Saturday, May 23, 2015

Incoming Books: Week of 5/23

I've hit another of the periods when all I seem capable of posting here is lightly annotated list of books. It's not my preference, but the new job gets me out of the house at 6:40 and not back home until 20:05, so time for thinking and writing are very slim right now.

But I did read eight books this week -- all short, and mostly comics, but definitely books -- which is an improvement over my days of unemployment. And so, to keep the cosmic balance, I ended up buying eight books this week as well: also mostly comics.

Those books were:

Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?, the second full-length graphic novel from Brian Fies (after Mom's Cancer, which I read way back in the misty early days of this blog when I didn't write long meandering posts about books all the time). It's about the dream of the future from the 1939 World's Fair, and it seems to be fictional, unlike Mom's Cancer.

Satellite Sam, Vol. 2 from Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin. This is a complicated mystery story set in the world of early TV in the '50s, with lots of Chaykin dames in their over-constructed lingerie (and not much else, much of the time). I mostly enjoyed the first volume, despite admittedly not entirely understanding it.

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth, Vol. 7: A Cold Day in Hell by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Lawrence Campbell, and Peter Snejbjerg. I'm trying to keep up better with Hellboy-verse stories these days, and I might just sit down for a big week of B.P.R.D. soon. (This was one I was missing in the middle; it's not the most recent book.)

Over Easy, a memoir-ish graphic novel -- or maybe a graphic memoir with some degree of fictionalizing -- from Mimi Pond, who did a lot of great work for National Lampoon in the '70s and whom I haven't seen much lately. (I see that she did a long-running strip for Seventeen magazine for part of that time, which was way off my radar.)

Dungeon: Twilight, Vol. 4: The End of Dungeon, the last book in the series -- well, more will be published, but this one is at the very end of the internal timeline -- which is written by series creators Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim. The two individual French albums collected here are drawn by Alfred (of Why I Killed Peter fame) and Mazan (who seems to have had several long-running series in Europe that have never been translated into English).

Bandette, Vol. 2: Stealers, Keepers!, the second book collecting a comic by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover. I really enjoyed the first one, and I always like Coover's sunny, expressive art.

Grendel vs. The Shadow by Matt Wagner. I probably heard about this at some point -- I'm not completely cut off from all sources of information about the usual comic-shop stuff -- but I was surprised to see it on the shelf. I like Wagner, though I think he's spent too much time this century doing Hunter Rose stories -- and I also think that's what the market-slash-editors keep asking him for. And I guess I'm the problem, because I keep buying them, and providing financial incentive to keep making them.

Last is the one book with only words on the pages: Defender of the Innocent, a complete collection (so far) of Lawrence Block's stories about Martin Ehrengraf, the criminal defense attorney whose clients are always innocent, no matter what else has to happen for that to be true. Block's short stories are sharp and sneaky -- possibly even better than his novel -- so this should be fun.

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