Friday, July 13, 2007

Plastic Man: On the Lam

I originally heard about this book from Cory Doctorow Flag of Canada on his blog Boing, Boing.

Kyle Baker re-imagines Plastic Man by way of MAD, Eisner and Animaniacs

I was intrigued by Cory's article so I did a quick check with the Ottawa Public Library to see if they had the book. They did and two days later it was in my grubby hands.

Up until this point my only experience with Plastic Man was Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. I don't remember liking very much but it was on right after the Super Friends so it had a great lead in.

The first thing I got a chuckle out of was that the cover of the book is plastic and not paper. And the laughs didn't stop coming. In fact I couldn't put the book down until I was finished.

This book is a definitely a fun read but the part that really strikes a cords with me is how Baker handles Plastic Man's internal dialog. Right from the start you can tell that he's not all there in the head.

When you think about it why would he be? The guy is made out of plastic and he can stretch himself into various shapes. I think if anyone of us was put into the same situation we'd have a hard time dealing with it. In Plastic Man's case you can see he is using humour as a defense mechanism, much to the delight of the audience.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Strangers In Paradise Pocket Book 1

I have been resisting picking up this book for a while despite Jamie D's, from Comic Geek Speak, love of the series. However, after listening to CGS interview the author, Terry Moore, on episode 263 I knew I had to pick it up.

Strangers In Paradise Pocket Book 1 is not a comic book there are no super-heroes in costumed spandex. It is a complex novel that interleaves dialog, art and prose. At its heart it follows the lives of two best friends, Katchoo and Francine. The characters are well developed and believable. The story progresses on many layers and it is crucial to remember that the decisions the characters make, have lasting impact on their future.

Luckily we can see what the future has in store for them in book 2.