What I'm reading - <i>The Master and Margarita</i>; <i>Back Issue</i> #38

Who has time to read? We all do, right?

A few years ago, I read an unusual "biography" of Pontius Pilate that went into how literature has viewed him, and the author referred quite often to Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, which sounded interesting. So I went out and got it, and now I'm reading it! I'm only about 70 pages in (Woland has just thrown Styopa out of the evil apartment, in case you're familiar with the book), and it's quite good. Bulgakov wrote it in the 1930s but it wasn't published until years later because of the censorship in the Soviet Union. It's about the devil coming to Moscow, which causes some problems among the people, who were, of course, supposed to be atheists. It's a quietly humorous book, full of rather biting commentary about the state of Russia at the time (it's not surprising it was suppressed), and I'm looking forward to continuing with it. I've only read one chapter dealing with Pilate, but Bulgakov's portrayal of Jesus is very interesting - he's definitely mystical, but he's also a bit of a jerk.

I also started digging through Back Issue magazine, which is always a good, dense read. This issue is about "family" in comics, and there's a very, very long article about John Byrne's Fantastic Four, a piece on Ultron, an interview about Power Pack, and if you've been wondering what June Brigman has been up to, you can find out in this issue! (And you totally were wondering, weren't you?) There's even something about the Wonder Twins. Oh yes. I dig Back Issue quite a lot, as it is packed with cool stuff about all sorts of comics. It's only seven bucks, and it's totally worth it. And you can get them digitally even cheaper, if you're all new-fangled!

What's keeping you away from the television this week? Don't be shy!

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