Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

You, too, can write reviews!

by Melissa Riggio

You close the book (or click "exit" on the eReader). Satisfied with the story, you briefly think over the characters, the plot, and maybe one or two things you would have changed, but overall, it was a great read. You've got a bit of time left today before you tackle your responsibilities - perhaps time to start another book?

Or you could consider pausing to write a review. 

Reviews are a huge industry within the publishing world. From a one-line Goodreads review to a full-page review in the New York Times, a good review can boost a book up in sales - or plummet it down to obscurity. There are entire blogs dedicated to book reviews, down to specific genres (YA, urban paranormal romance, steampunk, LGBTQ - endlessly niche for every taste). Comic books (graphic novels, individual issues, tradebacks) also are items you can review.

Where does the average reader without a blog or following fit into this? They fit in quite easily, actually. There are plenty of platforms to leave a review, the most popular ones being Amazon and Goodreads. The reviews can be short - from one sentence to several paragraphs, to a whole page. 

So why should you write a review, even if you don't have the clout of a New York Times or NPR reviewer? 

It's useful for publishing companies and authors to see the reviews and use them for publicity, or, in turn, learn from them - if enough reviews say the same thing, it could affect the publishing of the book, for better or worse. 

Some tips for writing reviews

·  avoid negatively reviewing a book due to a shipping problem, or error with the online ordering service. 
·  avoid reviewing poorly based on a dislike of the theme itself - if you dislike horror, and read a horror book, giving it 1 star because you dislike horror is a discredit to the book for simply existing within its genre. (You may find this odd, but if you read through enough Goodreads reviews, you'll find people rating books very lowly because they "just don't like romance novels", and yet read an entire one and proceeded to review it poorly for being a romance novel.) 
·  if you're having trouble finding the words, just mention a particular passage, panel, or quote that struck you. For comic books, the artist and writer can sometimes be different, so commenting on them individually is something you can also do. 
·  "I couldn't put the book down" or "I read it so quickly because I had to know what happened" are valid reviews - it's not about the length of the review as much as the sentiment and thought behind it. 

Still a little nervous about writing reviews? You can mark certain reviews on books you've read as "helpful" or not on Amazon, which can push certain reviews to the top that you feel really help a reader decide if they should read the book or not.

If you've purchased books from Amazon lately, you can go through your back orders and leave reviews on those pages. It's been debated how much leaving a review can alter the ranking of a book, and if the review being a verified purchase matters or not (as in, purchased from Amazon under your account, thus proving you did have the item) but all of the other reasons to review still apply. 

If you're on Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr, you can take a picture of the book and tag the author or publishing company - reader pictures are great inspiration and motivation for authors. Seeing their book "in the wild" is something almost every author aims for. Some people "live review" books as they are reading them, quote lines, and post critiques as they go along, which is another way to have a reviewing experience with a book. 

So glance through your bookshelf (or Kindle library), see the books that inspired you or made you think, and take a minute publish a review! The authors and publishers will thank you. 


Melissa Riggio is a a local comics professional who works for Rosarium Publishing in the DC area. She is an avid Goodreads/Amazon reviewer and library fanatic who will be occasionally posting on here about topics related to comics, publishing, and reviews.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Review: Adrian Tomine's Killing and Dying

by Mike Rhode

If I had to come up with a quick descriptive word for Adrien Tomine's work (and I just did), I think I'd pick "astringent." Tomine's a master of a cool thin line with a flat color palette, and his stories are often about people you'd prefer to avoid IRL. Tomine will be in town at Politics and Prose talking with Linda Holmes about Killing and Dying, his 2015 collection of his Optic Nerve comic book now available in paperback.

I'm reviewing the book now, even thought I bought it at 2015 at the Small Press Expo, because Drawn & Quarterly sent me a comp copy, and I don't want them to think it was unappreciated. Also, because in spite of my description above, I like his work. There are six stories in the book, all obviously by Tomine, but all different from each other as well.

Tomine is one of the group of formerly alternative 1980's cartoonists such as Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware who've hit the big time, and whose work is now instantly recognizable, as they're doing regular covers for the New Yorker and publishing graphic novel collections on a regular basis. This is a far cry from when they all were part of the small press scene being published in 'floppies' by Fantagaphics Books. Amazingly, those who've stayed in the field have largely remained true to the aesthetic they developed in their early works.

