Comic Review: Mister Invincible

MISTER INVINCIBLE, by Pascal Jousselin – Magnetic Press LLC

I didn’t what to expect about this collection of Mister Invincible, by Pascal Jousselin, but … well … wow … very cool. Playing with and pushing against all of the visual constraints of a comic on a page, this hero of Jousselin’s imagination breaks every convention of comics (such as the solid panel as wall and separation of time), and does so with hilarious results.

Mr Invincible – Magnetic Press

http://www.magnetic-press.com/mr-invincible/

Sometimes, Mister Invincible literally reaches or sees across the next page of the comic, taking action in ways that had me wondering: how in the world did Jousselin even conceptualize the joke, or the events? The amount of planning, and trial/error that must have gone into each of these short pieces (the book collection is a series of one-pagers and smaller multi-page stories) staggers my brain, which works with logic — a concept that is not always on display here, in a good way.

As a character, Mister Invincible is rather nonchalant about nearly everything — taking care of complicated problems with an effortless reach across the next panel, or a twist of time sequence, or cutting a hole in the next page, in order to leap to the page just beyond.

Mr Invincible – Magnetic Press

http://www.magnetic-press.com/mr-invincible/

There are other recurring character, such as the teenager who becomes TooDee, because he uses the flat elements of the printed page to save the day or cause inadvertent mischief, even as the reader and the other characters believe they are in a three-dimensional world. Another character, an old grump, uses “words have power” to his advantage, using word bubbles to attack enemies and more.

I am always happy when writer play with conventions, and with Mister Invincible, no panel is safe from being broken open. Or reached into. Or breached.

Peace (beyond the panel),
Kevin

 

Stories of the Poems: NWP

NWP logo

I enjoyed a series of video interviews that Tanya Baker, of National Writing Project, did with poets called Story of a Poem, digging deep into a single poem with the poets and then ending with an invitation to write. It was like Song Exploder (a favorite podcast of mine) but with poems. I took the poets up on the invitation to write.

Here are my poems:

Squiggles Break My Art

I
ve
kicked this po em
around somuch
the words have
fa…
…ll….
….en

a p
a r

t

Paintingwitheditmarks,
computer squiGGles
break my

(he)ART

Inspired by George Ella Lyon via https://youtu.be/0L8OKN2gmbE


Words Bring Us Through

Where are the notes
when you need them
the most

the tongues of strings
that have no name
but still, sing:

cancion, oran,
kanzunetta, laul,
canco, abesti
song

Rest, then, for when
you least expect it to:
Words bring us through

Inspired by Dan (Zev) Levinson prompt of language and his “Sundailed” via
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouEmIT8mbpw


Circular Revision

Awake
with the birds,
singing

No

Wake with
dawn breaking
to the songs
of birds singing

No

Be awake;
Listen!
Birds sing
this day into
being

No

The day
sings you
awake

Yes

Inspired by Shirley McPhillips and “Uncommon Education” via
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5qzl7v7Kzc


Every time you lose something — no matter what it is — you find something else…
– Patrice Vecchione

Lost/Found

Sometimes I wonder
which reader found it –
that small notebook
of scratched stories,
pieces remembered
only after discovering
an empty pocket
at the train terminal
where I remained,
suddenly reminded,
how ephemeral is ink,
and paper, merely
temporary

Inspired by “Finders Keepers” by Patrice Vecchione and the call to write about something that has been lost via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2fiEv_bKh8


With a Kiss From Hippocampus

Dipping fingers inside these fluid lands, inside what we don’t understand, so we go where the flow takes us – it breaks us – this tumbling turmoil off rock and ridge where such creatures live, where monsters like this exist – this fall, it breaks us – it takes us, it makes us humble again, for we might yet comprehend how every drop that comes apart from gravity’s kiss is also a drop where worlds resist the pull, such as this, this water, this rain, this, it takes us, this falling, this calling, it draws us to wonder, again, forward, towards bliss

Inspired by H.K. Hummel’s discussion of her prose poem: “The Fable of the Sailor and the Kraken” – and invitation to write about mythological creatures via https://youtu.be/G2MbsnA157E


Writing Rails of Ghost and Bone

That day we were walking
through wooded trails,
lost but never alone,
when we came upon
the remains of rails,
the tail end of the past
clutching the earth
with taut iron fist

how could we resist
the sudden urge to grip
the hammered steel,
slumbering on stone,
and wait on the day
for an oncoming rumble
of ghost and bone?

