Saturday, July 17, 2010

ho, ho! what's this?

Today was the family's weekly pilgrimage to local public library. One of the sections I regularly peruse whilst there is the comic book shelves. I am always amazed by how much good stuff they have in terms of graphic novels, trade paperbacks and other combinations of word and image. On this visit I snatched up What It Is by the always awesome Lynda Barry, a mysterious volume called The Number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8 which I selected solely based upon the enigmatically numeric title, and A Dangerous Woman: The Graphic Biography of Emma Goldman. I'm not really sure who Emma Goldman is, but I've been on a bit of a comic-biography kick. Recent visits to the library found me borrowing graphical bios on J. Edgar Hoover, Malcom X, Ronald Reagan and the Dalai Lama.

As I'm leaving the section to go look for something in the fiction section my eye catches a quick glimpse of a rather thick volume with a familiar name emblazoned thereon.  Dig it:


I already knew that Zak S., the criminal mastermind behind DnD with Porn Stars (NSFW, duh) and "I Hit It With My Axe", was a serious artist by day.  And I already knew that he had done a series of works, one for each page of Gravity's Rainbow, that was something of a hit in the art world.  But I didn't know he had a book deal or that the book had reached the provincial backwaters of central Illinois where on online friend of his could stumble across a copy.  The world is full of strange connections.  Even finding this work in the funny book section is a bit of a puzzler, because as far as I can tell this isn't graphical fiction in any sense.  It looks to me like one would need a copy of Pynchon's novel to make narrative sense of the images.

So I checked out Zak's book and Gravity's Rainbow.  I need two more 700+ books on my reading list like I need another hole in my head, but I think sometimes you need to listen to the signals the universe sends you.