Tomine's first story, "...Horticusculpture" is purposely constrained to appear to be a weekly comic strip telling the story of a man growing old while attempting to convince the world that his new plant/sculpture hybrid is art. Six "strips" in black & white mimic a daily, while the full page Sunday is in color. Someone more academically-minded could theorize about the appeal of old-fashioned comic strips for alternative comic book cartoonists; among others, Daniel Clowes did a whole book using this motif, as did Bob Sikoryak who cast his net of influences a bit wider in his book on Apple. In the end, Tomine's story is about a man who's largely a failure personally and professionally, but is redeemed in the very last panel by his family's love.

"Amber Sweet" is a story of a modern-day mistaken identity in that a college student is a doppleganger for a porn actress. This coincidence ruins her life until the two of them finally meet. "Go Owls" is a cautionary tale which of a woman letting a man assume control over her life under the guise of protecting her. "Translated, from the Japanese" could easily have appeared in the New Yorker. No people are shown in the story, just scenes from traveling on plane, but again it's another story about human loneliness and failure in relationships.

Local cartoonist Dana Maier told me yesterday that "Killing and Dying" is her favorite story in the book, but I had to dash off before we discussed it. We may have that conversation here, if I can convince her to. A part of another dysfunctional family, a teenage girl wants to try standup comedy, and her mother agrees while her father thinks it's a mistake. Tomine has put several twists in the story, so that's all I'll reveal. Finally, "Intruders" is from the point of view of a failed veteran who breaks into the apartment he used to live in during the day, attempting to recapture his happier past, while providing no trace of himself in the present.

Tomine's cool, cerebral stories won't be to everyone's taste, but they're definitely worth sampling and this is a good collection to start with. He's grown to be an assured artist and writer, and will continue to be part of the graphic novel 'canon' for years to come.



---
Adrian Tomine - Killing and Dying — in conversation with Linda Holmes — at Politics and Prose at The Wharf



Saturday, February 10, 2018 - 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Now available in paperback, this collection of six graphic stories shows the impressive range of Tomine’s narratives and his expressive use of line, color, and half-tones. Especially adept at capturing the nuances of character and emotion, Tomine, author/artist of Shortcomings and Scenes from an Impending Marriage, is one of the most literary of graphic storytellers. Many of the pieces here chart the turbulent arcs of relationships in which the partners are angry, disoriented, or both. In one variation on these themes, the title story focuses on a fourteen-year-old aspiring stand-up comic. As her mother praises her and her father criticizes her, the three work to deny the greater tragedy that is about to befall the family. Tomine will be in conversation with Linda Holmes, writer and editor for  NPR’s entertainment and pop-culture blog, Monkey See.

This event is free to attend with no reservation required. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis.
 
Click here for more information.
Politics and Prose at The Wharf   70 District Square SW   Washington   DC    20024


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Book Review: Awaiting the Collapse by Paul Kirchner

by Mike Rhode

Awaiting the Collapse: Selected Works 1974-2014 by Paul Kirchner is one of the best archival reprint projects of 2017. Unfortunately, due to it's content, both sexual and drug-related, it will not find the large American audience that Kirchner deserves.

Let's look first at the publisher's description of the book. 

After the bus and the bus 2, this third collaboration between French publishing house Tanibis and comic book artist Paul Kirchner is a collection of the artist’s works, most of them initially published in counter-culture magazines in the 1970s and the 1980s and some dating from his return to comics in the 2010s. 

Roughly a third of the stories star Dope Rider, the pot-smoking skeleton whose psychedelic adventures take him through colorful vistas equally reminiscent of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western films and of the surrealistic paintings of René Magritte and Salvador Dalí. These stories were originally drawn for the marijuana-themed magazine High Times but were also for Kirchner an excuse to create his very own brand of visual poetry.

An other third of the book is a miscellaneous collection of comics whose stories range from the loony (the sextraterrestrial invasion of Earth in “They Came from Uranus”) to the satirical (“Critical mass of cool”) and the outright subversive (if you ever wondered what games toys play at night, read “Dolls at Midnight”).

This book also features a broad selection of the covers Kirchner made for the pornographic tabloid Screw in the 1970s.

Awaiting the Collapse finally contains a previously unpublished essay by Paul Kirchner about his career and his influences, which helps put in perspective the works published in this book.


