Wednesday, July 05, 2006

As planned, I read the first book of Love the Way You Love and the fifth book of Love As a Foreign Language last night. Both are in Oni Press’s little digest format, whatever it’s really called, which has become one of my favorite comics formats. (I even ended up buying the first book/issue of Borrowed Time because it was published in that format.) I like having something that’s a longer, more substantial read than a normal-sized issue of a comic book, but short enough that I’m not sitting down for an hour to read it. Plus, I’m a sucker for a serialized story, being forced to read through an ongoing story at the pace set by the publication schedule, and not being able to just turn the page and immediately see how a cliffhanger is resolved.

Anyway, it wasn’t much of a surprise that I loved them both. Love As a Foreign Language has been a favorite since the first issue. I’m not sure when I became such a big J. Torres fan, but it was his name that sold me on this series. The fantastic art by Eric Kim is icing on the cake. It’s a very funny, very human, very relatable romantic comedy, given a special twist by making the main character a Westerner (Canadian, to be specific) living in Korea. And the story has unfolded at a relaxed, natural pace. If it was told in a normal comics format, the pacing would have had to be more rushed, which would have spoiled the effect.

Sadly, it looks like we might just have one issue to go, at least as far as this storyline goes. Hopefully, the creators and publisher will continue the series, but I take nothing for granted any more.

Fortunately, there’s Love the Way You Love to take its place. While James S. Rich may not be as established a comics writer as J. Torres, I’ve become such a fan, just from two books. (So totally looking forward to the third...) So it’s great to see his knack for creating very human-feeling characters can survive without the internal-monologue prose. Like Love As a Foreign Language, it appears that this is a story which will be unfolding at its own pace, so again, having the longer page count helps. Right now, the setup seems a little obvious (boy and girl meet, love at first sight, only she’s engaged to a jerk), but I’m trusting Rich to make it a little more interesting.

Plus, there’s the art by newcomer Mark Ellerby. Not as slick and polished as, say, Eric Kim, he draws some very distinct and expressive characters. It’ll be interesting to see if, when I read The Everlasting, I picture the world as looking as if Ellerby had drawn it...

So, top marks all around.

I also watched the first half of the AMC original movie/miniseries Broken Trail tonight. And you could argue that a brand-new, never-before-seen TV movie isn’t exactly an American Movie Classic. I would argue that if a Western starring Robert Duvall and directed by Walter Hill isn’t automatically an American classic, then nothing is.

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