Monday, March 21, 2005

vacation comics and films

Over the past few weeks, in anticipation of the time I'll be able to actually just read without guilt (because, most the time, I could be doing something else like managing the businesses or writing or listening to Sage tell me her incredible version of "Goldilocks"), I've picked up a small number of fat comics to devour, thanks to Comicquest, Powerbooks and Fully Booked. Some I've read before, others I picked up based on glowing reviews and word-of-mouth, but all deserve reading (or rereading):

Persepolis 2: The Story of A Return (Marjane Satrapi) - This nice hardcover continues the graphic memoirs began by the author in her previous volume, which dealt with her formative years in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. I like these kinds of comic books, where art is not the point, but rather contributes in a non-"Hey, Look At Me! I'm ART!" manner to the narrative. I enjoyed the first volume immensely and look forward to this one.

Epileptic (David B.) - Originally published in French, this book collects all six volumes of one man recounting his brother's plunge into epilepsy, set against the backdrop of family history. I barely mustered the willpower to stop reading an eighth of the way through. It's riveting and fascinating and well worth the price.

The New Teen Titans Archives Vol: 2 (Marv Wolfman & George Perez) - This volume really brings memories. One of the hooks of the series, the one that I swallowed completely, was an affection for mythology. One of the story arcs collected here has the Teen Titans battling the Titans of myth - and I was hooked forever to the power of comics. This also features the Doom Patrol which later led to their own series.

Ministry of Space (Warren Ellis) - Truly an impulse buy, helped by the fact that I generally like what Ellis does (like Orbiter and his run with Stormwatch/Authority).

There are several more at home, a nice mix of rock 'em - sock 'em spandex, painfully melancholic indie things, and Uncle Scrooge classics.

On the film-viewing side, unfazed by my friend Joey Alarilla's recent meditations on piracy, I visited Pirate Billy and took what I could, which turned out to be very meager fare (in terms of good film versus crass commercial shit). Which isn't too bad, really, since I told everyone that I could not stand the thought of yet another art film this season. No, I needed and wanted something mindless and I got mindless, though my nature betrayed me with more intelligent choices (all I wanted was a copy of Vin Diesel's Pacifier!). Anyway, here's the line-up for Holy Week viewing.

Virgin (directed by Deborah Kampmeier, 2003) - An "Agnes of God" set-up, but not in a nunnery. Supposedly good writing for the female characters, but we'll see.

Kinsey (directed by Bill Condon, 2004) - Liam Neeson and Laura Linney lead a cast composed of Chris O'Donnell, Peter Saarsgard, Timothy Hutton and more, in this biopic of the famed sex researcher.

Diarios de motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries) (directed by Walter Salles, 2004) - Two young Argentinian men go on a roadtrip from Buenos Aires to Patagonia - one of them is Che Guevara (played by Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal, last seen by me in Crimen del padre Amaro and Amores perros).

Deadline (directed by Katy Chevigny, 2004) - My documentary of choice tackles the issue of the death penalty. I know, I know. It is as far from light-hearted, mindless fare as you can go, but that's me. Mr. "It-must-mean-something". Ha ha.

As for the ones I got for pure zombie viewing, they include National Treasure (I can't believe I actually got something with my despised Nicolas Cage in it), After the Sunset (Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek) and a few more that my mind can't register.

Sage took a Barbie Fairytopia thingie over vintage Balto, Antz and Stuart Little (she refused to smile at Pirate Billy, who tried flirting with her).


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