Aardy R. DeVarque (aardy) wrote,
Aardy R. DeVarque
aardy

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Good stories and bad recommendations

Have you ever gotten to the end of a story, desperately wanted more only to realize that you've reached the end of what's been published, and wanted all of your friends to experience the same joy you're currently feeling? That's what I'm feeling right now.

Only one problem.

I apparently have nearly no sense of taste. (Those of you who've seen my ties know whereof I speak.) I also enjoy brain candy far, far more than I do "quality" literature (let alone anything that actually doesn't fall to pieces when you start to pick at it). I've learned the hard way that making recommendations of books, movies, music, etc. to my friends more often than not seems to be met with a rousing cheer of "ennh, whatever" (and that's after they've waded through it). Doesn't matter what it is, how good it is, or anything, I can't remember the last time I actually turned anybody on to a story they hadn't known about before. (Which is different from suggesting something they've already found and enjoyed, which happens all the time, as I'm not exactly on the cutting edge of anything.)

So I hope you'll understand how torn I am about writing the rest of this (and why it's packed with caveats):

If you like science fiction, and like comic books, pick up Grease Monkey by Tim Eldred, I think you'll really like it. Yes, it's a hardcover graphic novel. Yes, the pictures are all in black & white. Yes, it weighs in at 350 pages. Yes, it's a comic book with a gorilla on the cover. Yes, it partially reprints comics published by Image in the late 1990s.

Yes, it really is a rollicking good time (ups and downs, humor and drama, love and loss), and it is by far the best thing I've read in a while (and that includes the latest Usagi Yojimbo volume). The first three chapters are online for free at that site--in color, even, and with the fourth chapter due to come online in October--if you want to try before you buy.

I can't guarantee you'll enjoy it as much as I did, but from my perspective, it really is well written, well drawn, and generally crafted and constructed pretty darn well overall, and I'm pretty sure that's not just my crippled judgement talking. (That said, if you don't believe me, believe the pull-quotes from comics industry experts on the book & the website.)

And if enough of you buy it now, there's that much more of a chance that someday I'll get to read volume 2.



Feudalism: Serf & Turf
Tags: books, comics, must-reads
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