Recent Reads

Three second-year students at the Center for Cartoon Studies (Class of 2013) discuss books they’ve recently enjoyed from the Schulz Library.

Page from “City of Light, City of Dark” by Avi and Brian Floca

Student: Romey Bensen ’13

Book: City of Light, City of Dark” written by Avi, illustrated by Brian Floca (Scholastic, 1993)

What’s the book about?:

“In an alternate universe, Manhattan is controlled by dark forces who control day and night. Their power is contained inside a small token, which falls into the hands of a few young kids. It’s up to them to restore order and light to the city. It’s a kids book, but it lays out a pretty grim and dangerous world.”

What’s most memorable about this book?:

“It was really, really beautiful..the writing and the artwork fit together really well… [In particular] I really liked the way that Underton (the villain) wants to light up all these neon signs to fuel his own grandeur. It tells me so much about him as a villain. I pity him. He’s so pitiable because but he just wants people to know how great he is, but at the same time he’s really narcissistic and vain…he wants his name in bright lights. More generally I thought the lettering was really beautiful. I love that it’s really loose too. It looks like he used a brush for all the bold words. I really like that. He made it all work together.”

Detail from “Red Colored Elegy” by Seiichi Hayashi

Student: April Malig ’13

Book: Red Colored Elegy” by Seiichi Hayashi (Drawn and Quarterly, 2008)

What’s the book about?:

“A couple has a fight and then the moon cries. They fight again, stay in bed a lot, cry in bed a lot, and are all twisted together, bemoaning their fates. Sachiko and Ichiro are both animators, dealing with their various hopes, dreams, and doubts. Did I mention that they cry a lot? And throw around paper? That’s basically the plot…but in a way, that’s only half the story.”

What’s most memorable about this book?:

“It’s an important comic for me because it was one of the first comics I read that seemed to be written in a purely visceral way, no real connections between events, just glimpses of action tethered to high emotions, punctuated by abstract metaphor. Sure, it’s melodramatic, but it captures the way you are when you are young and in love, with the feeling that those two things might kill you. Most memorable image?…The moon crying.”

Detail from “Chris Ware” by Daniel Raeburn

Student: Dan Rinylo ’13

Book: Chris Ware” by Daniel Raeburn (Yale University Press, 2004)

What’s the book about?:

“It’s a scholarly analysis of Ware’s work, based on lots of interviews. It talks a lot about Jimmy Corrigan [Ware’s most widely acclaimed novel], but also describes some of the weirder, experimental art pieces that Ware has worked on that most of us don’t know about.”

What’s most memorable about this book?:

“The things I remember best from this book are this one image of a mechanical cat head in a box that sings when the hand is cranked…The other thing I remember is when the author compared Chris Ware to a pack of lions. I was like…what?”

Sasha Steinberg, guest writer.


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