Summer Reading

From <b>Schizo #4</b>
From Schizo #4


Illuminations

What with X-Men 3, Superman Returns, and Art School Confidential brightening movie theatres across the globe even before the solstice rolls around, it looks to be another summer spangled with entertainments cobbled from comic-book source material. All the more reason, perhaps, to eschew the silver screen (and the hyperbolic exploits of those first two whizz-bangers) and, as Ivan Brunetti puts it, tap the mother lode of print for some littler worlds made cunningly.

Luckily, Canada's fierce Drawn and Quarterly has released a trio of titles certain to soothe and delight your motion-addled rods and cones. There's Get a Life, the new hardcover collection of early stories from the long-running Monsieur Jean series by Parisians Philippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian; and, as a sort of lagniappe, Maybe Later, in which Mssrs. Dupuy and Berberian turn their talents to illustrating what it's been like turning their talents to illustrate, for two decades, the mundane and sometimes manic life of their popular character.

Drawn and Quarterly also boasts the latest from Cute Brut wunderkind Ron Rege Jr.: The Awake Field, which is No. 13 in his annual series of compilations and which expands both the visual arena wherein the most delicate and fleeting moments of existence can be captured and, potentially, the hipness of your proudest coffee table.

And, as if because joy requires its opposite and misery loves company, Seattle-based comics powerhouse Fantagraphics offers Brunetti's Schizo #4, fresh as a Venus flytrap, if not a daisy, and damned well turgid with bitter, blue ruin, sketched out in oversized four-color glory by the nattering nabob, quickly now, before he grows old enough to yell, "You kids get the fuck off my Slough of Despond's lawn!"

Of course, there's a lot more goodness out there or forthcoming, not least of which will be Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's gleefully pornographic Lost Girls saga in a wallet-bogglingly extravagant edition from Top Shelf Productions. You'll undoubtedly hear more about it as the critics go wild, and the repressively straitlaced burst a public blood vessel or two. But right now we're recommending the above-listed foursome as worthy diversions from the midyear doldrums

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