Recent reviews worth a look

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Los Angeles Review of Books features a great review of Ben Katchor’s new graphic book, The Cardboard Valise, a contemporary tribute to Joseph Mitchell’s 1949 comic, “The Mohawks in High Steel.”  The panels featured in the article are apt examples of reviewer Jeet Heer’s take on Katchor’s work:

Charmingly ungainly and obeying their own laws of perspective and lighting, Katchor’s drawings are a perfect counterpart to his words: both the language and the art are stupefyingly off-kilter.

To appreciate his drawings you have to linger over them and suss out how they are linked to the words.

Another interesting book review is Jon Baskin’s discussion of Timothy Aubrey’s Reading as Therapy. Aubrey selects a heterogeneous group of bestselling novels and explores their value to the reading public, delving into author interviews such as Oprah Winfrey’s television program, and published reviews from sources such as Amazon. He addresses the prevailing academic view that successful novels must engage the reader in social, cultural, or political issues. But Aubrey seems to conclude that the internal, sentimental even, therapeutic value of reading is what sustains the contemporary novel reader, and in turn novels themselves. Empathy diminishes our isolation.

We’re eagerly awaiting the launch of our new issue of TriQuarterly Online on July 11. I’ll be telling you more about it in the coming days.