Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Sequential Heart

If you're interested in comics, I'll be writing about them at Sequential Heart. And if you're interested in writing about comics, let me know--we're looking for folks to contribute to this groupblog and raise the online dialogue about comics--any kind of comics--above the general message board negativity you find in most internet circles.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

50 in 05: The Bluest Eye

#13: The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison. Someone saw me reading THE BLUEST EYE and asked how I liked it.

"I like it okay," I told them.

"I heard Toni Morrison is too wordy," they said.

I don't know what that means, but what I said in response was, "Well, if you've got two-hundred blank pages to fill, you might as well be wordy, I guess."

The woman smiled and said, "Yeah, I guess so," and we went back to not talking.

I like THE BLUEST EYE because it's built with a structure I would never think to write a story with. The novel revolves around Pecola, but it opens and closes and is interspersed with first-person accounts from Claudia; we jump back in time and hear the stories of Cholly and Mrs. Breedlove; we hear a conversation between Pecola and her madness. It's like an experiment (or a dozen experiments) that collate into a complete novel.

Before I read it I was told it was autobiographical fiction tied to a place instead of a life, but to me it was the feeling that came through--autobiographical fiction tied to alienation and fear and potential lost. That said, I didn't read the author's afterword. I don't mind talking about a novel or a play or any piece of art--I like it a lot--and I like it when an artist talks about creation in a general sense, or with regard to their own process. But at the same time, when I order a bowl of soup I don't want the cook to come out before, during, or after to tell me all about what's in the soup. I just want to eat the soup, you know? And if I choose to discuss what I liked, disliked, or was indifferent to about the soup, that's my own business.

I spent a week living with this book and there are still things I can't get out of my head. Cholly's chapter, Soaphead Church . . . yeah. Way to pick 'em, Oprah.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

50 in 05: Marvel 1602

#12: Marvel 1602, by Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert, and Richard Isanove. This one is pretty short--because this is a fun book. It's flat-out for folks who like Marvel Comics and who know how the Marvel Universe got its start. It's not a love letter to superheroes, and it's not a love letter to comics, it's a love letter to the Marvel Universe--and it works really, really well. It leaves me wanting more, but not in a "sequel" sense--in a "I want to pour my G.I. Joes out on my bed and continue these adventures after supper" sense. It's neat seeing Andy Kubert's art find its way as the story moves along, too. There are still a few story points I don't quite understand, and I'm a little iffy on the hook of the Forerunner, but this was a really fun comic book.