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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Once More into the it were.

Or at any rate, "once more (slowly) into the breach", as it were. Please bear with me, I'll get up to speed eventually.

This struck me as a good idea for a blogging because it cemented my relationship with a few texts that some misguided people still frown upon, in toffee-nosed literary circles. Not so very long ago, I was feeling really, really, sorry for myself; around my eighth or ninth day on water (not even the bread and water diet of Edmond Dantes) and I really got a great deal of joy from reading a bunch of stuff that I really had no right to expect more joy from, given that I have read and reread the stuff from cover to cover over and over again.

Perhaps it could be best described as comfort-reading, or maybe more precisely as renewing an old friendship - whatever, around the 30th day of my water-fest I had read my Love and Rockets and my American Splendors and my copy of Ghost World so often that I might be forgiven for throwing them away but honestly, I'm looking forward to reading them all again; although I could do without the being ill part.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I could have spent my time reading Brecht, the Norton Anthologies, Shakespeare, Joyce, or even P.G Wodehouse, all of which is right up my street (I'm a pretty pretentious guy), but I found my comfort in literature that pleased both my eyes (especially while the text was blurry) and my brain, and found, even reading these things for the umpteenth time, just as rewarding as the day they were delivered to me. Here's a complete list of my well-beloved titles:

Ghost World, by Daniel Clowes

20th Century Eightball by Daniel Clowes

American Splendor by Harvey Pekar

These were the titles that I kept returning to, despite having a wide range of possibilities, so to me they gifts that keep on giving. I just found that when I couldn't even be bothered watching a DVD and the text of any number of novels looked more like marching ants than recognisable words I got a lot of comfort from holding, carrying, looking at and reading these books - even the colourful covers cheered me up. These, mainly Fantagraphics titles, were real Chicken soup for the soul to me.


Mike Lynch said...

Rod, so great to see you posting. You are preaching to the choir about these comics!

Eli Stein said...

Glad to see you back, Rod. I went to your site every day for lo, these many months, eagerly awaiting your return. Keep healthy!

Rod McKie said...

Hey thanks guys. I'm on the move again, albeit a little gingerly. I'm well on my way to becoming annoying again.