Monday, January 22, 2018

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 1/20

This has been relatively simply up to now: this series of blog posts started off listing books I got through publishers' publicity efforts, and then, when those started to falter, I started listing other books as they came in as well. Up to this point, I haven't had a week when I got publicity books and bought some things.

But this is this point, and now it has.

So the first book will be a brand-new thing, sent by its publisher for publicity purposes. And then everything else will be comics I bought on a recent trip to a comics shop. I'll try to make the separation clear.

The brand-new thing is Starlings, a collection of short stuff from Jo Walton. The back cover calls it "her first collection," but the card page lists three previous books (one with Joan Slonczewski) under the heading "Collections." My guess is that the previous books were either very small-press and probably tiny, or that they were primarily or entirely poetry. Because Starlings is about half stories and half poetry, which those of you allergic to poetry -- or who claim that they are, for whatever reason -- will want to know. In any case: a new collection of short material from one of our best writers. In trade paperback from Tachyon Publications, available right now.

Please Consider This a Clear Separation

Bluesy Lucy is a small-format hardcover from Humanoids, created by Catel and Veronique Grisseaux, about a youngish woman (just turning 30) and her travails in love and life in the big city (probably Paris, since they're French). I've seen this a few times at this particular store, and finally took a chance on it.

King City by Brandon Graham -- I've read Graham's other major book Multiple Warheads and enjoyed it (despite the surprise of hardcore sex for a couple of pages deep into a 400-plus-page book), so I figured I might as well check this out eventually. I have no idea about the shape of this guy's career or what he's doing now; I'm still in "liked one book" mode.

And then there's a big cluster of stuff from the supernatural world of Mike Mignola -- which phrasing makes me think of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and fantasize about major theme-park lands about Hellboy in some better, quirkier world -- because I found them all on the shelf and because I seem to read Hellboy-verse books in big clusters anyway.

So I've got two Abe Sapien collections -- Volume 8: The Desolate Shore and Volume 9: Lost Lives and Other Stories -- both of which are written by Mignola with his alleged-sexual-harasser-editor Scott Allie. The art is by a cast of thousands: Desolate is by brothers Max and Sebastian Fiumara, while Lost Lives lists seven artists. (Plus Dave Stewart, the longtime colorist for all of Mignola's work.)

And then there's The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed, written by Mignola with Chris Roberson and drawn by Paul Grist. (Ruining my note in the previous paragraph, the colors are by Bill Crabtree -- but I do think this is the first Mignola project not to be kaleidoscopically enhanced by Stewart.)

Also co-written with Roberson: The Rise of the Black Flame, with art from Christopher Mitten. I think this is a historical story, in the how-the-villain-came-to-be mode. So I expect it to be pretty darn dark.

Last from Mignola is Mr. Higgins Comes Home, which he wrote all by himself and was drawn by Warwick Johnson-Cadwell. It's a short paper-over-boards hardcover, and, while supernatural, might not be in Hellboy's world.

I also got two big fat collections of Doom Patrol, collecting the first two-thirds of the Grant Morrison/Richard Case run from my salad days. I already have volumes 5 and 6 from the last time this series was reprinted, and these bigger books each reprint two of the older, by some basic algebra, I now have the whole series and can re-read it.

I am not quite done with Jason Shiga's Demon series, but I'm getting closer: I also got Volume 3, so I just need to find the fourth one, and I can read the whole thing straight through. (Yes, it was all published as a webcomic, and I actually had it in my feed reader the whole time. But I was waiting for it all to be done, and I like reading paper better than screens anyway. So I'm happy to buy #4 when I finally see it.)

And last is something that might be another reading project someday, or just something to dip back into: Cerebus by Dave Sim. I read about two-thirds of the series as it was coming out -- I gave up at around the point a lot of other people did -- and have intermittently tried to get through the whole thing by starting at the beginning and powering through. I used to have most of the big fat "phonebook" collections, but I lost all of them in my 2011 flood. And Sim's work is not found in comic shops the way it used to be -- whether because he turned into one of the world's most unique cranks or because he's not publishing much.

1 comment:

Jo Walton said...

Yes, those other collections are poetry collections. I write enough poetry for this to be my fourth collection of it, but hardly any short stories.

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