#811 “Blood of the Virgin”: About much more than filmmaking

Blood of the Virgin

On the surface, Sammy Harkham’s Blood of the Virgin is about an editor of b-movies in 1970s L.A. who has greater artistic aspirations, but it’s also rich with unexpected explorations of character and narrative approaches, themes about the creative process, responsibility, and being an immigrant, and Harkham’s best art and writing to date. Over a decade in the making, the book was finally released in a collected volume last year, and the work shows. Matt E. and Kumar can’t help but heap praise on it.

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#219 “Asterios Polyp”

Asterios Polyp

FLASHBACK! Reviews of Asterios Polyp blanket the Internet; why need we pile on? Well, for starters, to counteract all the reviewers who think that giving a story synoposis = explaining what the book’s about. That approach falls far short with Polyp, so Tim and Kumar are here to explain what they feel David Mazzucchelli’s masterwork graphic novel is really about! (Originally published February 15, 2010)

Stumptown annotations of Polyp

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#526 “Black Hole”

Black HoleIn Black Hole, Charles Burns examined coming of age, in a new and slightly creepy way. After losing their virginity, various teens are affected by something called The Bug. Does The Bug symbolize puberty, or something else? Kumar and Dana go back to take another look at this classic graphic novel.

#327 Two Tales of the Near East

Prince of Persia and HabibiCall it Orientalism, but Middle Eastern culture still carries a hint of romance in the Western imagination. This week, Tim and Brandon discuss two books in that vein:

Prince of Persia, by Jordan Mechner, AB Sina, LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland, coasts on notions of romance and intrigue in ancient Persia; meanwhile,

Habibi, by Craig Thompson, takes hold of Arabian Nights-type notions — as well as Islam — and uses them to express more universal themes.