A friend asked for a list of good comic books and graphic novels to read. I have compiled a list of my personal favorites, and I realized that almost all of them would be in most top lists of any usual comic reader.
- “Bone”, Jeff Smith
- “Space Usagi”, Stan Sakai
- “Blacksad”, Juan Díaz Canales
- “Maus”, Art Spiegelman
- “The Maxx”, Sam Kieth
- “I Kill Giants”, Joe Kelly
- “The Incal”, Alejandro Jodorowsky
For the super-heroes genre…
- “Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil”, Jeff Smith
- “Kingdom Come”, Mark Waid
- “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns”, Frank Miller and Klaus Janson
- “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill
- “All-Star Superman”, Grant Morrison
- “Marvel 1602”, Neil Gaiman
Some longer series…
- “Saga”, Brian K. Vaughan
- “Fables”, Bill Willingham
- “Y: The Last Man”, Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra
- “Preacher”, Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
For Japanese authors…
- “Akira”, Katsuhiro Otomo
- “Dragon Ball, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2”, Akira Toriyama
- “Dominion”, Masamune Shirow
- “Lone Wolf and Cub”, Kazuo Koike
- “Buddha”, Osamu Tezuka
- “Black Jack”, Osamu Tezuka
- “Death Note”, Tsugumi Ohba
- “One Piece”, Eiichiro Oda
Not yet read, but looking forward to read…
- “Locke & Key”, Joe Hill
- “Monstress”, Marjorie M. Liu
- “Smile”, Raina Telgemeier
This has been one of the strangest trips I have had the opportunity to make. China is politically a complicated country, and I am just barely familiar with most of the country’s history.
Also, I spend two days in Wuhan while the pandemic was developing. That generated some talk once I went back to Stockholm. Only months later, I saw the significance of the situation. I am guessing that I could have gotten the virus while in one of the many train stations in China. I felt more tired than usual and had a sore throat for half of the trip. But I am not sure. I do not know even I had the virus or not. When Europe started to worry about it, more than a month have already passed since my arrival. It did not matter anymore, as or I avoided it or I already have passed it.
And this year 2020, I am probably not travelling anywhere. Nor me, nor most people. Thanks to cheap and fast transportation the world had become a very small place until this year that it got big and farther away again.
December 2019- January 2020
- 14th, Shanghai.
- 15th, Suzhou.
- 16th, Shanghai.
- 17th, Xuzhou.
- 18th, Beijing. Forbidden City.
- 19th, Beijing. The Great Wall.
- 20th, Beijing.
- 21st, Beijing.
- 22nd, Zhengzhou. Longmen Grottoes.
- 23rd, Xi’an.
- 24th, Xi’an. Terracotta Warriors and Horses.
- 25th, Xi’an.
- 26th Chengdu.
- 27th Chengdu. Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
- 28th Chengdu.
- 29th Chongqing.Raffles City Chongqing.
- 30th Chongqing. Traditional neighborhood.
- 31st Chongqing. The Three Gorges Museum.
- 1st & 2nd. Wuhan during the pandemic outbreak.
- 3rd, 4th & 5th. Shanghai. The end of the trip.
My last days in China, I spend them in Shanghai. I revisit some museums. But I spend most of the time at bookshops. Now that I only need to carry my backpack, and an extra bag I purchased a couple of days ago, I am in the position to buy as much as I want.
I buy a set of books mostly for their pictures. Comic books, and art books are my preferred ones. But I also buy a few books in English by Chinese publishers.
The trip home is tiresome, and I prefer to forget about it. I arrive to Stockholm at night and it is snowing. Home sweet home. It feels good to arrive to my apartment and leave the bags. Later, I will start unpacking.
I do not understand what it is said on TV, but it is a new year’s show. The clock strikes twelve o’clock and everybody seems happy and there is dancing and singing. Also, there is an official discourse, that is later available on the web. I am too tired for celebrations, and I think that Chinese new year’s celebrations are the real ones, anyway.
In the morning, I change my tickets. I planned to take a train at 10AM to Nanjing. Stop there for four hours. And then take another high-speed train to Shanghai. But I will not have enough time to appreciate Nanjing and I am too tired after so many days around. So, I refund my tickets and get a new one directly to Shanghai. It is a shame to miss Nanjing, but I feel that I am making the right call.
After a long trip, the first day in Wuhan I just have time to take a walk around the lake.
[I write this paragraph on 20th July 2020, with the insight of what has happened]
While walking, I read an article about a mysterious virus has affected a few people in the city. The hospital is investigating the issue. The news gets my attention, but I do not give them a second though. Wuhan is an eleven million souls city, the outbreak seems unimportant. I have no idea on how important this news would be for the world at large.
The second day, I visit the Yellow Crane Tower. The Tower itself is a beautiful building that dominates the place. But my favorite part is the gardens. In this place, there are some of the most artful gardens I have ever seen. I take the opportunity to purchase a couple of small paintings at the shops in the park.
My next stop is a very interesting looking museum: “The 1911 Revolution Museum”. The institution offers one of the few parts of history that Taiwan and China agree upon. My knowledge of Chinese history is limited, I will add some books to read to my list once I go back to home. The last days of the Chinese Emperor are shown in different exhibits, and the struggles to out him.
Just one last museum before going to the hotel, the Wuhan Museum. I get strength from where I though there was nothing left and spend as much time in the museum as I can before it closes. All the artefacts, paintings, and figurines talk about a distant past that I know little about.
Once at the hotel, I take a long warm bath. Tomorrow, I will take my last high-speed train of this trip.
The Three Gorges Museum is really three museums in one. It has the history museum, the city museum, and the museum of the Three Gorges itself. I spend a few hours from exhibit to exhibit. After a enjoying all the artefacts and exhibitions I visit the Great Hall of the People located accordingly in the People’s Square.
I go to a thrift market. It is mostly empty. I guess that many buyers would do purchases on-line. I see a couple of people selling items to the shops, not the other way around. Some items are fantastic, and costly accordingly. My lack of price negotiation skills shines again. I am interested in some coins, the shopkeeper tells me that are not authentic, and that is why they are so cheap. I purchase a few, anyway, as they look interesting.
To finish the day, I visit a Bookshop. I know the dangers of that, as I am prone to accumulate books during my trips. I end purchasing just one book about the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. It has many pictures old and new, I cannot read the text, thou. It is in Chinese.
This is my 18th day travelling, and I feel very happy but tired. Also, I had a bad sore throat for most of the trip. The only energy that keeps me going is providing by my enthusiasm to visit as many places as possible.