Underground Reading: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Underground Reading: Murder in a Nunnery by Eric Shepherd

Graphic Novel Round-up: Local, Dark Entries, Tintin

LocalLocal(Wood / Kelly): The multi-award winning collection of Local is a true oddity, as it is genuinely good as a comic, without really having much to recommend it as a collection. How's that for bizarre praise? 

Local is a collection of interrelated stories, all following one young woman's daily adventures as she lives in various cities across North America. Some of the stories are humorous, some are bittersweet, some are a little frightening.

My issue was that, the gaps between them are such that, although I can see the physical connections, I have a hard time plotting the line of character growth between all the dots. Megan is sometimes mature, sometimes... completely batshit crazy. And her spontaneous transformation between the two was hard for my imagination to encompass. Great individual stories, but perhaps they were better uncollected? 

Dark Entries Ian Rankin Rebus Constantine DC Vertigo Dark Entries (Rankin / Dell'edera): Acclaimed mystery author Ian Rankin writes a graphic novel. About reality TV. Or, since it is a Hellblazer comic, about sinister, occult reality TV. This is a solid story with a fairly-surprising twist and a satisfying resolution. That said, it feels a bit off-pace. Rankin is, of course, a talented writer, but even in the graphic novel format, his 'comic timing' isn't quite there. The reveal comes too early and the resolution too late - this is essentially a 2000 AD style one-twist comic, but dragged out over 214 pages instead of the requisite 6. 

The Adventures of Tintin: Volume 1 (Herge): This handy hardcover contains the first two volumes of the intrepid young reporter's adventures: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and Tintin in the Congo. Both are dated (more or less sadly). Tintin in the Land of the Soviets is essentially a loose collection of comic strips, each ending in explosive, slapstick action and a joke about the corruption behind the Iron Curtain. It is black and white (the only Tintin thus?) and is very clearly the earliest Tintin effort. Tintin in the Congo, for all its appalling racism, is actually a much better comic: there are hints of the complex plots to come (but still largely slapstick humor). I love Herge's art, and adore the later Tintin adventures. This volume, however, is for the completist.