Tag: comics

The Complete Peanuts: 1993 to 1994

The Complete Peanuts: 1993 to 1994 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2014) Spurred perhaps by Rerun’s belated coming of age, Schulz bestows upon the Peanuts gang some nice little touches of character growth (Charlie Brown’s more active pursuit of the Little Red-Haired Girl, for instance). Unfortunately, his once-consummate penmanship is starting to look shaky.    

The Complete Peanuts: 1971 to 1972

The Complete Peanuts: 1971 to 1972 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2009) An evocatively drawn mix of wit, whimsy and preternatural wisdom. Poor old wishy-washy Charlie Brown remains the unifying figure but there are a good number of delightfully droll (and character-defining) strips involving Peppermint Patty, Sally Brown, and in particular Lucy van Pelt.    

The Hive

The Hive by Charles Burns (Pantheon, 2012) In what already was a knotty and obscure story, Burns contrives to add new layers, answering few (if any) of the questions raised in X’ed Out. At this point it’s hard to see the trilogy delivering more than just mood and grotesquerie.    

Black Hole

Black Hole by Charles Burns (Pantheon, 2005) [collecting Black Hole #1-12, Fantagraphics, 1995-2004] Burns goes all out in this shadowy and grotesque, trippy mix of 70s teen culture, body horror and sexually explicit allegory (self-identity; belonging). The plot is deliberately abstruse, and though the black-and-white artwork is striking, some characters are hard to tell apart.    

X’ed Out

X’ed Out by Charles Burns (Pantheon, 2010) In this confronting homage, Burns shows us what Tintin’s adventures might be like if they took place in a grim alternative reality (think the Upside Down of ‘Stranger Things’). Burns lacks Hergé’s sense of movement and pacing but this remains darkly memorable.    

The Wayward Leunig

The Wayward Leunig: Cartoons That Wandered Off by Michael Leunig (Viking, 2015) This collection shows that more is less for Leunig. Those cartoons with few or no words are often striking and droll, whereas those given to loquacity (or worse, second- and third-rate poetry) are increasingly hard to stomach. The cumulative effect is… depressing.    

Dollhouse: Epitaphs

Dollhouse: Epitaphs by Andrew Chambliss et al. (Dark Horse, 2012) [compiling Dollhouse #1-5] In style, script and content, ‘Epitaphs’ is a perfectly adequate post-apocalyptic adventure, yet like its television namesake ‘Epitaph One’ (the unaired offspring of Dollhouse season one), it deals largely in new characters and bears almost no tonal resemblance to the parent programme.