Monday, August 8, 2011

Let's Talk Books 1

I've been following Vickie Motter's series on her guilty pleasure books, comfort books and books that changed her life.

Since I'll be on vacation and catching up on my reading, I thought this would be a fun series of posts I can write before I leave and schedule to go up while I'm gone.

So, guilty pleasure reading?

That's obvious. I love comics. Sure, sure, I could give you the old song-and-dance about how, since I was in animation school, I can appreciate the individual artistic styling, the skill of rendering life-like anatomy and poses, the cleverness of frame/panel composition... but let's be honest. I just like comics.

'Calvin and Hobbes' by Bill Watterson and 'Dilbert' by Scott Adams are two I grew up with and will re-read over and over again. Some of my favourite books (that aren't serial comics) are, 'Gunnerkrigg Court', by Tom Siddell, the 'Courtney Crumrin' seres by Ted Naifeh (both quite dark series) as well as the stand-alone 'Polly and the Pirates' book. Anything by Gabriel & Moon Ba is awesome (the most well known would by the 'Umbrella Academy' series, though I think just Gabriel did the art for that). I also buy a board-book series in French (which I can't read) called 'Wondercity' which, if I remember correctly, is drawn by some ex-Disney artists and you can really see that in the style. I also have a particular fondness of Aaron Alexovich's work as his earlier stuff is somewhat similar to my fall-back/natural drawing style, though his is obviously way better :)

So, I've already touched on British, French, North American and South American comic book artists... for a cross-over into the manga style, the 'Nightschool' series by Svetlana Chmakova is not only an awesome story, but the drawings make me laugh out loud (not exaggerating, and not an easy thing to do).

To get into the Asian comics, I read a ton of them online, but I only buy the ones that I would re-read. 'Skip Beat' by Yoshiki Nakamura would top that list. It's the only comic, other than 'Nightschool', that actually gets me grinning and laughing when I look at the drawings. I also really like 'Bride of the Water God' by Mi-Kyung Yu... and that's mainly because of the art... give me good art, and I'll forgive a lot of things like weak/poorly developed characters and recycled plots... The one downside of 'BotWG' is I actually find it extremely difficult to follow the story due to my dyslexia as the entire pantheon of Korean gods each have multiple names/titles which are all long and I end up confused as to who is doing what. But the art is amazing :)

For me, guilt pleasure means something funny and a little childish. If there's pictures, that's even better. I get a huge kick out of reading stories to my four year old nephew 'cause he seems to love all the same stuff I did (my family jokingly refers to him as my little clone) so I can re-visit all my favourite childhood books without feeling like a weirdo. And, I must confess, I really get into the funny voices, sound effects and rhyming cadence of Dr. Seuss and all that kind of stuff.

What are your guilty pleasure books?

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