I'm gonna start to paste excerpts of Finnegans Wake at the top of my entries, because too many people in the world will never skim this book, and this is the perfect book to skim. Read it out loud--the words roll off your tongue in a cool way.
This wagrant wind's awalt'zaround the piltdowns and on every blasted knollyrock (if you can spot fifty I spy four more) there's that gnarlybird ygathering, a runalittle, doalittle, preealittle, pouralittle, wipealittle, kicksalittle, severalittle, eatalittle, whinealittle, kenalittle, helfalittle, pelfalittelgnarlybird. (10:29-34)
And even if Humpty shell fall frumpty times as awkward again in the beardsboosoloom of all our grand remonstrancers there'll be iggs for the brekkers come to mournhim, sunny side up with care. So true is it that therewhere's a turnover the tay is wet too and when you think you ketch sight of a hind make sure but you're cocked by a hin. (12:12-17)
I finished Kevin Hiuzenga's Or Else #4 last night. He has a book out from Drawn & Quarterly called Curses, which is a buncha short stories he cartooned over a few years. Kevin Huizenga's
(high-zin-ga) a genius for the precise reason that I can't pinpoint a single reason why he rocks. That may be my lack of history with (and infrequent contempt for) lit theory, but I also have a really hard time pinning down exactly what he do in his comics that I like so much.
F'rinstance. In all the stories of H's that I've read, a suburbian Michigan...ite? onian? named Glenn Ganges is the central/anchor character, and it's no different here. The first story follows Glenn as he researches a 19th/early 20th century short story called "Green Tea" and how that story seems to intrude on his own life. Another story in the collection talks about the history of one of America's most bothersome and environmentally damaging non-native-but-introduced-by-crazy-Englishmen birds. Another one, "28th Street" is based off an olf Italian folktale called "The Feathered Ogre" in very literal ways. Another one, the most avant-garde piece, I think, is a bunch of panels depicting serene mountain-and-lake scenes from old Chinese paintings, narrated by a real transcript of a report of an abortion from an abortion clinic. Another, and probably my favorite, is a really long, really well-researched, really very good piece about a conservative Christian trying to write a strictly theological book on hell.
The book I just read of his has a bunch of mundane (but great) stories in the first half, and then sort of thematically explodes into a satire on commercialization and then sorta structurally explodes by doing just about anything with regards to panel transitions and where they take place on the page--all the while keeping it simple. Somehow. You'll have to read it.
It's great. It's so great. I mean, Alan Moore's my favorite writer because he's way into the idea of never doing the same kinda story twice, which he succeeds in for the most part. But Huizenga really goes nuts with the idea. I'm in awe of Moore's talent, but a lot of the time I can see where he got this or that idea for a story. With Huizenga, none of his stories are so bizarre that I can't understand where he's coming from, but I really can't see how he gets there in the first place. I'd be intimidated to even talk to the guy. But in the meanwhile, his books are entertaining and intelligent and beautiful all at the same time, and in a completely fresh and new way, whatever that means.
You can see the first couple pages of one of his short stories here. You can buy a few of his books somewhere near there. I can't recommend it enough. He also has a blog.