Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Did I like it? To my surprise, I liked a lot of it, though after a while I couldn’t stick with it. I discovered something that maybe graphic format readers already know: that when you read these kinds of books, the story’s facts come from the prose, but the emotions come from the illustrations. Because I am so oriented toward print instead of illustration I found myself just reading the prose and skipping the pictures and feeling like the stories were too flat. When I realized what I was doing I went back and looked at the pictures more closely and picked up more of the nuance. Still, it seemed like a lot of work and eventually I gave up.
Students for a Democratic Society is a graphic history of this group from its origins in the labor movement of the late 1950’s up through its disintegration in the early 1970’s. The book mostly consists of a series of reminiscences by and about members of the SDS. It’s certainly not a complete history of the SDS, nor does it claim to be. But it held my interest long enough to provide me with a good introduction to the format, and it inspired me to learn more about Harvey Pekar, who died a few months ago.
*Are you allowed to read during meals at your house? We are. Our kitchen table is usually heaped with books, magazines, and newspapers, and anyone may read during any meal except one that is officially designated as “family dinner,” for which we actually clear the junk off the table. Sometimes during breakfast there is no noise at all except for the crunching of cereal and the flipping of pages.
**College-age boys home on break leave their stuff everywhere. Everywhere.
(Book 1, 2011)