Logicomix is an intense comic book about one of the most influential thinkers, mathematicians and philosophers: Bertrand Russell. It is also a highly unique and a visionary kind of book in the sense it brings to life the enigmatic lives of great scientists and philosophers. The art work is brilliant, and the pictures capture the essence of personal struggles, and the European and Victorian era of 1900's.
The story begins with a significant event in Bertrand's childhood: when he moves in with his grandparents into their mysterious and spooky Victorian mansion. His precocious curiosity, and all-consuming quest for logic and truth begins in his boyhood as a coping mechanism to deal with the strange disappearance of his parents, the ensuing loneliness, and a religious and strict grandmother who overtly and dogmatically preached god instead of telling Bertrand the truth about his family.
As Bertrand grows up, he finds out from the forbidden library that his mother and sister died of diptheria and his father died of heartache. He also uncovers that the haunting cry that spooked him on many nights emanated from an insane uncle who was locked up as a taboo in their mansion. As a kid, he is introduced to Euclid by his tutor and that changes the course of his life: mathematics becomes his way of life.
It is frightening and exhilarating to see the intensity with which Bertrand pursues logic. He studies mathematics, turns mad and poignant deciphering philosophy, and feels a gaping hollowness in his core while confronting the lack of a coherent philosophy or a core principle for all of logic and truth. So, he takes upon himself the arduous task of finding the most absolute and foundational truth and spends a decade building the foundation of mathematics, and despairing about the futility of the endeavor. This pursuit of rationality just about drives him insane.
The book explores an intriguing topic: the connection between madness and genius, insanity and eccentric. Insanity was a thing that Bertrand experienced rather closely: he and his wife had family members suffering from madness, his granddaughter commits suicide, his son ends up being schizophrenic and some of the greatest scientists of the time had gone insane including Kurt Godel, Georg Cantor and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The book concludes that insanity is a consequence of a flawed model of reality.
All in all, its a book that must be read for its a story that must be read.
This comic book spooked me a little. Its a graphic memoir about a dysfunctional relationship between a father and his daughter, and the secret identity of the father. To put it bluntly, the father is gay, and so is the daughter, but the father never admits the truth, and dies at the age of 44. The father, by family profession, happens to be an undertaker, and the fun house is a metaphor for the funeral home.
The book opens up to a father who is obsessive about the aesthetic decor of his house. He is perennially fussing about the furniture, and condemns his kids to cleaning chores and to assist him with his endless house projects. At that point, I never suspected the closet identity of the father, and therefore wasn't prepared for the darker tone the book assumes further into the story. The daughter mentions a lot of literary writers including Scott Fitzgerald who she thinks was her father's favorite author and his role model. The fact that the two died at the same age seemed too uncanny a coincidence as per the author.
While the writing is terrifyingly good, and the poetic references to literature are intriguing, it was challenging at times to wade through some of the text, and to decipher its precise meaning. Some of the scenes made me squirm, and some of the content unnerved me a little. The author feels positive that her father's death was a suicide. She speculates on some of the reasons that might have driven him to it: the fact that he was forced to hide his true identity, and his innate nature, and when the balance between conforming and being repressed exploded, her father couldn't take it any more, and killed himself. She cites several quotes and the literary content he was reading, which seemed to hint at the suicidal nature of her father.
The book talks about the father's time in the army, his subsequent courting of his present day wife, his male lovers including kids under eighteen, his obsession with his library and home decor, and his emotional detachment while being a mortician. The author reminisces about her times in the fun house, and how her father was totally indifferent while handling a dead body, he wasn't tense, but seemed just at ease, and hyper as his regular self. It did give me the creeps contemplating an adult who could be so cavalier about handling the dead. This book is also about the author's journey into discovering and coming to terms with her sexual identity.
On the whole, this book put me in a sad state. It just seemed that some people never take/get the chance to live their one true life, and in the end they perish as a neurotic entity. The author thinks that because her father lived his whole life in a small town where people judged and disparaged other people way too often, he never could venture out to be his gay self.
This book cites a lot of Albert Camus books, which was interesting. It has received a lot of critical acclaim, and the author is recognized for her literary superpowers. So, I would recommend reading this book, but be prepared for a little bit of recondite prose, and a discomfiting theme.
Chew is a hilarious, imaginative and grotesque work of art. By grotesque, I mean the protagonist is a cop with an ability to receive telepathic images from the murdered victims of a homicide, but to harness that power, he has to chew upon the meat of the dead carcass, which is obviously unimaginably horrific, and every time I saw the image of the poor lad grimacing and nibbling at dead meat, it made me squeamish.
Tony Chu, the brave protagonist, lives in a world where chicken is a rare commodity, and has been banned due to deaths resulting from bird flu. He walks into a labyrinth of crime surrounding illegal chicken, the kidnapping of his brother and a famous food critic, and the betrayal of one of his partners. He kicks butt, walks into danger, and saves his brother and the heroine. He is cynical, jaded, and juvenile.
The best part about the series is the grisly humor, the interactions between different characters, and the bizarre superpower of the protagonist. The art definitely complements the jarring elements of the underworld and the comedy weaved so perfectly together. My only qualm is that the story got a little lackluster towards the end, and a little too convoluted in a way that it detracted from the simplicity and the smoothness at the start of the book. Nevertheless, its worth a read.
Saga Volume 1: Saga is a science fiction adventure. At its core is a love story between a soldier from the planet Landfall and a captured soldier from the moon orbiting Landfall. Landfall and its moon are at war, and creatures from the two warring worlds are prohibited from engaging in relationships of any kind. Shortly after the two protagonists elope, have a child and seek a safer, better world, they are chased by the powerful dictators of Landfall, and a former fiance of the male protagonist.
Book One in the series was enjoyable and intriguing, the art is excellent and the characters are an interesting, eclectic mix: an eccentric writer, a quirky ghost, a Hitman with conscience, a jilted fiance, a supernatural cat, two former soldiers turned pacifists and so on. I liked that there's a planet called Quietus, and that a subversive book with a strong metaphor is one of the central elements of the plot.
As much as I did enjoy this book, it was not as sacrilegious, mad and anarchic as some of the other comic books I have read. It's more mellow, has a milder tone, the story moves in a predictable direction, and and the art work is more vibrant than dark, and ominous. Nevertheless, its gripping, the love story has its endearing moments and the narration, the action, the story is well executed.
The love for books & a hunger for stories was programmed into my DNA. And, sooner than later, life experiences sealed the deal. Books have saved me, transformed my life, enlightened me and have shown me the path I must walk. In a way, far too many books have played the role of kindred spirits and guides, leading the seeker in me to answers and paving a way for a new way of life. Books have helped me keep my wits, my sense of wonder, my sense of mystery and curiosity & my sanity in a life that has been anything but predictable and normal.