Sunday, June 07, 2015

Incoming Books: Week of June 7

I had a birthday this week -- I'm too old to make a big fuss about it, and also too old to specify just how old I am -- which meant I got some great stuff. (The newish Mountain Goats album, all three Uncharted games, another two-pack game for the PS3, and sundries.) Shockingly, I also got a book, and a promise for one more.

(I'll cover the promised one when it comes; I'm always buying books, so I always have an excuse to list them here.)

And the day before that, I hit a comics shop for what I thought was a mostly unsuccessful trip. I didn't find Pascal Girard's Petty Theft, or Louise Brooks: Detective by Rick Geary, or the new Dungeon Monstres book, or Exquisite Corpse from First Second, or Ed Hillyer's Room for Love. (I might not have bought all of them if I found them, of course, or things like Lulu Anew or Nimona that I wanted to see in person and poke through -- but I probably would have bought some of them.) And I missed the train I was aiming for, since I spent too much time in that comics shop. (And, because of that delay, I had time to stop at Krispy Kreme for a free donut for myself and a dozen to bring back home to the family -- truly, my life is full of woe.) But I did buy four books. And these are them.

The gift was The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft, which I've been looking at and coveting for quite some time now. It's a handsome big book with classy two-color printing, and the only problem with that is that it's clearly too big to read on a train. The editor is Leslie S. Klinger, who I think is more of a Sherlockian -- but I've heard good things about his work here. And I don't think I've re-read a big wodge of Lovecraft in a decade, since I put together Black Seas of Infinity, so I'm definitely due.

And then on to the comics-shop purchases with Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula, the new book from Andi Watson. Watson is one of the most criminally underrated comics-makers in the world, with a long shelf of great naturalistic stories behind him, from Love Fights to Little Star to Dumped to Slow News Day. (He spent the first decade of this century making great romantic comedies in comics form, basically.) He turned to books for younger readers seven or eight years ago, and this is the latest piece of that part of his career, a longer book from First Second that follows a couple of short series from Walker.

I.N.J. Culbard has adapted a number of Lovecraft stories into comics form -- I reviewed his version of At the Mountains of Madness last year and really liked it -- and so I picked up another one of them, The Shadow Out of Time. This is from the small British house Self-Made Hero, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite comics imprints.

And then Ms. Marvel Vol. 2: Generation Why, from Willow Wilson, Jacob Wyatt, and Adrian Alphona, because I want to see where this is going (at least for now.) I did read, and mostly enjoyed, the first volume, though I still think the series is getting far too much attention just because the superheroine is brown.

Last is Zenith: Phase Two, reprinting the second story arc of the '80s revisionist superhero from Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell. I'm toying with the idea of waiting to get all four volumes and reading them straight through, particularly since I'm planning to do a lot of bunches-of-graphic-novels reviews this year. We'll see if I can wait until Phase Four comes out to read any of them, though.

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