The description which is admirably clear about the nature of Kirchner's work explains why you won't see this on anyone's best of the year list besides mine. The first reprints Dope Rider stories from the 1970s which focus on a walking skeleton attempting to acquire the best marijuana (and initially heroin). The stories are wildly surrealistic and make little sense, although Kirchner apparently did not participate in the drug culture. He also did sexualized covers for the notorious Screw newspaper, but again says in the excellent afterword that he also wasn't interested in the hedonistic adult industry world. "I too might seem an unlikely fit for Screw, having no interest in hard-core pornography... Although I drew cartoons involving leather fetishism and bondage, to me those were just subject matter, offering visual possibilities. They struck me as more humorous than erotic. So how did a sober, strait-laced fellow like me find himself drawing Screw covers and Dope Rider? I have a naughty streak that demands express, and I indulge it in my art." (p. 140)

Also Kirchner, like most of his mentors, followed the money. Kirchner says he grew up admiring Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, two of the more surreal mainstream comics artists, and then as part of a group of young Turks in New York City in the early 1970s hung around Neal Adams's Continuity Associates and worked for Wally Wood. Wood's influences are clear in the work reprinted here (apparently selected by Kirchner, and occasionally reconstructed). Kirchner also sought Steranko's advice, and one can easily see some pages influenced by that most theatrical of comic book artists. (See the panel of the Dope Rider drawing a gun on page 22 for example). The reprint quality of the artwork is stunning also, with much of it being reconstructed by his editor or recolored by Kirchner.



While I greatly admire Kirchner's craft, the best part of the book is the autobiographical essay at the end. Kirchner recounts his working career, including working in an early comic book store, ghosting Little Orphan Annie, drawing the graphic novel Murder by Remote Control for the Dutch mystery writer Janwillem van de Wetering, working for the New York Times, and collecting and firing guns with Wally Wood and the African-American cartoonist Wayne Howard. Kirchner admits to being a slow artist, and eventually had to go to work in advertising to support his family, but recently he's returned to comics although he's now in his 60s. The book includes some of his newer material as does the bus 2, and although Kirchner says his skills were rusty, his recent work compares well to his earlier art. He's doing a new comic strip, and closes his essay on a high note, writing, "When you do commercial work, as I  did for 30 years, it pays well but means nothing.  ... Instead of anxiously waiting for the next assignment, I am how happily working on the next idea. To do creative work is good for the soul. As long as you have an enthusiasm, you have happiness." (p. 151)


While this book obviously isn't for everyone, serious comics readers, especially those interested in the underground, should acquire and read it
.


AWAITING THE COLLAPSE: Selected works 1974-2014
by Paul Kirchner
Tanibis Editions
ISBN: 9782848410449
Format : 9,4 x 12,2"
152 pages in full color

Tanabis kindly provided me with a review copy of the physical book.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Book Review: Comic Shop: The Retail Mavericks Who Gave Us a New Geek Culture


reviewed by Mike Rhode

Comic Shop: The Retail Mavericks Who Gave Us a New Geek Culture

by Dan Gearino, Ohio University Press' Swallow Press, 2017. $26.95
Despite the title, Comic Shop focuses at least as much, if not more, on the growth of the Direct Market distribution network that gave rise to independent comic shops and sustains them today. Gearino is a journalist and has written an accessible popular history that relies largely on interviews, much like Slugfest, which we recently reviewed and which works well as a complement to this book.
Gearino focuses on his local comic shop, Laughing Ogre, perhaps slightly too much at times, but it's understandable that he chose a long-lasting, respected store as one of the pillars of his book. He returns to the store's history time and again, while recounting a chronological history of the transfer from comic books as a mass media product sold everywhere on newsstands to one that requires a visit to a specialty shop.

From the 1920s through the 1970s, comic books were sold in newsstands, mom and pop shops and anywhere a distributor could place a rack. Personally, for me, the 7-11 was the main site. The books were dumped on the store which was expected to rack them, and return them for credit when they didn't sell. The comics had a profit for the store in the pennies, so little attention was paid to them. At many times, the books weren't delivered or racked, but a refund was requested anyway, leading to fraudulent losses for the publishers, or misleading sales figures.

In 1973, Phil Seuling, an early creator of Comic Cons, made a deal with DC Comics to buy books for them at a larger discount but on an nonreturnable basis, and get them shipped directly from the printer. Seuling's new company was Sea Gate Distributors. It was soon joined by many competitors who split the United States up between them. As in most businesses, the early wide-open days with multiple distributors and thousands of comic book shops saw financial peaks and troughs as well as widespread consolidations and bankruptcies. Gearino also weaves through the rise of independent comic books such as Elfquest, Bone, Cerebus and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and talks about the importance of a retailer hand-selling these types of comics. Today, one distributor remains standing - Baltimore's Diamond Comics, and we're currently seeing a lot of independent books, small publishers and tactics such as variant covers that usually precede a bust in the market.

