Step Aside, Pops: a new Hark! A Vagrant! collection that delights and dazzles

Canadian historian turned webcomics god Kate Beaton is back with her second Hark! A Vagrant! collection: Step Aside, Pops. Never before has history been so bitterly funny.

OXO's Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker

The $50 cold-brew maker makes some important design improvements over its pioneering competitor, the Toddy, but you get the same quality coffee with easier cleanup for $10 with my nut-milk bag method. Read the rest

Review: Pimping my Char-Broil TRU-Infrared grill with a rotisserie robot, and all the fixins

finished chix
Boing Boing's barbecue gadget reviewer found a good, cheap grill on Amazon. But which add-ons, like an automated rotisserie, are worth buying? He investigates and tells all, right after this bite of chicken.

Little Robot: nearly wordless kids' comic from Zita the Spacegirl creator

Kid or adult, parent or not, you should already be reading Ben "Zita the Spacegirl" Hatke for some of the most rollicking, science-fictional kid-friendly comics between two covers, but now you've got no excuse: Little Robot, a nearly wordless graphic novel about a little girl and a fugitive robot, will fill you with terror, laughter, wonder and joy.

Review: NutriBullet 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System

I love this $80 device and use it daily. The problem it solved for me: get produce in my mouth.

Austin Grossman's CROOKED: the awful, cthulhoid truth about Richard Nixon

Austin Grossman's first-person secret memoir of Richard Nixon sounds like a Lovecraftian gag, but Crooked is a brooding, bitter Cold War novel that gets deep into the psyche of "the funniest president that ever lived."

Exclusive preview: Jeff Lemire's Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars

Jeff Lemire -- creator of the epic apocalyptic graphic novel Sweet Tooth and the dreamy, Twilight-Zonish Underwater Welder -- returns with a new graphic novel, Descender, with Dustin Nguyen -- we're proud to present the entire first issue below!

Chuck Wendig's Zeroes: a hacker technothriller in the War Games lineage

Chuck Wendig's new technothriller Zeroes is a hacker misfit tale in the lineage of War Games and Sneakers, true to the spirit (and often, the minutae) of security work, and exciting as hell to boot.

Felicia Day's "You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)"

Felicia Day's memoir You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) starts off as a cute, snarky story about how a quirky upbringing turned Day into a nerd superhero; by the end, it's become an illuminating, frank look at the commercial realities, injustices and insecurities that everyone trying to earn a living online must confront.

The best 'budget' barbecue grill I've found: Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 480

I don't expect a $200 grill to last a lifetime. But it has to cook meats and veggies evenly, with good temperature control. And I found a pretty affordable grill that does that reliably.

The Princess and the Pony, from Kate "Hark a Vagrant" Beaton


It was a safe bet that Kate "Hark! A Vagrant! Beaton's first kids' picture book would be amazing, but The Princess and the Pony is incredible.

Princess Pinecone is a the smallest warrior in a kingdom of warriors, and she lives for battle. But every year on her birthday, her parents give her a cuddly sweater. What she really wants is a mighty charger, from whose back she might smite other warriors.

This year, Princess Pinecone put her foot down. She let it be known that nothing less than a huge, imposing horse would do.

Unfortunately, what she got was a cuddly, funny-looking pony whose eyes point in opposite directions. It refuses to be trained for warhorse duties. She rides it into battle anyway. When Otto the Awful spies her on the sidelines and charges her, the pony just stands there, while Princess Pinecone digs for her spitballs. Then it happens: Otto the Awful screeches to a halt, unable to believe how TOTALLY CUTE the pony is.

The mighty battle stops. The warriors crowd around the pony. They get in touch with their cuddly sides. So Princess Pinecone shares her supply of excess cuddly sweaters. And they all live happily ever after!

Beaton is one of the sharpest, funniest comics creators in the business. Her witty, take-no-prisoners feminism is absolutely on display here, but she doesn't go for an easy girl-power resolution: instead, she lets everyone be both a badass and a sentimentalist.

The spreads in this are amazing: the giant fight scene and the warriors in their sweaters? Read the rest

Robert Charles Wilson's The Affinities: when science changes everything

Amara's Law states, "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run" -- Robert Charles Wilson's gripping conspiracy novel The Affinities brings the experience of that process to life.

You're inflating your tires wrong. Here's how to do it right, and save up to $500 a year.

Your tires? I want to PUMP! THEM UP!

The best affordable fan for cooling your home this hot summer: Vornado 660

Vornado 660
And this fan isn't even marketed as a fan, but an “air circulator.” Whatever. It works.

Book review: Neal Stephenson's “Seveneves” has too little humanity in the characters

Stephenson’s new novel doesn’t generate the kind of excitement for the future that we’ve come to expect from the author of Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, and Anathem.

Sandman Slim: Killing Pretty

James Stark's returned to LA from hell's gladiator pits and has been tearing things up ever since -- but what do you get for the monster who has everything? Killing Pretty has the answer. Read the rest

Fantasy Sports: dungeon crawl ends in epic, eldritch basketball game

In Fantasy Sports No. 1, a berzerker adventurer and his spellslinging, underappreciated apprentice go on a dungeon crawl that takes them into an eldritch game of basketball -- for the highest stakes imaginable.

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