to hear about Sandman.

  3. i plan on diving into the Complete WildCATS by Alan Moore this weekend.

  4. I just got the Heroes DVDs. Do they count? I am getting through as many of them as I can before class work starts to become a priority.

  5. Vito – I almost bought that but remembered that I had the issues so I may dig them out soon

    Dave – Sure! DVDs can count – have fun diving in, it was a great season…

  6. I’ll be spending most of this weekend working on my screenplay and finalizing the new Fuzzy Typewriter podcast for Sunday, and I’m working on Labor Day (yay time-and-a-half!), but I’ll hopefully be enjoying:

    Whiteout
    Carnivale season 1
    Batman Black and White
    Lost at Sea (Bryan Lee O’Malley)

  7. Oh, I think the art in LHS is definitely worse than Phonogram’s. 😀 But it’s nice to see the difference in the two. I think I’ve made a similar change between the end of PG and Suburban Glamour, and I’m really happy to be developing.

  8. Thanks for the kind words about LOVE THE WAY YOU LOVE. #5 is out, with #6 due in late October or thereabouts. The format was designed to give readers a chunk of the story in a nice format, rather than the slimmer issues. The jury is still out whether or not it works as a format, but I liked writing 60 pages at a time.

    Cheers!

  9. Geez, could I use the word “format” more often?

  10. This weekend I’ll be trying to rip through the stack of books I just picked up from the library, which includes a whole lot of Batman, the 16th volume of Ultimate Spider-Man, and the first two trades of a little book known as Powers.

    If there’s time, I’ll also dive into my shelves to read the new stuff I bought a couple of weeks ago. This ranges from the five volumes of the Losers to the new Elephantmen hardcover (is it just me or is Image putting out kick ass hardcovers lately?).

    Also, I want to reccommend a book called Super Spy by Matt Kindt, who’s a local boy from the STL. He just put out this new book through Top Shelf, and while I haven’t read the whole thing, the first section of the book is really fantastic.

    I guess, somewhere amidst all this reading is going to be some 360 and Wii play time. And then, my eyes will finally die from the strain of it all. Awesome.

  11. I liked Long Hot Summer (my friend, Laurenn, helped design it). I just wished it was longer…but not hotter 😉

  12. I just became part of the Denver public library (this will be the third library district i have cleaned out of graphic novels) I have found it is becoming harder and harder to find new stuff at libraries, they all seem to have the same stuff in them.

    Then i went to the DPL and left in a state of awe and excitiment with a backpack full to the brim with 30 graphic novels

    surely my eyes were too big for my ummmm eyes? anyway I am now looking forward to reading or catching up on such things as

    STARMAN

    PREACHER

    INVICIBLE

    THE AMERICAN WAY

    GLOBAL FREQUENCY

    PROMETHEA

    FALLEN ANGLE

    and THE FIVE FISTS OF SCIENCE

    I just read the first five trades of invincible this morning and really got a kick out of it and am neverously excited to see if Preacher is as good as people have said it is.

    well i got some reading to do.

  13. Love the Way You Love is one of my favorites as well. Nothing Better, is really good too.

    All those books are sweet. High five, bro.

  14. Sounds like there will be some good stuff I hope recommended and talked about on the podcast from the Indy side…or maybe just in the threads, that would be great — very cool. And I hope you do weigh on the Sandman thing. It is actually a pretty old title, but I think you would bring a nice (neutral) perspective for people who came after the “Sandman Generation” and might be a little curious.

    Wow, Luke, you really scored at the library. I am so completely jealous. If I could teleport over to your house from Tokyo I would in a hot minute and grab those books. Alas, neither the Nakako Ward or Shinjuku Ward libraries of Tokyo are so well stocked with such gold… My message to all: appreciate your local libraries (while they still exist). When I check out Amazon, librarian reviews are usually the best.

  15. I recently got the entire series of BONE in that one collection and started going through it. I love it. I can’t believe that I have never taken the time to read it.

    As I read it I began ot get sad. I thought back to when I was young and there were so many “fun” comics to read. Being a comedian I was naturally attracted to the funny stuff. It just seems like there isn’t that much of a market for that kind of stuff anymore. I pick up FRANKLIN RICHARDS and SHE HULK but those are struggling as well. That said I loved BOOSTER GOLD #1

  16. I just picked up White Out and White Out Melt and am reading those over the weekend. So far It is pretty good. I got 300 from the library Fri. and read it Sat. IT was really good. Makes me see what a awsome job they did on the movie.

  17. Paper, I half want to warn you to stay away from Carnivale season 1. Run away while you still can. Because this is easily THE BEST show ever to run on HBO. The problem is that they canceled it after season 2, and it does not wrap things up cleanly. The show is great, it just hurts so bad that you can never see the proper end.

  18. So far this weekend I have tackled

    – BATMAN: EGO AND OTHER TALES
    – FEAR AGENT: VOL. 2
    – THE LEADING MAN VOL. 1
    – SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, SEASON 2

    On deck:

    – HELLBOY VOL. 1-6

  19. One of the library books I picked up was the Batman story, Hush Returns. Egads was that thing a piece of shit. Talk about a story where nothing happens. That being said, I am diving into Powers and Ultimate Spider-Man today, so that should fill the void that Hush left. Ugh.

  20. Now there is a prime opportunity for Dark Horse. I want Carnival Season 3. That would be on the top (or bottom, ron) of my stack every month.

  21. Connor,

    How did you like the Leading man?

  22. I just wanted to tell you Ron…thanks for turning me onto “Nothing Better”. I had never heard of it before but I had to come into work unexpected for a few hours late on Friday night and read this post. I clicked thru to the website for the comic and started reading. While I am not totally thru it yet I am REALLY enjoying it. It is definitely one of those comics that makes you think. The content and dialog is well thought out and he hits alot of great points on the head. Having been thru a similar questioning process as the characters it hit home that much more. I am really anxious to read the rest online and then order the first trade.

  23. I spent the weekend reading the Walking Dead Trades 1-4. I know it was iFanboy as a whole, that turned me on to them, but specifically Ron mentioned he bought the first Hardcover and couldn’t put it down.

    My Dad got them for me the first 6 trades for my birthday and I can’t put it down. It’s fantastic!

  24. I spent the last 2 weeks on holidays (a beach on Vancouver Island).

    For this trip I took:

    Hellboy Vol.3
    30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow
    Green Lantern: Rebirth
    Midnight Days (Gaiman)
    100 Bullets Vol.11
    Planet Hulk HC
    Alan Moore Spells It Out
    Hanging Out with the Dream King: Gaiman and Collaborators

    I had a blast reading this stuff. Even the Hulk stuff, which I swear I have an allergy towards since birth.

    C.