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Comics from the past: G through M

Part 2 of 4 in a series of brief summary-reviews of comic books I’ve read in the past. The article covers titles beginning with G though M. I’ve also denoted recommended comics with the lightbulb ( 💡 ) icon

💡 Geisha, by Andi Watson. A limited 4-issue series. This comic is drawn in a slick, yet approachable manga style. Jomi is a cyborg who lives as a starving artist. Because she was raised in a human family, she frequently struggles with those who want to pigeonhole her as a mere machine. Especially art critics. It’s a cute story, containing amusing references to 1990s Japanese pop culture (e.g., the Angry Penguin bar à la Bad Badtz Maru).

💡 Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, by Gene Yang. My nose runs whenever I eat something hot, cold or spicy. My nose runs and clogs up whenever it is cold, wet or dry outside or inside. This comic is the epitome of nasal fixation, yet also contains keen insight regarding peer pressure. Discovered it APE V, but I still laugh out loud whenever I read it.

💡 The Invisibles, written by Grant Morrison, with artwork by several illustrators. Razor sharp, radical social commentary wrapped in a shiny, explosive package. Members of diverse subcultures (the Invisibles) fight against the conspiracy of the Establishment. This formula can be easily overused and trite, but with The Invisibles it becomes a raunchy adventure, full of idealism, that somehow works.

💡 Keif Llama, Xenotech. Matt Howarth. Keif Llama is a xenotech, who travels the galaxy solving issues amongst sentient aliens from a wild range of backgrounds. For example, investigating the sociobiological needs of gargantuan beings living in an oil-based ocean. Not without pitfalls, the life of a xenotech sounds like a dream job —certainly much better than torturing rodents as a wage slave. 😉

Life in Hell, by Matt Groening. My favorite collection is School is Hell, which I received as a present during college. Indeed, Groening’s observations are strangely accurate, including the declaration that middle school is the “deepest pit of hell,” and how college life boils down to sink-or-swim. Work is Hell and Love is Hell are excellent as well.

Loyola Chin and the San Peligran Order, by Gene Yang. After Gordon Yamamoto, Yang takes weird food combinations and sleep patterns to hilarious heights. I also like the character interactions between Loyola and Gordon. But the ultimate themes regarding faith and unmutable fate? Personally, I strongly disagree. This comic’s religious implications ended up clashing with my sensibilities.

Mister Blank, by Christopher J. Hicks. “What about Sam Smith?” “What about him? He’s a nobody. A bug.” It’s an interesting tale of how a faceless cog becomes the center of an odd conspiracy of biblical proportions. I liked Hicks’ use of clean, pleasant grey-scales, a technique which often looks cheap in other black and white comics.

💡 Mystery Date, by Carla Speed McNeil. I originally found this in Michael Cohen’s Mythography anthology, but McNeil has now collected the stories into a single volume. It’s about Vary, a young woman training to become a prostitute at a prestigious university. She also takes xenology classes, where two of the most intriguing professors challenge her views on romance, sex and (non)human behavior. Some of the Finder characters make an appearance as well.

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