Today, Brian Nicholson reviews Brandon Graham’s Multiple Warheads collection. Here’s a sample:
In other scenes, the narration works to relay the science-fiction ideas and worldbuilding, which, while they may be of interest to Graham as a writer, would be difficult for him to convey visually. The grander the scope of the idea, the more easily it falls into the background. It is mentioned there are spaceships filled with people gone to fight a war with wolves; they explode in the atmosphere. What’s foregrounded, as the thread of a larger narrative is either lost or ignored, is not specifically sex, but being in love, driving around, taking in the sights, taking in meals. It’s a book about moving forward in time, moving through space, being a body. There are action sequences that focus on movement, orientations of people getting decapitated, where dead bodies and the recognizability of faces are used as markers to orient the characters, as they jump on top of cars stuck in traffic. There are also two-page spreads of fantastical landscapes, wide vistas. These emphasized aspects, of the sensory input of places, moving through them, is highlighted both as a pleasure of comics and as a pleasure of being alive. This approach lowers the stakes in terms of storytelling drama in order to more straightforwardly just be a comic that exists for the sake of sensory pleasure.
And today is the final day of Danica Novgorodoff and her Cartoonist’s Diary.
—Mike Lynch disputes a few of Ted Rall’s statements in that anti-New Yorker rant from earlier in the week. [“The challenge here is: do you use a Mankoff, a Rall or your own self as a tastemaker? Humor, they say, is in the eye of the beholder.”]
—Gary Panter briefly profiles Shigeru Sugiura. [“As the Fifties ended, Sugiura abandoned kids’ comics for more peculiar ones — melding different styles and genres of cartoons, movies, and science fiction imagery into a potent new, confusing, even psychedelic brew.”]
—The philosopher John Gray reviews Mark D. White’s The Virtues of Captain America. [“Sadly, the suggestion that Captain America embodies Aristotelian virtues verges on the absurd. That Aristotle assumed his account of the human good could be realised only by middle-aged, property-owning males is well known. What is more important, from the standpoint of White’s argument, is the absence in Aristotle’s thinking of any of the modern liberal ideals that Captain America embodies. Consider an idea such as personal autonomy. Certainly Aristotle believed that individuals are responsible for their actions; but there is nothing in him of the idea that they are the authors of their lives. Even the favoured few, in Aristotle’s account, model themselves on the same conception of human excellence.”]
—Sarah Horrocks reviews Katie Skelly’s Operation Margarine.
—Jack Kirby’s heirs have appealed this summer’s Marvel ruling and attempting to take their case to the Supreme Court.