The Black Well by Jamie Tanner

Hmm, quite an interesting horror comic indeed, a random purchase at comixology that worked just well.
 
Capitalizing the content and a bit even the style of Osamu Tezuka's perennial Ode to Kirihito, one of the best Tezuka's novels of all time, Tanner tells a tale of a man who befell dog head illness and a strage story that followed.
 
For a debut novel that was crowdfunded via kickstarter, as I later found out, it's a tiny gem – great drawing style, good dialog, interesting story twists. Totally enjoyable.
 
 
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Scarlett takes Manhattan by Molly Crabapple and John Leavitt

A light-hearted flirty comic book that served a great intermission in my reading of two violence driven J.G. Ballard's novels (I'm halfway into Super-Cannes now).
 
Fifty-page long colorful delight, no strings attached. Best viewed via iPhone's, not iPad's comiXology app, it seemed to me.
 

Essex County by Jeff Lemire

A brilliant, thick in pages, but fast in page turning, melodramatic family remembrance story, going across the span of four generations of various Essex County, Ontario, residents.
 
This is indeed the best of Jeff Lemire's work, better than his commercially successful serialized Sweet Tooth and latest and much less commercial The Underwater Welder.
 
In a sense, Essex County is a perfect gateway book for those not familiar with “serious” no-superheroes-kind of graphic novels, on par with Art Spiegelman's world-acclaimed Maus, Jason Lutes' Berlin, Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and different stuff by other prominent Canadian comic book writers like Chester Brown, Seth, and Joe Matt.
 
Funny enough, as I predicted, this book is full of hockey – plucks flying in and out of frozen lakes and NHL ice rinks, fists punching faces. But still, it's main theme is family, family that matters most – and how it is never late to care and forgive.
 
 

High-Rise by J.G. Ballard

Surprisingly enough, J.G. Ballard's High-Rise lost virtually none of its value in almost 40 years since its first publication in 1975. Indeed, this is a rare quality for a fiction novel, depicting in rather gruesome detail how a huge 40-storey apartment block of some two thousand people went violent, primitive, tribal, and cannibalistic. Lights go off, heat goes off, garbage chutes and elevators no longer work, and that's when bats, knives, metal chairs, home appliances and even bare hands come into play.
 
For an avid J.G. Ballard reader like yours truly (not sure that I deserve this “avid” description though, as I've read less than, I dunno, 15% of his books), it's encouraging to see how certain themes migrate through Ballard's body of work – from perverse mutilation of cars and limbs in his iconic Crash into no less exciting vandalism of a communal home and both mental and physical rape of its residents by its residents – or the air of the mass hysteria and clansmanship so similar to Ballard's last novel Kingdom Come, another must-read.

Googling to get some background info as I always do, I realized there is a rumor (not confirmed by imdb though) that Kill List's Ben Wheatley is set to make High-Rise into a motion picture as early as in 2014. Despite the disappointing Sightseers, if indeed Ben the hammer horror man takes upon himself with this task, this flick will be on top of my watchlist from the same day.

As both these men, Wheatley and J.G., know too well how to fill the atmosphere with acute anticipation of violence – and followed by actual violence. Scary.
 
A few people leaned on their railings and watched Laing without expression, and he had a sudden image of the two thousand residents springing to their balconies and hurling down at him anything to hand, inundating Laing beneath a pyramid of wine bottles and ashtrays, deodorant aerosols and contraceptive wallets.

Теллурия Владимира Сорокина

Безо всякого сомнения, весьма занимательный новый труд Сорокина в продолжение опричнинско-метельной темы. Будущее Рассеи второй половины XXI века – да и не Рассеи только, а усей €вропы.
 
В фантазии Сорокину не откажешь, это точно. Если Опричник читался как неумолимое грядущее будущее нашей родины, то Теллурия, конечно, это куда менее осязаемая реальность. Распад России и Европы, просвещенное средневековье, война с ваххабитами за Подольск, Пермь и Берн, суверенные государства Московия, Рязанское княжество, Тартария, Соединенные Штаты Урала, Сталинская Советская Социалистическая Республика, Барабин, Байкальская Республика – и, собственно, молодая Теллурия (ранее – Алтайский Край) – родина загадочного металла теллура, из которого алтайские умельцы выковывают небольшие гвозди, которые потом не менее умелые алтайские “плотники” плотно заколачивают в головы великим и могучим мира сего, ибо нет наркотика дороже и лучше. 12% смертность, а остальным – новый счастливый мир.
 
Как художественное произведение, Теллурия оказалась мне в разы менее близкой, чем Метель. Причина проста – целостное и последовательное повествование Метели моему слабому разуму куда приятней и проще, чем винегрет из 50 разрозненных историй, которые и есть Теллурия.
 
В общем-то вот.