Monday, February 19, 2018

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/17/18

Welcome back to the weekly Antick Musings post about whatever new books have wandered close enough for me to take a look at them. Once upon a time, I only listed things I got free in the mail, as part of Big Book Publishing's publicity efforts, but why limit myself? So now it's more varied, depending on what happened that week.

This time out, I've gotten a few books form the library, and these are they:

Romeo And/Or Juliet is a Choose-Your-Adventure version of the Shakespeare play, rewritten by Ryan North and illustrated by a whole lot of people. I've played the game version of North's previous iteration of the same idea, To Be Or Not To Be, and that was fun. I did think this was more deeply in comics format than it actually is: it's a regular mostly-text book with about 400 pages and 500 numbered text sections, but it does have a bunch of illustrations.

Brief Histories of Everyday Objects was a webcomic (by Andy Warner) that ended just about as soon as I discovered it, which is right about my luck. I think it ended because Warner got the book deal, and needed to save his cartooning efforts for this paid gig, but I could be wrong. Anyway, the book eventually appeared, I intended to read it for a long time, and now it looks like I will.

Kaijumax: Season Two is the second collection of Zander Cannon's giant monster prison movie in comics form, and I guess this means I've given up on actually seeing and buying this series in an actual store. (The problem with the modern world is that you can get anything you desperately want delivered immediately, but things you want to check out or aren't as immediately focused on just don't show up anywhere at all near you.) Anyway, I liked the first volume, and now I've got the second one, even if it took library systems in two states to do it.

The Best American Comics 2013 is a five-year-old book in a series I thought I was going to keep better track of. Well, you know what kind of road-building happens from good intentions. This one was edited by Jeff Smith -- all of the "Best American" books have series editors, who do the initial cull to get a long list of good stuff, and one-off yearly star editors, who select the final contents most from that long list.

And last is a new comics version of Beowulf, by Santiago Garcia and David Rubin. The book itself isn't clear about their roles: did one write and one draw? One layout, the other do finishes, and the first come back Marvel-style to do the dialogue? Did they work simultaneously on the same pages and argue about wording? Did they swap out days, on working Monday-Wednesday-Friday and the other Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday? I simply don't know, and I'm running out of silly options to pretend to care about. However they did it, they adapted the Old English poem into comics, and Image published it as a big hardcover.

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