Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Book Review: Language City

Half of all 7,000-plus human languages may disappear over the next century and—because many have never been recorded—when they’re gone, it will be forever. Ross Perlin, a linguist and co-director of the Manhattan-based non-profit Endangered Language Alliance, is racing against time to map little-known languages across the most linguistically diverse city in history: contemporary New York. In Language City, Perlin recounts the unique history of immigration that shaped the city, and follows six remarkable yet ordinary speakers of endangered languages deep into their communities to learn how they are maintaining and reviving their languages against overwhelming odds. Perlin also dives deep into their languages, taking us on a fascinating tour of unusual grammars, rare sounds, and powerful cultural histories from all around the world.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Book Review: Wild Cards - Sleeper Straddle

Croyd Crenson is the Wild Card’s greatest failure—and its greatest success. Dubbed “The Sleeper,” he randomly undergoes hibernations that can span days, weeks, or even months. After each hibernation, he awakens with a new appearance and set of powers—sometimes a joker, sometimes an ace, and sometimes a combination of both—until exhaustion claims him and his next inevitable sleep shuffles the cards anew. Ever since his initial infection in 1946, he’s awoken in a singular body—until now. His latest awakening has left him split into six different incarnations, each of them a self-contained piece of the original and each with a unique look and ability.

One of them, at least, recognizes this for the disaster that it is, and tasks the clever and elusive Tesla, a joker with ace powers, to locate and gather the remaining five versions of himself before sleep claims them again and leaves Croyd permanently fractured.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Book Review: Brooklyn '76

The Agnello family wakes Bicentennial morning to the sound of fireworks. Outside their apartment, block party preparations are already underway. Paulie, husband and father, has been out on strike with his union and is desperate to make ends meet. Dee, wife and mother, is overprotective of her children and a stern judge of character, particularly when it comes to Paulie. Tony, the dutiful elder son who is fast coming of age, now obsesses over his first girlfriend and stands ready to defy his parents to spend the Fourth with her. Alex, the younger son, still sees the world through innocent eyes, a perspective unlikely to survive the day.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Book Review: So You Want to Be a Game Master

More people than ever are discovering Dungeons and Dragons, the tabletop roleplay system that lets you adventure with your friends while playing as fantasy characters. But planning and running your own game can be intimidating to newcomers - where do you start?

Justin Alexander is here to help. He’s the writer behind The Alexandrian, a well-known trove for new and seasoned Dungeon Masters alike. He’s known for teaching readers about gameplay mechanics in a fun, approachable way, breaking down each aspect of gameplay to its barest essentials. He’s here to teach you everything you need to know about D&D, from understanding and enforcing rules to designing your own dungeons. There’s no need to suffer through dense game books – tabletop is meant to be fun, and Justin makes it easier than ever to start a successful campaign that your players will remember for years.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Book Review: Walt Disney's Mickey and Donald - Mickey's Craziest Adventures

When Peg Leg Pete and the Beagle Boys shrink and steal Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin, Mickey and Donald must track them down… across lost cities, ancient lands, under the sea, in the air, and…into space?!? In a hilarious satire that will entertain all ages, Mickey’s Craziest Adventures introduces its epic tale as if it were a rare 1965 Disney classic, deemed too wild for publication and saved only in fragments — but in fact, modern comics masters Lewis Trondheim and Nicolas Keramidas have created an exciting all-new album-length stand-alone Disney thriller, drawn in a kinetic indie-comics style and presented like a classic vintage work, hiding the fact that it's actually shamelessly spoofing Silver Age comics clichés!

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Book Review: What Have We Here?

Billy Dee Williams was born in Harlem in 1937 and grew up in a household of love and sophistication. As a young boy, he made his stage debut working with Lotte Lenya in an Ira Gershwin/Kurt Weill production where he ended up feeding Lenya her lines. He studied painting, first at the High School of Music and Art, with fellow student Diahann Carroll, and then at the National Academy of Fine Art, before setting out to pursue acting with Herbert Berghoff, Stella Adler, and Sidney Poitier.

His first film role was in The Last Angry Man, the great Paul Muni’s final film. It was Muni who gave Billy the advice that sent him soaring as an actor, “You can play any character you want to play no matter who you are, no matter the way you look or the color of your skin.” And Williams writes, “I wanted to be anyone I wanted to be.”

Friday, January 19, 2024

Book Review: Star Trek-Deep Space Nine: The Dog of War

An extremely rare purebred corgi from Earth makes its way aboard Deep Space 9 when Quark cuts a deal to procure it for a high buyer. After all, a Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all! But Latinum the corgi comes with unexpected cargo that shakes Captain Benjamin Sisko to the core: a Borg component discovered by a crew sent to uncover Cardassian technology after the station’s reoccupation.

Don’t miss out on this exclusive “lost episode” celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fan-favorite show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine!

