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Author Archives: Paul De Angelis

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid in the World

Plot doesn’t play a big part in Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid in the World. We follow Jimmy as he meets the father who deserted him when he was young (with some detours into the past when Jimmy’s grandfather was a kid). But it’s probably best to approach this book as a mood piece, the moods here being loneliness and ... Read More »

Road to Perdition

There’s no point in comparing the graphic novel Road to Perdition with the respectable though somewhat ponderous movie based on it. I get the impression (especially after Lord of the Rings) that people nitpick over differences between books and films as a subtle way of saying, “I was a fan of the original work, long before you rabble showed up.” ... Read More »

Shutterbug Follies

I usually find hard covers on books wasteful, but Shutterbug Follies is an exception. The binding here, plus the high quality paper and the uncluttered layout of the pages, makes this graphic novel feel like a photo album — which is probably the point, since photography plays a major role in the story. The packaging certainly is impressive. It’s also ... Read More »

Trenches

It had had me searching the net, looking for an explanation as to why Trenches received positive reviews. It’s the kind of graphic novel that almost makes me question the tastes of others. (But I won’t. I don’t want to add to the lamentably widespread habit of critiquing fans instead of the works themselves.) Trenches follows two brothers through World ... Read More »

Tales of the Slayers

An anthology featuring vampire slayers throughout history, Tales of the Slayers contains the work of a variety of writers and illustrators. The disadvantage of this comic is that each story is short and self-contained, so there’s no room to develop either characters or plots. Instead, each contribution has to rely on a twist or hook, and those are done with ... Read More »

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1

Alan Moore is a big name in the world of comics, and deservedly so, having written Swamp Thing, Miracleman, and the classic Watchman. He also wrote the acclaimed From Hell, though I found Moore’s annotations more compelling than the story itself. But with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1, Moore has either produced a lesser work, or his style ... Read More »

Little Big Man

Noteworthy for portraying Native Americans as the good guys and General Custer as the bad guy, Little Big Man is a blatant reversal of earlier Hollywood standards. But despite its admirable intentions, the movie hasn’t dated well. Little Big Man is the story of Jack Crabb (Dustin Hoffman) as told by the man himself when he’s 121. (Whether he’s making ... Read More »

Box Office Poison

If the graphic novel Box Office Poison isn’t autobiographical, it certainly feels like it. Mostly twenty-somethings who are either professional or amateur writers, the characters in Box Office come across as real people in real situations having real feelings and conversations. Sherman Davies, the book store employee who wants to be a writer, seems to be the closest thing to ... Read More »

Ghost World

When it comes to main characters, we sometimes have to grapple with the issue of sympathy. If a character is likeable there’s obviously no concern. If the character is flawed, it’s often a “harmless” flaw, so we can still easily care about the character. But if the main characters are off-putting or morally repugnant, the writer either balances it out ... Read More »

Review: Pikmin 2

Pikmin wasn’t the greatest game for the GameCube, but it was certainly one of the most original. It showed a freshness both in style and content that’s all too rare in games. The sequel keeps with the general practice of leaving untouched what worked while jettisoning what didn’t, and since there was little to complain about with the first game, ... Read More »