Comics Creators

What non-comics are you reading these days?


Prose publishers’ schedules for this kind of thing are even worse than for comics. Even regardless of rewrites they can be very fluid on actual release dates. Almost all of them are wrong and changed. :smile:


I get the feeling that the current date is just a placeholder as they just rolled the year. :wink:


I remember it being in for spring and later the autumn this year at some point as well. I’m doing my traditional re-read of all of his books prior to getting Agency at the moment - I’m a few chapters into Count Zero as we speak.


I read the first collection of Warren Ellis’ INJECTION. It resembles pretty much everything Ellis has written before from The Authority to Global Frequency to Doktor Sleepless and Desolation Jones. If you like those, you will like this. However, it has the feel of “low budget filmmaking” in that very little action actually happens in the first trade and what does happen actually is very small scale. Interesting but not very novel or innovative which is ironic considering its theme is accelerating innovation.


Injection is a comic isn’t it???


Yeah, which is why the limited scale and scope is odd. You can do anything in comics, but these comics actually keep the action contained. However, I heard that it is being developed for television so it could be that the limitations were there with potential adaptation in mind.

In a lot of ways, it is the Anti-Planetary in the story it tells and the way it tells it.


I think Ronnie is referring to the choice of thread. :slight_smile:


Whoops- mistook this for the Non-Marvel/DC thread.

Though Injection does share a bit thematically with Ellis’ novel NORMAL.


Given that the recent release of Blood’s A Rover was given such a small print run (1,500-2,000 max) fans are scrambling to any small chance (legit or scam) to own a copy.

Including myself. According to USPS Tracking mine has shipped and should be here by the weekend-to-Monday. So, I’m planning on reading that soon.

On another note, after a long hiatus from having the time for novels, I’ve finally finished Meddling Kids from Edgar Cantero - and the second half picks up considerably. While the first is dragged a bit by very trite and cliche “What If Scooby Doo etc” type plot points, once the group starts investigating it feels more natural, suspenseful, and not a small amount of humorous. Still mainly recommending this to Scooby fans, but overall as a novel it is something I would say is a good enough mixture of that alongside IT and Shadow Over Innsmouth. 7.5/10.


Structure and Style in Javanese


African Voices: An Introduction to the Languages and Linguistics of Africa


This sounds excellent.


Marking more things off my backlog:

The Train of Ice and Fire: Mano Negra in Colombia by Ramon Chao, translated by Ann Wright.


A log book/day journal about the ill-fated last tour of Mano Negra, who set off on a free tour of rural Colombia on a dilapidated train with other bands, acts, and attractions. I’ve been a fan of the band ever since a cover of one of their songs was on Breaking Bad and consumed every song they had a hand in. I was always disappointed that they disbanded after so short a run and when I heard of this book I ran out and tracked down a copy.

Which then sat on my shelf for 3-4 years.
But as I set out to read it, I do have mixed feelings about it. It is a day journal, recounting the day-to-day events through the eyes of Ramon Chao, journalist, and father/uncle to the band’s core members. He’s able to give the book a lot of historical and anecdotal background. Going around and picking up stories from locals they meet along the way. It gives what is really something without any conventional story a sense of substance and form.

Yet, the book is very dry as actually written. I don’t know whether to ascribe this to the translation or not. I might have to track down a copy in the original language to make sure. But he is a very astute journalist, an early anecdote has the band’s front-man (his son) warning him to not be so obtuse when writing. It’s a quality that can make it hard to get through - especially on the legs of the tour when nothing happens.

Overall, it does what it sets out to do very well. Telling the real life account of this tour, the effect it had on the band and others who joined them, and what that meant for Colombia as a whole. It’s just not very exciting as one would expect…but, that’s life. There are two pseudo-sequels, one by Ramon again as he details his son’s dealing with the band’s break up - and another, more recent one, about the son’s life and career after in general. He’s become sort of an indie latin rock icon. Might pick those up.


Now I’m reading The Apocrypha.


I’m re-reading the Upanishads in Easwaran’s translation, such a lovely little book.


Another off my “waited on my bookshelf for 4-5 years”

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

A quote on the back calls this “The Moby Dick” of Irish boarding schools, but a better comparison would be to Catch-22 than anything else. In reading up on this book after finishing it, out of curiosity, I learned that it started off as a novella focusing on only two characters. Over time he added more and more characters, tangents, and small vignettes to it until it ballooned into a quite massive narrative. In fact, I’ve seen some editions that split this up into three individual novels - which isn’t necessary at all but makes sense.

Overall, that sense that there’s a bunch of stuff that’s been added around the skeleton of a smaller core story is something that is very noticeable. Yet, it’s not altogether a bad feeling or awfully executed at all. A general description would be that any number of nameless, one-shot, ghosts of characters will flow in and out of the story. Maybe for a few paragraphs to flesh out a certain theme, point, or aspect of the setting - sometimes for nothing else than to give some flavoring. It really aides in creating a very believably chaotic atmosphere of this school and the mobs of kids that inhabit it. The varying personalities/voices of the kids makes for some fun reads.

My main criticisms are negligible but are worth mentioning. The book goes to some extremely dark places but some of it happens way too late and way too fast to feel handled all that well in the moment. The build up to those lows is actually quite gripping but by the time there’s catharsis the novel ends messy and fast. A double edged sword, since the chaos of the novel builds to that crescendo - but the subject matter could have been made more of when used. The novel is also written in an infrequent non-chronological order that can be confusing. Overall - great read.


I read Ein Landarzt, or A Country Doctor, by Kafka. That was one weird little story. Kafka’s short stories are fantastically surreal and deeply unsettling and I think the best of his work.


The Word For World Is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin. I just finished Next by Michael Crichton, and I’m making my way through Who Owns You? The Gold Rush To Patent Your Genes by David Koepsell.


MEET ME IN THE BATHROOM is a fascinating inside look at the music scene in NYC from the late ‘90s to around 2008. Writer Lizzy Goodman, who was part of that scene, interviewed numerous sources and then formatted their comments in a loose chronology to provide a surprisingly coherent sequential account of the rise of performers like the Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, all the way up to Vampire Weekend and the National; all presented against the backdrop of the studio/club/bar scene of the Lower East Side and the subsequent shift to Williamsburg. Really great stuff.


I’m reading this right now too. It’s funny, I was not a “part of the scene” or anything but I went to all these venues in the late 90s and early 00s part of the book and saw a bunch of these bands, so there is a lot in here I recognize, which is pretty interesting. Although at the time none of this stuff seemed impactful enough to be memorialized like this, it does make for a fun read.