Monday, April 23, 2018

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 4/21/18

It's Monday, so here comes a list of new books -- well new to me, in that I just got them. They're not necessarily "new" in any other sense of the word.

This week, I got one book from the library and bought five -- so I'll lead with the library book.

Tank Girl Two collects the second series of stories about the punk heroine by Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin, from 1990-1993, and sees the series move into color semi-consistently. As I recall, "semi" was still about as consistent as anything got at this point -- each Tank Girl story was still it's own separate thing, and continuity was for wankers. (I think that changed at some point: there seem to be Tank Girl comics with DC-looking splash pages and character development and multi-issue plots these days, which offends and appalls me.)

Now, to the books I've bought -- all of them expected to be relatively quick to read, showing their role as Book-A-Day fodder:

Baboon Metaphysics and Other Implausible Titled Books, which is not credited to any author at all, is the second collection of nominated titles from the world's greatest literary award: The Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year. (I suspect Horace Bent has something to do with this -- speaking of things that are implausibly titled -- but he's not credited anywhere.) This was the "sequel" to How To Avoid Huge Ships.

Stories from a Theme Park Insider by Robert Niles -- Niles runs the similarly-titled Theme Park Insider blog/website, which has the most diverse and active community around that topic I've found yet. And this was his book of war stories, from when he worked (as a young man, almost thirty years ago) at Walt Disney World. I'm planning an anniversary trip there with The Wife, later this year, so I'm getting into the mood.

All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault is a brand-new novel by James Alan Gardner after far, far too long. (He wrote Expendable and about a half-dozen follow-up novels starting about twenty years ago, and seems to have dropped off the publishing radar when that series stopped, for whatever reason.) I'm slightly worried about this one, since it seems to be a superhero novel in which science-based characters are all Good Guys and magic-based characters are all Bad Guys, which sets off my essentialism detector. Also, y'know, my well-documented problems with superheroes to begin with. But, on the plus side, Gardner's back!

Luba and Her Family by Gilbert Hernandez -- I think this is the last of the Love & Rockets uniform paperbacks (current set) that I needed to get, since I do plan to read through the whole thing later this year. (I still need to sit down with a bibliography and make sure I have it all and figure out what order to read it.) I suspect this was hard to find because of a misprint -- the spine says Jaime Hernandez. Oops.

And last is a big fat twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Dave McKean's Cages. If I remember right, I read this in floppy form as it came out, and haven't been back to it since. So it's about time.

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