Saturday, May 02, 2009

Free Comic Book Day

For weeks, all of the Bibliotonics have been anticipating Free Comic Book Day. We habituate our local comic book shop, which is less than twelve blocks from our house, and currently one of the biggest draws to our neighborhood. John has been a regular customer of Uncle Sven’s since he was in college. And, although Uncle Sven no longer owns the shop, all of its character has been preserved. It’s a tiny shop and it’s truly for collectors, featuring racks with an emphasis on the week’s new releases.

Uncle Sven’s friendly staff greeted us enthusiastically when we entered the store today. The boys were each handed a shopping bag, stuffed with comic books. Then, John and I received a bag for adults, which appeared to have similar comics, with the addition of a few that were unsuitable for children. Good stuff—Atomic Hobo, Nancy (for nostalgia!), Avengers, a facsimile of the original TMNT, and more, all special editions for FCBD.

We each bought a comic or two for a total comic gorge. I chose Brad Meltzer’s Identity Crisis, the first chapter of the graphic novel (same title), and John picked up the return of Sea Guy. Oh boy, this comic book reading is going to be fun.

Only 364 days until the next Free Comic Book Day!

Friday, May 01, 2009

April statistics

finished: 3
Acqua Alta, Delicate Edible Birds, Loving Frank
In April, I finished reading a mystery and a story collection, as well as listened to an unabridged audiobook—and none of them disappointed. Since my progress report, I read the title story in Delicate Edible Birds, and it left a huge impression so much so that I now understand what the professional blurbers mean when they call fiction “indelible." Lauren Groff manages her unique characters and situations with agility, weaving images of birds effortlessly and naturally, into each story. Finally, Loving Frank exceeded my expectations. I’m glad I listened to the novel. It was properly entertaining and filled the void from home to school and back. I really hated a lot of the choices that Mamah Cheney made in order to live with Frank Lloyd Wright. She rarely exhibited remorse for abandoning her young children. But the ending was affecting, and an afterword lent credibility to Nancy Horan’s liberal use of historical characters. The author had access to Cheney’s diaries and letters, enabling her to put words in her character’s mouths. Loving Frank was 41 for 41 titles, as well as a selection for the 2009 Conversation with Books. I hope Horan has a follow-up novel along the same lines.

purchased: 6
~Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things by McSweeney’s (impulse purchase at my inaugural visit to Big Brain Comics on Washington)
~39 Steps by John Buchan (a 41 for 41 title)
~The Tunnel of Hugsy Goode by Eleanor Estes (for Winston)
~James and the Giant Peach (for Winston)
~Cat Owners Manual (background reading, Winston is getting a cat)
~Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (up next)