More manly stuff I’m reading

How I feel sometimes when I’m fighting fires. Simply overwhelmed lor, and sadly, no hot chick by my side. But, "ho dog, I’ll keep chopping at you till Crom says hi".

I don’t really know what other people read during their free time, but I’ve been reading a lot of pulp fiction. While my boss and some colleagues are into reading self-help books (which are admittedly good, but I tend to zone out after a while, or deconstruct the books too much for anyone’s own good), I need my creative materials to keep my juices going.

I was so happy to visit Comics Mart last week and see Vol 2 of Savage Sword Of Conan on the shelves. If you’re still wondering I go ga-ga over the barbarian, just look at the amazing artwork by John Buscema below:

Savage Sword of Conan Volume 2


Savage Sword was published in a time when Photoshop was still a figment of someone’s imagination, and people wielded real power with a pencil and a bottle of Indian ink. I do like modern comics (you should check out the amazing art by Simone Bianchi of Wolverine: Evolution below), however, there is a rawness to 1970’s art that remains unparalleled and truly timeless. It reminds me of the art from Tales From The Crypt – artists were forced to create horror with limited resources and really low-quality paper. To that, I will always take my hat off to them.

The stories by Roy Thomas are okay, written in the spirit of Conan creator Robert Howard, but not particularly memorable.

I’m tempted to do a pen sketch of Conan and post it on the blog. However, my computer is in transition mode (ie. I’m building a whole new machine soon as this current one has never been very friendly to me) and I’m too lazy to hook up the good old Epson scanner.

Another book I’m reading, after waiting nearly 20 years to do so, is Crying Freeman.

Image:Crying freeman.jpg 


Obviously, I can’t show any pages from inside the comic book – it’s all violence and sex for a mature audience. But it’s one of the best manga classics out there and I’m glad Dark Horse has compiled the original series into a more handy format with right-to-left orientation even though it’s an English translation.

The storyline is totally ludricrous – a young man is forcibly pressed into a career of assassination and keeps crying after each murder he commits. He also seems to defy gravity with his amazing acrobatic maneuvers. But he seems to enjoy all the killing leh. And his babe Emu, is like the ultimate Jap fantasy – demure, with glasses, but ready to get it on any time. Sick stuff yes, but man, I like the art and the pacing. There’s also a 99-year-old lady who’s got no qualms about walking around nude to show off her Tiger tattoos and punch the daylights out of anyone, even Crying Freeman her disciple.

I know I should be reading more serious books to improve myself at work, but the artist in me demands that I treat my eyes to less text and more works of beauty. Then I wistfully think of what life would have been like if my ACS teachers didn’t force me to take the Sciences route, and let me go ahead with my O-level Art as I was working towards.

3 Replies to “More manly stuff I’m reading”

  1. – The lady on page 8 is wearing her underwear so low I wonder how come it’s not dropping off.

    “a young man is forcibly pressed into a career of assassination and keeps crying after each murder he commits.” Yes, ridiculously funny.

    About self help books, one particularly good one I’ve read last year was called “Made to stick” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. It’s going to be pretty applicable for your marketing job, creating ideas that stick inside consumers’ head.

    You can borrow that from the library. Light engaging writing at 300 pages.

  2. Yo Ian,

    The details on your art yearnings during your school days are a little sketchy : )

    As for picking Science or Art for O-levels….I suppose you had the luck of the draw — or not, as the case may be.

  3. Teoh – she’s not wearing underwear lah. Women in these fantasy stories don’t bother to.

    Made to Stick? Well, I’d still put my comics first. Just finished book 2 of Crying Freeman. But thanks anyway!

    Billy – your puns are cringeworthy!!!!!

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