Monday, October 08, 2018

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 10/6/18

This week, I've got one book that came from its publisher and a few that I bought -- and I'll hit them in that order.

The brand-new thing is The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey, a 1962 draft of what became Peter S. Beagle's 1968 novel. It was originally published a decade ago by Subterranean, but this new edition from Tachyon press is at a more wallet-friendly price and features new introductions by Patrick Rothfuss and Carrie Vaughn. (So new, in fact, they weren't done in time for the bound galley I'm looking at now.) There's also a 2017 afterword by Beagle about the writing of this version. Lost Journey will be published November 12th in hardcover.

And the stuff I bought includes:

The Complete Geisha, nearly the last of Andi Watson's books that I had to re-buy and re-read after my flood a few years back. Watson is a wonderful and criminally underrated comics-maker, with a long list of great books that tell smart stories about real people. If you haven't read him, do so now. If you haven't in a while, go find his most recent book. (I think it's Glister.)

I Die at Midnight is a Kyle Baker original graphic novel from the turn of the millennium, which I am shocked to realize is twenty years ago now. This is from the period when he was using a lot of very obvious computer drawing tools, which I didn't love at the time. But it's time to check it out again.

Speaking of Baker, I also got his You Are Here from the same era, also somewhat madcap and thriller-y but looking physically (in the size of the book and the page layouts) like a return to Why I Hate Saturn form.

The Question, Vol. 5: Riddles is a middle volume reprinting the late-80s series by Dennis O'Neil, Denys Cowan and (for this book) Bill Wray. (My sense is that Rick Magyar was the inker for the majority of that run.) I recently re-read Vol. 2 of this reprint series, and now I think I'm going to try to get all six and read them straight through.

The Love and Rockets Companion: 30 Years (and Counting) is a 2013 guide to the series by Marc Sobel and Kristy Valenti; if I were more organized, I would have had it before embarking on my I Love (& Rockets) Mondays series of posts, but instead I think I'll put it at the end of that series. (Note: there may also be an asterisk on that "end," but that will need to wait until 2019.

Also interesting to note: the book I have isn't the same as the cover shown here (the only one I can find online.) The book in front of me has a wordless jacket with a big collection of Jaime & Mario characters -- the same art as the cover shown, I think -- on heavy paper, folded to fit as a jacket but able to fold out to poster-size. On the back of that is two cast charts, for the major players of the two brothers. The book itself has a black-and-white version of that art printed on the paper covers, again with no text. (Unless that black box was a sticker on shrinkwrap? That could explain it.)

And last is the book that launched Rick Geary's current career: 1987's A Treasury of Victorian Murder, Vol. 1. He has done other things since then, but the bulk of his work has been about historical murders, and even the other things have tended to be non-fictional and/or historical -- this has been the Great Attractor of his career. Luckily, he's really good at it, and I haven't read this book in a long time; as I recall, it shows him moving from his early short surreal strips into more matter-of-fact work.

(I also got Cerebus Number Zero, in case I want to keep going there. But that's staple-bound and so not a "book.")

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