Habibi by Craig Thompson

An utterly moving yet harsh, cruel and absolutely unexpected graphic novel by Craig Thompson, a much praised comic book artist whose earlier novel Blankets I conveniently missed and now will catch up for sure.

Despite the fact that its almost 700 pages are full of gruesome violence, horrendous child abuse, victimization of women, lust for the underaged, slavery, female torture and executions, self-mutilation, pain and agony, Habibi is but a precious gem. A story of love that goes beyond hardship, beyond pain and suffering, beyond hatred and loss of manhood, beyond the will of cruel rulers and the deeds of cruel men.

It's a roller coaster of Thompson's vivid imagination and no less disturbing imagery, married and intertwined with quotes, fables and passages from the Bible and the Quran.

One of a kind. A brilliant piece of storytelling.

 


The Nobody by Jeff Lemire

A short small town story about a sad and lonely invisible man, a botched experiment, a typical mad scientist fiasco, a lineman roaming snowy streets and a local teenage girl growing up and becoming friends with the fellow.

Beautiful art by Jeff Lemire, as always – but overall, that's just a trifle, which lacks intensity and depth of Lemire's other graphic novels, especially Essex County.

30 minutes and done.

 


This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

A brilliant meditative growing up story, written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by her cousen Jillian.

Soft, gentle, developing slowly around feelings rather than actions, it's like a short long-form prose, повесть in Russian literary terms. A girl feels awkward, in doubt, happy, sad, light-hearted, in love, naw, she has a crush, jealous, disappointed, snappy, mean.

Good book, all in all. A perfect read on a bench in park, when the sun is finally heating up the air from this year's cold late spring.

 


Roughneck by Jeff Lemire

A beautifully composed and well paced a small town tough guy story written and drawn by Jeff Lemire, high contrast black and white colored in various shades of blue.

A short gripping tale, this one. Artistic merits outweigh complexity of the story 3 to 1. Yet, for me, it was a total page turner for one hour. No wonder some call Lemire the Stephen King of comic books, all thanks to the way he keeps you glued to the pages.

Like 'em when they're like this.

 


Овраги. Девять дней в Санкт-Петербурге Филиппа Жирара

Видимо, слава Guy Delisle не даёт многим спать. Овраги – это затертая копия пхеньянского травелога, девять ничем не знаменательных и бледных дней путешествий квебекского автора комиксов по хипстерскому Питеру.

Прочитать за полчаса и забыть.

 

 


Голубые таблетки Фредерика Питерса

Неожиданно нашёл на полке купленный год или два назад и взапой, за час, с сигарой и чаем, прочитал этот короткий трогательный роман в картинках.

Наилучший подход – даже не знать, о чем он, совсем не смотреть на рецензии и краткое содержание на обороте, когда начинаешь читать – тогда его тонкость, нежность, сомнения, страхи, переживания, предрассудки будут максимально выпуклы, неприкрыты, будут резать как нож. Я читал именно так.

Превосходно, да.

А Земфира неправа, вот.

 


The Dead and the Dying. A Criminal edition by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

Part three of the Criminal series is a beautiful three-part story told from three different angles.

Ed Brubaker's storytelling gets better by each part, it seems. Coward was ok, Lawless was good, and this one even better.

No point retelling the storyline here, though. Never saw a point in that.