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Book Review: I Want to End This Love Game vol. 1

Let the games begin! Since childhood, Yukiya Asagi and Miku Sakura have played the Love Game, where they try to fluster each other with a simple “I love you.” But after falling in love for real and refusing to admit it, neither of them can afford to lose this battle!

After leaving behind his image as a quiet nerd, Yukiya’s ready to break hearts and take names with the ultimate high school glow-up. Well, he’s really just got one girl in his sights—his best friend, Miku! Using her favorite shojo manga as his weapon, he’s prepared to pin her to the wall and gaze at her with the perfect smolder! Will his advances get her heart racing? Or will Yukiya end up making a fool of himself?

I Want to End This Love Game vol. 1 by Yuki Domoto will be released on February 13, 2024. VIZ Media provided an early galley for review.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Book Review: Crusader Vol. 1

A nameless Templar Knight from the Third Crusade finds himself magically transported to a mysterious world filled with sorcery and monsters. In order to survive, the ferocious Crusader must reevaluate his penchant for violent righteousness and make peace with both himself and this ruthless world. But will peace be enough to stop the deathless, power-hungry ghoul known only as The Pilgrim?

Crusader Vol. 1 by Matt Emmons will be published on February 13, 2024. Mad Cave Studios provided an early galley review.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Book Review: Quentin Tarantino - A Graphic Biography

Unofficial and unauthorised.

‘When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, “No, I went to films”’.

From the set of 1993’s Pulp Fiction, to a bar room meeting with Robert Rodriguez and an inspirational lunch with Leonardo di Caprio, this unique graphic novel takes us across a series of Hollywood-inspired vignettes covering the movie-obsessed life and career of one of modern cinema’s greatest filmmakers – Quentin Tarantino.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Book Review: Black Caesars and Foxy Cleopatras

In 1971, two films grabbed the movie business, shook it up, and launched a genre that would help define the decade. Melvin Van Peebles’s Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, an independently produced film about a male sex worker who beats up cops and gets away, and Gordon Parks’s Shaft, a studio-financed film with a killer soundtrack, were huge hits, making millions of dollars. Sweetback upended cultural expectations by having its Black rebel win in the end, and Shaft saved MGM from bankruptcy. Not for the last time did Hollywood discover that Black people went to movies too. The Blaxploitation era was born.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Book Review: Livin' Just to Find Emotion

Since exploding on the scene in the late 1970s, Journey has inspired generations of fans with hit after hit. But hidden under this rock ‘n’ roll glory is a complex story of ambition, larger-than-life personalities, and clashes. David Hamilton Golland unearths the band’s true and complete biography, based on over a decade of interviews and thousands of sources.

When Steve Perry joined jazz-blues progressive rock band Journey in 1977, they saw a rise to the top, and their 1981 album Escape hit #1. But Perry’s quest for control led to Journey’s demise. They lost their record contract and much of their audience. After the unlikely comeback of “Don’t Stop Believin’” in movies, television, and sports stadiums, a new generation discovered Journey.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Book Review: The Night Shift

It’s New Year’s Eve 1999. Y2K is expected to end in chaos: planes falling from the sky, elevators plunging to earth, world markets collapsing. A digital apocalypse. None of that happens. But at a Blockbuster Video in Linden, New Jersey, four teenage girls working the night shift are attacked. Only one survives. Police quickly identify a suspect who flees and is never seen again.

Fifteen years later, in the same town, four teenage employees working late at an ice cream store are attacked, and again only one makes it out alive.

Both surviving victims recall the killer speaking only a few final words. . . . “Goodnight, pretty girl.”

In the aftermath, three lives intersect: the survivor of the Blockbuster massacre who’s forced to relive her tragedy; the brother of the original suspect, who’s convinced the police have it wrong; and the FBI agent, who’s determined to solve both cases. On a collision course toward the truth, all three lives will forever be changed, and not everyone will make it out alive.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Book Review: Soundtrack of Silence

As a child, Matt Hay didn’t know his hearing wasn’t the way everyone else processed sound—because of the workarounds he did to fit in, even the school nurse didn’t catch his condition at the annual hearing and vision checks. But by the time he was a prospective college student and couldn’t pass the entrance requirements for West Point, Hay’s condition, generated by a tumor, was unavoidable: his hearing was going, and fast.

A personal soundtrack was Hay’s determined compensation for his condition. As a typical Midwestern kid growing up in the 1980s whose life events were pegged to pop music, Hay planned to commit his favorite songs to memory. He prepared a mental playlist of the bands he loved and created a way to tap into his most resonant memories. And the track he needed to cement most clearly? The one he and his new girlfriend, Nora—the love of his life—listened to in the car on their first date.

