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Roll of the Dice Reviews 8-14-10


I take a lot of books out of my local library and read them rather quickly. I’d like to get some thoughts on them down, but haven’t gotten into them deep enough for a full analysis. Which leads us to Roll of the Dice reviews.

Step 1: Read books
Step 2: Roll a six-sided die twice.
Step 3: Write a review for each book with a word count matching the numbers rolled. E.G. A 2 and a 6 means a 26-word review for each book.

This weeks rolls: 5 and 5 – 55 word reviews! Go ahead, do a word count.

Powers - Who Shot Retro Girl?Powers - RoleplayPowers, Vol. 1: Who Killed Retro Girl? and Vol. 2: Roleplay by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming

Pure, uninhibited Bendis. He prides himself on characters that speak in unique ways, but they don’t. They’re all clever and quippy and clash with other writer’s interpretations. Here, he defines the characters from the start, which means they’re truly special. These are serious cop stories, with Oeming’s cartoony art to stop it from getting grim.

Lost at SeaLost at Sea by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Yes, Scott Pilgrim is hot right now, but O’Malley’s been exploring themes of asshole friends, emotional baggage and teen alienation for almost a decade. Here, he also experiments with what a book can be when completely created by one person. It doesn’t have the depth or action of SP, but it’s well worth a read.

Super SpySuper Spy by Matt Kindt

30-something short stories all focusing on spies on every side of WWII. I find espionage fascinating. The ways people transfer info in this book are unbelievable: morse code in laundry, hidden in comic strips, choreographed dances. A very interesting, quick read. Another example of one man in control of all creative aspects. Definitely unique.

Moving PicturesMoving Pictures by Kathryn & Stuart Immonen

More WWII goodness. Not a complex plot, but I did have trouble piecing the timeline together. It’s interesting to go from books like Super Spy or LAS to something that doesn’t use comics’ tricks. The black and white, six-panel grid keeps the book easy to read, and makes the writing that much more important.

De: TALESDe:TALES by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Bá

This teaches visual storytelling better than anything I can remember. You see girl on tip-toes, you know she’s kissing. You’re in love after four wordless pages. This is brothers telling stories they want to: about “bars and drunk people,” “fairies and talking birds.”  I love Umbrella Academy and Daytripper. Give me more of this.

32 StoriesShortcomings32 Stories and Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine

These books represent Tomine’s earliest and most recent works, respectively. Much of 32 isn’t the art style you’re expecting, but the tone is. Shortcomings, though, is a masterpiece. The art has the consistency of Watchmen. The story is relatable, yet feels fresh. Tomine does slice-of-life better than anyone out there. Check these out.

Wow, that was hard. But fun. Expect more in a week or two.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Max Remer permalink
    08/17/2010 6:15 PM

    So even though this has nothing to do with your review. First I do enjoy reading the blog. Second… as soon as I read about dice, I thought of a book some chick in london told us about… The Dice Man (or something to that extent) and how two face was a rip-off of it. I just thought I would bring back that memory.

    • 08/17/2010 7:03 PM

      Dude, I totally remember The Dice Man. She made it sound all dark and edgy, but the Amazon writeup just makes it sound not good.

      The Dice Man – 1971
      Two-Face – 1942

      Ouch. I can’t remember which girl that was, but I bet she sucked. Like, as a person.

      Thanks for checking out the blog.

      • Max Remer permalink
        10/06/2010 2:02 PM

        I really wish I could remember who that girl was, so as to berate her more eloquently. All I know is that her comments really destroyed our chances of eating a pizza together. But no one destroyed more late night pizzas than Matt.

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