Weekly Reading Round-Up : 05/05/2019 – 05/11/2019, Alex Nall

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

It’s no secret that Chicago’s Alex Nall is one of my favorite cartoonists on the face of the goddamn planet. I’ve previously reviewed his long-form works Teaching Comics Volume OneLet Some Word That Is Heard Be Yours, and Lawns on this site, but for this week’s Round-Up column we’re going to look at four of his mins, not least because two of ’em are brand new and you should get your hands on them by whatever means possible! Or, ya know, just head over to his Storenvy site and see what he’s got, or bug him for what he doesn’t until he does. Here’s a link for that :http://alexnallcomics.storenvy.com/products

The Rain Is Slow Coming is one of his brand new ones, a wistful and lyrical “love letter” from a farmer to his daughter about the land they’re barely hanging onto by the skin of their teeth…

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Scenes That I Love: Norma Accepts Ed’s Proposal in Twin Peaks: The Return (R.I.P. Peggy Lipton)

As this day comes to a close, I have some sad news to report.  The actress Peggy Lipton passed away earlier today, at the age of 72.  While one generation may know her best as a star of 1960s television and others know her for her marriage to legendary music producer Quincy Jones (and as the mother of Rashida Jones), I knew Peggy Lipton as Norma Jennings, one of the few characters to get a happy ending in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return.

Norma was the owner of the Double R Diner and, for the most part, one of the few stable residents of Twin Peaks.  While the rest of the town was collapsing around her, Norma could usually be found in a back booth, going over expense reports and continually proving herself to often be the lone voice of sanity in her hometown.

The love affair between Norma and Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) was a story that ran through both the original Twin Peaks and the Showtime revival.  One of the big moments in the revival came when Ed, having finally gotten Norma to agree to give him a divorce, finally asked Norma to marry him.  It’s perhaps the most unabashedly romantic scene to be found in David Lynch’s filmography.  (Lynch did the scene in one take and, according to Lipton, was in tears by the end of it.)  It’s a scene that’s wonderfully acted by both McGill and Lipton, with both actors saying so much without saying a word.

And here it is, a scene that I love from Part 15 of Twin Peaks: The Return:


Christopher Adams Ushers You Through The Gates Of “Tack Piano Heaven”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

There needs to be a new word word in the English language for something less than a fixed and deliberate “event” and more than a random, happenstance “occurrence.” A middle ground of some sort that defines things that are happening, but are just — I dunno, happening.

Cartoonist and musician Christopher Adams has, to date, self-published two issues of his apparently-ongoing series Tack Piano Heaven, and if somebody does come up with this new word, it would describe the succession of less-than-events-more-than-occurrences that play out in its pages perfectly, but until then — shit, I’m kind of a loss to do so. I’ll do my best, but fair warning : it may not be good enough.

Which is, of course, what makes this comic so exciting and interesting — it’s literally impossible to pin down. Adams lays out pages in a way you’ve never seen before, intercuts his…

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Pulp Fiction #3: Batman At 80

cracked rear viewer

Whether you call him the Caped Crusader or the Dark Knight, it’s hard to believe Batman has been in the public eye for eighty years! Making his debut in Detective Comics #27 (cover dated May 1939) in a story titled “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate” by co-creators Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Batman has gone from mere comic book crimefighter to king of all media! Not bad for a poor little rich kid from Gotham City!


Artist Bob Kane (1915-1998) had been toiling in the nascent comic book field for three years when DC’s superhero character Superman took off like a rocket. Comic houses were scrambling to compete in this new genre of costumed cavorters, and Kane came up with some sketches of a masked vigilante, basing his design on Lee Falk’s Phantom, Douglas Fairbanks’ ZORRO, and the 1930 horror/mystery THE BAT WHISPERS. Kane asked writer Bill Finger…

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Music Video of the Day: It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over (1991, dir by Jesse Dylan)

I love this song.  It’s simple but it’s profound and I think the video works for the exact same reason.  Sometimes, you don’t need to be flashy.  You don’t need to show off.  Sometimes, you just have to let the music do its thing.