9.01.2007

Graphic Novel(s) Of The Month

Notes For A War Story (First Second): There's really no other way to describe Gipi's master work than to mimic much of the essay material it contains - it's about boys and their guns. This tale that won the 2006 Best Book of the Year at Angeloume is about impressionable youth and the seduction of the gun. I can think of no better way to desribe it than to quote one of the most intelligent and crisp excerpts that I've come across in quite some time: "Of course, in the attempts of the powerless to gain some kind of power, guns provide an essential shortcut. For those who lack the opportunity or know-how to change the course of their lives, the ability to destroy provides a thrilling feeling of control." Though this story takes place in an un-named (assumably Balkan) country, the commentary on societal breakdown and the assumptions of power can be compared to everything from Lord of the Flies to modern urban gang violence. This book shouldn't be missed. Grade A.

PulpHope (AdHouse Books): Finally! This is truly the coffee table book that every Paul Pope fan has been waiting for. It's chock full of personal essays, a retrospective of his career, fold out posters, lush prints and sketches, and the closest I've seen to a complete bibliography, chronicling the early THB issues, all the way up to the Eisner Award winning short "Teenage Sidekick" from his issue of DC's Solo series and Batman: Year 100. Any fan of the modern pop design star icon simply can't miss this effort. It really makes you think that Pope is this generation's last hope. Heck, I even bought my new boss a copy and had it signed at the San Diego Con. Alas, if AdHouse had only done a limited edition hardcover, that would have secured the + to the Grade A.

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