Great Graphic Novels: Sazae-San, by Machiko Hasegawa

Last month I asked my friends to write about books they loved (you can read all the essays here). This month, I invited them to write about their favorite graphic novels, and they selected some excellent titles. I hope you enjoy them! (Read all the Great Graphic Novel essays here.) -- Mark

Sazae-San, by Machiko Hasegawa

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Enthralling Books: Mysteries, by Knut Hamsun

This is one in a series of essays about enthralling books. I asked my friends and colleagues to recommend a book that took over their life. I told them the book didn't have to be a literary masterpiece. The only thing that mattered was that the book captivated them and carried them into the world within its pages, making them ignore the world around them. I asked: "Did you shirk responsibilities so you could read it? Did you call in sick? Did you read it until dawn? That's the book I want you to tell us about!" See all the essays in the Enthralling Book series here. -- Mark

Mysteries, by Knut Hamsun

One night in the autumn of 1882, Knut Hamsun's roommate returned home to find a knife, a cigar, and a note laid out on the table for him.

The note read:

Smoke the cigar and stick the knife into my heart.

Do it quickly, decisively and as a friend, if you value my affection.

Signed Knut H.

P.S. This note will be your defense in court.*

Hamsun lay asleep in his bed, underneath an angel of death that he had painted on the ceiling.

What intrigues me about this... prank? is that it somehow manages to come off as both playful and disturbing at the same time. This quality is present in much of Hamsun's early work, particularly in his second novel, the aptly titled Mysteries.

Mysteries doesn't have much in the way of a story. Read the rest

Mind Blowing Movies: Popee the Performer (circa 2000), by Lars Martinson

This week, Boing Boing is presenting a series of essays about movies that have had a profound effect on our invited essayists. See all the essays in the Mind Blowing Movies series here. -- Mark

Mind Blowing Movies: Popee the Performer (circa 2000), by Lars Martinson

[Video Link]

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