Monday, September 13, 2010

Trial by Jury (Duty)

Jury duty was hell.  And it is not over.  We finished voir dire just before 5 PM and our judge tried to get a jury seated so any non-jurors would not have to come back again in the morning.  But it didn't work out and we got sent home at 6 PM.  I know people have to sit in offices from 8 AM to 6 PM everyday but this was the most exhausting day of sitting around on hard benches I have ever endured.

I caught up on reading the weekend editions of the New York Times and Washington Post.  Read the New Yorker, too.  And I finished Plunder Squad.  It was so so.  I don't think it ranks in my top five Parker novels (Butcher's Moon, Slayground, The Score, The Outfit, The Man with the Getaway Face) but it was okay for the most part.

Finally, I started Butcher's Moon (and after only a 100 pages it may be premature to put it at number one).  I am a bit embarrassed that I whined about the cover of this book the other day.  I know what's on the cover because I spend a lot of time staring at covers (of my own and of the beautiful scans that certain people, you know who you are, post online).  But no one else can see what is on the cover of a mass market paperback anyway.  Not a popular format.  Most everyone I saw was reading trade paperbacks.  And I spent a good deal of time looking at what everyone else was reading:

These were the only titles I could confirm.  I saw textbooks on interior design and securities trading.  In general, everyone was reading.  Lots of magazines, newspapers, books.  For all the talk about the death of print, there is still a lot of reading going on.  An orgy of reading almost.  And there were several people with Kindles.  (Note:  to the lady on my right, reading Game Change on your Kindle, I wasn't starting at you, I was just trying to figure out what you were reading.  Its really hard to do when there's no cover to look at.  You might want to re-think this Kindle thing.)  One lady was watching season one of The Wire on her laptop (which I ID'ed by the particular version of the theme song).  We own the complete series DVD box set - best xmas present ever.

I hadn't been able to pick up my comics the past two weeks.  Luckily, my comic shop is just a few blocks away from the courthouse I was in and I was able to drop in on my way home.   I got issues of the BRPD, Daytripper, Iron  Man, Hellboy, Proof, Sweet Tooth, and the Plague Ships.  And the 2010 issue of something called Tripwire, a UK comics magazine.  I read about it last summer but could never find copies so I automatically grabbed it when I saw it on the racks.  I think I will be reading it in court tomorrow.


Nick Jones (Louis XIV, 'The Sun King') said...

It's always interesting to see what other people are reading. I don't have any kind of commute to work anymore (I walk these days), so I'm slightly cut-off from what train commuters are reading these days. Probably Stieg Larsson.

Your taste in comics is impeccable. I've really gotta catch up with BPRD and Hellboy soon; I think I mentioned before I'm a couple of years behind. As for Tripwire, it's always a good read. It's put together by an acquaintance of mine, Joel Meadows – his Walls and Bridges blog is in my Blog List, down the right hand side of me blog.

Book Glutton said...

I walk to work every day, too. Which is probably why I had a field day bookspotting in the jury lounge and courtroom.

When I decided to start reading comics again two years ago, it was because I had several serious book readers tell me how good Y: The Last Man was. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the series and started to think it was wrong to turn my nose up (which is exactly what I was doing) at reading comics. While I was trying to figure out what to read, I kept seeing Mignola covers everywhere without knowing what they were - but I could recognize them instantly. They really jump out at you. So far, I am more of a word person in reading comics. A lot of the art work seems silly - or I have yet to learn to appreciate it. Jeff Lemire, Darwyn Cooke, David Mazzucchelli - those guys are all very interesting. Most DC/Marvel super hero art, not so. I went to the Louvre for the first time when I was five years old and wasn't very impressed. I figure it'll take a while for my sequential art sensibilities to mature.

I find it very moving how much the people/creatures in the Hellboy universe yearn to be human. Lots of pathos, I guess, combined with weird folklore and semi-Lovecraftian creatures - wonderful ingredients for a comic. And much better done on the page than on the screen, too. (Ron Perlman looks good as Hellboy on the screen but seeing the other semi-fantastic creatures on screen looks silly. Even if beautifully filmed.) Sometimes I don't get everything that's going on in Hellboy but I enjoy the heck out of the BRPD series. I think they're worth your time but I am still a novice at this.

Tripwire is a very fun read. I hope he does well enough to put out another issue next year.