I just wrapped up a special Fall Preview column for this week's "When Words Collide," my mind is in list mode. So here are ten things I'm thinking about on this Tuesday in September.
1. I like Steve Ditko's Static.
2. The last two DC hardcovers I've purchased both have wrinkled pages on the inside, like water or humidity was trapped inside the books before shrinkwrapping. I had to return the first book because it was so bad, but the replacement wasn't much better. And then, last week, I found that my new Batman: The Black Glove hardcover had basically the same problem. Anyone else running into this with DC hardcovers?
3. David Foster Wallace was one of my first favorite authors as an adult. I picked up Infinite Jest soon after graduating from college, and although I still think it's an unrestrained mess, it made me fall deeply in love with postmodern American fiction. I always preferred Wallace's non-fiction writing, although the stories collected in Oblivion were powerful and vibrant in a way that few other fiction writers have ever matched. Wallace pointed me to Barthelme, and for that I am eternally grateful, and I still haven't shaken my love for footnotes. It's sad to go back and watch Wallace's Charlie Rose interview and see him struggling to find a sense of purpose in his life, even when he had achieved everything he thought he wanted in life.
4. All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder doesn't go far enough into its own vicious absurdity, and censorship is to blame, it seems.
5. The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics is pretty amazing, but when the hell am I going to have time to read it? (It's glaring at me from across the room.)
6. If I had to rank superhero artists who debuted in the past five years, Rafael Albuquerque would be at the top.
7. I don't know if the game holds up as any good now, but I really liked playing Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle with my wife when we were younger and had more free time and less kids running around the house.
8. Greg Horn's art doesn't help make reading superhero comics any less embarrassing.
9. John Byrne writes, "The notion of 'waiting for the trade' has, I am sure, had a negative impact on the sales of the monthly books. How much more negative impact comes from those trades being available in libraries? Not only are they reliably on the shelf from month to month in a library, they are free! Taken from the most cold hearted and mercenary stance (which is where I think we really have to be in this crumbling business!) are libraries a Good Thing for comics?" My question is: what libraries is he visiting? My local library has a wall of graphic novels, but not a vast selection. Does your local library have an impressive graphic novel section that you can rely upon? Personally, I really hate reading library books, and I don't know why.
10. My kids prefer Gene Wilder to Johnny Depp.