Saturday, September 13, 2014

Incoming Books: Week of September 13

I had two big book-shopping trips around last weekend -- one to a comics shop and one for a new reading project -- and since I love lists, I'll run through what I picked up.

The reading project is something I think I've mentioned before here, but just became more urgent: I've been thinking about reading a bunch of the Vintage Contemporaries series for the past year or two, and accumulated a few of them. But I was doing a bit of research online, and realized that right now is the thirtieth anniversary of the launch of that series: the first seven books came out in September 1984. So my plan is now to read in that series in publication month (plus thirty) as much as possible, focusing on the originals and probably starting with Bright Lights, Big City later this month. (But I'm also looking forward to reading more obscure things by writers I'm not familiar with as well -- especially women writers, like Emily Prager, Gladys Swan, and Janet Hobhouse, since I think I semi-ignored women writers as a teenager in the '80s.)

So I went out to my local used book store, the Montclair Book Center, and got a nice stack of Vintage Contemporary, which I'll just present as a list (since I'm sure 99% of you don't care about 1980s literary fiction):
I'm focusing entirely on the early Vintage Contemporaries, with those great slabs of color and dot-filled covers. (It looks the style shifted in about 1988, which gives me four years of books to gather.) And reviews of some of them should start showing up here within a few weeks -- though I'm also still building out my spreadsheet of what VC published and when.

Pretty much everything else is comics -- some of these are replacements for flood-lost books, some of them are new stuff, and they came from various places. But here's what's new in La Casa Hornswoggler:

Scott McCloud's Zot, Book 1 -- the late-90s Kitchen Sink edition, containing the first ten issues (in color) of the series that didn't make it into the larger, later, and still available HarperCollins edition. I'm still hoping someone will reprint Destroy!!! one of these days.

The Potpourrific Great Big Grab Bag of Get Fuzzy by Darby Conley -- the fourth treasury of the newspaper strip with strips from the 2007-2008 time period. I missed this one the first time around, but I like reading treasuries of strips I like, so I grabbed this when I saw it and recognized I was missing it.

Strip Joint a collection of Carol Lay's "Story Minute" strips from the mid-90s. Interestingly, this is also a Kitchen Sink book -- that's a press I don't think I appreciated enough while it was around.

Two books from Rick Geary's "Treasury of Victorian Murder" series -- The Mystery of Mary Rogers and The Saga of the Bloody Benders (my review) -- because you can never have too much historical murder on your shelves, particularly when it comes from Geary.

An Age Of License, the new graphic novel by Lucy Knisley -- author of Relish and French Milk -- the story of her 2011 European book tour and related stuff, from a creator almost too young and talented and enthusiastic to believe.

Mind MGMT Vol. 2: The Futurist by Matt Kindt, because I just read the first volume, and because Kindt is a massive talent who hasn't given us a less than gripping story yet.

Isaac the Pirate, Vol. 2: The Capital by Christophe Blain, also because I recently read the first volume and really enjoyed it. This series, though -- unlike Kindt's -- is not still running; there's only one short French book left untranslated, and I get the sense that even that isn't the real ending. But the world is large and time is long; you never know what will happen next.

Two "Abe Sapien" books from Mike Mignola's Hellboy universe -- the first volume, The Drowning (my review), and the fourth, The Shape of Things to Come. The first of those is written solo by Mignola with art by Jason Shawn Alexander; the latter is written with Scott Allie (Mignola's editor) and drawn by Sebastian and Max Fiumara.

Jeff Lemire's recent DC miniseries in book form: Trillium. (I'd vaguely thought that this was an ongoing -- which shows how much attention I'm paying to periodical comics these days -- probably because I'd conflated it with Mind MGMT.) Lemire has done a lot of good stuff, like The Nobody and The Underwater Welder, so I have high hopes for this.

Richard Sala's Cat Burglar Black which I reviewed for ComicMix when it first came out. Sala is one of the people I'm concentrating on replacing in this first round of post-flood buying -- along with Kim Deitch, Evan Dorkin, and the Hellboy-verse; I may perhaps be a bit quirky -- and this helps to fill that shelf back up.

Seconds the big new graphic novel by Brian Lee O'Malley. You've probably heard of it; O'Malley is coming off the Scott Pilgrim juggernaut, and it's gotten a lot of press.

Yoshihiro Tatsumi's tough and unflinching short story collection Abandon the Old in Tokyo (see my review from the 2010 run of Book-A-Day), which I think stands as not just some of the best comics stories ever created, but as one of the great short-story collections period. Tatsumi is just that good.

And some more Hellboy-universe books to continue rebuilding those shelves. Since I bought those stories the first time around -- actually, the first two times, since I bought most of the Hellboy and B.P.R.D. stories both in individual issues and then as trade paperbacks -- they've been reprinted in nice uniform hardcovers, which is what I think I'll focus on this time around. So I now have Hellboy Library Edition, Volume 2: The Chained Coffin, The Right Hand of Doom, and Others and B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs Collection, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. (I've had so many reviews of Hellboy stuff that I can't begin to give you links.)

And I've got a box of books from yet another seller on its way to me; one thing that Book-A-Day dependably does is whet my appetite for books, so I end up buying them even faster than I read them. But there's no serious reader who would call that a bad thing.

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