Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Quick Comic Reviews

Action Philosophers #1
by Fred Van Lente & Ryan Dunlavey
I've never been much for studying philosophy. Oh sure, I've picked up some of the basics just by reading and paying attention, but it's never really held much interest to me. But with Action Philosophers, Van Lente & Dunlavey have found a way to make philosophy fun. These are all true stories of influential philosophers, their lives and thought, but told with a humorous touch that is somewhat reminiscent of Larry Gonick. Plato is presented as a failed professional wrestler (which he was before going into philosophy); Bodhidharma is presented as a Kung Fu master (which he was); and Nietzche is presented as a self-absorbed a$$hole (which he was). The facts would appear to be correct (they include references at the end of the comics), but the presentation is fun and humorous. It's a good way to get a cliff's notes version of philosophy in fun comic book form.
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)

Or Else #2
by Kevin Huizenga
I was a little lukewarm in my review of the first issue of Huizenga's Or Else--it was good, but it obviously didn'y strike me as much as it did others. But this second issue: very good stuff. It starts off with a couple of interesting slice-of-life style stories, but takes a left turn into wonderful experimental territory with "The Sunset," then continues in the related story "The Moon Rise," wherein Huizenga gives us a little lesson in art and science. Six bucks for what is essentially a thick minicomic may seem a bit pricey, but it's worth it when the quality is high. This is one to look for.
Rating: 4 (of 5)

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