Comic Book Club December Meeting: Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth

We’re already at the end of the decade, the 2010s are coming to an end as the Ash Ave Comic Book Club soldiers on!  We are concluding 2019 with one of the most acclaimed works of comics released in the 21st century, Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth a collection of stories from his series Acme Novelty Library (which to be fair was published serially in the last century), and is the winner of The American Book Award, 2001; The Guardian First Book Award, 2001; The Harvey Awards’ Special Award for Excellence in Presentation and Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work, 2001; The Eisner Awards’ Best Publication Design and Best Graphic Album: Reprint, 2001; and The Angoulême Festival’s Prize for Best Comic Book and Prix de la critique, 2003. We’ll begin 2020 with the acclaimed miniseries Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles from Mark Russell and Mike Feehan.

Our meetings begin at 6 PM, and we recommend attendees BYOB (be it beer, beverage, or brisket).  Our reading group selections are available in the shop, so drop by to purchase a copy of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth for our December meetup. Listed below are our next two months of readings, and a photo and summary of the December selection:

Sunday, December 1: Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth

Sunday, January 5: Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles

This first book from Chicago author Chris Ware is a pleasantly-decorated view at a lonely and emotionally-impaired “everyman” (Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth), who is provided, at age 36, the opportunity to meet his father for the first time. An improvisatory romance which gingerly deports itself between 1890’s Chicago and 1980’s small town Michigan, the reader is helped along by thousands of colored illustrations and diagrams, which, when read rapidly in sequence, provide a convincing illusion of life and movement. The bulk of the work is supported by fold-out instructions, an index, paper cut-outs, and a brief apology, all of which concrete to form a rich portrait of a man stunted by a paralyzing fear of being disliked.

Comic Book Club November Meeting: Hard Tomorrow

Ash Ave Comic Book Club’s November meeting will be a discussion of Eleanor Davis’ latest graphic novel Hard Tomorrow, released in early October by Drawn & Quarterly. We’ll be following this up with another critically acclaimed graphic novel, Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware, which we will be discussing for our final meetup of 2019 in December.

Our meetings begin at 6 PM, and we recommend attendees BYOB (be it beer, beverage, or brisket).  Our reading group selections are available in the shop, so drop by to purchase a copy of Hard Tomorrow for our November meetup. Listed below are our next two months of readings, and a photo and summary of the October selection:

Sunday, November 3: The Hard Tomorrow 

Sunday, December 1: Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth

Hannah is a thirty-something wife, home-health worker, and antiwar activist. Her husband, Johnny, is a stay-at-home pothead working-or “working”-on building them a house before the winter chill sets in. They’re currently living and screwing in the back of a truck, hoping for a pregnancy, which seems like it will never come. Told with tenderness and care in an undefined near future, Eleanor Davis’s The Hard Tomorrow blazes unrestrained, as moments of human connection are doused in fear and threats.

 

Comic Book Club October Meeting: Batman Arkham Asylum 

Last month’s anniversary meetup was fantastic, lots of good discussion on the one of the all-time greats, Watchmen, and a new tote bag for the Comic Book Club designed by Kevin Layshock. Kicking off our sixth year, we’ll be discussing Grant Morrison and Dave McKean’s Arkham Asylum, and in November we’ll be reading Eleanor Davis’ The Hard Tomorrow.

Our meetings begin at 6 PM, and we recommend attendees BYOB (be it beer, beverage, or brisket).  Our reading group selections are available in the shop, so drop by to purchase a copy of Batman Arkham Asylum TP for our October meetup. Listed below are our next two months of readings, and a photo and summary of the October selection:

Sunday, October 6: Batman Arkham Asylum 

Sunday, November 3: The Hard Tomorrow 

 

The inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken over and are demanding Batman in exchange for their hostages. Accepting their demented challenge, Batman is forced to endure the personal hells of The Joker, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Two-Face and many other sworn enemies in order to save the innocents and retake the prison. During his run through this absurd gauntlet, the Dark Knight’s must face down both his most dangerous foes and his inner demons.

Comic Book Club Five Year Anniversary: We’re Finally Going to Talk Watchmen!

