The deeper you immerse yourself into any subject, the more you discover you don’t know about that subject. I’ve been watching movies for most of my life and have occasionally picked up books about them, but such books were never a serious focus. During the past few years, I’ve been very aware that there’s so much about film that I don’t know. I’ve started reading more these past few years and this year I read several books on film. None of them were a waste of time and several of them were very good. I’d like to share with you my favorite books on movies I read in 2016 (although only a few of them were actually published in 2016).
This time of year you can count on holiday shopping madness, eating too much and a proliferation of “Best of the Year” lists. I try to limit myself on the first two items (usually without success with either) but go nuts with my “Best of” lists.
During the next few weeks, I’ll be posting sporadically with several “Best of” lists that I hope you’ll enjoy. My first list should be a Best Books on Movies list. These won’t be books to movies, but rather books about movies, some new, some old. (I also look forward to reading your “Best of” lists.) See you then…
Photos: Lisa Renee Jones, Stumptown Blogger
As always, Gwen and I had a great time yesterday talking about two fantastic new comics for young readers, Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke (First Second) and Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (GRAPHIX/Scholastic). You can listen to that discussion here. Enjoy!
Video Tonfa (2016) Tim Goodyear
Floating World Comics
Trade paperback, 608 black-and-yellow pages
(Derek and I briefly discussed this book on our Alternative Comics publisher spotlight episode a couple of months ago on The Comics Alternative podcast.)
Video Tonfa scratches two of my most dedicated itches: movies and comics. Goodyear, who has worked in the Pacific Northwest in comics, zines and video for many years, has created a unique product: a journal of movies he’s watched over the years – reviews and drawings of the original poster art or VHS/DVD box art. Reading the book is almost like looking at someone’s diary, but I suspect most diaries aren’t nearly this much fun.
Death on the Cheap: The Lost B Movies of Film Noir (2000) Arthur Lyons
Da Capo Press
Trade paperback, 224 pages
Some of the best film noir movies are lean, no-nonsense productions that get you in and out usually in under 90 minutes. Death on the Cheap takes a similar approach, giving readers a quick but thorough history of film noir before tackling the rise and fall of B movies.
Gwen and I just recorded a new Young Readers episode of The Comics Alternative podcast which you can find here. And I’ll have some more comic-related news coming soon. Enjoy!
Although it’s been mostly movies around here lately, I have been reading some pretty interesting graphic novels:
Continuing to catch up with all the graphic novels I’ve read in 2016 so far. (You can read Part I here.) This list takes us up to March, which I’ll post later this month or early next month.
Although it may seem like it, I haven’t forgotten my comics and graphic novels in 2016, I’ve just forgotten to post them. Today I thought I’d get started on posting the books I’ve read since the New Year started… nearly two-and-a-half months ago!
Classics of the Silent Screen: A Pictorial History (1959) Joe Franklin
The Citadel Press
Hardcover, 249 pages
Writer Joe Franklin (1926-2015) was listed in the Guinness World Records as “the longest running continuous on-air TV talk show host,” beating Johnny Carson’s run by more than a decade. Franklin hosted a TV show on New York station WABC-TV called “Joe Franklin’s Memory Lane.” After that, he hosted a radio show on WOR-AM. Franklin certainly knew his stuff as well as a lot of people, having guests on his shows such as Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and many, many others. Franklin also knew an awful lot about silent movies. This wonderful book covers the silent era’s 50 greatest films and 75 greatest actors as chosen by Franklin. Whether you’re a silent screen expert or a novice, Classics of the Silent Screen is indispensable.