Sunday, February 17, 2008

Perla la Loca and Super Spy

Here's how this works: I finish reading something, and I tell you about it, and I try not to bore you to death.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned how much I love these new reprints of the Love & Rockets line. Well, this is the third of three paperbacks which collect all of Jaime Hernandez's stories of Maggie and Hopey from L&R volume 1, and it's completely wonderful. You really need to go buy this and The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S. today, and Fantagraphics needs to announce plans for the next books in this line. I've said plenty about these stories already; click one of the tabs below for more. Highly, highly recommended!

Super Spy is one of those rare books that I finished reading and then returned to the bottom of my "to read" stack, rather than shelving. Twice. So I've read this three times over the last few months and finally feel like I've absorbed enough to be satisfied with it. Each read, I felt there was plenty that I missed, and couldn't wait to connect. On the one hand, I'm really not pleased with Matt Kindt's faces and bodies. There's good reason for his large cast to look anonymous and nondescript; they're spies in 1940s Europe and shouldn't draw attention to themselves. But it makes it awfully hard to follow characters when you're not sure whether you've seen them before.

The book is an exciting read because Kindt rearranged the chapters from their chronological sequence into something else entirely. You can read the book in the order he's laid it out or work out the actual order from the dates on the contents page. I've done both, and it makes some material really stand out. There are occasions, for example, where you're following an assassin and see him dispatch some poor soul, and then, chapters later, you're following some guy and then are shocked when somebody jumps from the shadows and knives his throat -- the same incident from two perspectives. Recommended for readers who enjoy unconventional narratives and literary puzzles; if you liked House of Leaves, for instance.

(Originally posted February 17, 2008 at hipsterdad's LJ.)

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