The Library & Life with Mr. Dangerous

January 24, 2012

This is about as good as a book trailer gets:

Life with Mr. Dangerous marked my return to reading non-Walking Dead comics a few weeks ago. I’ve had a library card for some time now and I’ve used it exclusively for downloading audiobooks to listen to on my iPod at work and on very long drives. Some of those audiobooks have brought me great pleasure (The Devil All the Time, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, The Strain Trilogy, Ready Player One), but a recent visit to a comic shop for Christmas and wife-birthday shopping left me a bit sad. I’d stopped buying comics a couple of years ago because I could no longer afford them. I was taking chances, buying things I wound up not liking. I was wasting money and space in my little rented room. Actually, that comic shop visit left me really sad. I missed comics.

Enter: The Library. I had mistaken the charm of reading comics for the charm of buying them, I guess– that slight serotonin squirt that happens as the pasty comic shop clerk runs your card. “$42.50 for 12 comics. I guess I’m really doing this.”

I’ve finally decided to start using my local library(ies) and all of the benefits that come with having a library card. My first borrow was Life with Mr. Dangerous, a book I’d spied at the comic shop just before Beth’s birthday when I went to get her the latest Walking Dead trade.

by Paul Hornschemeier

I carried around Mr. Dangerous for a few days before cracking it, as if the anticipation were too much. Finally, when I found myself onboard a BC Ferry headed toward Beth, I began reading it. I loved it.

Sure, there were parts that I didn’t really get. There were dream sequences that kind of lost me. Subtlety has never been my strong suit, so anything author Paul Hornschemeier tried to get across to me through them was lost on me. Still, I loved it. CBR has great scans from the book, all containing bits that I loved. All reminding me, as I see them again, that I need to read more slowly. I’d missed the bit with the cat reaching across the table on page 26, all while Amy’s love life takes another nose-dive. Mr. Dangerous reminded me of Adrian Tomine and Daniel Clowes, only slightly less grotesque than the latter. I felt about as good about it as I did Ghost World, a book that I loved.

Having enjoyed my first foray into library comic  book reading, I looked at getting more graphic novels and trade paperbacks. Then there was a snow storm and I got snowed into my house. That night I lost my mind on the library’s website and checked out twenty-five more books, six of which were at the library tonight. I feel pretty silly about the whole thing and doubt I’ll even be able to finish this first batch of six, but I’ll have a good time and spend a little less time in front of my laptop’s brightly lit monitor.

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