Gearino did a good job in doing interviews for his research on the book, but is lighter on using archival and printed sources. His focus on Laughing Ogre's small chain occasionally slows the book down, but I think proved to be a good choice to center the story. An odd choice was made to add in profiles of various stores at the end of the book - not quite an appendix, but not quite part of the book either. I think those could have perhaps been integrated in more seamlessly, although when he invites guest commentary in the main text, it is set off at the end of the chapter and is rather jarring. On a local note, Joel Pollack of Big Planet Comics has a two-page profile in the stores section.

This won't be the definitive study of the rise of the Direct Market and specialty comic book stores, but it's a good early step and a fine choice for the casually-interested reader. I enjoyed it and would recommend it.



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer

By Claire Rhode
reprinted with permission from Her Campus at Chatham

Like a lot of Bardugo’s work, Wonder Woman: Warbringer was set in a rich fantasy world with incredibly strong female characters—both physically and emotionally. The story begins on Themyscira with Diana trying to prove herself to her fellow Amazons. The plot begins right in the first chapter when Diana rescues Alia Keralis, the sole survivor of a shipwreck. Despite the action at the beginning, the book has a slow start.

I’ve always found Bardugo’s work heavy and hard to get into, and the same was true of this book. Despite the non-stop action, great characters, and witty banter, the entire book felt like I was slogging through just to know how the plot was resolved.

Diana and Alia were what really redeemed the plot for me. Diana is wide-eyed and curious as she is in the movie, but she’s also hesitant to really trust this new world. She has her mission and she plans to achieve it, then spends her time trying to get back to Alia.

Alia, on the other hand, is the daughter of two scientists who died in a car crash. Now her overprotective older brother is her guardian, and she’s constantly trying to get away from his control over her. She’s also dealing with racial tensions throughout the novel and tries to explain the history of racism and systemic disenfranchisement to Diana while they’re fighting for their lives.

There are also a lot of great supporting characters who end up on their journey with them. There’s Nim, Alia’s best friend, and a fashion icon. Theo, who is a washed up maybe-genius and harboring a bit of a crush on Alia, and Jason, Alia’s older brother, tag along for the ride as well.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer is a good book and would be great for fans of the movie or of Bardugo’s other works. It’s an excellent addition to the Wonder Woman canon in its own right and perfect to pair with the movie.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Books Received - July 2017

Newly published books continue to appear in my mailbox. I'll try to get notices of them up more regularly. 

I find myself enjoying much of Scholastic's line for young people. Sunny Side Up was one of my favorite recent semi-autobiographical books. A sequel comes out this fall, and is more episodic, but we do meet the older brother whose 1970s-era problems with drugs have led him to being enrolled in military school. Recommended.



 



The Holms are also expanding their Babymouse series beyond the juvenile graphic novel books into middle school and mixed chapter book style. Not read.


 It’s a new kind of book for Babymouse! Fans of Dork Diaries, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and James Patterson’s Middle School books, this is going to be epic. . . .

For Babymouse, middle school is like a monster movie. You can never be sure who’s a friend and who’s an enemy, and the halls are filled with mean-girl zombies. Instead of brains, the zombies hunger for stuff—the perfect wedge sandals or the right shade of sparkly lip gloss—and they expect everyone to be just like them.

But Babymouse doesn’t want to fit in—she wants to stand out! So she joins the film club to write and direct a sweeping cinematic epic. Will making the film of her dreams turn into a nightmare?

Thanks to Babymouse, middle school gets schooled in this hilarious new series from bestselling authors Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.

 Christopher Eliopoulos has been using his big-head style on historical biographies with Brad Meltzer, but he also does a lot of other cartooning. His original graphic novel about receiving superpowers via a magic ring and then getting caught in a video game eventually becomes a story about the importance of family. This book is probably best for pre-teen boys, but I enjoyed it. Recommended.



Cosmic Commandos Hardcover – July 4, 2017
Dial

 In this graphic novel adventure for readers of Hilo and Roller Girl, a pair of twin brothers accidentally bring their favorite video game to life—and now they have to find a way to work together to defeat it.

