Monday, June 20, 2016

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 6/18

Hey! It's Monday again. As usual, I list the books that arrived in the prior week from the hard-working publicists of Big Book, in hopes some of you will love some of them and take them to your bosoms forever.

(I also have a few things I bought this past week, which I'm shoving in here because I'm already writing about books. There will be a clear separator, for those of you who are persnickety about such things.)

Wolf's Empire: Gladiator is what looks to be the first in an oddball soft-SF series by actress Claudia Christian and a guy whose name sounds like a law firm, Morgan Grant Buchanan. (I'm trying not to assume that Buchanan did all of the hard work, but that tends to be the assumption when a celebrity emits a book-shaped object written with a co-author.) It's set in one of those utterly implausible universes -- the Roman Empire never fell! it now rules a Galactic Empire! a plucky noblewoman (who could potentially be played by Claudia Christian in the TV version) has to become a gladiator to avenge the wrongs done to her family! she's cast into slavery and forced to fight alongside the men she wants to kill! -- that I'm afraid I just can't take seriously at this point in my life. If you can, this is a Tor hardcover that will be officially published on June 28.

The other review copy I have this week is a manga volume from Kaori Yuki: Alice in Murderland, Vol. 4. It's another of the inexplicable rush of manga loosely -- generally very loosely -- based on Lewis Carroll that have been making their way across the Pacific lately. (I have no idea if this is an actual manga trend, or if US editors are cherry-picking the few Alice-based manga because US audiences love them -- either would be weird, and either is possible.) As I understand it, the nine children of a powerful and rich family must battle each other to the death before the eldest turns twenty, for no immediately plausible reason. Our heroine is the youngest daughter, aided by a murderous alternate personality. One suspects this family could do with a lot of intensive therapy, in some very well-guarded and secure facility far away from collateral casualties. But they'll probably just slaughter each other in inventive ways instead.

Clear Separator

Love Fights, Vol. 1 is the first half of a 2003 story by Andi Watson about superheroes in love. Andi Watson had a great stretch of really wonderful comics from the mid-90s through very recently -- I'm waffling only because I haven't seen as much of his stuff recently, though I don't expect he suddenly turned into Frank Miller -- all humanist and lovely and full of real people with real lives and relationships. I had a big shelf of Watson before the flood, and I'm building it back up as I can.

Sunny, Vol. 4 is the most recent (I think) book in the slice-of-life manga series by Taiyo Matsumoto. (See my reviews of volumes one and two.) This series is deep and real and full of very closely observed damaged kids; it's a masterpiece of world comics.

Little Star is another Andi Watson book; this one complete in one volume. Blah blah blah Andi Watson is awesome. Like I said before.

The 4-Fisted Misadventures of TUG & buster, Vol. 1 is a Marc Hempel book from the dark (or maybe light; depends on your point of view) days of the late '90s, and was his creator-owned follow-up to the Gregory books, which I recently re-read. The book has a big "1" on the spine, but I don't think there were any more TUG & buster stories...though I'd be happy to find out I'm wrong.

And then there's B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth, Vol. 12, from Mike Mignola and his crew. I don't have volume 11 yet, but that's OK: I tend to read these Hellboy-universe books in a big clump over a week or two, so I'll probably wait to have another two or three of these, maybe an Abe Sapien, and probably the back half of Hellboy in Hell. So I'm in no hurry.

No comments:

Post a Comment