Most of the books on this site, and most of the books I read, are rather sad. So is much of what I talk about in this blog. It’s part of my vocation, for one thing. Right now there are books on pandemics, flu and AIDS, waiting to be read. There are also at least two books on the misuse of statistics. Another portion of what I read is about pain in the world. Right now there are books about child soldiers and torture. These make my list because I think that a citizen needs to understand suffering. Though plenty in my life is painful, other parts of the world need explanation.
Not everything I read is sad, though. Science fiction appears from time to time. So do children’s books. In a similar vein, this post summarizes some comic books. The blogroll contains the online comics PhD Comics and xkcd, obviously. In the printed paper, my favorite current works are Get Fuzzy and Frazz. I have all four treasuries of Get Fuzzy, of which The Potpourrific Great Big Bag of Get Fuzzy is the latest. I give this book a 3 out of 5. It’s funny. Bucky Katt is nasty, while Satchel Pooch is sweet, and Rob Wilco as the human tries to keep order. I appreciate the casualness at which dogs and cats can speak; it’s one of the funny parts. Everyone that visits just accepts the anthropomorphism. (And I can use anthropomorphism in my blog, yes! Amazing, it’s even in my spell checker.) I’m not sure if this is true. Dogs in my life are nasty, while some cats at least are nice. Then again, it is a comic book, and they can talk. Things can be different.
I also am a fan of Frazz. I own all three books, of which Frazz 3.1416 is the third. Frazz is set in a Michigan elementary school. Part of its appeal is the pro-education bias. Involved teachers are treated well, while inactivity, major sports, and stupidity get little quarter. Additionally, there’s a really sweet love story with Frazz and Miss Plainwell. I appreciate it a lot, so much so that I’ve previously reviewed the first two books. As before, I suggest this book. It also gets a 3 out of 5.
The third comic book continues one of my favorite TV shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The idea was to continue the stories, but without the budget. The first five issues were collected in The Long Way Home, which I picked up to take a look. My thoughts are mixed. The stories make sense, the characters still have their character, and I was entertained. I particularly liked the last story, a standalone entitled “The Chain”. But something is missing. It’s the medium, I think. Comic books are more reflective, and lose the immediacy and personality of TV. It’s different wit. When I think of the wit of Buffy the TV series, the comic can’t match that. I’m not a serious comic book guy, and it shows here. Buffy gets a 2 out of 5.