Saturday, July 30, 2016

This Week in Reading

Foreign Affairs, by Stuart Woods, pages 1 – 213.
Strength for the Journey, by Diana Butler Bass, pages 47 – 85.
Dragon Token, by Melanie Rawn, pages 313 – 368.

Captain Marvel 17
Captain Marvel & the Carol Corps 1 – 4
Doc Savage (1987 mini) 2 – 4
The Draft OGN
DC Rebirth Specials: Batgirl & the Birds of Prey, Green Arrow, Hellblazer
Green Arrow 1 – 3
Phantom Stranger 21
Snake Woman 0, 1

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. 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 Page 9 of Strength for the Journey: A Pilgirmage of Faith in Community, by Diana Butler Bass.

" ... I could not live into the reality of a God who is completely Love. It took a protracted struggle to convince me emotionally and spiritually that God did, indeed love humanity and all creation. And that God loved me."

Saturday, July 23, 2016

This Week in Reading

Strength for the Journey, by Diana Butler Bass, pages 19 – 47.
Dragon Token, by Melanie Rawn, pages 246 – 313.
Target Lancer, by Max Allan Collins, COMPLETED. Review here.
Blue Beetle 12, 23, 24, 28, & 29.
DC Comics Bombshells 15
Girlfrenzy! Young Justice: The Secret
Legenderry: Green Hornet 1 – 5
Return of the Skyman 1
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents 1, Hall of Fame 1, 3
Wonder Woman 2

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Review of Target Lancer

Book 26. Target Lancer, by Max Allan Collins. 

I know Max Allan Collins mostly from his comic books writing, including his most famous work, The Road to Perdition. I discussed on a recent podcast his work on the PI comic Ms Tree, and Mr. Collins responded to that episode. He was so kind, and generous with his time, that I thought it only fair that I check out some of his novels.

There are well over two dozen Nathan Heller novels in print, but as a PI series, I assumed that there were not heavily centered on continuity. I am sure there were little bits of history I missed in reading this one (one of the recent novels), but I never felt lost.

Private detective Nate Heller gets called into duty be his former boss Robert Kennedy. The Attorney General wants Heller to work with the Secret Service to provide support in protecting President Kennedy as he visits Chicago. In early November, 1963.

Collins does a great job of maintaining tension, despite the fact that we know that this plot against Kennedy won’t concede. He does this by putting Heller and others at risk, as well as giving us sense that a greater conspiracy is at work. Both Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby appear, as do various Chicago mob bosses and historical figures.

Collins knows how to write detective fiction, no doubt about that. All of his skills as a professional mystery writer are on display in this highly readable novel. I already have my eyes on the next book in the Heller series.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

This Week in Reading

Strength for the Journey, by Diana Butler Bass, pages 1 – 19
Dragon Token, by Melanie Rawn, pages 185 – 246
Target Lancer, by Max Allan Collins, pages 1 –131
The Caped Crusade, by Glen Weldon, COMPLETED. Review here.

Animal Man 24 – 29
Archie & Me 86
Astro City 10 & 11
Black Knight 1 – 4
Captain Rocket 1
Kong the Untamed 1
Underworld Unleashed tie-ins: Catwoman 27 & Superman: The Man of Tomorrow 3

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review of The Caped Crusade

Book 25. The Caped Crusade, by Glen Weldon. Unabridged audio.

This book takes a look at Batman’s popularity throughout the character’s first 75 years of history. The author looks at Batman’s history in comics, TV, & movies, using aspects of this history to comment on larger societal themes. The regular changes in Batman’s approach over the years, from dark to light and back again, are analyzed to see if his story has can tell us something about ourselves.

The book is thorough, looking at every aspect of what Batman has been over the years: a pulp-inspired detective; a planet-hopping hero a campy Pop-art sensation; and a grim and dark ninja of the urban night. The comprehensiveness of the book helps it move briskly, as there is not enough time to dwell too long on one aspect of Batman before the next one comes.

As a “comic book guy,” I was glad that Weldon included as much (probably more) about the comic book aspects of Batman as he did the movies and TV shows. Discussions of the important roles played by Bill Finger, Carmine Infantino, Dennis O’Neill, and Frank Miller are all included. The excellent animated series, created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, is also covered in depth.

Weldon does a good job keeping the book light and breezy, despite its semi-academic purpose. Even if one is familiar with most of the underlying material, there are plenty of opportunities to learn a few new things.

Note: The author does the narrating for the audio version of this book, and he does an excellent job providing a range of voices for many of the people who appear in the book, including Grant Morrison, Chris Nolan, Christian Bale, and a generic “comic book fan.”

Source: public library

Saturday, July 9, 2016

This Week in Reading

Dragon Token, by Melanie Rawn, pages 143 – 185.
Kingdom Come, by Elliot S. Maggin, pages 102 – 115.
The Caped Crusade, by Glen Weldon, pages 1 – 126.

Lois Lane Book One
Ms Tree 9, 30, 32, 33, 36, 37, 42, & 43.
Parts of Strange Adventures 3, 5, 7, 15 & Secret Origins 43.
The Seventh Shrine, Books 1 & 2