Lest people think my attack on Bigfoot was because of it’s “cutesy” factor– and not what I found to be problems in the writing– I bring to you my second choice for best of 2010: Werewolves Of Montpellier by Jason.
So much has already been written about Jason’s simplistic yet elegant style of drawing and writing that it’s daunting to me to try to add anything to the subject. But I don’t have to: this was one of my favorites last year, and I just have to tell you why.
[Spoilers ahead, if thats the kind of thing you're worried about in a Jason comic.]
166 Jay Bodnar Reviews You Can Use: Bigfoot edition ~or~ Can We Please Stop With the Goddamn Emo Books Already?
Bigfoot (Drawn & Quarterly)
by Pascal Girard
I don’t even know how to begin this. So far, in my very brief tenure as a writer for this esteemed site, I have yet to write any negative reviews. My thoughts on that were, “why would I waste my time reviewing things that I thought sucked? I should spend my time pushing all things cool into your collective heads.” I mean, the boring and mediocre have a million fans and detractors, did I have to be among them?
Mind you, it’s not that I’m not reading garbage on occasion, it’s just I chose not to bother you with it. That is, until now.
Bigfoot by Pascal Girard is in a long line of books I should not be reading, but on occasion, because of my fondness for the publisher, (in this case, Drawn & Quarterly) I sometimes take chances on a book I should not.
Why bother telling you this? Well, it was also brought to my attention that maybe part of a reviewers job is to tell people what you don’t like, because if an audience likes what you do like, it stands to reason you can sway some people away from the other stuff and save them some time and money.
I’m going to spoil everything about this book. Everything. I need to, in order to explain why I disliked it as much as I do. If you plan on reading it, or have it and have not yet read it, you have been warned.
OK, so I know that Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film isn’t a comic. But it’s published by Fantagraphics books, and since they mostly publish comics (and mostly publish the best ones, it seems) I’m running with it.
First off, I would like to give thanks to the two writers of the book, Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly, for taking the time to research and write it, because I’m sure like many others it’s a topic that has come up for me in conversation. And after spending the last two days plowing through this majestic slab of crucial, comically informative reviews, part of me envies them in having done it first, while some other part wants to thank them for taking a bullet the rest of us don’t have to.
What we have here is an alphabetical list of movies containing punks from the years 1974-1999. It covers the obvious big ones (Suburbia, D.O.A., The Return Of The Living Dead, Class of 1984) to the less obvious and completely obscure.
So the last couple of weeks I have had a couple of conversations about this post by Jason Aaron more or less telling Alan Moore to “Fuck Off” for talking shit on the comic industry and, by proxy, himself.
And while I want to comment on some things, one thing I don’t necessarily want to do is take sides. Where as I can understand why Mr. Aaron could get upset at what Mr. Moore said, I think he made the common mistake of holding a person up to their work.
What I mean is– and in my life this has happened a few times– where you meet a musician, or comic writer or artist you’re really into, and they act like a complete piece of shit. It may just have been a bad day for them, or they may actually just be rotten people. I try not to let it affect my view of their work. And while I understand it’s human nature to hold a grudge against someone who says or does something to you in person, I find it weird to get upset over a third party interview. Alan Moore talks shit. That’s what he does. At this point in his career he’s known as much for that as his actual artistic output.
That being said, there are a couple of things that have, for a while now, bugged the shit out of me about Watchmen and Mr. Moore’s dealings with the property that I am sure are going to come off as possibly a personal attack on the man. Not so: other than Watchmen, I very much enjoy much of his output, Promethea being one of my favorite series ever.
But Watchmen is its own beast.
So, it’s my intention to write ten reviews in ten days for the end of the year best of list. Which is absolutely not daunting to any living soul other than myself. Mostly because I am lazy, but also, it was a terrible year for comics. 2010 had its moments, but they were few and far between. In fact, I think in other years it would be hard to narrow down to a best of ten. This year? I’m lucky I got ten. Lucky me.
But that’s no reason to disparage the comics made that were actually good. In fact, it almost makes it imperative that I write this best of: you need to know. And if not me, than who? You? Highly unlikely. First of all, you would have to have a command of the English language, that quite frankly, I don’t believe you possess. And secondly, how could you possibly know what my choices for the top ten are? You could speculate at best. But that’s not what you do. That isn’t what our relationship is like. I give, you take. I accept this.
Also, just for the record, I’m writing ten reviews in ten days, but they’re not in order of least to best. Nope– not what I do. These are just my ten favorite, period. Also, the more I think of it, it might be like the top six or seven. I told Paul my top ten list, and he pointed out that three of them came out the year before. I don’t feel like bumping up the honorable mentions to bonafide hits.
OK, let’s begin.
156 JAY BODNAR REVIEWS YOU CAN USE: A TENTATIVE TITLE – HULK EDITION, Volume 1: And Lo, There Was A Robot Man Punching A Red Guy In The Face
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Spoilers ahead, maybe? I don’t read this comic, so I don’t know if that’s true. – P.)
Review by Jay Bodnar
The logic of the super-hero is fluid at best. The dual call to altruism and bizarre pageantry of costume design is enough to turn away most casual browsers who don’t have the mindset to dive head first into the borderline unexplainable trauma that the writers of these characters have set up to explain why a supposedly non-insane adult would dress up as a spider, wolverine, bat or flag of a country.
Some characters have a more built-in logic as to how they look, in that I feel if a non-comics reader were to pick up said book, it would become easily apparent as to why the characters look like they do. The two that come to mind are Green Lantern and Iron-Man. Green Lantern clearly wears a militia or law enforcement uniform. Sure, there are slight variations within the Green Lantern Corps from member to member, but there’s enough unity for readers to make that connection. Plus the fact that it plays on the science fiction neck of the woods as much as Superhero-dom helps explain to the layman why they look the way they do. Their outfits are not all that different from the average Star Trek uniform. If one reads Iron-Man, it quickly becomes obvious it’s not a costume at all, but a fully functioning defensive weapons application, a one-man tank.
by Jay Bodnar
I would like to start by saying this is my third attempt at writing this article. My first two aborted attempts were unusable, because I kept straying away from the topic, which if you don’t know by the headliner is about adult comics, erotic comics, porn.
My first attempt was useless because what started as an article turned quickly into a very judgmental rant about how I hate most people who read comics, and how odd it is to genuinely love something that draws people who repel you to your very soul to the same medium. This comes from a stint of working at a comic shop for a good chunk of a year, and daily realizing how much I honestly despise most of you (not you, dear reader, but let’s say everyone else.) But I then decided this is an article worthy of itself, so that I don’t feel pressured to spare any details.
My second attempt got sidelined into my thoughts on other Pornography, or you know, actual people fucking. Which of course I’ll have to address at least a little, I just don’t want it to override my main objective.