Comic books

4 07 2008

I’ve been reading comic books for as long as I can remember, and that officially makes me a geek – as if working for IBM and being a Lost fan was not enough 🙂 . Last Saturday, my favourite comic book shop in Toronto closed for business, and led me to reflect on how much of a subculture that is, despite the success of the super-hero blockbuster movies.

The Comic Emporium closes shop

The Comic Emporium closes shop

I’m still a regular buyer of Marvel books (the Ultimate Universe titles are *really* good) and some DC (All Star Batman & Robin by Frank Miller and Jim Lee is not too bad) but I like all types of comics, from Peanuts to Moebius.

What I like about comic book as a medium is that, contrary to movies, they are pretty much limitless: no technical or budget constraints, they can go as far as the writer’s or artist’s creativity can take them. From the deceptive simplicity of Charles Schulz’s Charlie Brown to the visual sophistication of Alex Maleev, you can make the unimaginable real. It’s storytelling at its best.

I also find comics a good way to learn a new language. Reading books and newspapers can improve your vocabulary, but let’s face it, nobody speaks that way. If you are learning Portuguese, I highly recommend Brazil’s Monica’s Gang (the site is annoying, but the first 10 years of the series are worth a read). For other good foreign books, try Argentina’s Mafalda – a masterpiece or France’s Asterix. Belgium’s Tintin is a bit dated and in hindsight controversial, but so influencing that it can’t be missed.

Comics, as everything else, keeps reinventing itself, so you may find digital comics interesting. For gamers, try out PvP. Toothpaste for dinner is not too bad. And many IBMers love the stick people at xkcd.org.

If you ever visit São Paulo, pay a visit to the Gibiteca Sesi (“gibi” is comic book in Portuguese). They have a colletion of 26,000 books, including gems by Will Eisner, Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore. If you are a big fan like me, that’s like heaven on earth.

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3 responses

6 07 2008
benedictedelachanal

Bom dia,
I like reading you posts, they are interesting, funny, well written. I enjoyed Barcelona market, Sao Polo streets, the turkish iron, London…
Loved that post about, who’s reading, a question I’ve been asking too and the one on accent, I do have one too!
I never left a comment, feeling that ibm people, art people, or gardening people don’t really mix!
But when I started reading this one, on comics I had to comment, I love “bandes dessinées”.
As a real aficionado you know all about it! I was amazed that you mention the french one,
I will be looking for Monica’s Gang

9 07 2008
Aaron

Bom dia, Bénédicte 🙂

Thanks for the kind message. I visited your blog yesterday, and loved it. It’s in my feed reader now and in my blogroll too (on the right column of this blog). You also inspired me to buy a graphics tablet to see if there’s any art in IBM people! (see my post for today)

10 07 2008
benedictedelachanal

congratulation! Graphic tablet are a lot of fun.
I will be looking, a bamboo tablet on a bamboo raft, very inspiring.
Thank you very much, for your comment and including me in your blogroll.

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