Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Top Ten (May 2010)

As always, in no particular order:

1. THE ENEMY. Serge Bloch is awesome. I'm not sure who this book is for. Poignantly written by Davide Cali. Perfectly illustrated by Bloch. It's the format of a picture book and it's published (American) by Schwartz + Wade (kid bookers, though they certainly do some interesting, edgy stuff--I'm a big fan). It's about two soldiers fighting each other in war (ultimately, it's peace). I think the word "kill" is used more than once. For kids? Pretty brutal, methinks, for young 'uns, but I'm really digging it. And anything Bloch's doing, I'm all over it.

2. MIKE AND IKE BUBBLE GUM. It's no secret--I like gum. I found this new gum. It's the best of two candy worlds. Classic bubb gum, with the flavors of original Mike and Ike chewy candies. Have you ever had those awesome "hot dog" gums? It's like that. But fruity flavor. Oh yes.

3. THE CARDTURNER. The best way to describe this new book by Louis Sachar is, simply put, ballsy. Sachar has taken a chance here and written a book for young readers that is heavily about a game of cards called bridge. I didn't know much about bridge before I read this (still don't), but what I knew is that old people like it. I believe this may be true, but can't say for sure. Anyhow, it's a ballsy book and it's got a cool core of characters, twisty plot, and a very weird, overly complicated game of cards (plus a very unique and clever way to get around the card stuff if it absolutely don't interest you).

4. MEMORIAL DAY PICNIC. For Memorial Day weekend, many of Julie's fam flew in from various corners of the country to pay homage to the late, great family matriarch, Sylvia Halpern. It was a wonderful weekend, as many of us now have varying ages of wee babes. And we see so little of each other. Very fun.

5. THIS TREME VID: As reported last month, Julie and I have been swept up by HBO's new drama, Treme. I simply cannot say enough good about this show. It's so freakin right. Sometimes it just chills you right to the bone. This is one of those moments. In New Orleans, even a funeral procession (2nd line) can be drop dead gorgeous. Here, it's beautifully shot. Beautifully edited. Just plain beautiful.

6. REBIRTH BRASS BAND (in the vid w/ TROMBONE SHORTY). TREME has inspired me to dig around for some New Orleans music. It helps that the show has lots of great music and easy leads to kick off from. Rebirth, for one, is a good place to start.

7. KALA. Better late than never? I just heard this not-so-new album from M.I.A. Like her first one, it's a crazy combo of hard-hitting politics and hard-hitting hip hop (dance?--forgive me, I'm old). Liking it.

8. DRUMS, GIRLS, & DANGEROUS PIE. It's so cool being married to a librarian. And Julie is amazing at finding the right book for the right person. In fact, she's gifted. I actually had heard of this book, by talented Jordan Sonnenblick, years ago, but never got close enough to it to read. All along, I thought it was just another book about a teenager who goes through the usual "stuff". Little did I know it is not.

9. OOH POO PAH DOO. One more TREME nod this month. One of those chilling moments is when an airport band performs this New Orleans classic. I wish I could find a vid snapshot someplace, but I could not. Here it is done up old school, by Jessie Hill. Great song.

10. WILSON. I am not a HUGE Daniel Clowes fan. Don't get me wrong, I am certainly a fan. He is an amazing cartoonist. But what separates me from huge and average fandom is the gut-wrenching bleakness of his stuff. Man can get you down. But I definitely enjoyed this book. I had many laugh-out-loud moments while reading. Pretty bleak. But pretty funny. I'm sick.


Frank Dormer said...


Serge Bloch has a blog that I try to visit each day:

I visited him at his last show, he'll be pleased at your comments.


Matthew Cordell said...

Thanks, Frank. Sounds like we've got similar taste in pen/inkers (tho is SB brush/ink?). That's cool you got to meet him. His drawings are amazing!

Frank Dormer said...

He uses india ink and a bamboo pen for his book art, and most of his other work too.


Chloe Donile said...

drums girls and dangerous pies is my favorite I also like his other book Notes from the midnight driver.

Matthew Cordell said...

Thanks for the tip, Chloe. Will check that one out too. DRUMS was a good one. I just finished his new sequel to DRUMS called AFTER EVER AFTER, written from lil' bro Jeffrey's perspective. Also nicely done!