Back in 2011, I reviewed Dan Goldman's excellent indie comic Red Light Properties, which has now been picked up for mass publication by the good folks at IDW. Here's what I wrote then:
Dan Goldman's Red Light Properties is a serial webcomic about a Florida real-estate brokerage that specializes in exorcising haunted houses and then listing them for cheap. Goldman (who created the fantastic 08 graphic novel) takes a somewhat lighthearted premise and uses it as contrast to make the fundamental spookiness of his stories stand out in stark relief. Goldman's ghost stories made the hairs on the back of my neck prickle, while the bawdy slapstick interludes served only to lure me into dropping my guard for the next scare. Highly recommended.
Goldman's earlier work includes 08: A Graphic Diary of the Campaign Trail, a gorgeous and engrossing history of the 2008 elections, and Shooting War, a trenchant commentary on war photography in the Internet age. As with Red Light Properties, both books blend photography, xerography, computer graphics and illustration in a style that's reminiscent of Dave Gibbons and Cameron Stewart and really jumps off the page.
Goldman is touring with Red Light Properties, and we have his tour schedule (which finishes with a stop at Mumbai Comic-Con!) as well as the first 28 pages of the new book after the jump.
In each episode of Gweek, I invite a guest or two to join me in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. This time my guests were Joshua Glenn, a Boston-based author and semiotician, and co-author of Unbored, a bestselling collection of family activities; and Rob Reid, and entrepreneur and author of the science fiction novel Year Zero.
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Gen Xers like to complain about not having the flying cars they were promised. But it was the Boomers who were promised flying cars. Unless you're that old, the joke goes, you were promised a cyberpunk dystopia: presently under construction for the Millenials to enjoy.
To kids growing up in the 1990s though— born in an empty space between these "generations" of entertainment marketing—such grand concepts were drowned by the mundane reality of the early web. Too young to be on the pre-AOL net, when it was still cool, but old enough for it to remain a new and strange land, this thinly-sliced cohort experienced a certain yearning bathos, a search for the real in a medium freshly proven otherwise.
In Breathing Machine: A Memoir of Computers, Leigh Alexander captures a powerful scent of what it was like to be born into computer gaming's golden age, to have a taste of a "world bigger than the one you can touch" only to spend adolescence in a world of chatrooms, terrible internet speeds and false frontiers.
I am unquestionably late to the party on Amulet, Kazu Kibuishi's young adult graphic novel series that kicked off in 2008 and has so far been serialized in five fantastic books. That's OK: it's a big world and there's plenty to read in it, and getting to Amulet this late merely meant that I had five books to inhale in one long session, which is, frankly, an amazing experience.
Amulet tells the story of Emily, a young girl whose family moves to her great-grandfather's tumbledown mansion after her father's tragic death. Shortly after their arrival, Emily and her mother and younger brother Navin find themselves in a parallel dimension where Emily's destiny awaits. Emily is descended from a line of "Stonekeepers," who are charged with protecting the alien world from mysterious forces, aided by gemstones that give them mystical powers, but also threaten to destroy them.
You've only got two days left to take advantage of The Humble Audiobook Bundle, which lets you name your price for a stellar lineup of DRM-free audiobooks (this is practically the only way to get DRM-free audiobooks these days, since Audible, the company that controls 90% of the market, requires that publishers use DRM even if they object to it). The Humble Audibook Bundle selection includes Salman Rushdie's "Satanic Verses;" William S Burroughs's "Junky;" Meg Cabot's "Abandon;" Dave Eggers's "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius;" Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian," Charles Portis's "True Grit," and many more.
A reader sends us The 2014 Campbellian Anthology, a free and DRM-free ebook (.epub and .mobi) with 111 authors eligible for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and over 860K words of fiction."
Here's a tantalizing preview [PDF] of The Art and History of Globes, a massive, gorgeous art-book tracing the history of globes. Written by Sylvia Sumira, forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press in March. The globes pictured run back 400 years, and come from the collection of the British Library. As Levi from the press says, "they're amazing: beautifully designed and drawn, intricate, strange--just incredible objects."
Isabel Greenberg is a writer and illustrator who lives and works in North London. In her graphic novel The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, Greenberg combines art, mythology, and humor to tell a story of star-crossed love. It takes readers back to a time before history began, when another—now forgotten—civilization thrived. The people who roamed Early Earth were much like us: curious, emotional, funny, ambitious, and vulnerable. In this series of illustrated and linked tales, Greenberg chronicles the explorations of a young man as he paddles from his home in the North Pole to the South Pole in search of a missing piece of his soul. There, he meets his true love, but their romance is ill-fated. Early Earth's unusual and finicky polarity means the lovers can never touch.
Naomi Horn, 13, can’t wait for the movie adaptation of John Green’s young adult cancer novel to hit theaters. When the trailer for The Fault in our Stars hit the internet this week, Naomi felt compelled to share a response video. Her mom and uncle had cancer.
Kevin C Pyle and Scott Cunningham's non-fiction, book-length comic Bad for You: Exposing the War on Fun! is a marvellous and infuriating history of censorship, zero-tolerance, helicopter parenting, and the war on kids.
The comics form turns out to be just perfect for presenting this material. The book opens with a history of the fight over comics publishing in America, where the liar Frederic Wertham and his Seduction of the Innocents hoax led to a harsh regime of comics censorship, book banning, book burning, and decades of pseudoscientific vilification and dismissal of artists and the young people who loved their work. Presenting this story in a comics form only drives home how wrong Wertham and the Comics Code Authority were.
Jayson from Gygax Magazine sez, "This Sunday, January 26th, marks the 40th anniversary of the first publication of Dungeons & Dragons. To mark the occasion, Jon Peterson, author of Playing at the World and writer for Gygax Magazine, will be holding an AMA ("Ask Me Anything") on Reddit."
Jeff VanderMeer sez, "Want a copy of the awesome Blackstone audiobook for Annihilation, the first book in my Southern Reach trilogy? If you live in the United States, U.S. territories, or the Philippines you are eligible to win."