Jeremy and Justin are twins, but they couldn’t be any more different from each other. Jeremy is a risk taker who likes to get his hands dirty; Justin prefers to read, focus, and get all his facts straight before jumping in. But they do have one important thing in common: They both love video games. When Jeremy wins a cereal-box charm that brings his favorite video game to life, villains and all, he finds that he’s in way over his head. Justin knows everything there is to know about the rules of the game—he read the handbook, of course—and Jeremy isn’t afraid to try new things. Can these two mismatched brothers work together to beat the video game that has become their life? 

Lee J. Ames died in 2011, but his Draw 50 series has been continued. Two new books with art by Erin Harvey were sent to us. Not read.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December's books received

As I've done this fall, I'm noting the books that I've received for review, but haven't had time to read yet. Publisher's descriptions are in italics.

The book I'm most looking forward to reading is Singapore's Sonny Liew's fake biography of a cartoonist. This has already been published overseas, and caused a contretemps within the Singaporean government over its funding.
  
The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye 

 Meet Charlie Chan Hock Chye.

Now in his early 70s, Chan has been making comics in his native Singapore since 1954, when he was a boy of 16. As he looks back on his career over five decades, we see his stories unfold before us in a dazzling array of art styles and forms, their development mirroring the evolution in the political and social landscape of his homeland and of the comic book medium itself.

With The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye Sonny Liew has drawn together a myriad of genres to create a thoroughly ingenious and engaging work, where the line between truth and construct may sometimes be blurred, but where the story told is always enthralling, bringing us on a uniquely moving, funny, and thought-provoking journey through the life of an artist and the history of a nation.



Titan continues reprinting European comics last seen a couple of decades ago.There's a lot of zaftig nudity in this first one. None of these are particularly to my taste, but Titan is doing an excellent job with their production values and pricing.




THE QUEST FOR THE TIME BIRD

by Serge Le Tendre (Author), Régis Loisel (Author)
by Jamie Smart 
Scholastic, $8.

A team of scientists has sent a monkey into space! And good thing, too, because he's a mean, selfish, noisy, bullying little fur-bag. But... all does not go well with the flight, and Monkey's spaceship barely clears the first hilltop before crash-landing in a peaceful forest. Monkey decides this is a new world and claims it for his own. And his first decree is that all other animals should be banished! What follows is a series of hilarious, off-the-wall interactions between Monkey and the other forest animals.

Reprints from a British comic book, this is definitely for the elementary school student.




 DC's version of the venerable Li'l Archie books claim to be for ages 8-12, but I think as a comics - chapterbook mashup, it'll hit for younger kids. The draft I got has very rough pencils, but Nguyen's art looks like a good fit. If you skip over the illogic of the story and characters completely that is. 


Study Hall of Justice (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society #1)
by Derek Fridolfs (Author), Dustin Nguyen (Illustrator)
Scholastic, $13

 The team behind DC Comics LIL' GOTHAM takes readers to the halls of Ducard Academy in Gotham City, where a young Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman start their very own Junior Detective Agency!

Young Bruce Wayne is the new kid at Ducard Academy, a prep school for gifted middle school students. Bruce finds out pretty quickly that he doesn't fit in: the faculty seems to not just encourage villainous behavior from its students, but reward it. He makes friends with two other outsiders, farm boy Clark Kent and the regal Diana Prince. The three band together to form a detective squad to find out why all of these extraordinary kids have been brought together at Ducard Academy, and to see just what the faculty is plotting.

An all-new series from the Eisner-nominated team behind Batman Lil' Gotham (Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs), Secret Hero Society uses comics, journal entries, and doodles to reimagine Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman as three students in the same school. They'll try their best to solve their case, but just because you're faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, or an Amazonian princess, it doesn't mean you get to stay up past eleven.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Comic strip and books received in early November

New collections and books on comics have been rolling in from publishers for pre-Christmas / Hannukah / Kwanza publicity. I still can't keep up on reading all of the books coming out, so here's the blurb of each of them from Amazon. I would recommend any of these for a fan though, especially Doonesbury and Roy Thomas' new DC World War II collections.

Four books relating to comic strips have come in already this month:

by G. B. Trudeau
Andrews McMeel, $20

Welcome to the age of pivots. Two centuries after the Founding Fathers signed off on happiness, Zonker Harris and nephew Zipper pull up stakes and head west in hot pursuit. The dream? Setting up a major grow facility outside Boulder, Colorado, and becoming bajillionaire producers of “artisanal” marijuana. For Zonk, it’s the crowning reset of a career that’s ranged from babysitting to waiting tables. For Walden-grad Zip, it’s a way to confront $600,000 in student loans.

