Oh my oh my! I can't believe it's been two months since the last Good Reads post. It's been a busy couple of months but I have been trying to make a concerted effort to keep reading through my reading pile, which always manages to get bigger when I'm not looking (or when I go to my local comics store). Anyway, here are my top picks from the past couple of months:
1. The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew
Presented by Sonny Liew, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye is a biography of a fictional Singaporean comic book artist and is amongst other things a staggeringly impressive read. It's written as though it was a factual collection of art by comic book artist Charlie Chan (in fact, for half the book I thought it was a completely factual biography, which goes to show what I know).
For those who love: to be intrigued, confused and amazed.
2. Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie by Anne Martinetti, Guillaume Lebeau, and Alexandre Franc.
If you know anything about me, you know I'm a sucker for a biography and Agatha was no exception. This beautifully drawn bande dessinée-style comic enlightens the reader about the life of Agatha Christie, the writer. All of Christie's well-known characters, including both Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, appear and talk to Christie about what's going on in her life and her work, and act as a sort of narration to the story. I really enjoyed the way it was written and drawn and now want to learn more about Christie's life (I've started by reading a book about the poisons she used in her stories called A is for Arsenic). If you like Christie's books, I think you would really like this comic.
For those who love: The Queen of Crime, Biographies and European-style comics.
3. Water by Mandy Ord
Mandy Ord is one of my favourite Australian autobio comics creators. Whenever I read her comics, she always manages to make me want to use more brush and ink in my comics. This mini-comic, Water, is no exception. I loved the personal stories about hiking in Australian bush and felt like I was there with Mandy, desperate for water. I also found myself, due to her luscious inking style, stroking the pages as the ink gave the illusion of being more 3-D than it was.
For those who love: Autobiography, hiking and good ol' H2O.
4. Hostage by Guy Delisle
In 1997, Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe Andre was kidnapped and kept in solitary confinement for three months. In his first graphic novel biography, Guy Delisle tells Andre's story, which for most of the book is spent in a small room with one person, not knowing when he is going to get out or when he will eat and when or if he will ever see his family again. It's not an easy topic to read about but Andre's high spirits and personality remain strong throughout his ordeal, making it an interesting if tough read.
For those who love: Biographies, suspense and Guy Lelisle
5. How to Survive in the North by Luke Healy
Luke Healy masterfully weaves fiction and true story together to create How To Survive in the North (HTSITN). Like every Nobrow book, HTSITN is beautifully printed with very well chosen colours (eye popping pinks, green, and yellows). It has great pacing and tense relationships and I love Healy's simple style and clean lines. I just really enjoyed reading this book and I think you might too.
For those who love: Adventure, interesting characters and beautiful printing.
And that's what I've been reading for these past few months. But the bedside pile never ends, so I must away to start on the next couple of months of reading!
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