Welcome back to the Friday Fiction Feature! For all the academics enjoying a little brain-dead time between semesters, we’ve got some quick reads this week with an all-graphic novel Fiction Feature!
A series I have been assured is fantastic, The Goon by Eric Powell. Bones will be broken and heads will roll The Goon is a laugh-out-loud action-packed romp through the streets of a town infested with zombies. An insane priest is building himself an army of the undead, and there’s only one man who can put them is their place: the man they call Goon. Collects The Goon series and The Goon Color Special, originally published by Albatross Exploding Funny Books; presented here for the first time in full color.
One of my better reading assignments for class (and a small release some of you may remember), Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta. “Good evening, London.” It’s nine o’clock and this is The Voice of Fate… It is the Fifth of the Eleventh, Nineteen-Ninety-Seven…
“The people of London are advised that the Brixton and Streatham areas are quarantine zones as of today. It is suggested that these areas be avoided for reasons of health and safety…
Police raided seventeen homes in the Birmingham area early this morning, uncovering what is believed to be a major terrorist ring. Twenty people, either of them women, are currently in detention awaiting trial…
The weather will be fine until 12:07 A.M. when a shower will commence, lasting until 1:30 A.M…
Have a pleasant evening.”
A frightening and powerful tale of the loss of freedom and identity in a chillingly believable totalitarian world, V for Vendetta stands as one of the highest achievements of the comics medium and a defining work for creators Alan Moore and David Lloyd.
Set in an imagined future England that has given itself over to fascism, this groundbreaking story captures both the suffocating nature of life in an authoritarian police state and the redemptive power of the human spirit which rebels against it. Crafted with sterling clarity and intelligence, V for Vendetta brings an unequaled depth of characterization and verisimilitude to its unflinching account of oppression and resistance.
“Remember, remember the fifth of November…”
Another assignment, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.
Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.
Next is a book I have never heard of, with a title I couldn’t resist checking out: The Stinky Cheese Man: and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by and The entire book, with its unconventional page arrangement and eclectic, frenetic mix of text and picures, is a spoof on the art of book design and the art of the fairy tale. The individual tales, such as he Really Ugly Ducklingand ittle Red Running Shorts,can be extracted for telling aloud, with great success. Another masterpiece from the team that created The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!
Once again, because I am a sucker for funny titles, I bring you Wormwood, Gentleman Corpse, Vol. 1: Birds, Bees, Blood, and Beer. Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Singularity 7, Fell) creates an all-eerie and humorous new series. Things are awakening in the city. Things that have a nasty habit of leaving mutilated bodies in their wake and it all reeks of demons and dark gods up to no good. Owing a favor to his lazy ghost cop buddy Trotsky, Wormwood, the gentleman corpse and his oddball entourage are brought in to investigate the case (or at least hopefully not stuff it up too much.
I swear I’m not just picking every ridiculous title…and that this has nothing to do with the obnoxious toy dog my nephew got for Christmas… Petshop of Horrors 1 (Petshop of Horrors (Bunko) #1). Quick Plot Summary: A Japanese horror manga created by Matsuri Akino. The series focuses on the eccentric Count D, proprietor of a mysterious pet shop located in the heart of Chinatown, and the numerous patrons who visit his shop.
Details: Count D is the mysterious caretaker of an exotic pet shop in Chinatown. Each pet purchased from the shop comes with a contract with three major points. These points differ for each animal sold, and breaking this contract usually results in dire (and sometimes disturbing) consequences for the buyer, for which the pet shop claims no liability.
Individual chapters of Pet Shop of Horrors are often based on these consequences, and are each written as a stand-alone story, usually introducing one or more new characters in each chapter. With the exception of the main characters and their families, it is rare for a character to carry over to a later chapter, providing the series with a very episodic nature.
The detective Leon Orcot is used to tie the chapters together into an ongoing plot, usually in the form of a subplot within each chapter. Initially he suspects Count D of malicious criminal activity and using the pet shop as a front for drug trafficking. As the series progresses, he learns more about the pet shop and Count D himself, entering into a strange friendship of sorts with the Count as he works to uncover the truth.
Compiled by Tabatha Hanly