Past demons and giant problems: a review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Vol. 1: The Long Way Home

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Vol. 1: The Long Way Home

I recently picked up the first volume of the Dark Horse Comics series Buffy the Vampire Slayer at Half-Price Books. :)

Warning: SPOILERS!

Continue reading “Past demons and giant problems: a review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Vol. 1: The Long Way Home”

Happy Read Comics in Public Day!

Today is Read Comics in Public Day, created by editors Brian Heater and Sarah Morean from the now defunct indie comics website The Daily Cross Hatch.

“The easy part is: just read comics in public — on trains, on your lunch break, at the park, in the library,” wrote Heater. “Throw a couple of old favorites or new releases in your bag and get to it. And, hey, bring some to share. Remember that year that everyone outside of your immediate family bought you a copy of Watchmen for your birthday? It’s a great book, granted, but you don’t need 15 copies, do you?”

Coincidentally, it’s also the birthday of Jack Kirby, who would have turned 95 this year. Kirby helped create such famous comic book characters as Captain America.

So the question is, where will you celebrate, and what will you read?

Read Comics in Public Day

Awesome book cover Friday: Maps and Legends

Michael Chabon’s Maps and Legends sounds like the perfect book for me.

From Amazon:

Michael Chabon’s sparkling first book of nonfiction is a love song in 16 parts — a series of linked essays in praise of reading and writing, with subjects running from ghost stories to comic books, Sherlock Holmes to Cormac McCarthy. Throughout, Chabon energetically argues for a return to the thrilling, chilling origins of storytelling, rejecting the false walls around “serious” literature in favor of a wide-ranging affection. His own fiction, meanwhile, is explored from the perspective of personal history: post-collegiate desperation sparks his debut, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh; procrastination and doubt reveal the way toward Wonder Boys; a love of comics and a basement golem combine to create the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay; and an enigmatic Yiddish phrasebook unfurls into The Yiddish Policeman’s Union.

Maps and Legends by Michael Chabon

Not only are the colors lush and beautiful, but look at all the detail and personality that went into the cover! The design reminds me more of a comic than a traditional book because it’s 1) illustrated and 2) finely detailed. I see way too many book covers that are just boring snapshots of people sitting or walking or looking lustily at someone.

Do you think the book world could use more imaginative covers?

Michael Chabon

Reading the game: who else loves Uncharted?

Recently I finished playing Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (see my review). I adore the series and will be sad to see it go as Naughty Dog continues work on The Last of Us for Sony. At least there’s Golden Abyss for the PlayStation Vita, so whenever I can afford the handheld (money, as they say, does not grow on trees, Sony), I’ll knock that off my list first.

Below are four great books for my fellow Uncharted lovers. Have you read any of these?

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth by Christopher Golden
Publisher:
Del Rey
Paperback:
336 pages
Publication Date:
October 4, 2011

After his old archeologist friend is found murdered in Manhattan, Sully convinces Drake to globe-trot from New York to Egypt and Greece in search of three lost labyrinths—and a fourth that promises power and riches, of course.

I looked up Chris Golden, and while he’s not a popular author, his books have solid ratings across the board. All four stars and up on Amazon. The most reviews came from Of Saints and Shadows and the Body of Evidence thriller series (from 1999 and out of print). Video game stories rarely translate well across mediums, so I doubt this is written extraordinarily well, but since Uncharted structures its narratives more like movies … well, who knows. Might be decent.

The Art of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves by Daniel P. Wade
Publisher: Ballistic Publishing
Paperback: 272 pages
Publication Date: July 1, 2010

This one’s self-explanatory: It’s an art book, a complement to the video game Uncharted 2. Inside is concept art for the characters, environments, cinematics, etc. Amazon lists it for a pricey $45. The editor, Daniel P. Wade, has overseen production on other art books, such as The Art of God of War III.

Uncharted by Joshua Williamson (writer) and Sergio Sandoval (artist)
Publisher: DC Comics
Paperback: 144 pages
Publication Date: July 17, 2012

You’ll have to wait awhile for the collected version of the UNCHARTED comic book series from DC Comics. Amazon mistakenly names Tony Harris as the illustrator—he’s only the cover artist. Sergio Sandoval (HUMAN TARGET, DEUS EX) provided the interior artwork for the book, with Joshua Williamson (XENOHOLICS, DEAR DRACULA) writing. Six issues are contained in the trade, and the two reviews I could find (both on IGN) gave the comic moderately high scores.

UNCHARTED: Drake’s Journal – Inside the Making of UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE’S DECEPTION by Nolan North
Publisher: GameSpheres
Paperback: 128 pages
Publication Date: November 1, 2011

Nolan North (aka Nathan Drake) is one of my all-time favorite voice actors, and a lot of other people like him, too. So it was disappointing to learn that his own account on working on the video game series, a book entitled UNCHARTED: Drake’s Journal, is no longer in print.

According to the publisher’s website, only 500 first edition, signed hardback copies of the book were distributed. The only way to get a new copy is to buy the iPhone/iPad app for $4 … but of course, it’s not one of the signed and numbered few. Neither are the ones GameSpheres is selling on Amazon in “new” condition. The cheapest ones (from the exclusive 500 shipment) are available used for $70. Sigh. WANT.

Also, the back cover features joke pull quotes from the game’s cast, and they’re hilarious and true to character:

“This is the best goddamn book out there. I keep mine by the toilet.” – Victor Sullivan

“It’s not a proper book. It’s full of pictures.” – Charlie Cutter

“What’s wrong with pictures? I like pictures.” – Chloe Frazer

“Who the hell is Nolan North?” – Nathan Drake