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Tao Lin

What Are Some Comics That I Like?

September 22nd, 2007
by Tao Lin

NEW YORK CITY-

I will list some comics that I like and then write descriptions of them in the style of 9th grade AP American History definition lists.

Clumsy by Jeffrey Brown - It is about a person in his second relationship of his life with another person, a girl. The person is in his mid-20s. It shows many scenes from their relationship, not in order. In the last scene the person is happy. In the second-to-last it shows the person crying on the phone and then it shows the person crying alone sitting on his bed. I cried a little standing in the subway station when I finished reading this. 
 

Any Easy Intimacy by Jeffrey Brown - It is about a relationship. The girl doesn’t want to see the guy as much as the guy wants to see the girl. But the girl doesn’t want to completely not see the guy either. The girl just wants to see the guy a certain amount, and since the guy wants to see more of the girl the girl has more power in this relationship and is able to decide when the guy will be able to see the girl. This makes it so the guy has to either accept this or not see the girl at all. The guy chooses to accept this. It has an ending that is not happy and is also not sad but is very emotional still to me. I think all relationships exist in a state of power struggle like I described, with the power moving around. That the power moves around allows the relationship to continue, I think. Sometimes people seem able to overcome the power struggle and become someone who loves everyone. I don’t know how that happens and how those kinds of people feel. Probably they have just prolonged their moments of ‘acceptance.’ Everyone has moments of ‘acceptance’ I think.

Aeiou

Spent by Joe Matt - This is about a person who masturbates around ten times a day. The person makes tapes where he edits out the men in the pornos. It is about Joe Matt. Joe Matt writes about himself. He is very brave to do something like this I think. I think I want to write like this. Some people may feel alienated by Joe Matt’s porno tapes but some people also will like it, and those people who like it now know it, and so can contact Joe Matt and be his friend. And those people who would feel alienated by this kind of thing will feel alienated and not talk to Joe Matt which will prevent future pain and suffering that would potentially be more painful than just being alienated immediately.

The Poor Bastard by Joe Matt - This is about a person doing things. The person ends a relationship and then tries to have other relationships but it is hard. Reading this I felt that Joe Matt worked very hard. I like people who can work very hard, I think. A person has to be motivated to work very hard and has to dislike being around humans to some degree. By ‘dislike’ I mean not that they hate people but that they are very sensitive about humans and feel worried and nervous a lot that they have hurt someone or that someone hates them. I think that’s usually how it is with people who like being alone. I think Junot Diaz took ten years to write his first novel because he likes talking to people and being around people, according to accounts I’ve read of him being very social at his readings. Why do some people praise writers who are very friendly and personable? If I meet Joy Williams or someone in real life and she is very quiet and nervous and afraid I would like her more not less.

The Playboy by Chester Brown - This is about a young child hiding Playboy magazines and tearing out one page to masturbate to it. The young child grows up and as an adult has problems keeping an erection maybe due to high standards of Playboy. This and Joe Matt show people masturbating face down, using a bed or a chair, whereas movies and other books and comics I have seen show people masturbating standing up. I usually masturbate like it’s shown by Chester Brown and Joe Matt.

Summer Blonde by Adrian Tomine - This is four stories by Adrian Tomine. I like the endings of each story very much. I can remember each ending very well. They were all very moving. I cried at the end of the last story. It was not a sad story and it did not have a sad ending.

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes - This is about two girls. I like the ending. It moves quickly suddenly and feels emotional to me.

My New York Diary by Julie Doucet - This is about a girl moving to New York and living there then moving away. One scene shows a guy wanting to be with the girl but the girl does not want that. The guy calls one night and wants to come over. He asks a lot. The girl says okay but she is going to work while he is here. The guy says he is going to kill himself and he slits his wrists while watching the girl work. The guy cries and it’s sad. The girl keeps working for a while. She has no responsibility to help the guy and the guy’s emotions seem sincere and somehow uncontrollable, a situation that made me feel emotional. This is one of the few graphic novels I like where the main character is not depressed and would not describe themselves as ‘fucked.’

Jimmy Corrigan by Chris Ware - This is about a person who is very nervous around people. I felt really sad in a good way while reading this and looking at it.

Black Ghost Apple Factory by Jeremy Tinder - It is a lot of
short stories. I think it felt beautiful to me and sad. It is also
strange in a playful way like the author is playful.

Black_ghost_apple_factory_lg

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6 Comments »

Comment by Kaytie M. Lee
2007-09-23 15:34:41

Thanks for the reading list. It has been a long time since I took American History, but you brought it all back. Only, I should be out back smoking, not sitting at my desk.

 
Comment by 1159
2007-09-23 21:01:46

I’m a Clowes fan too.

And MR Punch by Gaiman
TenNapel

and Blankets - that one was the best….

Whack on sire.

 
Comment by Emma R
2007-09-24 08:45:09

(I respond in the same style:)

This article summarises the effects of different comics on a writer, Tao Lin. Tao Lin tells us a small amount about the way he masturbates and a large amount about the things he find moving and funny.

I hope Tao Lin writes another piece for TNB soon. I like Ghost World which also feels emotional to me but also about the way we fall in love with aspects of culture and remake the world around us.

: )

 
Comment by jesse
2007-09-25 06:40:23

Awesome, just what we need — more people who write like Tao Lin.

 
Comment by reno
2007-09-26 16:19:42

great list, tao.

muchos gracias.

r

 
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