From A Library: The Wizard’s Tale

Written by Kurt Busiek Art by David T Wenzel It was a delightful surprise to find in the library this IDW reprint of the graphic novel from 1995 (it was one of the first publications from the Homage imprint of Wildstorm comics) – it is a very fine packaging of the material in a format that does the story and art justice. Because The Wizard’s Tale is a wonderful book: an utterly charming fairy tale with beautiful, exquisite and equally charming art, full of colourful and distinct characters plus tiny background details that bring the story to life. Once upon […]

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From A Library: JLA/Avengers

JLA/Avengers #1–4 by Kurt Busiek and George Perez My mainstream superhero obsession in my early years was the X-Men books, which meant that I grew up thinking that the Avengers and the Justice League of America were the uncool comic books of the previous generation. Therefore, I was never one of those fanboys for whom this was the ultimate comic book dream – a crossover between Marvel and DC’s big-hitter teams. Add to this (heresy alert), I’m not a fan of Perez’s art; I admire his talent but it doesn’t appeal to me. So I was pleasantly surprised to read […]

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From A Library: X-Club

X-Club #1–5 by Si Spurrier and Paul Davidson My first experience of reading something by Spurrier (his novel, Contract – see my thoughts here) didn’t go well so it meant that I didn’t hunt out his work in comic books; however, I try not to let my experiences blinker me (with the exception of Jeph Loeb), so I thought I would give Spurrier another chance with this collection of a mini-series from 2011, about Dr Nemesis, Kavita Rao, Madison Jeffries and Danger, collectively known as X-Club. I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised, although that could have been a […]

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From A Library: iZombie

Created/written by Chris Roberson & created/drawn by Michel Allred iZombie: Dead to the World (iZombie #1–5 and part of The House of Mystery Halloween Annual #1) iZombie: uVampire (iZombie #6–12 and The House of Mystery Halloween Annual #2) iZombie: Six Feet Under and Rising (iZombie #13–18) iZombie: Repossession (iZombie #19–28) Now that iZombie has premiered on television, it seemed a good time to talk about the books from which the show has been adapted. The concept behind iZombie appeals to me – I bought the first issue (bargain priced at 99 cents) – because the main characters are a zombie (Gwen) […]

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From A Library: The New Deadwardians

The New Deadwardians #1–8 Written by Dan Abnett Art by INJ Culbard October 1910. London (Zone-A). Chief Inspector George Suttle, Murder Squard, is woken in the night when his housekeeper is killed by a ‘Restless’ (a zombie). He calmly stabs it through the throat to pin it to the table before blowing its head off with his service rifle (he saw duty in the Memorial War). The reason the restless didn’t smell him when he intervened is because, as a soldier, he took ‘the cure’ during the war to fight the Restless – he is now a vampire, for the […]

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Book From A Library: London Falling

Written by Paul Cornell The concept of police investigating magical-related crime in London is not without precedent – I’m a big fan of Ben Aaronovitch’s Folly series – but it’s way that the story is told that makes it different. Cornell, in addition to his comic-book writing, has written for television (Doctor Who, Primeval, Robin Hood) and this book has a televisual feel (SFX glibly describes it as Buffy meets The Sweeney but they have a point) – in the acknowledgements, Cornell admits that the story was originally created as a television series pitch, something that is evident in the story and […]

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From A Library: Grandville Mon Amour

Written and drawn by Bryan Talbot The Tower of London – a dog prisoner is to be executed until he makes a daring and murderous escape. Meanwhile, Detective Inspector LeBrock has not come out of his lodgings in over a week – he is still angry with himself and wallowing in self-pity because he blames himself for the death of Sarah, the woman he promised to look after but was killed (see the first Grandville story, which I liked very much). But his friend, Detective Ratzi, brings him out of his seclusion because LeBrock is needed again – the dog […]

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From A Library: King City

King City #1–12 by Brandon Graham To read King City is to enter into one man’s singular vision captured in 424 pages of paper with pencil and ink. Twelve issues of a mostly plotless story (as Graham admits in the outro) in an otherly world of delightful inventiveness and wonderful imagination. The protagonist of the book is Joe, who has a car called Earthing JJ Catingsworth the Third, but it is no ordinary cat – this is a special cat that can do just about anything: he can make copies of physical items (‘a copy cat’), be used as a […]

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Notes On A Book: The Name Of The Wind

Book One of The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss The paperback edition that I read is 662 pages of small print text. It’s a big book. Yet I raced through it in a euphoric rush as I devoured this book (not literally; that would be hideous, to steal a line from Alan Partridge), because the prose is so well written and the story is so engaging. I couldn’t stop and enjoyed it from start to finish, and I need to have the rest of the story NOW because I need to know everything that happens. I think you can call […]

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From A Library: Neonomicon

The Courtyard #1 & 2 and Neonomicon #1–4 Written by Alan Moore Art by Jacen Burrows I’m sure this is heresy but I’ll say it anyway: this comic book, which was written by arguably one of the greatest writers of comics books and whose work I enjoy very much (so much so that I went to Kettering to see him talk about them), was not a good comic book in the sense of being an entertaining piece of sequential storytelling with the aim of providing escapism in fiction. It was thoroughly unpleasant and I find it hard to believe that […]

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