odds and ends
By a wide margin, the best comic I’ve read this year is Smile by Rania Telgemeier. I just love the book to death and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I’ve previously enjoyed Telgemeier’s adaptations of The Babysitters Club for Scholastic, but Smile just stands heads and shoulders above those books. Detailing the author’s teenage years through her struggles with braces, Smile takes that device and runs with it. Each chapter brought a new crimp in Telgemeier’s unfortunate and uncomfortable problems with her teeth and how those literal aches were criss-crossed with the growing pains any young adult feels while making their way through middle and high school.
The cartooning in this book is tight and expressive. Telgemeier does an amazing job of evoking a time and a place while still managing to stay firmly rooted in today, a trick that must have been harder to pull off than she makes it seem here.
I also want to say how UNBELIEVABLY amazing the color in Smile is. Colorist Stephanie Yue knocks it out of the park and this is one of those comics that really underscores how important color can be to a book. The colors are bright but saturated in a way that makes the pages pop from start to finish. As much as I love Telgemeier’s cartooning, Yue OWNS this book and I don’t think I would have enjoyed it half as much as I did without her contribution.
A must read, a must buy, and if you’re looking for a great book to reach out to young readers, look no further.
Speaking of comics, I’m going to a comic book convention this weekend! The Cincinnati Comics Expo is, from what I gather, the first comic convention that the Queen City has seen in awhile. All sorts of guests are going to be at this convention including Michael Uslan (producer of the 1989 Batman movie), Tony Moore (original penciller on the Image Comics series The Walking Dead), a bunch of Golden and Sliver Age superhero artists, and a whole list of other people whose names I don’t recognize but will chalk that up to being behind the times on comic book stuff.
Ellen and I went to the Mid Ohio Comic Con last year and had a fun time, so I’m hoping for more of the same (on a smaller scale). I don’t plan on doing much shopping but hopefully I’ll be able to find some cool/weird comics for cheap. I have the weirdest/stupidest collecting goals right now, including trying to get all of the first 25 issues of Marvel Comics’ ALF comic book, which was a favorite of mine when I was a young ‘un.