Introducing the Humble E-book Bundle: Get books, support charity, help authors

Humble E-Book Bundle

For the next week, you can score 13 e-books for $12.81, and every penny you spend can go toward supporting the authors or select charities.

What is this miracle deal? It started as The Humble Indie Bundle, which is a changing collection of digital video games at a highly reduced price. These sell like crazy, and now the organization behind it has started doing the same with e-books. They’ve already sold over 50,000 bundles.

humble e-book bundle mainSo you not only get great books for a fraction of their total value ($157 to be exact), but also help out the people who write them — and some great charities, too. It’s your choice. You decide how your payment is split down to the last cent, and you can even donate to the Humble Bundle team if you wish.

As long as you beat the average (currently $12.80), you’ll get all 13 books — along with (here’s a tip) any they decide to add in before the promotion ends. Or you can pay less (name your price) and still get six e-books: Pirate Cinema, Pump Six and Other Stories, Zoo City, Invasion: The Secret World Chronicle, Stranger Things Happen, and Magic for Beginners.

The bonus e-books are Old Man’s War, comic collections Attack of the Bacon Robots; Epic Legends of the Magic Sword Kings; Save Yourself, Mammal!; The Most Dangerous Game; Xkcd: volume 0; and the graphic novel Signal to Noise.

This time, donations benefit the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Child’s Play Charity, and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The e-books are DRM-free and come in multiple formats, including PDF, MOBI, and ePub.

June’s comic book pick of the month: Adventure Time

If you read my open call for comics back in April, then you know I’ll be reviewing current comic book series (in addition to writing graphic novel reviews) every month or so to inspire discussion. I’m also taking requests, so please — leave a comment or drop me an email!

Did you know comics require a lot more brainpower to read? The right side of your brain processes pictures, while the left interprets words. Okay, moving on!

I know what you’re thinking: “Adventure Time is a show, silly!” Whoa-hoahh, hold on a sec. It’s also a relatively new comic book series from BOOM! Studios. Before you groan and turn away, believe me, I understand any misgivings you might have. Like with any crossing of mediums, television-to-comic adaptations don’t usually work so well.


Ryan North (creator of Dinosaur Comics) pens the issues, and Shelli Paroline typically handles art. Paroline is amazing. I know actual human likenesses are harder to authentically portray in illustration, but her work rivals Georges Jeanty’s on the BUFFY line (Dark Horse Comics). I can’t tell the difference between show and comic here, honestly.

(Also, I love her reproduction of Avatar: The Last Airbender.)

I’m a strong believer that the more recognizable a comic is to its original source, the more successful it can be — especially if it has talented writers working on it. Thankfully, North captures the humor and essence of Adventure Time without missing a beat.

In some cases, it’s better. (Gasp!) While music has always been a fundamental part of the show, I know some people are turned off by all the singing. I don’t particularly care for it myself except in episodes like “What Was Missing” (and I’m not even going to go into the weird controversy there).

ADVENTURE TIME #4 is my favorite yet. It’s amazing how effortlessly North and Paroline can recreate the unique characteristics of the show in still form. Here’s a quick recap: Recently Finn and Jake and co. defeated the Lich and reformed the world, only the desert kingdom isn’t quite where it’s supposed to be. This issue calls upon some princess power to set things right again.

The secondary stories placed in the back end act as fun side adventures that feature different contributing writers and artists. And for those who like variant covers, the incentive ones for ADVENTURE TIME are rather popular. Mike “Gabe” Krahulik of Penny Arcade even prepared one for issue #5. Talk about awesome!

You can preview and buy ADVENTURE TIME #4 online at ComiXology or your local comic shop.

ADVENTURE TIME #4 (by writer Ryan North and artists Braden Lamb and Shelli Paroline) released on Wednesday, May 30. Issue #5 is now available.