Wow. We’ve made it through five years of monthly (and often twice monthly) comic book readings and discussions and we arrive at the title that I (half heartedly) swore we would never read: the best known and critically acclaimed graphic novel of all time, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen.  In addition to our discussion I have some prizes lined up to give away, and there will probably be pizza and drinks and stuff too, after all this is the fifth anniversary of our first Comic Book Club back in September of 2014 (we discussed Paul Pope’s Battling Boy).

For October’s discussion (the beginning of our sixth year of Comic Book Club!) we will be following in our annual tradition of reading a horror title, and this year we will be reading and discussing Grant Morrison and Dave McKean’s Arkham Asylum.

For a complete list of what our reading groups have read in our fifth year of meetups, check out the list below as well as information for our September and October discussion groups.

September: Comic Book Club Four Year Anniversary Meeting: The Life & Times of Martha Washington + Transmetropolitan vols 3+4

October:  Wytches + Transmet vols 5+6

November: My Boyfriend is a Bear + Transmet vols 7+8

December: Batman White Knight + Transmet vols 9+10

January: Spider-Man Kraven’s Last Hunt

February: Monstress vols 1 + 2

March: Mister Miracle

April: Nextwave

May: Beasts of Burden Animal Rites

June: The Mask Omnibus Vol 1

July: Marshal Law

August: Eternals by Neil Gaiman

Our meetings begin at 6 PM, and we recommend attendees BYOB (be it beer, beverage, or brisket).  Our reading group selections are available in the shop, so drop by to purchase a copy of Watchemen TP for our September meetup. Listed below are our next two months of readings, and a photo and summary of the September selection:

Sunday, September 8: Watchmen TP

Sunday, October 6: Batman Arkham Asylum 

In a world where the mere presence of American superheroes changed history, the U.S. won the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon is still president and the Cold War is in effect. WATCHMEN begins as a murder mystery, but soon unfolds into a planet-altering conspiracy. As the resolution comes to a head, an unlikely group of reunited heroes-Rorschach, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias-must test the limits of their convictions and ask themselves where the true line between good and evil lies.

 

Comic Book Club August Meeting: Eternals by Neil Gaiman TP

One month through the relentless summer heat, and not much of a monsoon to show for it. oh well, at least we still have comics! The Ash Ave Comic Book Club is meeting Sunday, August 3 to discuss The Eternals, one of just a few stories from famed writer Neil Gaiman over at Marvel. This 2006 mini-series breathed new life into Jack Kirby’s late Marvel work, with John Romita Jr. providing pencils and inks, this mini-series brought The Eternals to a new audience at the tail end of Marvel’s epic Civil War mini-series, so there’s some timely Marvel continuity in the book, but it is also a completely stand alone read. Speaking of comics that either are or are not stand alone (depending on your stance re: two projects published without the original writer), we’ll be reading the most critically acclaimed comic book of the last 30+ years Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen for our Comic Book Club’s 5th anniversary this September.

Our meetings begin at 6 PM, and we recommend attendees BYOB (be it beer, beverage, or brisket).  Our reading group selections are available in the shop, so drop by to purchase a copy of Eternals by Neil Gaiman TP for our August meetup. Listed below are our next two months of readings, and a photo and summary of the August selection:

Sunday, August 4: Eternals by Neil Gaiman TP

Sunday, September 8: Watchmen TP

More than thirty-five years ago, comics legend Jack “The King” Kirby returned to the House of Ideas with perhaps his biggest idea of all: the universe of the Eternals! Their creation was the result of Kirby’s ceaseless curiosity about the origin of man and his mythologies – but like many of the King’s concepts, it was definitely ahead of its time. Flash forward to 2006: Superstar creators Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr. have boldly taken on these concepts with a loving hand, in the process telling a fresh and crackling fun yarn full of mystery, suspense and majestic power – all with an eye on helping establish Kirby’s creations as a vital part of the Marvel Universe once and for all. Against the backdrop of Marvel’s CIVIL WAR, the Eternals are being awoken one by one from a strange, waking dream, at once coming to terms with the fact that they are far more than the normal people they have thought themselves to be. They find there is little time to commiserate about such things, however, as they are thrust into a life and death struggle that spans both time and space! Collecting ETERNALS #1-7.