Saturday, September 27, 2014

Incoming Books: Week of September 27

This week, the books came in from two directions -- first, most of the stuff I ordered from the big Top Shelf sale arrived, in a flood of cheap indie comics, and then I had to drop off my younger son at a Magic: The Gathering tournament yesterday evening, and that just happened to be in a comics shop, so....

And here's what's new -- several of them are re-purchases after the flood, but a sale like Top Shelf's is excellent for that:

Three more B.P.R.D. volumes, following up on three that I've read and reviewed. (Though I just realized that, since I'm working ahead, that review hasn't gone live yet.) These three are all in the current overall B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth super-series, and are:
Gilbert Hernandez's new standalone graphic novel, Bumperhead. This is another story of growing up -- the main character here is a sullen punky teen, showing Beto is further encroaching on what we all assumed was his brother Jaime's turf -- following the somewhat similar Marble Season from last year. I don't think this one is semi-autobiographical the way Marble Season was, but Beto is a sneaky and intricate creator, so the possibility of deeper complexity is always there.

Two books by Nicolas Mahler -- Lone Racer and Van Helsing's Night Out -- both of which have a uniquely odd drawing style and an amusingly dour and quirky sense of humor. I bought both of 'em, I read both of 'em, I liked both of 'em, and now I bought 'em again to complete the whole circle-of-life thing. (Links are two Top Shelf roundups with reviews of the respective books.)

August Moon is a 2012 graphic novel by Diana Thung, and that's most of what I know about it: it was in the Top Shelf sale, so I took a chance on it. It looks to be somewhere in between magical realism and Miyazaki, which is an interesting territory to be sure.

Matt Kindt's Super Spy: The Lost Dossiers, the sequel/expansion/sidebar to his great graphic novel Super Spy. Don't read this one on its own, but it's well worth reading in tandem with the main book. (Links are to my reviews.)

Alone Forever: The Singles Collection, a collection of comic strips by Liz Prince, creator of Delayed Replays. This looks to be more of the same sort of thing -- scratchy autobio stories by a young creator, this time focused on love and relationships. (And, from the title -- and from the genre, since autobio comics are nearly always about failure in one form or another -- you can assume that things don't work out well.)

Mawil's Beach Safari, a quirky little book about a little rabbit guy and the teen surfer girls he befriends on a random beach somewhere. Amusingly, the only uncensored cover I could find online -- all the others have quietly added a top to the redhead on the cover, to avoid the menace of public sideboob -- was from my own review six years ago. The actual book has the cover shown here -- sideboob, apparently, is only a problem on the Internet, not live.

Shuck Unmasked, another graphic novel I know next to nothing about. It's by Rick Smith (co-writing and art) and Tania Menesse (the other half of the co-writing), and is about a retired demon trying to live quietly in suburbia, and the little girl next door who befriends him. It's also written in Herriman-esque dialect at least part of the time: it's looks beguilingly weird.

The Collected Essex County a big graphic novel from Jeff Lemire, which incorporates three interrelated stories and a bunch of additional material. (Two of the three -- Ghost Stories and The Country Nurse -- are books I reviewed for ComicMix, but I've never gotten back to the first third of this story before.)

Nate Powell's mesmerizing, magnificent graphic novel Swallow Me Whole -- it won the Eisner for best graphic novel in 2009, and could have deserved it for a longer stretch than just one year -- is another book I had to get a new copy after my flood, and now I do. You can also see my old ComicMix review.

Nemo: The Roses of Berlin, continuing the sidebar "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" story by Alan Moore and Kevil O'Neill. This one is set during WWII in this particular alternate world, with Captain Nemo's daughter -- now the captain herself -- as our lead character.

And last are two books by James Kochalka, in very different modes: Superf*ckers is bratty and rude and piss-taking, a parody of teen superheroes taken in a very Kochalka direction. American Elf, Book Two is the 2004-2005 strips from his daily diary strip, which he did for more than a decade. Both of them are re-purchases; both of the links above lead to my reviews here of those books.

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