Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February 2018 Recap

  1. Jim Henson's The Power of the Dark Crystal, Vol 1 by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Kelly and Nichole Matthews
  2. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  3. Gotham by Gaslight: A Tale of the Batman by Brian Augustyn, illustrated by Mike Mignola & P. Craig Russell
  4. Dr. Third / Dr. Fifth / Dr. Sixth / Dr. Tenth by Adam Hargreaves
  5. Dr. Second / Dr. Seventh / Dr. Eighth / Dr. Ninth by Adam Hargreaves
  6. Renato Jones, Season Two: The Freelancer by Kaare Kyle Andrews
  7. Moebius Library: Inside Moebius, Part 1 by Jean Giraud
  8. Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
  9. Descender, Vol 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen
  10. Descender, Vol 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen

Pick of the Month
Renato Jones, Season Two: The Freelancer by Kaare Kyle Andrews


February 2018
Number of books read: 10
Number of pages: 1,663

Number of books acquired: 24
Number of those books read: 4


YEAR TOTALS
Number of books read: 19
Number of pages: 3,571

Number of books acquired: 50
Number of those books read: 6

Monday, February 26, 2018

Descender, Vol 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen

Descender, Vol. 2: Machine Moon Descender, Vol. 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The continuing adventures of Tim as he finds other robots out in the galaxy who have banded together to keep themselves safe. Or do they have ulterior motives for Tim?

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Descender, Vol 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen

Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A future scifi about a galaxy out to destroy all robots or androids after their worlds were decimated by mysterious, planet-sized robots. Tim, a long dormant robot programmed to keep his "brother" company on a distant mining planet, awakens 10 years after the incident, and inadvertently advertises his presence. There are bounty hunters out for him and members of the galactic council as well, who want to try to find the link between his OS and the giant robots. One thing that I think is a great touch with this series is the artwork is rendered in watercolor - not something I would associate with a sleek, futuristic graphic novel. But it works so well.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

Thrawn Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great re-introduction of Zahn's character Thrawn in the current canonical Star Wars universe, who had been part of the old Expanded Universe Star Wars books before Disney did away with those as being canon.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Inside Moebius, Part 1 by Mœbius

Inside Moebius, Part 1
by Mœbius
Published by Dark Horse Books • February 20, 2018
216 Pages • ISBN 978-1506703206 • Hardcover



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Book description:
Moebius draws himself encountering his favorite characters--creations like Blueberry, Arzak, and Major Grubert--and also meets a younger version of himself!

Working closely with Moebius Production in France, Dark Horse presents
Inside Moebius, a six-part study with Inside Moebius Part 1 collecting the first two chapters in this fantastic exploration of a creator meeting his own creations. Dark Horse will release all parts to this exceptional, intimate series in 2018! This is the third volume in the Moebius Library hardcover series and the beginning of Moebius's most intensely personal project.


The description for this book is far too simplistic an explanation for what this book is about; it is far more than just Moebius illustrating himself interacting with his own creations. Inside Moebius is an illustrated journal he kept after he decided that he wanted to stop smoking weed. He was working thru his feelings about his decisions, using his characters as foils to discuss his thoughts. Eventually, he even works a younger version of himself into the story.

As time moves on, real world events begin to encroach into Moebius' conscious, most specifically the events of 9/11. This was obviously a remarkable event in his life (as it was for everyone), and to work his way thru this he introduces Osama bin Laden as a character in his journal, discussing bin Laden's motivations behind the 9/11 attacks.

Overall, this is a fascinating look into Moebius' mind as he works his way thru freeing himself from his addiction and dealing with real world events. It's not often that we are given such an intimate look into the thoughts and feelings of an artist, and I found this entire volume enthralling.