Made vivid with references to instantly recognizable songs, Soundtrack of Silence asks readers to run the soundtrack of their own lives through their minds. It’s an involving memoir of loss and disability, and, ultimately, a both unique and universal love story.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Book Review: Andy Warhol - A Graphic Biography

In 1962 Andy Warhol displayed 32 canvases of Campbell’s soup cans in a New York gallery and what we think of as art would never be the same again. But who was Andy Warhol? Where did he come from, what’s his story, and where did his incredible artistic journey begin and end?

Told in a colourful graphic novel format , Andy Warhol: A Graphic Biography first introduces us to an awkward young comic book obsessed boy from Pittsburgh. Following him as he grows up, moves to New York City, finds inspiration and conquers the creative world, we learn the innermost workings of Warhol – his delights, drives and frustrations, the artistic world he lived in, and the incredible way that he continually evolved as an artist.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Book Review: Under the Influence vol. 1

Undercover Federal Agent Cara Cole finds herself in a fight for survival and sanity after infiltrating "The Hot Dog Party," an online cult run by a washed-up viral internet sensation. What seems to be an open-and-shut case transforms into an identity crisis for Cara when The Hot Dog Party's cult leader Paul Kovac reveals himself to be trapped inside a web of his own making.

Under the Influence vol. 1 by Eliot Rahal, Stefano Simeone and Frank Cvetkovic will be published January 30, 2024. Mad Cave Studios provided an early galley for review.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Book Review: Red Hood and the Outlaws vol. 1 - Redemption

No sooner has Batman's former sidekick, Jason Todd, put his past as the Red Hood behind him than he finds himself cornered by a pair of modern day outlaws: Green Arrow's rejected sidekick Arsenal, the damaged soldier of fortune, and the alien Starfire, a former prisoner of intergalactic war who won't be chained again. As a loner, Jason has absolutely no interest in this motley crew of outlaws. So what's he going to do when they choose the Red Hood as their leader?

Released August 1, 2012, from DC Comics, this volume collects Red Hood and the Outlaws 1-7.

Friday, January 5, 2024

Book Review: Teen Titans vol. 4 - Light and Dark

The Teen Titans face off against one of their quintesential rivals for the first time in The New 52: the extradimensional demon lord Trigon!

The demon Trigon triumphs over the Teen Titans, turning one of their own against the team! As he begins to turn Manhattan into a staging ground for a demonic takeover of the planet, the Titans must mend the cracks formed between them if they stand any chance against the demonic villains and his corrupted children.

This volume was published by DC Comics on July 22, 2014. It collects Teen Titans 18-23.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Book Review: Teen Titans vol 3 - Death of the Family

The team is finally reunited in the wake of Death of the Family, but something is very wrong with Red Robin! What did The Joker do? As Red Robin's condition worsens he and the team must face an even greater threat when the new Dr. Light is coming for Solstice!

This volume was published by DC Comics on December, 24, 2013. It collects Teen Titans #0, 15-17, Batman #17 and Red Hood and the Outlaws #16.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Book Review: Teen Titans vol. 2 - The Culling

When the organization known as N.O.W.H.E.R.E. captures Superboy, the Teen Titans, and Legion Lost and pits the young heroes against each other to weed out the weak, it will take everything the most famous teen heroes of the DC Universe have to save themselves from each other. But the ruthless Harvest won't give up easily leading to one of the young heroes making the ultimate sacrifice for the others.

Collecting: Teen Titans 8-14 and Annual 1, and DC Comics: Presents 12. Published June 25, 2013, from DC Comics.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Book Review: Teen Titans vol. 1 - It's Our Right to Fight

Tim Drake, Batman's former sidekick, is back in action when an international organization called Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. seeks to capture, kill or co-opt super-powered teenagers. As Red Robin, he's going to have to team up with the mysterious and belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl, the hyperactive speedster calling himself Kid Flash and few more all-new teen super-heroes to stand any chance at all against N.O.W.H.E.R.E. But as Superboy meets them for the first time, the Titans have to wonder, is he a friend - or foe?

Published September 11, 2012, this volume collects Teen Titans #1-7 in 2011.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Book Review: Hound Dogged

In the vibrant year of 1958, a time when Rock & Roll pulsated through teenage hearts, five friends found harmony in chaos, forming The Hound Dogs. As societal forces clash and cultural upheaval takes center stage, John, Stu, Jerry, Patrick, and Danny embark on a musical journey in the throes of a changing world.

Beneath the surface of their carefree strumming sessions in Stu’s mom’s basement, ambitions stir within the band. Tensions escalate, propelling The Hound Dogs toward an unexpected gig before a sizable audience, a challenge they are ill-prepared to face. Faced with the looming prospect of failure on stage, a talented newcomer, Danny Bruer, joins in and helps to save the day. However, Danny is preparing to audition for The Dice, a major band with a colossal ego, and they're determined to acquire something The Hound Dogs possess, whatever the cost.