Scenes from an Impending Marriage

Comics College reveals Essential Reading of Comic Book Masters

One of my favorite regular columns is the monthly Comics College by Chris Mautner at Robot 6, hosted by Comic Book Resources. Each entry is a great introductory overview of what’s best to read from the great comic book masters and why they are so good, making this a fantastic source for newcomers or people who’ve always wanted to expand their reading. It also covers their lesser known work and stuff that maybe should be avoided.

The great part of the column is that it is looking at masters from all over the art form of comics. It’s not just superhero creators, or just alternative comics creators. It’s both those, as well as manga, newspaper strips, underground comics, euro-comics, comics journalism and more.

This month’s subject is the Norwegian cartoonist simply known as Jason. This prolific creator tells funny genre mash-ups with a deadpan economy of dialogue and understated emotion with characters struggling over love and guilt. Next month, George Herriman will be featured. His classic comic strip Krazy Kat is among the most highly regarded in the history of comics.

The Comics College column debuted in August 2009 and has covered the following comics masters past and present (click on the link to be taken to the column):

  1. Los Bros. Hernandez (Love and Rockets)
  2. Jack Kirby (The Fantastic Four, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World)
  3. Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy, Phoenix)
  4. R. Crumb (Zap Comix, Book of Genesis)
  5. Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Mr. Punch)
  6. Chris Ware (Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, Acme Novelty Library)
  7. Lewis Trondheim (Dungeon, Little Nothings)
  8. Harvey Kurtzman (Mad Magazine, Frontline Combat)
  9. art spiegelman (Maus, In the Shadow of No Towers)
  10. Eddie Campbell (Alec: The Years Have Pants, The Fate of the Artist)
  11. Harvey Pekar (American Splendor, Our Cancer Year)
  12. Kim Deitch (The Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Shadowland)
  13. Kevin Huizenga (Ganges, Curses)
  14. Hergé (Tintin)
  15. Charles M. Schulz (Peanuts)
  16. John Stanley (Little Lulu, Melvin Monster)
  17. Seth (George Sprott: 1894-1975, Wimbledon Green, It’s A Good Life If You Don’t Weaken)
  18. Frank Miller (The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City)
  19. Joe Sacco (Safe Area Gorazde, Palestine)
  20. Jason (I Killed Adolf Hitler, Hey Wait…)
  21. George Herriman (Krazy Kat)
  22. Jack Cole (Plastic Man, Betsy and Me)
  23. Adrian Tomine (Summer Blonde, Scenes from an Impending Marriage)
  24. Grant Morrison (All-Star Superman, We3)
  25. Jessica Abel (La Perdida, Artbabe)

UPDATE: I’ll keep updating the list over at The Comics Observer as Robot 6 posts new entries.

Read This: Scenes From An Impending Marriage

I firmly believe there’s a comic book or graphic novel for everyone. Yes, there’s even a comic for soon-to-be newlyweds in the form of Scenes from an Impending Marriage: A Prenuptial Memoir by Adrian Tomine (published by Drawn & Quarterly).

This little book is a quick read but endlessly enjoyable. Anybody who has gotten married, no matter how smooth or not it went, will relate. The memoir goes through a number of brief anecdotes of writer/artist Adrian and his fiancée Sarah Brennan going through all of the planning stages of putting together a wedding. It stays light and humorous instead of getting overwhelmed with family drama. And there are occasional single-panel cartoons that provide a great running gag.

The author and now-wife were interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered recently and their really quite adorable.

This would make a great wedding present. Or if you’re the one getting married, you can even add it to your Amazon.com wedding registry.

Here’s Drawn & Quarterly’s write-up (and the blurb on the back cover):

Scenes from an Impending Marriage

Adrian Tomine

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED
to witness the hilarious true story of one couple’s long march to the altar. Best known for his cover illustrations for The New Yorker and for the critically–acclaimed graphic novel Shortcomings, Adrian Tomine now opens the pages of his private sketchbook to reveal a witty, intimate account of the heady months prior to getting married. Through a series of comic vignettes, Tomine captures the amusing, taxing, and often absurd process of planning a wedding, as well as the peculiar characters and situations that he and his fiancée encounter along the way. Filled with incisive humor, keen observations, and unabashed tenderness, Scenes from an Impending Marriage is a sweet-natured document of the little moments leading up to the big day.

Hardcover, 4.25 x 5.5, black and white, 56 pages

ISBN: 9781770460348

$9.95 US / $10.50 CDN

Here’s a page from the preview posted at NPR to give you a taste.