This is a retelling of the David and Goliath story, and this time you're friends with Goliath instead of David. It's slow in a way that I liked, with lots of scenes of Goliath and his shield-bearer sitting on rocks not doing anything. The art is simple and black and brown, and I liked that too. As a story it's only sort of satisfying, and would probably be kind of baffling if you somehow didn't know the original version. As a criticism of the one-sidedness of Old Testament war stories it works pretty well in how easily it turns David into an insane-sounding killer. To do this though, Goliath has to become pretty wimpy, and all his coolest lines (Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?! Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field!) get left out. He's slightly more complex here than in the Bible, but he's also less fun to think about.
Ty Beaver recommended this to me and I'm glad he did. It's a novel about a small town in Oregon, and sometimes you float high above the town watching everyone at once, and sometimes you become each person in the town, and sometimes you become a bear and sometimes you become the river. It made me want to live in Oregon; it made me want to know my neighbors better; it made me want to listen to opera; it made me like cops better and birds better and everyone better. (I already liked everyone except birds and cops.)
JERUSALEM: CHRONICLES FROM THE HOLY CITY
This is either the second or third book by Guy Delisle that I've read and I liked it the best of those, and it's the third comic book about Jerusalem that I've read and I liked it the least of those. The better Jerusalem books are the ones by Joe Sacco, but he's doing something completely different so it's really not fair to compare them. I definitely read Guy Deslisle's BURMA CHRONICLES a few years ago, and after that I either read PYONGYANG and started and gave up on SHENZEN, or the other way around, or I started and gave up on both of them. His wife or girlfriend or something works for Doctors Without Borders and he gets to follow her around to cool parts of the world and wherever he's at he makes comic strips about his daily life there. This time he's living in the West Bank. He's started to vary his page layouts a little more (small, monotonous panels were a big part of the reason I got bored with his older stuff), and he's added color for the first time. It's pretty subtle, just dull grays and browns and greens with occasional brighter colors to indicate sound, but it looks good and makes it a lot more readable. I was sort of annoyed that he mostly only interacted with other foreign aid workers and journalists, but it's not like I know the people in my neighborhood very well so I don't know why I expect him to start hanging out with his neighbors as soon as he moves to the West Bank. Anyway, read this if you like comics or if you think you don't or if you don't know anything about Jerusalem.
THE MAD FARMER POEMS
Usually I like Wendell Berry's essays a lot more than his poems, but I loved these. In his Mad Farmer persona, he is, as always, a descendant of Isaiah and Odysseus, but now he's also the last surviving grandson of Pan. He's plowing graveyards and golf courses and the minister's wife; vines are curling out of his mouth, his pumpkins are taking over parking lots. There are longer, calmer poems about all the things worth seceding from, but one of the longest poems is a list of everything worth being contented by. If you haven't yet become any specific kind of person, and I know I sure haven't, stop doing most of what you're doing, and become this kind.
|other stuff I read:|
NIGHT OF THE GRIZZLY - Michael Burns
THE DEATH-RAY - Daniel Clowes
KOLOR KLIMAX: NORDIC COMICS NOW - ed. Matthias Wivel
THE STORY OF THE TREASURE SEEKERS - E. Nesbit
WIMBLEDON GREEN - Seth
THE PURSUIT OF GOD - A.W. Tozer
LOVE AND JOY ABOUT LETTERS - Ben Shahn
PICTURES FROM BRUEGHEL AND OTHER POEMS - William Carlos Williams
THE INCAL VOL. 2 - Alexander Jodorowsky, Moebius
BAD BOATS - Laura Jensen