1:56 PM

(0) Comments

Lets start off with some reading material..

Mister Nizz

, ,

Recent books acquired

(I'll explain where I've been in a follow up) For starters, let's look at some recent book purchases (or gifts).

World War Z of course, Max Brooks' "Oral History Approach" to the Great Zombie War, done in the literary style of BLOOD OF SPAIN (or perhaps more accurately that recent anthology dedicated to the H.G. Wells War of the World event done by various authors) It's not a central narrative, e.g., you won't see one gang of plucky survivors battle for survival as is the subject of MANY zombie films. Instead, Brooks tells the story of a global zombie holocaust through the eyes of many narrators in many places. I'm only just getting into it now but I'm impressed with Brooks writing style and sense of humor to accomodate the sense of dread. I loved his ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE .. and you can look at WORLD WAR Z as a companion piece set in the same milieu, pretty much.

An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories This is not a "trade back" of cartoons, rather a serious attempt to explain some of the modern and post-modern themes that are prevalent in "iconic" fiction such as Sunday Cartoons. The Anthology is edited by Ivan Bruneti of "Schizo" fame but many individual "edgy" comic artists and writers contribute. Ivan Bruneti writes the Introduction and I believe one or two of the "chapters" therein. Most of the material is page after page of post-modern comics illustrating a theme that Bruneti is working on in the chapter (it almost seems that the phrase "chapter" doesn't really fit, actually) Bruneti is a quirky fellow; but he takes the subject matter seriously enough -- I had no idea how cosmic some of these guys could get! One of my favorites is a series of interviews and commentary about PEANUTS written mostly by Art Spiegelman of MAUS fame. There's even a comic of Spiegelman's interview with Schulz with Spiegelman in his usual "Maus" guise and Schulz dressed up as a Charlie Brown character. Charles Schulz, who had been a cartoonist so long his work was part of the backdrop of American culture, had some very interesting points to make about the graphical art itself. You kind of expect the creator of PEANUTS to be conservative (or at least I did) but he was quite insightful. I'm about halfway done with it and I am glad I picked it up using some of my copious Book Store Gift Card boodle I usually get this time of year.

HIGH COTTON by Joe Landsdale. Haven't started it yet. Joe is my favorite East Texas Shitkickin' writer and a past master of the macabre short story art form. This is a short story anthology loaded with some of his more celebrated short stories, including one I've been tracking down for years.

THE BATTLE OF SALAMIS by Barry Straus. another Scholarly look at the great galley battle between the Greeks and Persians The Greek triumph at Salamis stopped the advancing Persians and saved the first democracy in history. It made Athens the dominant city in Greece, gave birth to the Athenian empire, and set the stage for the Age of Pericles. On the Persian side, the battle of Salamis also featured history's first female admiral and sailors from three continents. I've only just creacked it open-- Strauss' prose style is what I would call "spare" but it's still easy enough to follow and a good treatment of the subject.

Tuff Guide to Fantasyland By Diana Wynn-Jones. A very tongue-in-cheek, often hilarious, treatment of all the cliches in fantasy writing done by a very succesful fantasy writer. Who knew she had it in her? I bought this one on Otto's recommendation and don't regret it...

That's what's in my book bag at the moment, and I'm enjoying them tremendously.