Monday, February 25, 2013

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/23

One of the fun things about "Reviewing the Mail" is how the flow of mail is radically different from week to week -- some times I'm buried, and some times (like this week) there are two swell little books to write about.

Either way, the same caveats apply: these just arrived, so I haven't read them yet. Anything I write below could be wrong -- I certainly hope not, but the Vatican hasn't yet approved my application to be Pope Hornswoggler I, so I'm not officially infallible at this point. But here's what I can tell you this week:

Matt Kindt has been recently stretching his talents beyond his original WWII-era spy milieu (see his excellent Super Spy, the nearly as excellent warm-up 2 Sisters, and the sidebar Super Spy: The Lost Dossiers), with the historical but not spy-focused 3 Story, the SFnal multiple worlds puzzle Revolver, and his current ongoing SF saga, Mind MGMT. But he also found time to do another standalone book, Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes, coming in May from First Second. Red Handed is a detective story -- also apparently historical, set in what looks like the postwar era -- following Detective Gould (and I can't believe that name, in a comic, could be accidental) as he traces the eccentric and random crimes of the town of Red Wheelbarrow.

Also from First Second in May is Odd Duck, a graphic novel for younger readers from writer Cecil Castellucci (The Plain Janes, Janes in Love, and other comics work, as well as young adult novels) and artist Sara Varon (creator of the deeply sweet graphic novels Bake Sale and Robot Dreams). It's about Theodora, a perfectly normal duck (she's the one with the teacup balanced on her head), and Chad, who is quite bizarre (he's the other fella). I suspect there may be A Lesson here, but Varon's drawings are so charming I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

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