Monday, November 21, 2022

Reviewing the Mail: Week of November 19, 2022

I'm listing three books this week, and holding three more to list next week, so to keep all of us from collapsing from raw enthusiasm. (Or perhaps some other reason, less ridiculous.) All these books came from the library, and this time I actually walked in the door and wandered around the shelves, like in the Before Times. I even did it in the library in the Larger Town Next Door, which is both the town where I grew up and the library where my sons and I would often go to get random books on a Saturday afternoon when they were smaller and needed closer watching.

So: here's what I found.

Stranger Planet is, I think, the second collection of Nathan W. Pyle's "Strange Planet" comics. You've seen them by now: Pyle's characters are blue-skinned, big-headed aliens doing absolutely normal human things but describing them in convoluted language. It's a one-joke premise - humans are weird and do weird things - but it's a durable one, and Pyle gets a lot of mileage out of it. I've seen these strips online a lot, but they don't seem to have an online home; my guess is that Pyle posted them on social media first, used that to get a book deal, but the books are the core format of the comic, as in Olden Days.

The Incredible Nellie Bly is a nonfiction graphic novel - no points to guess its subject - by Luciana Cimino and Sergio Algozzino. As the creators' names imply, this was originally published in Italian (in Italy, because they're both Italian themselves, I mean; that's the point) in 2019 and translated into Nellie Bly's native language two years later. I've had this vaguely on my I-should-read-it list for a couple of years, so seeing it on a shelf meant it had to come away with me. I gather it's mostly a biography of the subject, but veers a bit to tell a wider story about women and journalism as well.

Ex Libris is some manner of graphic novel by Matt Madden, in a large format. The back-cover copy is aggressively post-modern, in the "you are reading the blurb of a book!" mode, and that's one of the kinds of obvious reader manipulation that I do like. I don't know much more about it than that, but I've seen Madden's translations and editing work in comics before, even if I don't think I've read any books he directly made yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment