“Giant Days vol 8,” by various
2018 Publication , 4 star , graphic novel / October 16, 2018

I’m a fan of the series and have been following Allison’s work since the earliest days of his online comics, “Bobbins,” in the late 90s. His comic series “Giant Days” lives up to my expectations. Vol 8 continues the story of Esther, Susan, and Daisy. Preparing for the next term and the expiration of their housing lease, the three face the splintering of their cozy group as two of the three look into moving in with their significant others. As with the other volumes, the focus of the comic is on the relationship between the girls and it’s refreshing to see media about women where the women actually like each other and support each other. The comics are a quick read. I highly recommend starting with vol 1 and catching up. Allison’s writing is engaging and interesting, and overall fun, and the art is expressive and interesting.

“Chicago,” by Glenn Head
2 star , graphic novel , memoir / October 16, 2018

I picked up “Chicago,” by Glenn Head, on impulse from the library because I live in Chicago and it’s about Chicago. I stupidly assumed the author was roughly my age (mid to late 30s to early 40s) and thus his experience leaving his wealthy suburban family and playing poor person pan handling in Chicago was set in the 90s and he was begging around the intersection of Clark and Lake. Instead he was doing his panhandling on the South Side of Chicago before I was born. Also he’s a bigger asshole then I thought… And I thought he’d be an immense asshole. But hey, Chicago This book is autobiographical, or at least based on the author’s biography. But the protagonist’s name is spelled differently so I assume we’re not meant to take this as literal autobiography and recognize that some liberties have been taken. Possibly fictional Glen has discovered Nihilism and alt comix and decides that he’s got the skills he needs to be an alt comix pro despite being a recent high school grad. His parents pay for him to attend a pricey art college so he can make a living doing alt comix like his hero Robert Crumb….

“Josephine Baker,” by various
3 star , biography , graphic novel , non-fiction / October 15, 2018

“Josephine Baker” is a graphic novel written by José-Louis Bocquet, illustrated by Catel Muller, and translated into English by Edward Gauvin. It’s an ambitious tome, large enough to prop open a door, and covers her life from birth to death. Baker lead a very full and exciting life, however, which makes capturing it all in one book difficult. “Josephine Baker” works best as an introduction to her life, an opening of the door for other works that cover specific aspects of her life like her activism or spy efforts, for instance. Unfortunately it’s just a bit too much to cram into one book, leaving it feeling rushed and superficial. The art, in black and white, is a bit uneven. Baker and most figures are cartoonish, rendered in brushwork that’s beautiful but blunt. Other figures are drawn in a way that’s recognizable. We can see who they are immediately. One would think that Baker, the main subject of the book, would have similar treatment but no: her depiction remains cartoonish and often interchangeable with other female characters. Some of the lines of motion when people are dancing are lovely and graceful, but other times the dancers look like monkeys… which, when…

“The Ghost Script,” by Jules Feiffer
2018 Publication , 5 star , graphic novel / June 20, 2018

Oh my god. I won “The Ghost Script” by Jules Feiffer in a good reads giveaway and my very excited opinion is honestly mine. “The Ghost Script” is the third book in a trilogy. If I’d realized that I wouldn’t have entered the contest, as I haven’t read the first two and it can be hard to jump into a series partway through without knowing what’s gone before. But I’m really glad that I entered the contest (and, of course, that I won). The noir-ish series covers the McCarthy era of anti-communism, the Red Scare, the blacklisting of folks in Hollywood and the politics of the time. There’s right wing unions, left wing unions, communists, trotskyites, and young nazis. The main protagonist is Archie Goldman, a private dick who is… not very glamorous and loses just about every fight he gets into, including fights with himself over what he should or shouldn’t do. There’s a cast of other PoV characters exploring different themes and adventures as well, including murder and revenge. The book is very well paced and even though I was a bit lost at times because I hadn’t read the previous two volumes, I was mostly able to…