Well I've made it through another semester of grad school. Monday was particularly fun, since our prof sprung for a catered dinner afterward. Nothing extreme.....a couple of pasta dishes, some salad and a lot of wine. It was a nice bit of relaxation after the stress of the exam. Plus I got sent home on the metro with a big jug of wine. And if you're ever starved for entertainment I highly suggest waiting around on a metro platform with bottle of wine twice the size of your average milk bottle. I got all sorts of strange looks that night.
For some reason I feel different at the end of this term. My other classes have been so theory based, but the two I took this term were more practical. I feel better prepared to work as a librarian than I did a few months ago, and that's a nice feeling. But it might also be that now I'm more than halfway through the program, I can feel the end that's coming about this time next year. I'm still enjoying classes....and looking forward to the ones I'll be taking this summer....but I'm ready to move on to that next phase of my life.
But what I'm really curious about is my paper. What I thought would be a simple ten-pager on comic book criticism turned into a 30 pager without a lot of difficulty. There are apparently a lot of people out there saying some pretty cool things about comics. I discovered the International Journal of Comic Art, an academic-level journal edited by a prof at Temple University. I also discovered Mechademia, a fun looking academic journal that focuses on anime, manga and the surrounding fan culture. I'm curious to find out what my prof thought, because if my paper's good enough I might look into sending it out to one of these crazy places.
My last big discovery, though, was something I should have stumbled across long ago: a comic series called Strangers in Paradise. I've heard about the series for a long time....l mean it has the unusual distinction of winning both Eisner and Glad awards....but I've never picked it up. I bought the first trade collection on a whim and loved it. The story centers on two women, Francine and Katchoo. It's a mixture of stories told in present time and flashbacks, and the core of it is whether the two women are close friends or something more. It's very dramatic but also surprisingly character driven. Some of the strongest characters and most vivid writing I've seen in comics in a long time.
I'll have some reviews and other nonsense up soon. Right now my head is still full, so I think I'll empty it out by watching some mindless cartoons. So until next time...