Birthday book: Banana Sunday

July 14, 2009

The Comics Reporter notes that today is the birthday of the wonderfully talented cartoonist Colleen Coover. To commemorate the event, I recommend you track down a copy of Coover’s Banana Sunday (Oni), created with “Root Nibot.”

BANSUN TPB COVERTo persuade you, I’ll re-quote this line of dialogue from one of the three talking primates whose misadventures drive the story:

“I like to eat! Naptime smiles on Go-Go chest!”

Oh, Go-Go, I can find no fault with your logic, and I won’t even bother to try.

Anyway, the book is about Kirby Steinberg, a new student at Forest Edge High who arrives with three talking primates in tow. Wackiness — the really good kind — ensues. The book is a total charmer, and Coover is key to that:

“The biggest attraction here is the cartooning of Colleen Coover. The apes are adorable, particularly beetle-browed Go-Go. Coover packs the pages with small, funny touches, like the sequence where Kirby and company get ready for school. She has a way with sight gags, too, making excellent use of all of the discarded banana peels.”

Coover has been earning lots of love for her back-up stories in various Marvel titles, particularly those in X-Men: First Class. And I have to say, I would totally buy a collected edition of those stories.

Upcoming 7/15/2009

July 14, 2009

It’s a slim one, but let’s take a quick look at this week’s ComicList:

swallowingThe week’s standout (at least in terms of items actually confirmed to be shipping through Diamond) is Osamu Tezuka’s Swallowing the Earth (DMP). Early reviews have been mixed on some points, most notably a rather un-evolved portrayal of women, but we all know that any newly translated Tezuka is worth reading. And when it’s crazy early gekiga from Tezuka, it’s even worthier. Here’s part of the plot summary: “What brought this woman to conspire for decades against patriarchal society – against an entire gender – and can anything be done to stop her plans?”

littlemouseI don’t see it on the ComicList, but the weekly arrivals e-mail from the local shop indicates the arrival of Jeff Smith’s Little Mouse Gets Ready (Toon Books). As with Tezuka, anything from Smith is worth reading, and this book looks adorable: “There’s lots to do before Little Mouse is ready to go visit the barn. Will he master all the intricacies of getting dressed, from snaps and buttons to Velcro and tail holes?” Yes, it’s a book for children, but that’s never stopped me before, and it certainly isn’t going to stop me now.

If you find yourself with extra cash in the comics budget and a surfeit of new arrivals to meet your needs, you might head on over to Twitter and check out the weekly #mangamonday tweets. The recommendations range from hot-off-the-press items to vintage oddities.

And while it isn’t a new release yet, I’m thrilled to read Deb Aoki’s news that Last Gasp will be publishing a hardcover version of Fumiyo Kouno’s exquisite, extraordinarily moving Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms. I already own the softcover, but I’ll definitely go for the hardcover as well, then donate the paperback to the library.