One of the most critically lauded comic series, The Sandman paved the way for the mainstream embrace of the comics medium. The series follows the literal king of dreams , Lord Morpheus, and his interactions with a variety of characters, both mortal and immortal. Neil Gaiman, the writer of all 75 issues, successfully weaves fantasy, horror, history and drama into the series, finding deeply personal and human stories in settings both mundane and surreal. The Greenfield Library currently has the first five volumes of the series, each one a treasure trove into a new and remarkable world.
Recommended by Mike Sgier, Greenfield Circulation Assistant.
Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, this novel is a must-read for those interested in comics, religion and mythology, history, romance – well, everyone, really! The plot follows two Brooklyn cousins, Joe Kavalier, a young artist who is also a trained Houdini-like escape artist, and Sammy Clay, who is hoping to write the next hit comic and make it big. You’ll meet the Golem, the Escapist, Luna Moth, and many more wonderful characters. Though it’s lengthy with many plot twists and dual meanings, it reads like pulp fiction or a graphic novel.
Recommended by Shannon Robinson, Access Services Librarian.
If you’ve never seen Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) tell his brother that he “could have been a contender”, then your popular culture education is incomplete!
“On the Waterfront” (1954, directed by Elia Kazan with a screenplay by Budd Schulberg) is a classic story of power, corruption, and redemption. Based on a serial newspaper story (and actual events) published in the New York Sun in 1948, it’s the story of a former boxer (Brando) turned dockworker who is torn between loyalty to his brother and the mob versus the girl he loves who wants him to tell the truth about a murder. Karl Malden plays a forceful and charismatic priest who is also after Terry to stand up against murder and corruption. Filmed on location with a grit that only Hoboken, NJ, could provide, this film won four Academy awards (best picture, best director, best actor (Brando), and best supporting actor (Eva Marie Saint)) and earned Brando accolades for his “shatteringly poignant” portrayal.
If you’d like to watch this great film (or watch it again), ask for Greenfield Library DVD GD99.
Liza Dalby entered the world of the Japanesegeishato learn about the women, and Japanese culture, behind the painted faces. Research and literature on karyukai, the “flower and willow world,” often looks atgeishafrom the outside; as an anthropologist, Dalby focuses on the geishas’ points of view. Over time and learning by observation (a key element togeishatraining), she went from American graduate student to Ichigiku of Pontocho, telling us all she discovered along the way. It’s a fascinating read about fiercely independent women who are well educated in music, dance, and theater.
First published in 1892, The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story of choppy sentences that punctuate the rambling thoughts of a woman going mad. The narrator is an obedient wife and mother, sexually restrained and socially isolated. Her husband and brother, both physicians, confine her to an attic nursery in order to calm her nerves. Instead, she is tormented by a woman trapped inside the wallpaper “where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down.”
As a staunch feminist in the late 1800s, Perkins Gilman had more critics than admirers. She mostly wrote non-fiction, with Women and Economics being her most famous work. The Yellow Wallpaper is one of her few pieces of fiction.
Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958-1968
Full of terrific archival footage and interviews with the curator, artists, and historians, this documentary shines a light on some of the most intriguing artists in art history, the women of Pop. This documentary is a multifaceted gem of facts and curiosities about each artist and the work represented.
If you like this, take a look at the exhibition catalog:
Seductive Subversion : Women Pop Artists, 1958-1968
An Exaltation of Larks is a celebration of language. Lipton (famous host of Inside the Actor’s Studio) researched venereal terms back to the fifteenth century, and has composed a few of his own. The text is paired with beautiful engravings by Durer and Granville, among others, and it’s simply great fun for word and list lovers alike!
Krazy Kat begins with a simple love triangle: cat loves mouse, mouse hates cat, and dog hates mouse and protects the cat. But the artist George Herriman found innumberable permutations to express this relationship, creating comics with these characters and other residents of Coconino County from 1913-1944. Krazy Kat is now recognized as a masterpiece of the comic form, with Herriman’s Sunday pages standing out for their novel use of design, color, and language. This book provides an assortment of the daily and Sunday strips from the comic, as well as an in-depth look at Herriman’s life.
Sue Johnson’s work is part traditional art and part exhibition design. She blends her paintings and prints with found objects and museum displays, creating new meanings for both her original work and the found objects. Johnson is interested in how we organize and exhibit nature – and how we desperately try to remove ourselves from nature. In the end, though, she always finds us in the natural world with wonderful touches of humor.
French artist Gilbert Portanier’s colorful painterly ceramics are exuberant, lively, fresh, vibrant and imaginative. He has invented his own language in a form that is both figurative and abstract. Fragments of memories, reveries, and fantasies of inner universes all contribute to works that are allusive, suggestive, and atmospheric. His poetic vision is a joyous celebration, his work a sumptuous meal, a feast, a dream.