Midwest Book Review February 2009

by Jeff
MidwestBookReview Midwest Book Review February 2009

Midwest Book Review

February 2009

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.

51O0tSovWtL._SL160_ Midwest Book Review February 2009
Modern Masters Volume 17: Lee Weeks

Tom Field and Eric Nolen-Weathington
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
1893905942, $14.95 www (dot) twomorrows (dot) com

Lee Weeks has over twenty-five years in the comics industry and he’s created powerful adventures for Hulk, Captain America, Spider-Man and more. Avid fans of his contributions will find LEE WEEKS a fine behind- the-scenes survey of this comics master, juxtaposing interviews with black and white photos and comics illustrations throughout. Any library strong in comics artists and representation will find this a winner.

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The Future’s So Bright I Can’t Bear to Look
by Tom Tomorrow

Nation Books
c/o Perseus Books
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
9781568584027, $16.95 www (dot) nationbooks (dot) org

Welcome to a political world where Bush and Cheney are secretly radical leftists trying to destroy the Republican party from within – and a game show awards prizes to contestants with the most outlandishly inappropriate answers. Color panels of the zany world of Tom Tomorrow make for a fantastically humorous future world in this political graphic novel spoof.

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The DC Vault
by Martin Pasko

Running Press
2300 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-4371
9780762432578, $49.95 www (dot) runningpress (dot) com

THE DC VAULT is a treasure trove of DC comics memorabilia and is a perfect gift pick for any fan of DC comics. Early sketches, covers, memos, gift materials, and more include a working reproduction of a 1942 Junior Justice Society of America comic book, over 25 plastic- enclosed archival pieces, and more. While not suitable for the rigors of library lending, it’s an outstanding and unique gift package for any DC Comics fan.

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The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons, Third Edition
by Jeff Lenburg

Facts on File
132 West 31st Street, 17th Floor, New York NY 10001
9780816065998, $85.00 www (dot) factsonfile (dot) com

The 3rd edition of The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons has been extensively revised and updated to provide public libraries and any collection strong in cartoons with a definitive reference, including large amounts of new material. This historical review of animation offers complete details on Academy and Emmy award winners, a history of animation ‘milestones’, and coverage of anime too. Any library strong in animated cartoon coverage will find it a weighty, definitive reference.

James Bond 007: Polestar
Ian Fleming, et.al.
Titan Books
144 Southwark Street, London SE1 OUP, UK
www (dot) titanbooks (dot) com
9781845767174, $19.95, www (dot) amazon (dot) com

Rare Bond stories unseen since their original syndication, including Polestar, appear in a fine set of graphic novel sagas perfect for any Bond adventure enthusiasts. These have never been collected before and provide outstanding black and white adventures. Any library strong in graphic novels in general and Bond in particular will find it a fine acquisition.

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Da Crockydile Book ‘O Friendship
by Stephan Pastis

Andrews McMeel Publishing
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106
0740776274, $9.99 www (dot) andrewsmcmeel (dot) com

The crocs harbor an eternal quest for satisfying zebra meals and having one living next door is just too much temptation, fostering unlikely friendships among predators in the zany DA CROCKYDILE BOOK ‘O FRIENDSHIP, a compilation on friendship from the popular ‘Pearls Before Swine’ comic strip. An all-color presentation makes for an exceptional collection perfect for either gift-giving to friends or for general-interest browsing, making it a fine pick also for any library strong in comic strip collections.

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Macho Macho Animals: A Pearls Before Swine Collection
by Stephan Pastis

Andrews McMeel Publishing
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106
www (dot) andrewsmcmeel (dot) com

Stephan Pastis’ MACHO MACHO ANIMALS (0740773690, $12.99) provides another fine ‘Pearls Before Swine’ comic strip collection and is a highly recommended pick for any library strong in comic strip books. All the favorites from the strip are here, making for a fun collection. Fans of Jim Toomey’s ‘Sherman’s Lagoon’ comic strip now have a fine 13th collection, SHARKS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN (0740773879, $12.99), gathering under one cover a year in the life of one great white shark and his lagoon friends. The inclusion of color as well as black and white strips makes for an outstanding presentation of zany and fun scenarios. Highly recommended.

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Che: A Graphic Biography
by Spain Rodriguez

180 Varick Street, 10th floor, New York, NY 10014-4606
9781844671687, $16.95 www (dot) versobooks (dot) com 1-800-233-4830

Did you know that Che was asthmatic? Che: A Graphic Biography is a black-and-white graphic novel presentation of the life, death, and ideals of revolutionary icon Ernesto “Che” Guevara. From his motorcycle journey through Latin America to his rise to fame as a leader of Fidel Castro’s movement to his travels through Africa to his involvement in the Bolivian insurgency that ultimately led to his death, Che: A Graphic Biography is a surprisingly in-depth and sympathetic portrayal of this complex figure. Highly recommended.

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Nemi V. 2
by Lise Myhre

Titan Books
144 Southwark Street, London SE1 OUP, UK
9781845766146 , $14.95 www (dot) titanbooks (dot) com www (dot) amazon
(dot) com

Nemi Montoya is a romantic, cynical and sexy 20-something goth who is here presented in full color comic-style strips exploring Nemi’s struggles with love, friendship, and other important things in life. Created when Myhre sought an ‘imaginary friend’ and named after Italy’s ancient enchanted Lake Nemi, Lise Myhre’s Nemi Montoya is a winning collection – and includes a foreword by Tori Amos.

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Alterna Comics
23 Trumpet Lane, Levitttown, NY 11756
www (dot) alternatcomics (dot) com

Zombies, werewolves, vampires, mad scientists, space aliens, and the darker dregs of humanity have all been highly entertaining elements of comics and graphic novels intended for older and more mature readers. Alterna Comics is a publisher that specializes in producing graphic novels that combine imaginative storytelling with reader engaging images which, deftly combined in a black-and-white format, offer mature readers new and memorable additions to their graphic novel collections. Currently available and highly recommended are five of their new titles. “Jesus Hates Zombies” (9780979787485, $7.95) is the first of a four volume mini-series where a zombie plague has swept across planet Earth and Jesus (accompanied by his faithful zombie sidekick Laz) has been sent down to take care of the problem. “Morbid Myths” (9780979787430, $11.95) is an anthology of horror stories reminiscent of ‘Tales from the Crypt’ and ‘The Twilight Zone. “The Chair” (9780979787423, $13.95) is the riveting story of death row inmate Richard Sullivan, a sadistic warden, and an increasing body count of tortured inmates. “Novo: Volume 2” (9781934985052, $9.95) is the continuing story of Novo, the wasted messiah of the Aquans and the Terans who finds himself stranded on a new and foreign world which is populated by a powerful feline tribe known only as the Xennons. They need help and Novo, who was unable to help his own people, just might be able to succeed this time. Of special note and recommendation is the newest Alterna Comics fantasy adventure series by author and artist Andrew Dobson which is especially suitable and recommended for readers from 8 to 20 years of age. “Formera: Volume 1” (9780979787461, $9.99) features Darian, a young boy lost in the strange world of Formera and whose only companion is a young girl named Keisha who speaks a language not know on Earth. An imaginative, original, and thoroughly ‘reader friendly’ graphic novel, “Novo” will leave its readers looking eagerly toward the next installment in this carefully crafted and superlatively written graphic novel.


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

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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