The CBR News Summer Reading List, Day 7

Tue, August 7th, 2001 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Beau Yarbrough, Columnist

Our second week of the CBR News Summer Reading List continues. Yesterday, we had recommended reading choices from Geoff Johns, Dan Fraga, Dwayne McDuffie, Heidi McDonald and Erik Larsen.

Here's today's list:

"The book I enjoyed reading most this summer was Richard Russo's newest novel 'Empire Falls,'" Brian Augystn, writer of DC/WildStorm's "Out There," told CBR News last week. "Brilliant, moving, hilarious stuff from one of my favorite writers -- though, not even vaguely comic-related.

"'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay' by Michael Chabon is another cool, but hefty and serious read, but it is comics-related. Set during the Golden Age of comics, the story charts the lives of a pair of kids from immigrant families who discover their ability to create magic in comic form. In addition to growing up and discovering the American Dream, the two friends unleash a great hero upon our then fledgling industry. Great stuff.

"I've read lots of comic-comics I've enjoyed lately too, including De Matteis' 'Spectre,' Waid's 'Crossgen' stuff, the new 'Spider-Man' titles -- and Stan Lee's 'Just Imagine' series for DC(!). I also highly recommend the 'Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl' collected edition, by Bendis and Oeming.

"Oh yeah, you always have to claim that you're reading some impossibly huge, serious, important tome (even when, of course, you're not), so put me down for The 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,' or some such pretentious snoozerama too."

"I had a hard time getting it down to one book," writer Tony Isabella told CBR News last week. "It finally came down to Alvin Schwartz's 'An Unlikely Prophet. Considering how many so-called 'hot' writers seem to be inspired by nothing more weighty than the latest 'kewl' films from Hollywood, it would be wonderful to open their minds -- and those of readers in general -- to a more thoughtful consideration of the creative process."

"'Two-Fisted Science/Dignifying Science,'" writer D. Curtis Johnson told CBR News last week. "Terrific work from a whole lot of talented folks, a pair of good meaty reads for a great price, and you'll learn a whole lot of science history you probably didn't even know existed. Tastes good -- and good for you, too!"

"Depends on the person," "Martian Manhunter" writer John Ostrander told CBR News last week. "Regular superhero reader? 'Powers' by Bendis and Oeming. Noir twist on superheroes with great characters and crackling dialogue. 'Desperadoes,' especially the current series. Wonderful Western stuff and JOHN FREAKING SEVERIN! Kids: 'Scary Godmother' by Jill Thompson. A big kid at heart drawing for little kids. And the little kid in all of us. That's just three of the top of my head. If we're talking TPBs and graphic novels, different answers."

"Every woman I've ever recommended Kyle Baker's 'Why I Hate Saturn' to has

loved it," J. Torres, creator of "The Copybook Tales," told CBR News. "The guys too, but female readers really relate to the lead character and her situation in the story. Baker's art and sense of humor are very accessible to non-comic types and help shake the masks and capes stereotype North American graphic storytelling has been saddled with.

"I've directed a number of 'casual' comic reading friends and 'returning' comic fans towards trades of Warren Ellis' 'The Authority.' The familiar genre piques their interest and they're usually quite blown away at how things have been kicked up a notch. Unfortunately, it does tend to turn them off other new superhero books, which is like going from whiskey to iced tea.

"Finally, any chance I get I encourage people to check out Paul Grist's self-published work: 'Kane' and 'Jack Staff.' One's a terrific cop drama, the other's a fun retro superhero story. Both are top notch in the storytelling department and Grist is one-man comic production machine who is definitely a 'talent deserving wider recognition.'"

 
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