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What I Bought Archives | Comics Should Be Good @ CBR

What I bought, read, or otherwise consumed – March 2016

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“That which is written without effort is generally read without pleasure.” (Samuel Johnson)
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What I bought, read, or otherwise consumed – February 2016 selections

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I wanted to start doing these kinds of posts – where I write about one-shots and complete arcs as well as trades and other stuff – in January, but January is always a busy month for me, so I tend to slack off a bit with my comics writing. So let’s get started with February, shall we?
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What I bought – 23 December 2015

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It was that Citizen Kane represented, more than any other movie Joe had ever seen, the total blending of narration and image that was – didn’t Sammy see it? – the fundamental principle of comic book storytelling, and the irreducible nut of their partnership. Without the witty, potent dialogue and the puzzling shape of the story, the movie would have been merely an American version of the kind of brooding, shadow-filled Ufa-style expressionist stuff that Joe had grown up watching in Prague. Without the brooding shadows and bold adventurings of the camera, without the theatrical lighting and queasy angles, it would have been merely a clever movie about a rich bastard. It was more, much more, than any movie really needed to be. In this one crucial regard – its inextricable braiding of image and narrative – Citizen Kane was like a comic book. (Michael Chabon, from The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay)
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What I bought – 16 December 2015

When we were driving out of the town I said, “I hate the corpses of empires, they stink as nothing else. They stink so badly that I cannot believe that even in life they were healthy.” “I do not think you can convince mankind,” said my husband, “that there is not a certain magnificence about a great empire in being.” “Of course there is,” I admitted, “but the hideousness outweighs the beauty. You are not, I hope, going to tell me that they impose laws on lawless people. Empires live by the violation of law.” (Rebecca West, from Black Lamb and Grey Falcon)
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What I bought – 9 December 2015

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“For the enemy to be recognized and feared, he has to be in your home or on your doorstep. Hence the Jews. Divine providence has given them to us, and so, by God, let us use them, and pray there’s always some Jew to fear and to hate. We need an enemy to give the people hope. Someone said that patriotism is the last refuge of cowards; those without moral principles usually wrap a flag around themselves, and the bastards always talk about the purity of the race. National identity is the last bastion of the dispossessed. But the meaning of identity is now based on hatred, on hatred for those who are not the same. Hatred has to be cultivated as a civic passion. The enemy is the friend of the people. You always want someone to hate in order to feel justified in your own misery. Hatred is the true primordial passion. It is love that’s abnormal. That is why Christ was killed: he spoke against nature. You don’t love someone for your whole life – that impossible hope is the source of adultery, matricide, betrayal of friends … But you can hate someone for your whole life, provided he’s always there to keep your hatred alive. Hatred warms the heart.” (Umberto Eco, from The Prague Cemetery)
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What I bought – 2 December 2015

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We lay very still. I could feel the air around us changing, blooming and shimmering like the air over a scorching road. My heart was speeding, or hers was banging against my chest, I’m not sure. I turned Cassie in my arms and kissed her, and after a moment she kissed me back.

I know I said that I always choose the anticlimactic over the irrevocable, and yes of course what I meant was that I have always been a coward, but I lied: not always, there was that night, there was that one time. (Tana French, from In the Woods)
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What I bought – 23 September 2015

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Fat Charlie tried to remember what people did in prison to pass the time, but all he could come up with was keeping secret diaries and hiding things in their bottoms. He had nothing to write on, and he felt that a definite measure of how well one was getting on in life was not having to hide things in one’s bottom. (Neil Gaiman, from Anansi Boys)
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What I bought – 9 September 2015

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“I suppose one could say that Hitler didn’t betray his self.”

He turned.

“You are right. He did not. But millions of Germans did betray their selves. That was the tragedy. Not that one man had the courage to be evil. But that millions had not the courage to be good.” (John Fowles, from The Magus)
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What I bought – 2 September 2015

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After a gloomy silence, he told me a story: “I was sitting in a taxi, and the driver said to me, oh, we have to thank the whites for many things. They brought roads, bridges, tall buildings, things we didn’t know how to do. Before, we lived very poor lives. Well, I didn’t argue with him. What’s the point? That would be an argument without end. I mean, it is now dogma in all our schools that the African people lived in mystic harmony with nature, that they somehow intuitively understood the interdependence of ecological systems, without ever having to articulate them. As well articulate the air you breathe, when it is merely self-evident! Huh! I come from such a village. Perhaps some people can watch someone smearing dung on a floor and talk about the sophisticated reuse of materials, but I tell you, once they try concrete they never go back to dung. Live in natural harmony with the African wildlife, did they? Didn’t kill all the game? They would have if they could. They didn’t because they couldn’t. Look what happens when you give them AK-47s! No more elephants!”

“What did you say to the cab driver?” I asked when he’d wound down.

“Oh, I didn’t argue,” the professor said. “I just asked him where he lived. He lived in a slum in Harare. I asked him if he preferred the village. He said he did. But he can’t make any money there. So that what I told him. That’s what the white man really brought to Africa. The idea of money. The rest is all frills.” (Marq de Villiers and Sheila Hirtle, from Into Africa)
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What I bought – 26 August 2015

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“Wherever you will find empty land, there are men who try to get closer to God.” (Don DeLillo, from The Names)
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What I bought – 19 August 2015

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“I knew it,” Landsman says. “The minute I walked into the room and saw Lasker lying there, I said to myself, Landsman, this whole case is going to turn on a question of pie.” (Michael Chabon, from The Yiddish Policemen’s Union)
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What I bought – 1 July 2015

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The Old One said, “It is not an easy thing to refuse to be worshipped.” (Madeleine L’Engle, from A Swiftly Tilting Planet)
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What I bought – 24 June 2015

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She even learnt the language of a strange country which, Signor Tosetti had been told, some people believed still existed, although no one in the world could say where it was. (The name of this country was Wales.) (Susanna Clarke, from Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)
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DCYou and You, Week Four

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After a big week 3, this week DC only released three of the DCYou books. That seems like poor planning. They couldn’t have held a few from last week for this week? Oh well – let’s check them out!
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DCYou and You, Week Three

Big week for DC this time around – third weeks always seem to be huge – but were the comics any good? Go below the cut … if you dare!
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