Monday, November 27, 2006

Graphic Novel A Day:
In an effort to shrink down my ever-growing pile of graphic novels to read, and to finally clear off my night table so I can read more novels and actual books at night, I have decided to embark on a new plan: A graphic novel a day. I will read at least one graphic novel each day, and most likely post about it here. Often-times, it will be an informational post of what it's about, who published it and a link to buy it at Amazon (or somewhere else if not available). Think 4th grader's book report, done about midnight the night before it was due. Plenty of times, I'm sure, it will be a note along the lines of "Yesterday's graphic novel was X. Published by X, here's the link."

I reserve the right to quit if a graphic novel isn't engaging me and to count that as a book read for the day. I also reserve the right to cheat and skip days, especially Tuesday, when I work until midnight, podcast and then read all my comics for the week. If I'm reading a big graphic novel, like one of the Marvel Essentials on my pile, I might let that slip over more than one day.

I currently have over 60 graphic novels ready to read, and that's not counting the half-dozen to a dozen graphic novels I buy every month. So this will probably go on for a while. I will either keep doing this for a good long time or quit when I lose interest. Knowing myself as I do, I'd vote for the latter, but I'm hoping for the former.

The Surrogates
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Brett Weldele
Cost: $19.95 ($13.57 at Amazon)
Company: Top Shelf

The Surrogates is a sci-fi story set around the 2050s in Atlanta (Venditti's home town) about a U.S. in which 92% of the population rarely goes out, instead living their lives through mechanical surrogates which channel feelings and experiences back to them. There's a lot of interesting sociological changes as a result of this technology, and the core of the plot is about two cops investigating a fanatic who is running around destroying surrogates and encouraging people to live, which seems to link to a religious fanatic who runs an anti-surrogate cult on a reservation negotiated when he and his followers rioted many years ago. Good sociological exploration, characters, action and a tightly plotted story, not to mention Weldele's moody art, make it a winner. There's also a ton of extras, from those that existed in the single issues like the back cover ads for the surrogate company that look real or the text pieces examining the surrogates or the backstory of the world and its characters to those that are new, including deleted scenes, design sketches and pinups from a variety of artists. Features Top Shelf's usual excellent production values and design work, and is well worth the $20.

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