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.


by Serge Le Tendre (Author), RĂ©gis 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.

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