Monday, December 27, 2010

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 12/25

Every week, I write a bit here about the books that came in my mail the previous week -- though I generally haven't read them yet. As you can see from the post title, last week ended on a major North American holiday, which somewhat curtailed the usual sending-books-to-bloggers process. In fact, I only got one (1) book delivered this past week:
The Scar-Crow Men is the second book in an Elizabethan fantasy secret-history series by Mark Chadbourn; the first book was The Silver Skull and the series title is "Swords of Albion." Will Swyfte is a spy, among his other unsavory pursuits, and one of the few who defend England from the creatures of the Unseelie Court -- but now the Black Death is savaging London, and a more specific, personal death is stalking Will. Pyr publishes Scar-Crow Men as a trade paperback in February.

And that was it for the mail. Luckily, Thing 2 and I popped into the city yesterday (to see an interesting show, Momentum, at the New Victory, to run through the Ripley's museum-esque thing across the street, and, possibly most importantly, to have lunch and deep-fried candy bars at A Salt and Battery down in the Village), and I convinced him to make a quick side trip to a comics shop, where I got myself:

The Muppet Show Comic Book: Family Reunion, the fourth collection of the main series from Roger Langridge (which is excellent). Langridge is only writing by this point, which is too bad -- his art is excellent for the Muppets; it's very slightly off-model and zany in just the right ways -- but I'm more than willing to give Amy Mebberson's art a chance, when she's illustrating a Langridge script.

Ex Machina Vol. 10: Term Limits by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris. I've been less impressed by the recent sequence of stories in Ex Machina than I was at the beginning -- I still think it's taking far too long to tell what's a very timely story -- but I'm still here for the big finish.

Motel Art Improvement Service, Jason Little's second graphic novel (after Shutterbug Follies, which I read so long ago that there's no mention of it on this blog anywhere).

And the big book of the month, the #1 Kahuna -- Reid Fleming: World's Toughest Milkman, Volume 1 by the inimitable David Boswell. I own all of these issues (this reprints the one shot, Heartbreak Comics, and the five issues of "Rogue to Riches") as well as the trade paperback collection of "Rogue to Riches" from a decade ago, but I'm always up to do whatever I can to encourage Boswell to come back to putting out Reid Fleming comics at least as regularly as he did in the '80s. With any luck, this book will lead to a Volume Two, with a finally-completed "Another Dawn," in only another year or three.

I wrote about Reid back in the early days of this blog, in a post I called "Two Dozen or So Excellent Graphic Novels That You've Probably Never Heard Of" -- and I still stand by every book there, and might have a couple more to add to the list -- where I'll direct you for more detail of the unique flavors of Boswellian excellence. This isn't new work, of course, but I'd be shocked if more than 5% of even serious comics readers had a clue who Reid Fleming is -- so it'll be new to a whole lot of people. And I fervently hope they buy it; Reid Fleming is one of the great originals of comics, and we need a hell of a lot more of him and a hell of a lot less generic Bat- and X-crap.

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