Midwest Book Review December 2008

by Jeff
MidwestBookReview Midwest Book Review December 2008

Midwest Book Review

December 2008

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

The Midwest Book Review is an organization of volunteers committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. We accept no funds from authors or publishers.

51lnMYNl%2BgL._SL160_ Midwest Book Review December 2008
Pitch Black
by Youme Landowne, Anthony Horton

Cinco Puntos Press
701 Texas Avenue, El Paso, TX 79901
9781933693064, $17.95, www (dot) cincopuntos (dot) com

There are conditions that many humans live in that many Americans would deem unfit for animals. “Pitch Black” tells the story of what can be seen in the deep, dark tunnels beneath the biggest city in America, New York City. The homeless, drug deals, prostitution, are only some of the more tame things one would see in this harsh environment. Joint written and illustrated by both Landowne & Horton, their efforts tell the story of the deep depths well, making “Pitch Black” a highly recommended story worth reading.

Doctor Who: Agent Provocateur
Gary Russell, author
Nick Roche, Jose Maria Berdy, Stefano Martino, and Mirco Pierfederici,
IDW Publishing
5080 Santa Fe St., San Diego, CA 92109
9781600101960, $19.99 www (dot) idwpublishing (dot) com

Doctor Who: Agent Provocateur is the full-color graphic novel collection of issues one through six of the new Doctor Who comics, featuring the latest incarnation of the time lord in his quest to keep all causality stable. Assisted by the capable adventurer Martha Jones, the Doctor becomes inextricably involved in a cataclysmic plan to harness the energy of planetary populations to seal a rip in space and time – but the plan is critically sabotaged by the manipulations of a psychotic murderer! A high-stakes science fiction extravaganza, Doctor Who: Agent Provocateur captures the spirit of the television series and highly recommended for fans everywhere.

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The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Volume 1

Noizi Ito, character design
Nagaru Tanigawa, author
Gaku Tsugano, artist
Yen Press
c/o Hachette Publishing Group
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017-0010
9780759529441, $10.99 www (dot) hbgusa (dot) com

Recommended for older teen readers due to some innuendo, Volume 1 of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya kicks off a new black-and-white manga (Japanese comic) series brimming with over-the-top enthusiasm and comedy! Ordinary high school freshman Kyon has his life turned upside down when he meets Haruhi Suzumiya, a young woman whose passion to discover exotic mysteries cannot be stopped by any human force – or even her own inability to see actual evidence those mysteries right under her nose. Suzumiya forms the S.O.S. Brigade, a school club dedicated to finding such amazing supernatural phenomena as aliens, time travelers, and espers. Aside from Kyon, the first three members to join are (gasp!) an alien, a time traveler, and an esper – all sent on a special mission to observe Suzumiya, who has the hidden powers of time and causality unbeknownst to herself! A rollicking ride starring a forceful, unapologetic, unstoppable whirlwind of a title heroine, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is a blast from cover to cover. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is printed right-to-left, to keep the integrity of its original artwork.

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Watching the Watchmen: The Definitive Companion to the Ultimate Graphic Novel
by Dave Gibbons, Chip Kidd, Mike Essl

Titan Books
readerfeedback@titanemail (dot) com
9781848560413, $39.95 www (dot) titanbooks (dot) com

Co-creator Dave Gibbons presents Watching the Watchmen, a treasure trove of previously unpublished, behind-the-scenes source material for the classic superhero deconstruction graphic novel Watchmen. Extensive black-and-white and color images of roughs and layouts, concept art and more make up the bulk of Watching the Watchmen; a small amount of text enhances this in-depth experience. An absolute “must-have” for anyone who considers Watchmen a beloved classic or a work of genius, and wants to know more about the process that brought it to life.

Fantagraphics Books
7563 Lake City Way, NE, Seattle, WA 98115
9781560978275, $28.99 www (dot) fantagraphics (dot) com 1-800-657-1100

The Complete Peanuts 1969-1970 is the latest in a compendium that seeks to present Charles Schulz’s classic Peanuts comic strip as never before – complete and unabridged! Featuring an introduction by Mo Willems, the latest volume gives Woodstock a name for the first time, shows Snoopy’s ultimately disastrous stint as the Head Beagle, chronicles Charlie Brown’s heartbreak when the little red-haired girl moves away, offers a fascinating extended glimpse into the text of Snoopy’s “It was a dark and stormy night” novel, and much more. One sequence particularly reflective of the stormy 1960s shows poor Snoopy caught in the middle of a riot with tear gas at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm! A “must-have” for collectors of Charles Schulz’s work, highly recommended.

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The Prince of Heroes Chapter 1
by Rod Espinosa

Antarctic Press
7272 Wurzbach Suite #204, San Antonio, Texas 78240
9780980125504, $9.95 www (dot) antarctic-press (dot) com www (dot)
princeofheroes (dot) com

The Prince of Heroes Chapter 1 is the first graphic novel in a full- color, space opera series in the tradition of Star Wars. A young boy discovers that his legacy gives him birthright to a galaxy-spanning kingdom, but only if he can remain alive long enough to claim it! He dares to make a stand against those who would tyrannize the weak, culminating in a battle against a chaotically malevolent Baron and his martial arts expert sister, (with an amusingly indecent finale!) Recommended for readers age 13 and up due to violence and mild nudity, The Prince of Heroes Chapter 1 is a wonderfully entertaining, adventure of action, drama, and simple good-versus-evil that leaves the reader eager for more.


The Midwest Book Review is an organization of volunteers committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. We accept no funds from authors or publishers. Full permission is given to post any of these reviews on thematically appropriate websites, newsgroups, listserves, internet discussion groups, organizational newsletters, or to interested individuals. Please give the Midwest Book Review a credit line when doing so.

The Midwest Book Review publishes the monthly book review magazines “California Bookwatch”, “Internet Bookwatch”, “Children’s Bookwatch”, “MBR Bookwatch”, “Reviewer’s Bookwatch”, and “Small Press Bookwatch”. All are available for free on the Midwest Book Review website at www (dot) midwestbookreview (dot) com

Anyone wanting to submit books for review consideration can send them to:

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129

To submit reviews of any fiction or non-fiction books, email them to Frugalmuse (at) aol (dot) com (Be sure to include the book title, author, publisher, publisher address, publisher website/phone number, 13-digit ISBN number, and list price).

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review

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