Derik Badman's Journal

2021-03-19 08:30

Read a bunch of comics lately and realizing I sometimes forget to mention them. There is this level of quality where I don't think its awful or even bad, but I am not excited by the work either, so it just kind of slips out of mind. Matsumoto's Ping Pong did not end up that different from the regular genre/tropes as I expected and ended as a disappointement. Of all the manga of his I've read, oddly (or maybe as expected) the one I like best is the one I read as a scanlation and still isn't published in English. I think the translation is Bamboo Samurai. It has a really different look than his other work, thinner lines, more dynamism, and I recall enjoying the story a lot. I should reread that.

Anders Nilsen's new self-published collection In Your Next Life You Will Be Together with All of Your Friends was a bit of a letdown, as it has a comic of his I really love called "Event" from an old issue of Mome (one of the, or perhaps the only, comics I scanned before getting rid of all my Mome issues). But the version in this collection feels inferior, black and white, crowded (the other version is color and single image per page). The rest of the collection is all short comics and illustrations from various sources. Much of it is minor, though there are a two comics in it that are typical Nilsen and quite good. One is a single pager (here, a spread) from the New York Times that addresses the pandemic and George Floyd's murder (Nilsen apparently is from a few blocks away from where it happened). The other (also having appeared in the Times) is four images (one a spread, so 5 pages) of diagrammatic comics tracing his autobiography over an epic scale. It has that... neutral observer tone of so much of his short work, and the images are a mix of abstracted figures and small images in callout boxes. (Callout? Not sure that is the work I want... smaller images attached by lines to a larger image to act as details.)