healyg: (apology)
I apologize again for taking so long to write up a new Currently Reading Wednesdays. I've just been feeling kind of "blah" the last few days (maybe because of all the turkey?) and didn't get around to it.

Anyway, currently I'm reading The Jack Kirby Omnibus Volume One: Starring Green Arrow, with art by Jack Kirby (natch) and writing by various. It's a collection of all the various stories Jack Kirby did for DC Comics in the 50s, mainly for science fiction magazines like House of Mystery and Tales of the Unexpected. (There were also a couple Green Arrow stories in there, like it said in the title, but I didn't really get to them.) The inventiveness of the stories and visuals are a real treat, which is to say that everything is properly wacky in that amazing Silver Age way. One of my favorite stories is the one where a guy takes a concoction that turns him into a flat, 2D man. Kirby's art just sells the transformation and really raises up what would have been just a passable short story into something very enjoyable.

I'm also reading Get Real, a Dortmunder book by Donald Westlake, who also wrote the Parker books under a pseudonym. It's pretty good, but it's a rougher read than I expected. Apparently this was the last Dortmunder book Westlake wrote before he died, so that probably explains it. I'll keep an eye out for earlier books in the series, and see if they're any better.

I'm also play/reading Jay's Journey an early RPG Maker game. It's okay, and the humor is actually pretty good for an RPG Maker game from 2002 or something, but I keep having trouble figuring out where to go, which is really not something that should be happening in a game as linear as Jay's Journey. Most of the time it seems to be due to some underclued puzzle solution, like when I spent 15 minutes in one room only to find, when I looked it up later, that a switch I thought didn't do anything actually did something, I just couldn't see it. A hint guide would have helped here, whether in game or just in a text file. Still, I like it enough that I'll probably go and finish it.
healyg: (Excited)
Last week I reread The Best of the Spirit, by Will Eisner. It's got a bunch of some really good stories about the sorta superhero The Spirit; a couple of my favorites are The Story of Rat-Tat, a comic done up as a children's book about a toy machine gun that longs to be real; and Fox at Bay, about a "rational" criminal who kills several men and hides himself away as some sort of experiment. There are some uncomfortable racial caricatures stereotypes, but they play a minimal role in the stories in this collection; I think some of them may have been edited out.

I also reread Parker: The Score, adapted from a Richard Stark novel by Darwyn Cooke. It's about super-smooth criminal Parker working with a top-notch team to rob an entire town. Of course, these plans rarely go off without a hitch, and and Parker and his gang runs into a real doozy of one. I wasn't too impressed with this one on my first read, but after rereading it I think that was just because I was disappointed that it wasn't as good as Darwyn Cooke's second Parker adaptation, The Outfit. The Score is a good, solid thriller that any reader of crime fiction would be pleased to have on their shelves. (Outfit's still better, though.)

Last but not least, I'm getting deeper into my reading of the Oishinbo series. I finished the Ramen and Gyoza volume, and am just getting started on the one on spirits and wine. My opinion of it hasn't changed from what I said last time I reviewed this series. After thinking it over, I think part of what makes Oishinbo so good is that it always remembers to bring some human element to the stories about cooking and eating. Like, there's one story that begins with Yamaoka and friends helping a down-on-his-luck gyoza restaurant owner get an edge on his competition, that quickly spirals out of control when Yamaoka's jerkface of a dad wants to get in on the action. The conflict gets transposed from the gyoza restaurant owner and his competitors to Yamaoka and his dad, but the author still remembers to keep focusing on the humans that populate the story. Am I making myself clear here? It is pretty late. Well, regardless, these are pretty good books.

Also: I want to let everyone know that I'll still be doing selections from 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die (over here). Just comment with a page number and I'll tell you what selections were on that page and what I think of them. Ciao!

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