Thu, 29 May 1997
So I met this girl and she's reading Sandman. I pretty much know jack about comics, just enough to call them "graphic novels" in certain company, and all I can do is parrot what a guy I used to live with would say about these kind of things (there was nothing between me and the guy; we just used to wear each other's clothes every now and again). I mumble something about The Watchmen, which she claims is her favorite vignette of the English language. My mind raced, as I have this overwhelming urge to look cool in her eyes, and the only problem is that I really can't talk to my old roommate "man to man" anymore, as he has this alternate persona as a Megalomaniacal Writer of syndicated advice columns and I just can't lower myself to play along with his grand delusions. What should I suggest to her for future reading, something that shows I'm hip but not afraid to recognize my life of quiet desperation?
You should have her read my home phone number. Seriously.
No, Wonderful jests! This is another of those classic questions, handed down to us from eternity; it's got the girl, the guy and the comics. That's all Homer ever wrote about, am I right? No, of course not. Homer was a brilliant fellow, but lived a long time ago, before there were comics. At that point in history, they only had one-panel gag spots, like "The Far Side" and "Family Circus". Literary-biologists are still searching for the missing "Two-panel" link between this early form and the modern day contiguous strip, of which "Mutts" is such a fine example.
Where was I? Oh yes, real Comics. If she's a Sandman and Watchmen lover, she probably appreciates fine writing (I'm serious about that phone number, really). The three Graphic Reads that got Wonderful started on his path to perdition, funnybook-wise: the above-mentioned Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns and Mage. But anyone who's anyone has read those already, and passed judgement. Nothing beats Watchmen for structure, nothing beats Dark Knight for heroism and nothing beats Mage for... being cool. So here are some other panty-peeling works by the same authours....
ALAN "GRUMBLEDUKE" MOORE: V For Vendetta, Miracleman, The Saga of the Swamp Thing
FRANK "INKHEAD" MILLER: Sin City, Hard Boiled, Elektra: Assassin, Daredevil: Born Again
MATT "BATBOY" WAGNER: Grendel, Batman/Grendel, Sandman Mystery Theater
I'll be in the corner reading Stig's Inferno.