Monday, February 07, 2005

Books Worth a Look XXII

Not long ago, the fine folks at Drag City sent me a galley of Neil Hagerty's recently released book Public Works. Collecting 17 pieces that have appeared in various zines and little magazines -- including Lowbrow Reader and the Comics Journal -- over the last 10 years, the 157-page book is a far cry from his previously published novel Victory Chimp.

While the wide range of work herein may be as starkly scattered as Chimp seemed, the pieces themselves are concrete and consistent. Even though I've sat on this review for some time, I read the book in an hour and a half the very day I received it in the mail. Here's what struck me. "Van Camp's" is an intriguing description of a dysfunctional relationship. "Back to the Nowhere" details what might happen when bandmates become more -- or less. "My TV Don't Work No More" is a delightful critique of the TV show Wings -- perfect for Media Dieticians. And "I Remember Car-Toons," taken from the Lowbrow Reader, is a must-read piece of comics scholarship. Well worth reading.

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