Monday, July 13, 2015

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 7/11

Another week! And here are the books that arrived at La Casa Hornswoggler during this most momentous of weeks!

(Week not guaranteed to be momentous in all locations. See local dealer for terms and restrictions. All books guaranteed unread. Opinions expressed below are purely those of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, and may not bear any resemblance to anything else in the real world. All sales final.)

Vertical is repackaging a popular manga series by Konami Kanata into big omnibus editions, and the firts one is out now: The Complete Chi's Sweet Home, Part 1. It's nearly five hundred pages of comics about a cute cat (who, if I recall correctly, mostly acts like a real cat, unlike Garfield and Doremon and others of that ilk) that originally appeared in the first three volumes of Chi's Sweet Home, plus three bonus strips that were not in those books.

Jessie Hartland has created a graphic biography of Steve Jobs -- can't call it a "graphic novel" when it's non-fiction, can we? -- under the title Steve Jobs: Insanely Great. (I suspect it takes a positive slant on its subject -- not that this is unusual for a biography in any format!) This comes from Random House's new Schwartz & Wade Books imprint, as a hardcover on July 21st.

Svetlana Chmakova -- best known for the Dramacon series from Tokyopop, and whose Nightschool books from Yen I enjoyed quite a bit (see my reviews of volumes one, two, and three) -- is back with a standalone solidly in Raina Telgemeier territory: Awkward. It's about one middle-school girl, the boy she literally runs into on the first day at a new school, the feuding clubs they belong to, and the inevitable mean kids who make life hell for anyone who stands out. Chamakova is a fine artist and does good work with young characters, so this is one to look out for (more so if you're a teacher or librarian or just the parent of a quirky middle-schooler.) Awkward is a paperback from Yen Press, available now.

Funny little books on media-inspired topics have been a perennial "genre" for ages now -- I had a copy of The Preppy Handbook myself, and I've seen examples going back at least to the '50s. So "Count" Domenick Dicce's You're a Vampire: That Sucks! has a long pedigree to live up to. It's written as a fake nonfiction book, a guide to new vampires in a world where there are a lot of them, and it could be really entertaining if it's as funny as it looks. This one is coming from Tarcher/Penguin -- which sounds like a really expensive design firm, but is an imprint of the Penguin Random House behemoth -- as a small hardcover in October...just in time for Halloween!

And last for this week is M.C. Planck's Gold Throne in Shadow, the second in the "World of Prime" series after Sword of the Bright Lady. It's a fantasy set in a secondary world that seems to have nothing of the epic about it: the main character is a mechanical engineer raised from the dead to lead an army regiment, and I can detect no Dark Lord with even the most sensitive instruments. So this is definitely worth checking out for people who like their fantasy not stamped out by machine. It's a Pyr trade paperback, available on October 13th.

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