I'm loving Dark Horse's new Moebius Library. I've been a longtime fan of his artwork, but with much of his work published in his native France, it's not always been easy to track down his work, especially when some of it was never translated into English. Inside Moebius was originally published in six volumes, and Dark Horse is now releasing it for the first time in English as a three volume set. With the Inside Moebius series, and the two previously released Edena books, Dark Horse is providing us with some fantastic reading from one of the finest cartoonists of his time.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Renato Jones, Season Two: The Freelancer by Kaare Kyle Andrews

Renato Jones, Season Two: The Freelancer
by Kaare Kyle Andrews
Published by Image Comics • January 30, 2018
136 Pages • ISBN 978-1534303386 • Paperback



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Book description:
Mysterious vigilante Renato Jones showed the One% that for all their money, for all their power, they are not untouchable. But now they're pushing back, and resulting class warfare may be more than even Renato can handle. When full-time villains control the whole word the only hero who can take on the job is self-employed… a Freelancer.

KAARE KYLE ANDREWS proudly presents Season Two of the most dangerous comic on the planet!

Collecting
Renato Jones Season Two #1-5


What started out as a satire of the current political climate in the US quickly grew into a scathing commentary about where we are probably going as a country. Renato Jones is Andrews way of dealing with the mess that our country has become over the last couple years, and it is brilliant, hyper violent, and continues to be one of my favorite books Image is releasing right now.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Doctor Who meets Mister Men by Adam Hargreaves


Dr. Second by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-0515158502 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • August 29, 2017

Dr. Third by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-1524784935 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • February 6, 2018

Dr. Fifth by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-1524784942 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • February 6, 2018

Dr. Sixth by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-1524784966 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • February 6, 2018

Dr. Seventh by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-0515158519 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • August 29, 2017

Dr. Eighth by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-0515158526 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • August 29, 2017

Dr. Ninth by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-0515158533 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • August 29, 2017

Dr. Tenth by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-1524784959 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • February 6, 2018



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Book description:
These storybook mash-ups, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves, combine the iconic storytelling of Doctor Who with the whimsical humor and design made famous by his father, Roger Hargreaves.


I know there isn't much to any of these books (I only count 4 of them as a whole book), but as a fan of the Mister Men books and a certified Whovian, I think these books are hysterical fun. Each is illustrated and told in the fashion of the Mister Men books, and each Doctor and the Companions in the books are written very closely to their live-action counterparts.

Now, we will just need a Dr. Thirteenth adventure come the end of the year to complete the set!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Gotham by Gaslight: A Tale of the Batman by Brian Augustyn, illustrated by Mike Mignola & P. Craig Russell

Gotham by Gaslight: A Tale of the Batman
by Brian Augustyn, illustrated by Mike Mignola & P. Craig Russell
Published by DC Comics • March 12, 2013
112 Pages • ISBN 978-1401211530 • Paperback



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Book description:
Presenting a new edition of the title collecting the adventures of the Victorian era Batman. This volume includes the breakthrough Elseworlds epics GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT and MASTER OF THE FUTURE, which pit the Dark Knight against Jack the Ripper and a death-dealer from the skies over Gotham. This title features artwork by Mike Mignola (HELLBOY) and P. Craig Russell (THE SANDMAN).


Gotham by Gaslight is a unique retelling of the Batman origin. This book was actually the starting point for DC's later Elseworlds series due to its popularity. The Elseworlds series took their characters and reset them in time periods or circumstances different from their established histories and told one shot stories around these new ideas. The other interesting bit about this new (old) Batman story is that it can be considered a Steampunk Batman tale, before Steampunk was as popular as it is today.

Gotham by Gaslight follows the basic idea of Bruce Wayne/Batman's origin, with Bruce Wayne's family being murdered in front of him as a young boy and him later in life going out into the world to recreate himself into a force of good against evil as Batman. The difference here, however, is that this all takes place in the 1890s and his first adversary is Jack the Ripper. (This isn't spoiling anything. You learn that Jack the Ripper is in this book on the very first page.)

