Monday, June 9, 2014

Book round-up: Kick Out the Jams, Jeff Lemire and Agents of Atlas

I'm a bit tired tonight, so I'm just going to do a quick run-down of some books that I've finished recently.


This was a nice surprise. Don McLeese grew up in Detroit during the rise of MC5 and the White Panther tomfoolery. The book starts off with a great eye witness account of the famous impromptu concert at the '69 Democratic Convention, and just keeps going with a great selection of interview quotes and insight into the Motor City scene of 1970. This is an album I had never given much thought to before; the MC5 aren't part of the official Rolling Stone Magazine story of rock'n'roll. McLeese really got me to listen to it with a new ear and a new appreciation of the band as precursors to punk and hard rock.


This is a cute little Jeff Lemire story from a few years back. He's best known now for having the thankless task of writing the "weird" heroes for DC comics. But, obviously, he's most at home here, drawing weird people in quaint small towns. This one imagines H.G. Well's Invisible Man as showing up in a quiet fishing village, presumably in Lemire's Canada. There's no deep meaning to the story; I can see the author just playing around with the central conceit. Still, it's better than many other graphic novels that I've read recently, and much better drawn. Good if you like quirky.

This was another nice surprise. These guys are leftover characters from the old "Atlas" publishing days. It could have been just another trademark refresh story, but Parker does a great job at bringing these 1950s characters into the 21st century without going the usual "dark" route. There are some dark things and major consequences, this being the modern world, but this is a group of misfits THAT ENJOY WORKING TOGETHER. If you don't know how weird that is, you haven't suffered through the majority of super-hero team books that are out there.  Of course, a large part of that is due to the great art teams on display through-out this collection; the "acting" is excellent. Did I mention that this is also a time-travel story that works despite being having to deal with a major Marvel "event?" Eat your heart out, Grant Morrison!

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