Politics and Prose likes PAYING FOR IT, HARK!, ADVENTURES OF HERGE for 2011

“Politics and Prose Favorite Graphic Literature of 2011” / Politics-Prose / Adam, Frans, Hannah and Andras / January 3, 2012

Chester Brown’s Paying For It is shocking, exhibitionist and gratuitous, which makes this book a strangely thoughtful and well developed genesis of a man who not only justifies his use of prostitutes but also argues for the rights and privileges of prostitutes. As R. Crumb explains in his introduction, Chester Brown is a strange man. He seems almost devoid of normal human emotion, but has somehow found a whole new way at looking at love and sexual desire. This volume has a lengthy appendices and notes section, where Brown goes on at length about certain arguments for and against prostitution. His drawing style is simple, but attractive, and leaves the reader with a feeling of witnessing something clinical in a strange, uncolored and unbiased way.

Part rollicking history lesson, part fan-fiction, Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant takes the hilarious comics from her popular website and puts them into print with her own witty annotations. This book is like if Sunday morning comics from the 1980’s and school house rock had a love child, which in turn had a love child with the offspring of the Don’t Know Much About History and A Bit of Fry and Laurie series. Often, Beaton’s book is just silly and
that’s the way she likes it. Other times, the comics are surprisingly enlightening. Beaton has the answers to all your questions: Does Canadian history actually matter? Sort of. How many Watsons has Sherlock fandom created? Well, there’s Gay Watson, Stupid Watson, and Lady-Killer Watson...Vagrant’s art is as playful as its wit and the
book itself has an appealing layout, with series compiled together in theme. Whether you’re a lit nerd, history buff, comic fan, or just plain nerd, you’ll get a thrill out of Vagrant and leave feeling like the author is your new best, better educated friend.

Georges Prosper Remi, otherwise known as Herge, creator of Tintin, gets his very own adventure! Sure
it’s not as exciting as one of his Tintin adventures...but still, the famous cartoonist led a life worth reading about, especially if you’ve ever
enjoyed one of his many comics. This perfectly succinct biography, done in the clear line style by three of France’s lead cartoonists, is carefully researched, and fully indexed with a list of mini-bios of all the characters that made up Herge’s life. Reading this will make you want to re-read all those Tintin albums you haven’t touched since you were young!

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