I'm putting down prose for the next month. LOTS of cool comics are being released and they're easier to read and prettier than other books.


First on the plate is Charles Burns whose new book X'ed out is released on the 19th. It's inspired by everything from Tin Tin to horror comics. Very, very excited for this. Not so excited to wait ten years for it to be complete (just an estimate), but that's the cost of doing good work in this medium. And hey, he's coming to town on the 28th!

Lynda Barry's last book, What It Is, explored creativity in a provocative and beautiful way. Her new book, Picture This, looks like another entry in her unique textbook/memoir/comics genre. She's pioneering a challenging new form. If that doesn't appeal to you, I urge you to read her novel Cruddy, the gripping, disgusting, haunting and beautiful tale of an ugly young girl on a cross country killing spree with her ambiguous father figure. It's a surreal and tragic tale of the violence of adolescence, told by one of the most genuine narrative voices since To Kill a Mockingbird.

Lynda Barry is reading at the Portland Art Museum next week. It is unfortunately not free, but you can see what she had to say to Sarah Mirk here, and you can read a PDF preview of her new book over at Drawn & Quarterly.


In local comics, artist Chris C. Cilla's new book, The Heavy Hand, was released this month by Portland publisher Sparkplug Comics. The website sums up the surreal plot line thusly:

Take an inky road trip with a liar (Alvin Crabshack) into the generally ignored world of mask wearing freaks and monsters both dead and alive. Folk tales are made up by regular schmucks in party houses, caves and vans. Are you concerned about the eggs? Alvin has a story for whoever he meets, including you.

There's also Chris Ware, who remains the most reliable cartoonist out there. His style bespeaks a very disciplined nature to say the least. This year's Acme Novelty Library Vol. 20, comes out November 9th. But the D&Q page says October 2010! Balls!

And there's even more. The Ax, a gross and awesome alternative manga anthology from Top Shelf. Johnny Ryan's disgusting and hilarious Prison Pit Book 2! Classic horror comics collection Four Color Fear!