Derik Badman's Journal

2019-08-21 08:16

Another stressful day at work, which I guess I don't really want to write about again.

A few comics showed up in the mail yesterday, and I already read two of them. Since it was date night, I had time in between work and dinner to read Go with the Clouds North-by-Northwest v.2 by Aki Irie. I'm still fascinated and a bit confused by this manga. The second volume starts off with a very brief mention of what seems like an important event that happened between volumes. Then it's never mentioned again for the rest of the book. The whole storyline about the protagonist being some kind of detective (or at least finder of lost things) also completely disappears as pretty much the whole volume is spend on him having a friend visit from Japan and them going around Iceland doing touristy activities. The author works in a bunch of pedantic moments with diagrams and a lot of wonderful scenery drawings. It's almost like a whole volume that is an aside to the main narrative, except, with only two volumes to compare, it could also just be a total 180 in what the main narrative of this series is. I'm excited to see where volume 3 goes. I'm also considering writing up a longer review of the two volumes to see if The Comics Journal would be interested, since I've not made any progress on the article I did pitch to them.

My other read of the day (in bed later) was Corto Maltese: The Early Years, the latest in IDW's reprints of the series. It appears they are down to two volumes left, the first and the last. This one is very brief (only 32 pages of the actual story) and rather uneventful, though at least for once we get a little context from the publisher that this was intended to go on longer but Pratt had some kind of disagreement with the publication that was serializing it. One thing that has really frustrated me about this edition, is how little they provide context to the comics. There is some Pratt biography and sketches, but they never even indicate what year the originals were from. And the numbering of the series only appears inside the back cover, and appears to be numbered via the internal timeline of the series, not the publication timeline, which adds to the confusion. I think I've been growing cold on this series over the past couple volumes, but now the two left are the ones I am much interested in reading, as the first volume is well regarded and I've read the last volume in French but was pretty confused by it (I think there was a lot of unusual terminology in it).

Watched Claire's Camera last night too, a Korean/French film by Hong Sang-Soo. It had come up in some best of year lists from last year, and somehow I remembered it when I saw it as an option on the Criterion Channel. The whole thing was very reminiscent of Eric Rohmer: a beach side city, a lot of talking, coincidental meetings, limited settings, limited camera movement, little action. IMDB says the title is a reference to Claire's Knee, which... I guess is possible. Some of the descriptions of the movie I've read make it sound more mysterious than it is, but the ending itself was unexpected. It did that thing Rohmer does in some of his films where there is an ambiguous scene and then a jump in time that helps you better understand what happened and then the movie ends.