Monday, April 16, 2018

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 4/14/18

Hello again! This is the weekly post where I write about any new books I've gotten, in whatever ways. This time out, I got a big box from the fine folks at Edward R. Hamilton, a great source for remainders and other random books for people like me who want 'em by the yard. And I got three books from the library, the last pieces of a massive number of holds I put in at the end of March. I'll run through them in that order, starting with books I now own and which may or may not have little red dots on the page-edge somewhere or other.

It Just Slipped Out... is a collection of double entendres, arranged alphabetically by Russell Ash. It appears to be quite British, which should be interesting -- I'll have to see how often I have no idea about either side of the entendre.

I Only Read It For the Cartoons is a book of profiles of New Yorker cartoonists by Richard Gehr -- focusing on current cartoonists, as far as I can see, and including Lorenz, Gross, Chast, Booth, Koren, Barsotti, Levin, Roberts, Wilson, Ziegler, Kanin, and Makoff.

Severed, by Frances Larson, is a history of heads, once they've been separated from their bodies. I saw a good review of it a while back, and have been vaguely looking for it since, so now I guess I need to read it.

How to Talk Minnesotan by Howard Mohr -- I'm spending more time there, given my company's home office is just outside the Twin Cities, and I'm on calls with large numbers of Minnesotans for several hours a day. So you betcha I want to know how to talk to 'em.

My Father, the Pornographer is Chris Offutt's memoir of his father Andy Offutt. I read Andy's books, off and on -- he was one of the best writers of Thieves' World, and I had a vague plan to read all of his softcore SF "Spaceways" series at one point -- so I've been wanting to get this for a while. Chris is apparently a respected literary writer, with a better career than his old man had, and, from media reports, this is mostly about Andy Offutt the horrible person and writer of really bottom-drawer porn.

Will Not Attend is by Adam Resnick, a TV writer who hates being with people. This is a collection of essays and stories about that feeling, which I can definitely sympathize with.

That's Not Funny, That's Sick is a history of National Lampoon by Ellin Stein, one of those interesting clusters of funny people of the late 20th century that was intensely influential on everything that came after it. I'm also intrigued because Stein is both female and British, and NatLamp was aggressively masculine (juvenile masculine, to be clearer) and American, so that should be a different perspective.

Over Seventy is something like an autobiography by P.G. Wodehouse, written late in his life, but apparently mostly (very deliberate) digressions from answering specific questions. And Wodehouse is always fun.

Twilight is some kind of SF comic by Howard Chaykin and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, which I think uses a bunch of old DC space-hero characters in new gritty forms. It's from 1990, so I suspect it was originally aimed to be the Watchmen of Space DC -- but that could still be good. I don't think I've ever read it, and I'm surprised to see it's that old.

Jonah Hex: Shadows West collects the three stories about the old DC Western character written by Joe Lansdale and drawn by Tim Truman in the '90s -- I'm not sure I ever read the third one. Lansdale does weird western as well as anyone, and Truman is a great comics creator who I wish got a lot more work and attention.

Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!, Vol. 1: Hooked on a Feline by Kate Leth, Brittney L. Williams and Natasha Allegri -- I generally try to get "superheroes done right" comics like this from the library, but this was cheap, and it sounded interesting. I suspect the way Marvel collapses seventy years of real-world history and changing social mores into the lives of characters they insist are still in their twenties or thirties will be annoying, but I'll see.

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is adapted from the Lovecraft novella by I.N.J. Culbard. I liked all of Culbard's other Lovecraft adaptions, and I hope he keeps doing them for as long as he wants to and there are more Lovecraft stories out there.

The Last Dragon is some kind of fairy-tale-esque graphic novel written by Jane Yolen and drawn by Rebecca Guay. I haven't read as much Yolen as I should, and this was cheap -- so I grabbed it even though I'd never heard of it before.

And then there are the three books I got from libraries:

The two paperbacks reprinting the recent run of The Vision written by Tom King and drawn mostly by Gabriel Hernandez Walta -- first is Little Worse Than a Man and second is Little Better Than a Beast. I'm hopeful about these, since it got in and out in a dozen issues, so I have hopes that was the plan. But "good superhero comics" have been dashing my hopes for thirty years now.

And last is Guerillas, Vol. 2 by Brahm Revel, some kind of fantastic war comic about chimpanzee soldiers in Vietnam. I was slightly annoyed when the library delivered it, since I didn't realize this was a multi-part story, and they gave me number two. But I vaguely remembered it, and it turns out I have the first volume sitting, moldering, in a random book-reading app, since I got it as a review copy far too long ago. So it looks like I'll be reading two volumes of this.

No comments:

Post a Comment