I’m caught up in three graphic novels that I’m loving right now, and I’m feeling a bit like Goldilocks with them: One I’m really late to discover, one I’m early, and one I’m just right on time. Let’s start with the late one. I’ve just gotten the deluxe edition of Wasteland by Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten, and it’s a sweet sci-fi western adventure that mixes religious zealotry with despotic tyranny and puts some exceptional people with odd abilities in the middle. It’s brilliant. The art is exquisite. The story is wonderfully paced. I’m in awe of it; so much so that I’m taking my time with it. If this kind of post-apocalyptic tale is your cup of tea (and you know who you are) and you haven’t read this yet, go for it. You’ll like it.
Logicomix won’t be out until the end of the month, but I’ve got an advance copy that I’m finding quite hard to put down. It’s a brisk recounting of Bertrand Russell’s life based on his letters, interviews, and writings, and at its heart, it’s a simple yet difficult story about the pursuit of logic in a strange and conflicting world. Of course, war is the backdrop. What better? Even though the storytellers are overusing a fourth-wall-breaking device that risks annoying the reader greatly, the Russell story is fantastic. Look for this book when it comes out in a few weeks.
Finally, The Vietnam War: A Graphic History is out now, and I hope you run out to pick it up along with Wasteland. Like most everyone born in the ’70s, I grew up in the shadow of the Vietnam War. It was discussed very often. It was understood (by me) very little. This book has not only answered so many questions for me, but it has encapsulated the entire scope of the war into such easily digested segments without ever once feeling pedantic. I’m loving it for being so ambitious and respecting it for accomplishing it with such aplomb. I would have that what writer Dwight Jon Zimmerman and artist Wayne Vansant have done would be incredibly difficult, but they make it look quite easy.
All three of these books are highly recommended.