Tom Spurgeon wins

November 20, 2006

For his ability to look on the bright side.

Weekend reading

November 20, 2006

Sometimes I forget the awesome, palate-cleansing power of really well-executed shôjo fluff. After spending way too much time pondering four variations on the Train Man phenomenon, I was happy to remember that I had a proof copy of the second volume of Penguin Revolution sitting in my to-read pile.

It’s still delightful, and for all of the same reasons the first volume was. It’s nice to see a smart, tenacious protagonist handle a wide variety of personal and professional situations with aplomb. It’s even nicer that those situations are genuinely funny, and that the supporting cast is developing in entertaining ways.

And speaking of delightful, Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip so delivers on the promise of the Drawn & Quarterly Free Comic Book Day sample. (So did Get a Life, come to think of it. D&Q gets a retroactive A+ on that freebie.) The loopy, meandering sweetness of this strip is a perfect counterpoint to Jansson’s often barbed commentary on greed and status. It’s a perfect read for a drizzly afternoon, though I suspect it’s a delight under just about any meteorological conditions.

(Tiny nitpick: That band around the back cover was a really nice design element, but it covered up some of the biographical text, and it was bound too tightly to remove without tearing. This might not constitute a problem for anyone but me, but I felt like I was defiling a holy object or something.)

I’m so glad there are four more volumes to come, as I’m really eager to read more of Jansson’s work. I’d also like to try some of her prose, and if anyone can recommend a good biography, I’d be grateful. She sounds like a fascinating person.