What is your faux-erudite blogger reading this week?
I’m about 60 pages into Ronan Bennett’s The Catastrophist, and it’s decent enough so far. It’s a story set in the Belgian Congo in 1959, into which comes a cynical novelist who gets caught up in the Congolese independence movement through his idealistic lover. This means that Patrice Lumumba shows up, of course. My wife and I watched a documentary about Lumumba years ago, and as we knew what happened to him, whenever something occurred that took him closer to his fate, we said to each other, “No good can come of this.” Since then, whenever we watch something on television, we call something that we know will lead to disaster a “Lumumba moment.” We use it quite often. I’m not sure you care, but there’s your peak behind the curtain of the Burgas marriage. You always need small things that only you share!
As for comics, well, I dove into Jim Starlin’s Adam Warlock stories, which are, to say the least, batshit insane. I’m not sure yet if it’s more batshit insane than Starlin’s other 1970s space epic featuring Captain Marvel, but it’s getting there. I just read Strange Tales #181, which features, I kid you not, Stan Lee, John Romita (Sr., I assume), and Roy Thomas as clowns and Len Wein and Marv Wolfman as alien brainwashers. Oh, that wacky Starlin! It also features a villain with a white Afro, because why the hell not? Starlin’s critique of Catholicism is way over the top, much like it was a few years later in Dreadstar, but that’s cool. I do like how Warlock #9, which followed the story from Strange Tales, claims on the cover that it’s Warlock in his own mag at last and is a “premiere issue.” Okay, it had been two years since Warlock #8 had come out, but why would Marvel continue the numbering, especially because there had been Adam Warlock stories in a completely different title? It’s very odd. But they’re good comics, and they’re now in a handy Masterworks format!
What’s flying off your bookshelf today?