Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Stack (2)

Progress pretty good. This is what the readstack for the last week looks like:

- 4 Economists (2 read fully - this and last week; others scavenged for relevancies/interests)
- 1 New Yorker
- 1 Los Angeles
- 13 comic books (Fables 113-115, Hellboy: The Fury 3 (of 3), BPRD: Hell on Earth: Monsters 2 (of 2), BPRD: Hell on Earth: Russia 1-5 (of 5), BPRD: Hell on Earth: The Long Death 1-2 (of 3), BPRD: Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horrors 1 (of 2))

I don't want to jinx anything, but at this rate I've got a shot at doing this thing. Takeaways for the week:

(1) Los Angeles is a much better magazine than one might expect. There's usually one or two things in it really worth reading; this issue was particularly good, with a lot about the Rodney King riots and a nice diverse set of voices discussing how race is lived in LA.

(2) Hellboy is the quintessence of that thing I was saying in the last Stack post about the difference that dynamic/good storytelling layout makes in comics. It's so pure and move-y: it just zooms you through, but without rushing. It helps that it tends to be light on words. I really like that. I respect Brian Michael Bendis and all his chatty stuff very much, but the purity of Hellboy really feels masterful, to me.

(3) BPRD usually has this very rough, primal art. And then this guy James Harren took over for The Long Death, and his art is very lush and rounded - very pretty, really (the blogspot link doesn't really speak to that). And it was a nice change - I like the art in all the Hellboy spinoffs, as noted above, but something in the warmth and charisma of having nice-looking images (even when grotesque; they may have hired him for this storyline because he does monsters-tearing-people-to-shreds really really well) made me feel very close to the story and the characters. It is also a particularly bad-ass storyline, even by BPRD's high standards.

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