Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Incoming Books: Mid-December

These are not Christmas presents, since I bought them for myself. On the other hand, the great thing about being an adult is that you can buy yourself Christmas presents to make sure you get exactly what you want.

Instead, these are books I got because my "local" comics shop -- they actually have a location less than two blocks from my office, but I never go to the actual store -- because they had a great online sale. So these are books I wasn't willing to take a chance on other people buying me or not -- which is how books usually work.

John Allison's great webcomic continues to be collected in Bad Machinery, Vol. 6: The Case of the Unwelcome Visitor. And I will continue to urge you to read it if you enjoy humor, mystery, supernatural happenings, titting about on ladders, and general horseplay. And even if you think you don't enjoy those things: you just haven't seen them done right.

I was recently reminded that I really like Kyle Baker's comics, which I'd somehow lost track of. (Probably because he has a style that I thought was totally awesome and has since moved on in other directions -- only your favorite bands can really let you down, yadda yadda yadda.) Anyway, so I got his collection of random funny stuff Undercover Genie from just over a decade ago. I'm not sure if I ever read this the first time around, so I'm looking forward to figuring that out.

Also from Baker, but far lighter on the ha-ha: his epic retelling of a 19th century slave rebellion in Nat Turner. This isn't exactly in comics form -- the pages mostly have illustrations and text next to each other, but not arranged as comics pages -- but it's a first cousin, at least. This one I know I never read.

Eddie Campbell's other big comics series has been collected, and I now have the back half: Bacchus Omnibus, Volume Two. These are great comics about life and death and gods and survival and stories and drinking that I've owned in two or three formats all ready -- but this looks like the definitive one.

Then there's Kelly: The Cartoonist America Turns To, "by" Stan Kelly -- the quintessential American political cartoonist, as seen in the pages of The Onion. Kelly's work has been edited and given to us by Ward Sutton -- nudge nudge, wink wink -- and there will never be a better collection of cartoons about sleazy anti-American liberals and upstanding white men, all heavily labeled, than this book. We may need Kelly a lot these next four years, so get his book now to be ready for them.

Plutona is a standalone graphic novel about kids who find a dead superhero, from writer Jeff Lemire (always good when he goes more indy) and artist Emi Lenox (whose autobio work I keep thinking I need to pick up). I don't know much more about it than that, but I like standalone stories better than ongoing sagas -- because I like stories better than I like endless serials -- so I have hopes for this one.

You might have heard of this next book: The Saga of the Swamp Thing, Vol. 3 by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, and John Totleben. I'm planning to re-read the whole series, and now I just need to find the second volume. I probably haven't read these since I got the original issues back in the late '80s, come to think of it.

And last is the recent graphic novel from Dash Shaw, Cosplayers. It's about...cosplayers, obviously. Knowing Shaw, there's probably something more to it -- not fighting crime, but something like crippling social anxiety or family drama. I guess I'll find out.

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