Good Books: Geek Mom, The Hive, Building Stories, Weird Horrors

Here are a few notable books that have recently crossed my desk:

Geek Mom: Projects, Tips, and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st-Century Families. Written by the editors of Wired's Geek Mom blog, this book offers a wide range of activities for geeky families: role-playing games, cooking, costume-making, science projects, and crafts. I liked the article about how one Geek Mom dealt with her husband's voluminous comic-book collection by storing it under a bed she modified by sticking 6-inch risers under the legs.

Weird Horrors & Daring Adventures, by Joe Kubert. Comic book great Joe Kubert passed away earlier this year. Best known for Sgt. Rock, Tarzan, and Hawkman in the 1960s and 70s, this anthology of Kubert's 1940s work reveals his versatility in a variety of genres, including horror, humor, and romance.

Is That All There Is?, by Joost Swarte. For some reason, I discovered the work of Dutch cartoonist Joost Swarte before I read Hergé's Tintin, even though it's now clear to me that Swarte's style was inspired by Hergé. But I would never dismiss Swarte as being derivative. In fact, I prefer his work over Hergé's (don't shoot me). This anthology of Swarte's alternative comics from 1972 showcases his famous clean-line style that makes reading his work a pleasure.

Speaking of Tintin and clean-line art, here's the second part of Charles Burns' "new epic masterpiece of graphic horror in brilliant, vivid color," The Hive. I don't know how to begin to describe this surreal story of a brain-damaged man's visits between parallel universes, but I made an attempt to explain the plot-so-far in my review of part one of the series.