The Taser's Edge

Tuesday Reading Roundup

1. Saga of the Swamp Thing, vol. 1 (issues 20-27)–Alan Moore offers up some of the earliest proof that he is a great writer, although this in particular is nothing when compared to Watchmen or From Hell.   I intended to provide a picture of his version of the Swamp Thing, but Alan Moore is himself much scarier.  Really, this is his picture (the beardy one):

2. Beanworld: Wahoolazuma (i.e., Volume 1) by Larry Marder–I remember in high school that AF managed to get some of our female friends (LV nee P, I’m thinking of you) to read comics by introducing them to the cute Beans of Beanworld.  Many years later, I came across this at Lilly Library at Duke.  Think Middle Earth on the smallest scale possible.  No smaller.  Smaller still.  And probably smaller.  Marder has created an entire new world, but it is incredibly tiny and incredibly simple.  There’s something very ecological about it, with little new parts of how the world works being given out to the reader (and discovered by the Beans) bit by bit, and drama being created by small things creating major imbalances.  Definitely worth reading and worth seeking other volumes.  According to Amazon quoting Publishers Weekly, this contains the first 9 issues (of an according-to-Wikipedia original 21).  Just look at that:

3. The Minister as Crisis Counselor by David K. Switzer–Required for this unit of CPE, there is definitely some good information in this book.  There is also lots of terrible stuff, particularly the chapter on divorce care and any time (read, everywhere) that gender has a possibility of being involved.  I must admit that it is possible that the updated edition (mine is from 1971, but this book is hard to find in any edition) is better, though, and I say that because the chapter on suicide seems to be very good.  (If you are keeping track, I read the entire first edition and am now midway through an additional chapter on suicide provided in the updated edition.)  Check out the cover art (and that’s from the updated 1986 edition!):

4. Matthew (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Stanley Hauerwas–Do not trust my tag cloud to tell you how much I have read of Hauerwas (or to tell you anything else).  This is my second full volume, and I am reading it as part of a study of the Gospel According to St. Matthew I am doing just for the heck of it.  Personal edification, further pastoral education, etc., could also be listed as reasons, but the real reason I’m reading it is likely my continued pursuit of the perfection of knowledge.  Ridiculous, aye, but true.  In the next few weeks, you may also see a George Washington biography sneak onto the list, as I have this crazy idea that reading American history through the lives of its presidents might be interesting.  As you can see (and if you’ve ever talked to me about my theology reading plan) I’m starting at the beginnings (Matthew=GW=Apostolic Fathers).  All that said, to read a modern theological commentary alongside technical commentaries is beyond refreshing.