Saturday, May 28, 2016

This Week in Reading

Wonder Woman at Super Hero High, by Lisa Yee, pages 137 – 166.
Crime Cats: The Dusenbury Curse, by Wolfgang Parker, pages 1 – 55.

DC Comics Bombshells 12 & 13
DC Comics Rebirth
The Groo Chronicles, Book 2
Manhunter #1 (1984 reprint)
Marvel Two-in-One 57
Shade the Changing Man 5- 10
Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. 0, 1

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Podcast Guest Appearances

Over the last few weeks, I have had the great good pleasure to appear as a guest on a couple of terrific podcasts. There are a few more to be recorded and released in the near future, but here are two that recently came out.

When I visited Atlanta a few months ago for business, I hung out with Michael Bailey for dinner and a visit to a comic book shop. While we chatted at California Pizza Kitchen about comics and the comic industry, Michael hit the recorder on his phone. And that conversation became episode 234 of Michael's excellent Views from the Longbox podcast.

I was also fortunate enough to join Scott McGregor, Sara Tonin, and Beth & Brian Hughes, for an episode of 5-Minute Freak, in which we covered (for waaaayyy more than 5 minutes) the mid-season finale of Fear the Walking Dead. Scott had me on as a fill-in guest for the first episode, and I was glad to be invited back on the show. After the Summer break, when the show returns to TV, I hope to appear again on a few episodes of the podcast.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Review of Naked Greed

Book #19.Naked Greed, by Stuart Woods. Unabridged audio.

As always, Stone Barrington lucks into more good fortune in this novel. He steps in to break up a potential mugging, and the fellow he saves turns into a prolific client for Barrington and his law firm. But the man has enemies, including a few in the mob, and they don’t want him (and Barrington) moving into their industry.

Stone’s best friend Dino also had a prominent role in this novel, both as Stone’s friend and as New York’s chief of police. The biggest dramatic moment of the novel involves Dino being shot, and his recovery (spoilers) give great opportunity for character development and some humor.

This is a return to the smaller-scale type of stories that characterized the series in its early years, before Barrington regularly engaged in James Bond-style spy work. Perhaps Woods realized that the stakes were smaller that they had been in the most recent books, as he brought in some of the international characters, even though they didn’t fit neatly into this story. But that being said, I enjoyed the smaller, less “epic” feel of this novel.

As always, actor Tony Roberts does a terrific job bringing all of these characters to life in the audio version of the novel.

Source: publiclibrary

Saturday, May 21, 2016

This Week in Reading

Naked Greed, by Stuart Woods, COMPLETED.
Wonder Woman at Super Hero High, by Lisa Yee, pages 93 – 137.
Deadly Beloved, by Max Allan Collins, COMPLETED. Review here.

America’s Greatest Comics 1, 3, 6, 7, 8
Constantine the Hellblazer 12            
Fantastic Comics 24
Ms Tree Special 9 & 10
Standard Comics 1
Starfire 12
Trekker omnibus, pages 289 –  296 (*)
The Walking Dead 133 – 138

(*) covering “Mercy Killing.” Ruth and Darrin Sutherland covered this story in detail on episode 17 of the excellent podcast Trekker Talk.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Review of Deadly Beloved

Book #18. Deadly Beloved: A Ms Tree Novel, by Max Allan Collins. Paperback.

My thoughts about pulp stories are similar to my thoughts about steampunk stories. I like the aesthetics, and I like the concepts, but I haven’t read a lot in either genre. As much I like the trappings of each genre, I don’t find of lot of interesting stories in the genres. But I find the character of Ms Tree unique and intriguing.

I know of Ms Tree from comics books, which is also where was introduced to the work of the author Max Allan Collins. He is probably best known as the creator of the graphic novel The Road to Perdition, as well as taking over for creator Chester Gould on the Dick Tracy comic strip. He co-created Ms Tree with artist Terry Beatty, and wrote all of her comic book appearances.

The novel tells a similar story to the comic books, but it was different enough for me to not know what was going to happen. On her honeymoon, Ms (Michael) Tree’s husband (also named Michael) is murdered, and in this story, we learn that the murder was just one of a series of never-before-connected crimes. Working with colleagues in her PI office, and her police contacts, they work to solve the case.

There was an interesting narrative device of interspersing discussions between Ms Tree and her psychologist with action in the active investigation. This was becoming tedious until near the end of the story, where the two narrative threads intersected. In retrospect, it was an effective narrative choice.

Collins regularly acknowledges his fandom of Mickey Spillane: they even collaborated on a comic book in the 1990s. And the tough-talking, straight-shooting (literally and figuratively) Ms Tree is a hero in the mold of Mike Hammer. She is a great lead character, and is strong enough to carry her own stories.

Unfortunately, this is the only Ms Tree novel that has ever been published, and she hasn’t been seen in a comic book in more than two decades. I long for the day when some new material featuring her appears.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along!

Just do the following:
Grab your current read.
Open to a random page.
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

From Chapter 3 of Wonder Woman at Super Hero High, a YA novel by Lisa Yee, taking place in the DC Comics Superhero Girls universe.

"Wonder Woman's eyes grew wide. She could hardly contain her excitement. She had never lived in a dorm. She had never lived anywhere other than Paradise Island. Wonder Woman couldn't wait to meet her roommates."

Saturday, May 14, 2016

This Week in Reading

Naked Greed, by Stuart Woods, pages 1 – 96.
Wonder Woman at Super Hero High, by Lisa Yee, pages 46 – 93.
Deadly Beloved, by Max Allan Collins, pages 86 – 164.

Avengers & the Infinity Gauntlet 1 – 4
Daffy Duck 66
Doctor Who: The Time Machination
Free Comic Book Day: Archie, DC SuperHero Girls, Doctor Who, Lady Mechanika, The Phantom, and ROM.
Girlfrenzy! Event: Batgirl, Lois Lane, The Mist, The Ravens, and Tomorrow Woman
Strange Planets 9, 10, 12, 16, 18