Comics celebrity playlist: Alex Robinson
As many of you have noticed, lately I've incorporated more comics content into C&T. Why not, eh? I don't know how many of the blog's readers regularly pick up a comic book or graphic novel, but when done effectively the medium can be on par with the best in television or film. Heck, maybe better.
For those whose tastes extend beyond the superhero genre, one of the premiere writers is Alex Robinson. His graphic novels Box Office Poison (2001) and Tricked (2005), both published by Top Shelf Productions, were universally praised and the recipients of several significant industry honors. Each has been frequently described as a "slice-of-life" book, with Box Office Poison focusing on young professionals in New York and Tricked a window into the lives of six seemingly disconnected individuals whom fate brings together. A companion to Box Office Poison titled BOP! was released in 2003. If you're looking to get into indie comics without a hint of capes and tights, these are a nice place to start.
Next month Robinson will release Alex Robinson's Lower Regions, a bit of escapism from real-life stories that features no dialogue and a sexy barbarian battling monsters in a cave. Top Shelf's blurb says it's a "[u]nique blend of cheesecake, mayhem, and humor." He returns to more reality-based material next year with Too Cool to be Forgotten, which will be about a high school kid in the glorious 1980s. If his track record is any indication I imagine it will be getting a lot of attention in 2008. Even if you wouldn't normally reach for a graphic novel before bed, I encourage you to check this stuff out.
Since this remains a music blog, I've asked Robinson himself to submit a playlist of songs he's enjoying at the moment. Below are his contributions, which I'm pleased to share with several available for download. Thanks Alex! Hopefully I'll be able to do this more in the future.
Alex Robinson's Comics Celebrity Playlist
Jonathan Coulton - "The Presidents"
I found out about Coulton a few months back and he's a favorite of mine at the moment. I especially like this one because it combines my love of U.S. history and novelty songs.
1990s - "You Made Me Like It"
This album was recommended to me by itunes and what do you know? I actually like a bunch of their songs. Catchy power pop.
Pink - "Crash and Burn"
I don't know if the pop charts have gotten better or I just don't care as much about appearing cool but I find myself enjoying mainstream songs more than I did, well, ever before. I think Pink has some really great songs, and right now I really like this one. Amazingly/annoyingly, this wasn't on the CD I bought but was a bonus track on itunes.
XTC - "I'm the Man Who Murdered Love"
I was very saddened to learn that XTC frontman Andy Partridge had more or less thrown in the towel and stopped making music because I loved their later albums. Every group should have a swan song as awesome as "Wasp Star," the album featuring this terrific song.
Goldfrapp - "Lovely 2 C U"
Another change I've undergone over the years is a growing taste for electronic, dance-oriented music that my college self would've sneered at or at least been embarrassed to admit to listening to. Screw you, younger-version-of-me, I like it.
Tom DiMenna - "Ode to Fredo"
The best sort of novelty song is one that you can listen to not-closely and not even realize it's funny, as is the case of this clever song. It's a song about hapless Fredo Corleone, from THE GODFATHER movies, and, like the character himself is both amusing and heartbreaking at the same time.
The Ark - "One of Us is Gonna Die Young"
More catchy pop, this time from Sweden of all places. I used to have a theory that non-English speaking peoples (usually) couldn't make good rock songs but either I've changed, they've changed or the good stuff is finally getting heard because I have canceled my subscription to that theory. I like upbeat songs which have sad lyrics, as this one does.
For more on Alex Robinson, zip on over to his website.