So I won an Eisner. That's a thing that happened. And, as with many life events that are both hugely impactful and also really do nothing to change my day to day life (e.g. getting married) this win made me kinda thinky for a bit.
One of the things that I wonder about a lot is what critics and reviewers read in their spare time, when they're not getting paid to read. I don't know about anybody else, but I have pretty specific tactics when it comes to stuff I write reviews on: I don't care if it's popular or well known, but I do care if I think it's well made. I've reviewed plenty of stuff that didn't align with my personal tastes, but it was well executed enough that I could give an honest review of it. I don't like giving reviews of stuff I just plain don't like. I have an easier time articulating the good parts of something in a mostly objective way...but if I dislike something, I struggle to not say just that.
So, a few days ago I put up a Twitter poll asking what folks might want to read from me...and the results were a bit surprising? (At least to me they were.) Given people's responses to "how do you keep up with webcomics?" I thought more folks would be interested in how I keep up with print comics (hint: I don't).
But! This does mean I have some insight into something I can try to maintain for a while. I'm notoriously bad at personal blogging, and have been for...well, since I made my first Livejournal in college. I'm just not consistent with writing unless it's a job, I guess.
So! New semi-regular feature! What is Caitlin reading right now?
This week I read a couple of TPBs and stared balefully at the three (3!!) short boxes of floppies I have waiting for me to read them. (Told you I don't keep up.)
- Dead Inside (Vol 1) by John Arcudi, Toni Fejzula, and Andre May (Dark Horse). So I'm addicted to police procedural shows and one of the things I never really considered or even occurred to me that there are cops that specialize in investigating crimes inside prisons and jails. Like...wow. Idea. This is a really interesting story with an interesting, nuanced main female character and lot of interpersonal drama. There's several POC characters that are just as nuanced, and it doesn't feel like anyone lacks agency. It's a bit like Orange is the New Black plus Happy Valley (both are on Netflix, Happy Valley is must-watch).
- Dead Letters (Vol 1) by Christopher Sabela and Chris Visions. I'm pretty sure I got this from Oliver at some point? Who knows. My home is like a leaky ship filling with books. It's good! There are a lot of "what happens after you die" stories out there (please go watch The Good Place) but this one is different in tone and scope, which is nice. It's closer to the Vertigo's version of Lucifer talking about people punishing themselves in hell than most other comics about the afterlife. The characters are clearly based in some tried and true tropes, but they've got enough depth to start to break away. The art is very...messy? In a good way? It often felt claustrophobic and completely overwhelming, with some moments of "Jesus where am I even supposed to be looking right now?" thrown in, but that was very fitting given the situation the main character is in. I'm bummed I missed out on the floppies of these, Ron Wimberly's covers (which are in the back of the trade) are fantastic, as always.
- Princess Jellyfish (Vol 5) by Akiko Higashimura (Kodansha). I fucking love this book so much. I fell in love with the show when it was on Netflix and have been gobbling up the English translations of the manga as they come out. Haven't finished this volume (and weirdly, it starts on page 6?) but I can say with no qualms if you like silly love triangles and gender fuckery and fashion you should definitely read this.
I'm also reading a prose novel called The Club Dumas which according to a blurb on the front "It's like Umberto Eco meets Anne Rice." It certainly is obsessed enough with appearance and clothes to be Anne Rice, but it's very thick and pretty dense and these days I want to watch a lot of cartoons so I haven't made it very far.
That's it! That's the first "What's Caitlin reading?" which hopefully will be a regular thing if I don't completely forget. I'll make a completely separate post about what's on my pull list and what webcomics I read because honestly they're both long enough to warrant that.