Desert Island Comics – Episode 54 – K.A. Laity
Time once more to drop in on our chain of desert islands and have a little peek at what 8 comics our latest unfortunate just couldn’t do without.
This week we have K. A. Laity, who describes herself as “a comics scholar who tends to write entirely too often on Alan Moore (though not much about his comics lately)“. She’s the co-creator with artist Elena Steier of Jane Quiet: Occult Investigator, described by Laity as “languishing due to unfortunate circumstances“, which is delightfully mysterious and intriguing.
Laity is the author of a wide cross genre list of books including Lush Situation, Chastity Flame, Owl Stretching and much more. Sometimes found in New York, sometimes in Dundee, but you can always find her online – website, Facebook and Twitter.
Right then, those all important 8 picks to while away the time……
Desert Island Comics – Episode 54 – K.A. Laity
To assuage my Moore fix, I knew I’d need at least one. I had thought to choose LOST GIRLS — after all in the languid heat of a desert island it would provide a great deal of distraction and Gebbie’s pictures are like beautiful cakes you could almost eat and it’s three volumes so there’s a lot of “bang for the buck” so to speak (groan). Nonetheless, I choose PROMETHEA because I will need to occupy myself with more than just pretty pictures — although there’s plenty of those as well. Like Faustus, “’tis magic, magic that hath ravished me” so I would need to escape my desert island at least astrally and this journey to the centre of my mind (pace Amboy Dukes) would be ideal.
One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry
It’s always hard to choose a best Barry and I almost went with WHAT IT IS just because I’m using that in my “Imaginative Writing” course as our textbook and it’s just so wonderful, sad and inspiring. But it was ONE HUNDRED DEMONS that started that journey — for me, too. I got a set of Japanese ink and brushes to work with and remembered the joy of drawing and am so grateful. I’m sure I could find materials to MacGyver into brushes and make ink from coconut shells or plants or squids so I could be happily employed in drawing monsters.
There’s an omnibus edition of all of them, surely? I almost went with Claire Bretecher but I just love Tardi’s gorgeous art and the ever-serious Adèle and I’m sure it would inspire me to imagine more adventures for the plucky woman which would distract me from the horror of constant sun and heat.
I wish there were more of CASTLE WAITING to collect, but the sheer massive size of Jeff Smith’s adventure is a great argument for its inclusion. That and I am laughing out loud now thinking of things like the first snowfall and the Great Cow Race and Gran’ma Ben and then the horror of it, too, and there’s just so much to love. Yes.
Gal pal Wendy Goldberg introduced me to Moto Hagio and I am still agog. Her stories are so amazing and the drawings make them live with incredible vividness. The pain and the suffering — and the transcendence and the wonder! I expect there will be lots of lizards on the island and they will all be Iguana Girls to me.
I shall expect at any moment to see Moomin Papa’s boat hove into view so we can share some whisky and adventure tales, but if not Jansson’s comics will keep me hopeful for a world in which Moomin Mama lives can never be without hope and comfort. My inner Snufkin needs the smart, funny, incredibly inventive panels of this comic to keep me cheery. How dull adventure is without someone to share it.
Literary Life by Posy Simmonds
Being stuck on a desert island is my idea of horror (I expect it will pretty much end up like the Milky Joe episode of The Mighty Boosh), so Posy Simmonds lively collection will remind me that I should be glad to be away from the world of writing and publishing, where I might catch the dreaded writer cliché or have to deal with a terrible critical mauling so it’s just as well really to be missing book launches and signings (sob!).
Alice in Sunderland by Bryan Talbot
The last one already?! So many choices to make, but there’s a special joy in this one, not only for Bryan Talbot’s gorgeous art but for my love of all things Alice in Wonderland. It’s just so chock full of everything from Alice to the Venerable Bede to George Formby and the glorious Sid James. I will need his laugh to sustain me. After all, I cant count on the dolphins all the time.
I thought of asking for a MacGyver tool box but isn’t the point that he just uses what he has? I suppose with all the trash tossed into the oceans plenty of things will wash up on shore, so instead I was going to ask for a huge stack of yellow pads to write because without writing I will surely go mad. But I suppose as much difference as it makes I may as well write in the sand and ask for what I truly could not do without: tea.