I am worried that at this point in my life, the notion of leisurely reading on a summer day is more myth than reality. I still read a lot (too much?), but I don’t really seem to have those lazy-lay-about-days any more. Still – summer’s in that home stretch, and I’m always optimistic. Let’s not give up! And here’s a few new reading ideas for all of us:
THE AMERICAN DREAM? A JOURNEY ON ROUTE 66 DISCOVERING DINOSAUR STATUES, MUFFLER MEN, AND THE PERFECT BREAKFAST BURRITO
written by Shing Yin Khor
art by Shing Yin Khor
This comic actually debuted yesterday from Zest Books, a division of Lerner. It’s a lot of fun and screams “summer” to me. The talented writer-artist Shing Yin Khor is a recent immigrant (now a citizen for 4 years) who’s in search of America by way of Route 66. Along with an endearing sidekick, Bug the adventure dog, they explore both the wacky and the mundane in this journey of discovery.
Although it’s listed as YA, and recommended for ages 11 and up, I enjoyed it too. The tale employs some lovely watercolor washes to engage your eye. The mini- histories, (of of things like Route 66, for example) are memorable and just interesting enough that you enjoy learning …even though school is out.
$16.99 PAPERBACK | 160 PAGES
ON SALE 8.6.2019
AGES 11 AND UP
ARCHIE THE MARRIED LIFE: 10th ANNIVERSARY
Variant covers by Franceso Francavilla, Robert Hack and many more
I just celebrated my wedding anniversary on Sunday (and I didn’t forget it!), so for me, it’s only fitting to spend some time with the Archie gang for their anniversaries. Now this mini-series spins out of Michael Uslan’s concept, from a decade ago, about Archie getting married. Now it’s time to check in and see how it’s all been going. Uslan as writer, teams with the effervescent Dan Parent to create a bubbly, fun drama. But it’s not all fluff. This series takes a look at all those issues that couples who have been married for 10 years, or more, struggle with – careers, children, aging parents, chasing one’s dreams, that post-seven-year-itch period and more.
The first issue is accessible to all. In other words, you don’t have to remember every plot point of Archie getting married. The debut issue gets right into the thick of it right away.
Of note, I had a long talk with writer Michael Uslan about his thoughts behind it all and it was fascinating. We’ll get into that in next week’s “With Further Ado” column.
$3.99 COMIC | ISSUE #1 of SIX PAGES
ON SALE 8.7.2019
ALL AGES, but some adult themes may be boring to younger readers
SHOCK VOLUME #2
Aftershock continues to delight fans with the boundary-stretching comics that always seem to surprise. In the second volume of the Shock anthology series, Aftershock mixes it all up, and provides top talent an opportunity to thrill and delight in unexpected ways.
This volume includes so many tasty stories, but here’s a few that standout for me:
- Artist-writer Francesco Francavilla contributes “The Last Confession.” The story is as creepy as his art is beautiful. As usual, Francavilla manipulates color in subtle and creative ways to emphasize ever story beat. And if there’s ever a worldwide shortage of orange paint, I’m blaming Francesco.
- Cullen Bunn teams with one of my favorite artists, Jamal Igle in the short story “Man, I Am Evil, Dude”. It’s a creepy chiller in that lives in that undefined middle ground between a classic Twilight Zone episode and the very best EC comics.
- It was a special treat to see Bob Burden’s Flaming Carrot character back for more in “Mardi Gras Madness”.
Aftershock has stuffed in so many other gems. For longtime fans, it’s fun to read stories by favorite creators like Ron Marz and Bo Hampton. But at the same time, it’s a delight to discover new artists and writers too.
Aftershock always celebrates the creations as well as the creators. The end pages of Shock showcase mini-biographies on each contributor. For example, one of my favorites, who always delivers but doesn’t get enough credit, is letterer Marshall Dillon.
$34.99 HARDCOVER (Volume #2 of the series) | 160 PAGES
ON SALE now
SONGS OF GIANTS: THE POETRY OF PULP
Illustrated by Mark Wheatley
Did you ever wonder what would happened if Conan, Cthulhu and Tarzan got together for a poetry slam? Probably, not. At least, I never did. I didn’t even realize that Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote poetry.
One of my favorite artists, Mark Wheatley, has pulled together their poetry work and created a lavish book. It’s called Songs of Giants: The Poetry of Pulp and the award-winning Wheately provides stunning illustrations to accompany each poem. Is this a poetry book with fantastic art or an art book with lost poetry? I can’t figure it out, but who cares? It’s a treasure either way.
This book had a low print run. Only 1,000 copies were printed, and most were sold via Kickstarter. But as long as copies are available you can order them directly at SongsofGiants.com .
$29.99 HARDCOVER | AUDIOBOOK ALSO AVAILABLE
Grab a book, get a towel, bring plenty of sunscreen and enjoy the summer!