Right after my recent blog, I read the story about the passing of Harvey Pekar and it mentioned that his stories contained a lot of grousing. It got me thinking. I’m no Harvey Pekar or Lewis Black, and rants, unless they’re very cleverly stated, are usually just annoying to others – so, I will try to be more positive. With that, here are some things that I like and/or would recommend:
1. I like cell phone users who are considerate enough to discontinue their loud conversations while in a public area, especially while being waited upon in a line. See, wasn’t that positive?
2. I like fast food establishments that put employees who do not need to take an ESL course on the drive through speakers. Kudos to the Mickey D’s at Kirkwood and Rt 41! Again, very positive, huh?
O-kay, here are some actual recommendations from me:
Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor. When customers ask me “What’s good?”, I have to admit that I don’t read as many comics as I used to, and in fact, and of those, very few superheroes, especially if it includes multiple-membered teams or mega cross-overs. I like writers who really flesh out a character, better yet, someone who does not possess unusual powers – let us see their inner thoughts. Mr. Pekar certainly does that with his character, even if it may be from a negative point of view.
Also on my list to others would be Will Eisner’s works that deal with regular people going about their business, such as Contract With God, The Building, and New York:Big City. We’re attracted to things we are familiar with, feel comfortable with, and having visited relatives years back who lived in Brooklyn and The Queens, I was drawn to those titles. I have to admit that I have never given The Spirit a decent shot.
Concrete by Paul Chadwick probably stills remains my all time favorite character. Once you get by the improbable situation of a normal guy being captured by aliens and given this unusual body to deal with, Chadwick explores our “human” behaviors through the eyes of this outsider. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any new material in quite some time, but we do carry the trades. Highly recommended for those looking for something different. Dave has turned me on to the Criminal series by Ed Brubaker and the different works by Brian Wood. Warren Ellis’ Fell is on my list as well as another title which contains mostly self-contained/one issue story arcs – Jonah Hex. From what I have heard, stick to the comic. The movie is supposedly too far fetched, adding supernatural effects and modern weaponry to a western? I haven’t seen the movie myself, but our customers have basically panned it. I enjoyed Garth Ennis’s run on Punisher -definitely NOT one for the kiddies! Thanks to a recent review on this site by Randy B., I’m going to give Superman another try.
By coincidence, on the same page as the artcile about Harvey Pekar’s passing was a article about the author Stieg Larrson and his top selling trilogy. Evidently, he had almost finished another book just before his death and his wife and publisher were fighting over the rights to it. Anyway, as it happens, my wife had just read the first book, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and said I might like it. I read it while on vacation and I did. It was a little sticky in the beginning due to all of the members of this huge family had had to be introduced, but once I got through the first few chapters, it was an intriguing read. The wife says the second one is even better. At the same time, I noticed that my youngest had a copy of the paperbook version of The Green Mile, one of my all time favorite movies. Quite often, movies don’t live up to the original book. Without giving anything away and I still love the movie, the book is slightly different from the screen version. Naturally, as I read it, I couldn’t help but envisioning Tom Hanks and the rest of the cast as the characters in the book and I was not disappointed. Then last Friday, I was at an auction and The Green Mile called to me again! There was a movie poster of… you guessed it… and I picked it up for a measly 5 bucks. It now adorns my man cave.
Wrapping this up, a few more things I like – those new Captain Blue Hen tee shirts!!!
Really sharp and now my decisions of what to wear to work have been made easy. Grab yours today and wear it to the Blue Rocks game on August 9th!
Finally, CUBANE! My son has told me that they have another CD written, but have to wait for Matt to return from helping with the clean-up of the gulf before they can finish recording. In the mean time, we are now offering the first CD, C8H8, for only $5.00 at the shop! This is not a 5 song EP, but a full length, 14 song CD. Unlike some bands that seem to have trouble coming up with new material and end up “swiping” their own work, CUBANE offers a great variety of rock – from ballads to hard driving beats. As great as the music is, be sure to actually listen to the lyrics. Trainor can tell a story. Some of my favorites are: Ill Will, School Yard, Private Eye, and the ode to the Lindsay Lohans of the world, “Ladies” (sic) of Tinseltown. How’s this for a guarantee – buy a copy, be sure to get a receipt, and if you are not blown away by what you hear, bring it back with your receipt and I will give you a $5.00 credit toward any of my 3/4″ green-tagged items in the shop! No questions asked. ‘Til next time.