I've been bogged down by both the obligations of teaching as well as this tendon issue in my elbow, so I haven't been writing reviews of late (that, and I've been questioning why I'm even doing it). I do want to take a few moments, though, to point to a few books that I wanted to give some positive press to.
Honey #1 was not what I expected it to be at all, and it's so much the better for that. It's an anthropomorphic bee story, sort of, in which the honey bees all look like cover models for Vogue in the 1920's and one or two of them suffer from existential ennui. Like I said, it was not what I expected (although, to be honest, I'm not really sure what my expectations were).
Celine Loup does some amazing things with her art in this book, most notably with her use of color to accentuate mood and add dynamism to her pages. In terms of storytelling, just when I thought the book might be teetering on ham-fisted melodrama, Loup throws another curve into her narrative which kept me eagerly turning pages a'plenty.
After reading Honey #1, I will never look at butterflies in the same way again. Also, Loup has exponentially added to my fear of wasps. Thanks for that.
You can purchase a copy of Honey #1 here.
Herman the Hot Dog #2
(Haleigh Buck, Hey Boy! Comics)
When the cover of your book sports both a nervous looking hot dog wearing sneakers and knee socks and it's emblazoned with a “Mature Audiences ONLY!” admonition, you're already playing the hype game at a top-shelf level. The problem with this kind of hype, though, is it usually masks something unworthy of that kind of sonorousness. NOT SO with Herman the Hot Dog #2.
Right out of the gate, Buck spares no decorum or sensibilities with a story called “Jeers of a Clown” that starts off as a story about trying to increase a television station's ratings but then veers off into places that I just can't even talk about – it's offensive, it's wrong on so many levels – but it's tear-inducing funny. It's not often that I find myself sitting alone in my house with a book in my hands and laughing so loudly that I scare my dog. I mean, I seriously let loose a thundering guffaw. When was the last time you let loose one of those?