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What I'm reading: <i>Journey</i>, <i>The Tick</i>

I'm stealing an idea from Tim Callahan, mainly because I love reading the responses he gets. I'm fascinated by what other people are doing with their free time!

This week I'm making my way through William Messner-Loebs' Journey, the second volume of which was recently released by IDW. Those people who know Messner-Loebs primarily through his DC work, such as The Flash (the post-Crisis relaunch), Impulse, and Wonder Woman, might be surprised to know he wrote and drew this 27-issue series in the mid-1980s. Journey is the story of Wolverine MacAlistaire, a frontiersman in the Northwest Territories (Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and the area around those states) in the early 1800s. Messner-Loebs has a beautiful sense of the wilderness, and his characterization (of dozens of characters) is excellent. It's a bit of a narrative mess, in that many things feel tangential and irrelevant, but the interaction between the characters keeps it hopping, and it's wonderful to look at. It's very funny, highly informative, and occasionally devastatingly tragic. I'm about a quarter of the way through volume 2 (I had to re-read volume 1, which came out some time ago), and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all ends.

I'm also reading The Tick: The Complete Edlund, which collects the first twelve issues of the series, almost all written and drawn by the Tick's creator, Ben Edlund. The collection is published by New England Comics and is as goofy as you would expect. It's also a bit uneven, but the fact that it's pretty damned funny (albeit somewhat dated) makes it work. And Edlund's art is superb. And yes, Moment #42 is in this trade. It's quite hefty, too, with lots of extra junk in there to keep even the most jaded comics fan happy!

I'm about to begin Clive Barker's The Inhuman Condition, a collection of short stories from his youth. It's been years since I read a Barker book (Imajica, if you must know), so I'm curious to read this from back when he was writing pure horror. I'll let you know next week if I'm still reading it!

So, what are YOU reading on this fine Monday?

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