Comics aficianado, scholar & journalist extraordinaire Chris Mautner asked me for a list of the books on my bedside table, which I'm assumably reading, for the weekly What Are You Reading over at Robot6.
These are the books on my bedside table, though some are by my drawing board, because I sometimes read when I’m in the middle of a deadline. I left off some of the books my daughters have left there so nobody'll think I'm reading Twilight, Horse Adventures or Captain Underpants (which, ok, I've read four times).
- The Art Forger’s Handbook by Eric Hebborn. Hebborn was a Cockney art forger and master of various art techniques who died under mysterious circumstances in 1996, and an entertaining writer. I figure this is a good skill to fall back on in case this whole cartoon thing heads south.
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I’ve never read much Dickens and I started this a year ago and I’m enjoying it very slowly.
- Ojingogo by Matt Forsythe. I just keep picking this up and looking through it over and over. It’s like a great silent animated fantasy you can hold in your hand.
- The Comic Worlds of Peter Arno, William Steig, Charles Addams and Saul Steinberg, by Iain Topliss. Topliss is an Australian academic and his prose can get a little dense, but he’s got a sharp eye and a sense of humor.
- Harvey Pekar: Conversations, edited by Mike Rhode. I’ve never read enough Pekar either, but I get a great introduction to the man in the 25 years of interviews Mike’s gathered here.
- Scoop by Evelyn Waugh. I reread this every few years, like I’m doing now, because it’s the greatest comic novel every written, along with A Confederacy of Dunces.
- Diaries: The Python Years by Michael Palin. Oh, this is fun to read! John Cleese says that Palin never shuts up, just yaps all the time. You can pick this up, read a few day’s worth of entries, and put it down a much happier man.
- Ordinary Victories, Parts 1 & 2 by Manu Larcenet. I wish I could draw comic realism as well as Larcenet, and tell a story so interestingly.
- The Complete Peanuts Volume 10 by Charles Shulz. Lucy gets mad at Schroeder and throws his piano to the kite-eating tree!!
- You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons: The World on One Cartoon a Day by Mo Willems. I wish I could do this too, but I’m glad Mo Willems did.