I know it’s a complicated age with many demands on our time, from work and family and friends and our side projects and obsessions, when you add in Netflix binging, or videogames… well finding time to read for fun can be a bit of a haul.
It is a haul worth making. Reading works parts of your brain and I would say possibly your soul, that just passive consumption doesn’t. In books and comic books all the work isn’t done, just the broad strokes, that you then get to make fluid and alive in your head.
They made a WATCHMEN movie, and I thought it was good, if flawed, but the graphic novel, is another,better, deeper beast. The graphic novel remains the preferred experience for that property. And that’s not always the case, sometimes the movie is the better, truer representation. Michael Mann”s MANHUNTER film an improvement on the Thomas Harris RED DRAGON novel. The Russo Brothers CIVIL WAR an improvement on the CIVIL WAR comic. So it does happen, but those are exceptions.
As a rule, the word can enrich you, can involve you in world building in a way that is vital. Vital to continuing to grow, and challenge, and change. It keeps the brain sharp,and elastic, the best of our books, and comic books/slims. And that is a needed gift in times that are increasinly insipid and backward.
Trump and Hilary as forerunners for President? Only in a nation that has given up reading, would these two be considered frontrunners for the most important job in the world. Come on Green Party or Libertariasns or somebody. Anybody? Truly a disillusioned nation, where good viable candidates such as Ben Carson, could lose to a Trump. Where money, and media control, trumps merit.
We lack an intellectual society, and instead have a talk show society, complete with Jerry Springer level , talkshow candidates.
I think reading is where you begin to understand, if only in allegory and myth the contours of your world, and the possibilities. It’s the reason conquerors historically like illiterate slaves and illiterate peons, the word has power to change you and change your world. Those words of fiction, and those words of fact.
All this to say that reading is vitally important. Even light and fluffly and non-serious reading, your Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes, can make you someone unfit for a talkshow America, and unaccepting of talkshow despots, in the guise of presidents. Sermon concluded, now let’s discuss specifics.
What is worth reading this month:
RENATO JONES:THE ONE% – Written, drawn, colored and conceived by Kaare Kyle Andrews, the cover blurb says “Punisher from Occupy” and that’s a pretty succint statement. But I find it is more traces of Harlan Ellison’s Harlequin ( from his short story REPENT HARLEQUIN SAYS THE TICKTOCKMAN!) by way of Oliver Twist and Bruce Wayne, all infused into a narrative that is strictly Karre Andrews.
A wonderful drawn tale, tinged with bits of fact and super-fiction, of someone taking the war, the economic war, to the warmakers. It’s also a well parsed out mystery of who Renato Jones is and how he came to be. (and I’m sure will get to little pesky things like, why he isn’t dead after getting stabbed in the head in the first issue. There is no way, as drawn, that that blade doesn’t hit something vital, contrary to the 2nd issue letterspage. So hopefully that bit of storytelling gets tightened up for the trade.)
That issue aside, two issues in and I’m loving it. Try it for yourself by dropping the good folks at Discount ComicBook Service a line here: firstname.lastname@example.org or pick it up on Amazon, or read it digitally.
Wherever you get it, tell them you were sent by these…. Heroic Times. See what I did there? :).