Readings from 2014

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On the January 2015 “Quad Shot” Podcast, (which you can listen to HERE) during the “Funny Books” segment, I felt rather embarrassed that I couldn’t recall some of my favorite reads (comic and otherwise) from 2014. I’ve read a lot of books in the last year or so, but under the pressure of the moment, and the influence of some alcohol, and the stare of Lady, James’s faithful bitch, I just couldn’t seem to recall some of the finer reads.

Eventually, I spouted out that I loved AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE — which, indeed, is a fun book worth following along with — but truth be told there were a lot of other great reads from last year that I feel I should share with you.

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BLACKSAD – No, the fact that a cat is the lead character is NOT the only reason I enjoyed this book, though that certainly didn’t hurt. What I liked most about this (these) book(s) is the art — very precise, detailed, colored in great precision. The world within, populated by anthropomorphic animals of all species, is seedy and criminal, but vibrant in ways that reflect the best vistas in America. The first story, Somewhere Within the Shadows, is a pure noir, in which our lead detective, Blacksad, investigates the murder of an actress he once knew, and in the process uncovers some shady dealings that go all the way to the top of the business heap. The stories are about 40 pages each, but each with crisp dialogue, 3-dimensional characters, and you can almost smell the smoke coming out of the pages. I highly recommend, specifically if you dig crime stories with a slightly askew point of view.

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ASTRO CITY — A book that has been shelved, re-started, shelved, re-started…this city is back in the limelight as a new monthly series by original creator/writer Kurt Busiek and artist Brent Anderson. Though the new volumes stillc apture the magic of a city coping with the presence of superheroes-and-villains, there’s a freshness that’s only slightly missing in the new stories, a piece of originality and overall greatness that is better highlighted in previous volumes “Life in the Big City” and “Local Heroes”. But I’m a sucker for nostalgie, frankly, so even though the newer stories leave something to be desired in overall intrigue, the very presence of the city, and the “classic”, familiar inhabitants means I’m right at home within the pages.

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SAGA — Brian K. Vaughan’s original space opera-war-love story, with the amazing and superior art by Fiona Staples, is mind-blowing in originality, but also pleasing in its very simplicity of storytelling. While the inter-weaving of character and plot can be daunting to the fresh eye, there’s a basic pleasure inherent to the reading of pages with limited panels and efficient use of space. Comic lovers and newbies should unite in the eye candy that is SAGA.

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GONE GIRL — Yes, a novel, and yes, the basis for a movie. But the novel is great, the switching POV’s keeping you guessing, and for a fast, pulpy read it was more than delightful — the writer (Gillian Flynn) is talented! Great book, great movie, and great example of narrative execution with twists that don’t come out of nowhere but still surprise.

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WTWL ST PADDY’S SALE!

‘Ello!

Last minute sale announcement for WHERE THE WITCHES LURK:

WTWL Four-Leaf Bundle!

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Despite the above hastily composed icon for the bundle, the offer is still valid. In this bundle deal, you will get ALL FOUR currently released issues of WHERE THE WITCHES LURK for only $3! It’s a mysterious four leaf bundle for the price of a common three leaf price!

Available NOW through midnight March 17!

So come visit Haslow Falls, and follow Tina and Gina while they hunt and fight witches who haunt their neighborhoods in a light-horror mystique!

 

Hey, I may have met you, and this is crazy, but read this book we wrote, and call it a good day.

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You probably all know this, but I am part of a book out called “in Sanity, AZ”. It’s a comic book in three volumes, an anthology of darker tales of a small desert highway town, the kind of town you have nightmares about anddesperately avoid when driving to your destination.

The three volumes are to be collected in an trade paperback later this year, and for this collection of stories myself and creator collaborators James Ninness, Mike Fountain, and Marcel Losada raised over $10K on Kickstarter to complete. We paid artists, hired and paid more designers and artists, and are paying to get our swag out there to supporters across the globe — the GLOBE.

So why am I blabbing here and now? Why am I mentioning this book AGAIN??

Well, this was a labor of love for a few years now, and I like to relive the past. Who doesn’t, right?

We wrote the book over a weekend in a cabin in the woods. Rum was consumed.

We found artists to take on our stories and bring them to life on the page.

We found other artists to draw our covers, showing off the kind of world within the pages.

We found still more artists to design, letter, and color the pages inside, to further shine our tales of darkness on a small town.

We projected these pages to the world to read, and are getting positive feedback and vibes from all across the map.

We are fulfilled. And we want to share that feeling with you.

I am thirty. A lot of changes are happening fast.

This past year has been one of the most trying of my life, but who doesn’t say that when they’re thirty? I have bounced around geographically, emotionally, and professionally.

Yet the one constant all year has been Sanity. I go there sometimes at night, re-living the time in the cabin, and I sometimes wish I could just drive through and pass it all by, to look and point at people who have their own settlement, their own constant ways.

And then I move onward, embrace change and the unknown future possibilities. That’s what Sanity is, a constant in a world of change. Our minds like to stay there, but I like to think what this past year has taught me is that it’s better to try to push away from that constant, to be inconsistent and embrace the moment, even if, in the end, you end up settle back down in your constant.

In Sanity, AZ, life is full of constant moments. Make some for yourself. Preferably by downloading our PDF and allowing your eyes to feast.