The real star of this book is the art by Mike Mignola. Fans of his Hellboy series will appreciate his dark and shadowy graphic sense, which ultimately lends itself perfectly to this tale. I think anybody who is a fan of Batman, or of Steampunk and is at least familiar with the Batman mythos, will find this quick read enjoyable.

This newer edition of the graphic novel also includes the lesser impressive sequel, Mast of the Future, which finds Batman up against a more generic villain and while the story is good, neither the art nor the writing is quite up the to the first volume's originality.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

The Fire Next Time
by James Baldwin
Published by Vintage Books • December 1, 1992
128 Pages • ISBN 978-0679744726 • Paperback



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Book description:
A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose," The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.


The second selection from David Bowie's son's online book club honoring Bowie's love of books, Baldwin's The Fire Next Time was originally written in the 1960s, and is just as important today, if not more so as it shows just how little we've come as a society. Collecting a letter that Baldwin wrote to his nephew on the the hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation and an essay on Baldwin's thoughts about where the country was at the time in regards to civil rights, it's disheartening to think that he could just as easily be writing about the current climate in the US.

Jim Henson's The Power of the Dark Crystal, Vol 1 by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Kelly and Nichole Matthews

Jim Henson's
The Power of the Dark Crystal, Vol 1
by Simon Spurrier,
illustrated by Kelly and Nichole Matthews
Published by Archaia • October 31, 2017
112 Pages • ISBN 978-1608869923 • Hardcover



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Book description:
An official sequel to Jim Henson’s cult classic fantasy film The Dark Crystal.

Years have passed since the Dark Crystal was healed and peace was restored on Thra. Though Jen and Kira have ruled as King and Queen, they have become distracted by power. The planet is sick and those on the surface of Thra are not the only ones effected. A mysterious race of creatures called Firelings live in a realm near the planet’s core, hidden from the Gelfling and their kingdom. A young Fireling named Thurma is tasked with stealing a shard of the Crystal to restore power to her world. Along the way she’ll befriend the young Gelfling Kensho, conjure the Skeksis and Mystics, and embark on one incredible adventure.

Written by Simon Spurrier (
The Spire, X-Men Legacy) and lushly illustrated by Kelly and Nichole Matthews (Toil & Trouble), The Power of the Dark Crystal includes behind-the-scenes materials on the making of this sure to be classic tale of wonder.


Picking up 100 years after the events of The Dark Crystal, the land of Thra is lush and vibrant, a world basking in the glow of the healed Crystal. Or, at least that's what the Crystalline Eminence wants everyone, including Jen and Kira, to believe. Jen and Kira slumber in the glow of the Crystal, trusting that the world of Thra is still at peace. In their absence, the Crystalline Eminence has convinced the inhabitants of Thra that in order for them to bask in the glow and be healed by the Crystal, they must bring tributes to the Crystal, and without a tribute, they are turned away. This is not the world that Jen and Kira dream of in their slumber. Thra is sick, and they are unaware.

When Thurma, a young Fireling (beings who live in the flames of the core of Thra), is sent to beseech help from the Gelflings who rule Thra, she sets in motion events that she does not truly understand, because she is sent to request a shard of Crystal, which her elders say will rekindle the dying flames of their world. When she is turned away, Thurma takes matter into her own hands and cracks the Crystal again, freeing once again both the Mystics and Skeksis. As she flees the Castle of the Crystle, Thurma is entirely unaware of the evil that she has let lose into the world again.

I loved this story. Based on a script that was written as the sequel to the film, this reads just like the original movie feels. All of the characters from the film make an appearance, including Aughra and Fizzgig, and everyone feels like themselves. Simon Spurrier has expertly captured the characters voices and personalities. Kelly and Nichole Matthews' art is spot on perfect for this project, with a lovely natural flow to the art that breathes life into the land people of Thra.

I wish this had been made into a film; I'm wildly curious as to how they would have created Thurma in puppet form. However, being given the opportunity to read what could have been in film is still just as thrilling. If you're a fan of The Dark Crystal, this is essential reading.