MARY WEPT OVER THE FEET OF JESUS:
Chester's comix make familiar stories from the old and new testaments seem strange and hilarious by telling them straight-facedly and without presenting any context or clarification.
The comix are great and sort of unsettling by themselves, and Chester is using them to put forward his own curious brand of christian theology: God loves people who are brave enough to disobey his rules, and Jesus's mom was a prostitute.
Since Chester's previous book was all about his experiences with prostitutes, it's hard not to see this one as an attempt to justify his own lifestyle, but in the afterword and his extensive notes, he makes a compelling case for his points, and presents a fascinating alternate reading of christianity that I'm not going to be able to forget about.
DARE TO DISAPPOINT
A funny, angsty comic about growing up in Turkey in the 1980s. I learned some things about recent Turkish history, and if you don't know much about the country and its culture you'll understand a little bit after reading this. I haven't been able to talk to any Turkish people about it yet; Uğur wants to read it but he hasn't been able to find it. I'm hoping there will be a second volume. This one ends with the author as a confused and frustrated university student in Istanbul, and I'd like to learn how she ends up as an artist in Chicago, which is what she seems to be doing now.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X
While I was reading this I kept finding ways to insert anecdotes from Malcolm X's life into every conversation I had, which was probably very annoying but I couldn't stop thinking about him. Experiencing both violently personal racism and blatant systemic racism as a kid in Nebraska and Michigan, dancing and selling drugs and robbing people in Harlem, staying up all night reading and writing in prison, evangelizing for Elijah Muhammad and black nationalism, rethinking everything while on the hajj, and acquiring a new name at every stage of his life, this guy is surely one of the most fascinating, challenging, and inspiring people of the twentieth century. I recommend reading his book if you are white or black or amerikan or christian or muslim or if you are interested in race or relijun or in identity or in humans.
other books I read this month: