McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern Issue 13

Now that The eBay book is making its way in the world alone and England are out of the footy, my stress levels are down. I can’t think of many better ways to spend a summer evening than listening to the new Wilco album while investigating the joyous thing that is issue thirteen of McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern. This is a huge poster of a comic with a free, beautifully bound 264 page hardback book of top quality comic art and articles. I’d heard of McSweeney’s for years but, until the last issue, edited by Michael Chabon, it wasn’t published in the UK and cost an extortionate amount to subscribe to, so I read the online version (which is fun) instead.

You unwrap the poster sized dust jacket of number 13 and little comic books fall out. I’ve read both of those, and they were neat, but it’s going to take me a long time to read the whole thing – it’s one of those treats you want to save up. The cover comic is terrific and inside the book are most of my favourite comic writers, from Dan Clowes and Adrian Tomine through the Hernandez Brothers, with plenty of new people to discover, too.

My reading pile has grown ridiculously of late. Look, there are new issues of Stray Bullets and Love And Rockets waiting. I normally devour both as soon as I get them. The Patricia Highsmith biography I got for my birthday and the hardback of her uncollected short stories that I won on eBay will both have to wait until I have a holiday next month. Then there are all those Young Adult novels, connected with the conference I’m organising, of which, more very soon, if all goes well.

Over on Martin’s blog, it’s been Wilco week. We saw Wilco play a blinding set in the Academy over in Birmingham last week and their new album, A Ghost Is Born is superb. Wilco were the only one of my favourite acts playing Glastonbury this weekend who I hadn’t seen before, so the gig made up somewhat for missing the festival – I managed about twelve hours of TV coverage instead, vicariously experiencing the rain and mud. According to an interview with Michael Eavis in today’s Guardian, the 50,000 teenagers who couldn’t get a ticket last year did make it this year. I hope they had a great time.

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