Monday, March 8, 2010

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Calvin and Hobbes.

We have owned these books for years now, but only finally took them out of the plastic late last year when I was jonesing for a new Complete Peanuts collection. I had waited so long for two reasons. 1) the books were still beautiful and shiny; 2) they are huge (note: these reasons explain why The Complete Far Side, purchased at the same time, remains in plastic).

#2 is why it took me three months to read it. I used to read a Calvin and Hobbes collection in one or two sittings all the time. This 7+pound book is not nearly as so wieldy as my old paperback collections were.

But the joy is no less.

It a weird experience to read a strip you still know by heart more than a decade after still reading it and yet laugh yourself silly.

And while it's not as true for me as it is for professionals of my generation (eg Jake Parker), I too can look at a picture I would stare at for long minutes (they got funnier as each minute passed) and realize yeah, hey, that influenced the way I draw.

God bless you, Bill Watterson.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Stone Rabbit #1: BC Mambo by Erik Craddock (2009)

Stone Rabbit #1: BC Mambo by Erik Craddock.

Unlike Missile Mouse, this medley of cliches is not good instruction for children. While MM introduces kids to a world of old ideas in a way that makes them feel new for those for whom they are new (you followin' me here?), SR is a frenetic mess. This is from Random House:

    Stone Rabbit is a bored little bunny who lives a humdrum existence in the sleepy town of Happy Glades. But all that changes when he discovers a time portal of doom—right under his bathroom rug! Suddenly, Stone Rabbit finds himself on a Jurassic journey in a prehistoric world, facing off against vicious velociraptors, terrifying T. rexes, and a nefarious Neanderthal bent on world conquest. Will our hero be able to save the past and return to the present—or will he become extinct?

    BC Mambo is the first book in a full-color series of riotous, rip-roaring graphic novels that chronicles the zany of adventures of a quick-tempered and quick-witted young rabbit.

    Erik Craddock grew up during the ’80s and ’90s on a steady diet of comics, video games, and pop culture. It was during his time as a student at New York City’s School of Visual Arts that Stone Rabbit was born. He lives in Babylon, New York.

It's fastpaced nonstop nonsense. In the pejorative sense. I've little doubt it will find an audience, but there ain't much here. Don't waste your kids' time.