Comfort those closest, entertain the rest.

April Reading

The Sacredness of Questioning Everything - David Dark

I’ve been reading this book forever. Not because it’s hard to read, or boring - quite the opposite. I’ve been reading it forever because I kept finding myself going back and rereading chapters I’d already read. Concentrating on them. Re-mining them for new understanding. At the beginning of this month, though, I committed to making my way through.
I know Mr. Dark occasionally looks at my Tumblr, so I want to avoid anything that feels like blowing smoke up his posterior - but this book has given words to feelings that I’ve felt for a long while now. It has helped me reframe my doubt as a beneficial force for good instead of oppressive albotross around my neck. I’ve been pushing it into the hands of my friends and co-workers, quoting it in discussions, and trying to practice it’s admonitions. I love this book and I hope to shake Mr. Dark’s hand one day and say thank you to him for writing it.

Relish: My Life In The Kitchen - Lucy Knisley

Lucy Knisley saw me coming. I love food and I love comics. Scratch that. I believe in food and I believe in comics. I fetishize both. I partake in both on a regular basis. Both create a holy unrest in me. Both make me want to consume and create. So for Knisley to bring both together so simply, with so much efficacy, it’s almost like she was creating a new artform - a vinn diagram with my heart and soul resting firmly in the middle.
In it’s best moment this book reminds me of Craig Thompson’s highly underrated Carnet De Voyage. It makes me want to fill notebooks with quick drawings of everything I do during the day. It also makes me want to stand around a cutting board, eating bloody bits of seared, rare meat with somebody I love. I can’t recommend this book enough.

The Fifth Beatle - By Vivek Tiwary, Andrew Robinson, and Kyle Baker

A beautiful story, beautifully told. The Fifth Beatle paints a picture of Brian Epstien as a man with the courage and confidence to push the Beatles in to the collective consciousness of the world, but also as a man plagued by insecurity and doubt. Epstein was seemingly unable to enjoy the success he created for himself and his four associates; partly because of his inability to forgive his own missteps in business and partly because he lived in a world that would never allow him to fully be himself.
Vivek’s writing is simple (in a good way). His Beatles are straight out of one of ther movies - always quipping, always clever. His Colonel Parker is a demonic caricature. Epstein is the most complex, because it’s his story. He wears a brave, optimistic face in his public pursuits, but his internal life is not nearly so cheerful.
This book is a tour de force for Robinson - fully painted and beautiful. Robinson’s power was long ago hinted at back in the 90’s in his painted Starman covers. It’s nice to see an artist stretch his legs and come into his own. I’m officially on board for whatever he does next.

February reading

The Hero With A Thousand Faces - Joseph Campbell

For months now, I’ve been studying Dan Harmon’s story circle. It eventually led me here, to the source. Campbell’s deconstruction (that’s not the right word - illumination?) of the nature of myth is hard going at times. It’s dense and heady but ultimately enlightening on a variety of topics - storytelling, consciousness, anthropology, and transcendence. It’s one of those books that felt a little hard to absorb at times, but that I imagine will work it’s way into my way of thinking, significantly, over time.

Prophet Volume 3 - Empire - Brandon Graham and various artist

Speaking of illumination - Graham’s continuing efforts to re-imagine the 90’s-est of 90’s comic book characters, Rob Liefeld’s Prophet, continues to be one of the most enlightening and enjoyable comics being produced. I know Graham doesn’t cop to being much of a Kirby guy, but this series contains what can only be described as Jack Kirby levels of inventiveness.