Elsewhere in Free Agent America, newlyweds Alex and Toggle are struggling. Twins Eli and Danny show up during their mother’s MIT graduation, but a bad economy dries up lab grants, compelling the newly minted PhD to seek employment as a barista. Meanwhile, eternally blocked writer Jeff Redfern struggles to keep the Red Rascal legend-in-his-own-mind franchise alive, while aging music icon Jimmy T. endures by adapting to his industry’s new normal: “I can make music on my schedule and release it directly to the fans.”

He’s living in his car.



 
by Scott Adams
Andrews McMeel, $20

Does Scott Adams really have a hidden camera in your cubicle?

Dilbert, the cubicle-dwelling drone, is at his satirical best with this new collection of cartoons. Dilbert has managed to keep up with technology like iPads and Twitter over the years, as well as advanced systems like the Disaster Preparedness Plan that has its followers eating the crumbs from their keyboards. It doesn’t get any more sophisticated than that.

It’s an office code violation to be this good after so many years, but Dilbert keeps doing what he does best: passive-aggressively out-witting his superiors and exercising conflict avoidance. And he is so good. No wonder office drones and workforce automatons alike can’t resist the cold embrace of Dilbert’s workplace.



 
by Jim Toomey
Andrews McMeel, $15

Join Sherman, the lovable shark, and his aquatic cohorts in the comfy environs of Sherman's Lagoon.

Sherman’s Lagoon is an imaginary lagoon somewhere in the tropics, inhabited by a cast of sea creatures whose lives are curiously similar to our own.

Sherman, the main character, is a great white shark who is completely unaware of how intimidating his species can be. He gets pushed around by the other characters, namely: Hawthorne the hermit crab, Fillmore the sea turtle, and his wife, Megan, who is another great white shark, of course. 


 

The Art and Making of The Peanuts Movie 
by Jerry Schmitz
Titan, $35 

This in-depth book goes behind the scenes of the movie-making process and looks at how the movie continues the tradition and legacy of Peanuts. An unmissable experience.

For the first time ever, in November 2015, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang we know and love from Charles Schulz's timeless "Peanuts" comic strip will be making their big-screen debut; like they've never been seen before in a CG-animated feature film in 3D.


Three books relating to comic books are all reprints of World War II stories from DC Comics, edited by Roy Thomas, a former writer for the company who specialized in retro stories. The stories can be corny now, but these are nice collections and well-priced.

by Roy Thomas
Titan, $25

Wonder Woman, warrior princess of the Amazons, is among the most famous heroes of all time. From her introduction in 1941, she has been a shining example of feminism and the strength of womankind. But what was her role during the wartime of her creation? Wonder Woman: The War Years 1941-1945 details how she used her super speed, strength, and Golden Lasso of Truth during World War II to bring peace and justice to a turbulent world.

by Roy Thomas
Titan, $25 


For more than 75 years, through countless comics, television, and movies, Batman has been a symbol of strength and perseverance. He was created in 1939, on the brink of World War II -- a volatile time, when we needed a hero most. Who better to come to the rescue than the Caped Crusader? For the first time, Batman: The War Years 1939-1945 details The Dark Knight's involvement in the war and his fight against some very real villains. 


by Roy Thomas
Titan, $25


 .
Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superman!
The Man of Steel is one of the most recognized characters in pop culture. Though he may not be from this planet, his dedication to protecting its people is inspiring. Superman: The War Years 1938-1945 shows how his introduction at the start of World War II lifted the spirits of a weary country and brought people the hero they so desperately needed.






 

With a Wink and a Nod: Cartoonists of the Gilded Age
Kamerer, Tracy L. and Janel D. Trull
Palm Beach, FL: Henry Morrison Flagler Museum,  2015
The-Haunted-Auto
Not the actual cover)

With a Wink and a Nod: Cartoonists of the Gilded Age will examine the history of Puck and American humor through 72 original drawings created for the magazine from the collection of Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf, supplemented with published cartoons and more than 20 vintage issues of Puck. Organized by the Flagler Museum, With a Wink and a Nod runs from October 13, 2015, through January 3, 2016. An illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

Finally, I received a copy of this exhibit catalog book because I know Frederic Sharf, the man who loaned the artwork.  Presumably it will eventually be on sale at the museum's website. All the artwork in the book is reproduced from the originals. It's a nicely done, albeit minor, addition to the literature about cartoonists of the 19th century.