RARA-AVIS: . . . excursions

Myshmysh (Myshmysh@aol.com)
Thu, 22 Jan 1998 14:07:12 EST Just returned from Sweden and a less hardboiled burg than Stockholm I've never
been in. You'd think the 18 hours of darkness would be good for the bad, but
the Swedes just ain't wired that way. (However, in a funny twist I talked to
a couple of people about the "plague" of youth-violence they're experiencing.
A young man of what the Swedes call "mixed parentage" (in his case
Colombian--Swedish) told me all about his fights because of his skin color.
An older man earlier had told me in essence "boys-will-be-boys" while fondly
remebering the dance hall he frequented in his youth in order to beat up the
boys from the next town over. The more things change . . . )

Anyway, enough sociology. The reason I write today: Leaving Sweden I needed
reading material for the long trip USward. In a newstand at the airport there
was a whole f**king wall of english language paperbacks, many of them
acceptably HB. I snagged Ellroy's autobio _My_Dark_Places_. I'm not much of
a fan, but being stuck on planes for a day was a good place to give Ellroy
another go.

What a fascinating book. Ellroy's style suits the autobio pretty damned well,
better I think than his novels. This is old news to many of you, but I had
not realized his mother was murdered when he was a child, that he was a petty
criminal and drug addict, that he writes about his very real demons rather
than imagining new ones (I know someone on this list must have mentioned
these; like I said, I'm not a fan so probably wasn't paying attention, curse
me). Hellfire, I recommend this one heartily despite the fact that his editor
left in way too many pronoun mistakes.

Catching up:
Thanks, Mr. Reasoner, for reminding me that Grimjack was John Ostrander's. I
didn't get all the way to Sable this X-mas, but remember it fondly, though
don't recall it being nearly as HB as Grimjack. I'll dig Sable out next time.

Frank Miller has done a lot of good work over the years. Too good. I share
Mr. Reasoner's impression that Dark Knight had an undue and rotten influence
on comics (what? those weren't your words?), especially the superhero genre.
Unambiguous escapism is harder to come by these days. It didn't take long for
life to invade the four-color world once First Comics refused to follow the
Comics Code in the early 80s, while at the same time eschewing the label
"adult". Why, anyone can walk into any comic shop and buy Sin City!


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