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Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Best Books You Didn't Read this Week, Issue 1

I read a crap-ton of books every week. A light week as of late has still been in the 14-18 book range and a lot of those are books that come into the shop in quantities of one and never make it to the shelf ... I like to take a lot of chances on small press books and niche titles from the larger publishers. And to be honest while plenty of the titles that I read aren't hugely popular for all kinds of reasons, non-typical art or story-telling, and I am okay with that. I like to read all kinds of stuff. But then there are the titles that really should be on everyone's radar that for some reason or another don't manage to find their way into the stacks of the readers world-wide. So, starting this week I am going to start talking about some of the books that you are missing out on.

The Spirit #19 – It all started about two years ago when Darwyn Cooke brought the classic character created by Will Eisner back to the pages of modern comics. For 12 issues he and his co-conspirators created brilliant tales of action and adventure with a great sense of humor. When J Bone had to leave the title Cooke left as well and a new team was announced and it's been rather interesting since then. While Cooke's run on the book was certainly amazing the new writing team of Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier have had some really fantastic artists to work with, namely Mike Ploog and Paul Smith, and to be honest the book has been really fun. Each issue is it's own story and to a certain extent that is part of the appeal, sometimes in this age of stories that last 6 to 8 issues or longer and when everything is written for the trade a book that is great for singular issues is a welcome commodity.

Elephantmen #13 – This is maybe the best book that I am reading right now. Richard Starkings isn't just a lettering genius, he is also one hell of a writer. He has two Hip Flask Hardcovers available and the first Elephantmen HC ($24.99) is still available, and the trade paperback ($16.99) comes out next week, also available is the War Toys ($9.99) trade paperback. Honestly, some of the best collections available when you concern page count per dollar. Really the story is way too complex to start talking about here but I assure you that if you are a fan of Sci-Fi and/or Noir with a touch of anthro-pomorphism then look no further. (for more of a review click HERE).

Thirteen Steps Volume 01 Trade Paperback – For $15.99 this trade paperback collects the first five issues of this really great book from Desperado Publishing co-written by Phil Hester (Firebreather and Atheist: Antoine Sharpe) and Chuck Satterlee (Of Bitter Souls and Smoke & Mirrors) with art by the wonderful Kevin Mellon (Gearhead) is the story of Justin Ullrich who is a semi-professional baseball player with a bit of an addiction problem. He hunts. Humans. He's a Were-wolf. But, he's trying to get his problem under control with the help of a Thirteen Step program. The first 12 steps are just like every other sobriety/addiction program but this adds a thirteenth step ... the creatures who go through the program must learn that they shouldn't kill just anyone ... but that sometimes deaths still occur. GREAT BOOK!

More to come next week!

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