Inspired by t.l. sander’s poem “This” and the invocation to play with language and poetry via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSoAtx60v4E 

Peace (and poems),
Kevin

Book Review: Where We Walk (100 Illustrated Maps of Wonderful Walks from Around the World)

I can’t remember now how I stumbled upon the They Draw And Travel website, which is home to some wonderful artwork and map illustrations of places. This book — Where We Walk — pulls together 100 submissions to a local call in Winter 2021 for Walking Maps put out by the website’s curators (two sibling artists) and the maps in the collection are just wonderful.

The maps, all hand-drawn and from all parts of the world, range from small in scale (one was of pacing the rooms of an apartment in the Pandemic) to expansive (one showed the crossing from Europe into Turkey and back again), and everything in-between. Each artist took a different approach (although walking dogs seems like a very common artistic motif) and each page contains two different maps.

You realize how evocative maps can be to capture a sense of place, and how an artist depiction of those maps of those places draws you in, to imagine what it would be like to wander around and walk the trails set forth by the maps.

It also makes you think: what would I include in my map of this place, where I am, and what would that look like? (if you do that, the site collects and shares submissions)

Peace (along the coordinates of art),
Kevin

Random Access Poetry: Heading Off On An April Blog Hiatus

It’s always good to take a breather from the blog, particularly after a month of Slice of Life. So, for April, I am going to put this blog space on hold and focus on writing my morning poems.

Like last year, I am going to tap into random photographs and other discovered media to inspire some poetry each morning over a cup of coffee. That’s the ‘random access’ part of things, since I am doing no planning until I am ready to discover something and then write it.

This site is where I will be posting them poems, if you are interested.

Thanks for stopping by.

Peace (in poems),
Kevin

Slice of Life: One Final Sentence (as prose poem)

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March has been hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

Every Sentence that’s been a Slice has narrowed my writer’s focus to single small moments of time and yet, in constructing the days in this constrained way, each string of words inadvertently left out much more than I could say.

Peace (as prose and poem),
Kevin

Book Review: City of Ghosts/Tunnel of Bones

The first two books in the Cassidy Blake series, which features the young protagonist as a seeker of ghosts, are fast-paced and character-rich and full of ghosts. City of Ghosts is the first in the series by Victoria Schwab, and Tunnel of Bones is the second.

I found the series at my library, and I was initially attracted by the cover of City of Bones, with a girl and a cat in the mist of a city. It was only halfway through the book that I realized that I have read this author’s adult series, Shades of Magic, with great interest and found them to be wonderful stories of imagination.

Here, in this new series, Cassidy is finding her way forward after nearly dying but being saved by a ghost, Jacob, who becomes her friend and companion. Her parents are filming a television series about haunted places, which means that Cassidy and Jacob get to explore Scotland in the first book and then Paris, in the second, learning more about the “Veil” — where Cassidy has the power to see ghosts still wandering their last memories. Another character with similar powers has told Cassidy that she must use this ability to send ghosts on, to help them cross from the world of the Veil.

In the first story, Cassidy is nearly destroyed by a ghost eager to steal Cassidy’s life and in the second, she must help the ghost of a young boy who was killed in the Catacombs of Paris, although the young poltergeist amps up the mayhem and puts Cassidy in danger.

The writing is strong, with a solid pace, and the slow unraveling of Jacob’s back story unfolds nicely, as is the friendship between human girl and ghost boy, whom Cassidy should send back across the Veil with her powers but refuses to do so. These books are a perfect fit for middle school readers who like a good ghost story with strong characters.

NOTE: I am now reading the third installment in the series.

Peace (in the Veil),
Kevin

Slice of Life/Day in a Sentence: In Spring Jim

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

Just as I saw him on his bike, and thought, there’s the first sign of Spring, Jim, a retired neighbor and friend and avid bike wanderer, pedals past me with a smile and a hand pointing at the patch of purple crocus, shouting: “The first signs of Spring!”

Peace (rolling forward),
Kevin