Just finished a bunch of reads... SLOTH by Gilbert Hernandez, TRAIN by Yuichi Yokoyama, and AMERICAN SLIGO by Adam Rapp.
Now, I am a Rapp fan. I enjoy the world and high stakes in most of his published work. Sometimes, it can be a little hard for me to glean the intent, the purpose, the why of some of his work. AMERICAN SLIGO is one of those instances. It never seems to fulfill its expectation in the same way I thought STONE COLD DEAD SERIOUS did. His ear for dialogue and the characters he populates the play with are quite colorful, quite vibrant... but aside from a sort of side show blue collar/no collar portraiture, I just didnt get what the point of this piece was. Does the piece have to have a "why"? Maybe not, but after other pieces like STONE COLD DEAD SERIOUS, FASTER, and ESSENTIAL SELF DEFENSE... I yearn/expect a little more from him. That being said, if you got an excellent cast doing this somewhere on a Chicago stage, I'd probably go to see if hearing outloud did more to illuminate it for me. Right now, I think it is colorful, humorous missed opportunity.
I never read LOVE & ROCKETS growing up. Being a lonely boy prone to the typical middle school dilemmas of shyness and bullies, I was always drawn to more traditional comic book fare. Given a chance to buy a Punisher or X-men book, I always would. But the covers to anything the Hernandez brothers did never drew me in. After reading Douglas Wolk's book on comics, I decided that I never gave the brothers a fair shake in my adolescence, and I decided last year to get familiar with their work. I am so glad I did. I tend to like Gilbert's art and stories more than Jamie, but these guys are both wonderful storytellers. SLOTH is a must read for me. One of the best graphic novel's I've read in a long time. This book as well as anything about the world of Palomar gets top recommendations from me.
More on Yokoyama's Train later.