The Sandman: Overture

The Sandman: OvertureThe Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I would give this 100 stars if I could! Gaiman’s six-part story, a direct prequel to his classic SANDMAN series, is nothing short of mind-blowing. In addition, Williams’s art is heart-stopping, Stewart’s coloring is breathtaking, and Klein’s lettering, including dozens of different, unique fonts for dozens of different characters, is nothing short of an astonishing labor of love. All this, and a giant, talking cat! I can’t recommend this trade collection highly enough. I loved Gaiman’s SANDMAN comics, but sometimes when you love something you read a long time ago you forget why you loved it so much. THE SANDMAN: OVERTURE reminded me exactly why, and in some way even surpasses the original’s brilliance. If you loved SANDMAN too, you’re going to eat this up with a spoon!

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Fatale: Death Chases Me

Fatale, Vol. 1: Death Chases MeFatale, Vol. 1: Death Chases Me by Ed Brubaker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Great characters, great writing, a combination of noir and supernatural horror that should be right up my alley — so why didn’t this resonate with me more? I wish I knew. All I can say is that it didn’t feel fresh to me, that there was a sense of having seen it all before. Admittedly, these comics were published four years ago, in 2012, when the idea of mixing classic noir tropes with the supernatural might have seemed newer, and to judge them with 2016 eyes is perhaps unfair. After all, I did enjoy it. Brubaker’s writing is very good, the story is well plotted, and Sean Phillips’ art perfectly complemented the narrative. But it just didn’t grab me, and unfortunately I don’t find myself eager to read the rest of the trades in this series.

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Hellboy In Hell, Vol. 1: The Descent

Hellboy in Hell, Vol. 1: The DescentHellboy in Hell, Vol. 1: The Descent by Mike Mignola
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This latest collection in Mignola’s ongoing HELLBOY saga is essentially a tour of Hell by way of Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL. There’s not a lot of drama to be witnessed, it’s more spectacle than story in these five issues, but Hellboy is such a great character and Mignola’s concept of Hell as a place is so compelling that I kept turning the pages with mounting interest. The art is some of Mignola’s most evocative, especially in Hell’s capitol city of Pandemonium, and each panel succeeds in offering something spooky or beautifully rendered (or both). I look forward to more adventures of Hellboy while he’s in Hell, although I hope future issues will be less episodic and offer stronger, more definitive storylines.

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Kindle Spree!

I went on a Kindle e-book-buying spree with the last of my Amazon gift certificates from the holidays! Here’s what I bought:

Best Horror 7

The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Seven edited by Ellen Datlow. The latest in the long-running and always high-quality annual anthology series. I read these not just as a fan of horror fiction but as a writer who’s always looking to learn from the best.

Cold to the Touch

Cold To the Touch by Simon Strantzas. This is the only collection I didn’t already own by the weird fiction maestro, good friend, and frequent convention roommate. (Yes, I called you a maestro, Simon! Deal with it!)

X's for Eyes

X’s For Eyes by Laird Barron. The new novella from another favorite author and friend. Actually, maybe Laird is the weird fiction maestro. Sorry, Simon!

Glider

The Girl on the Glider by Brian Keene. An acclaimed novella from the award-winning horror author that’s reputed to be a departure from his usual fare, more M.R. James than Richard Laymon. He’s also a friend of mine. God, I have a lot of friends in this business, don’t I?

 

 

News & Updates

  • 09/17/2020 — Harrow County, Vol. 2: Twice ToldHarrow County, Vol. 2: Twice Told by Cullen Bunn My rating: 5 of 5 stars Emmy’s long-lost twin sister Kammi visits Harrow County to meet her sister and claim her power, setting off a dark chain of events that turns the haints against Emmy.…Read more »
  • 09/09/2020 — Underworld DreamsUnderworld Dreams by Daniel Braum My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is Daniel Braum’s best collection yet, filled with stories that exhibit a masterful sense of ambiguity and explore the tension between the personal and the profound.…Read more »
  • 08/28/2020 — Harrow County, Vol. 1: Countless HaintsHarrow County, Vol. 1: Countless Haints by Cullen Bunn My rating: 5 of 5 stars A fun, fast-moving setup to what I expect will be a highly enjoyable series, COUNTLESS HAINTS combines writer Cullen Bunn’s masterful use of atmosphere and setting with artist Tyler Crook’s vibrant watercolor illustrations to create something truly compelling.…Read more »
  • 08/26/2020 — Survivor SongSurvivor Song by Paul Tremblay My rating: 5 of 5 stars Paul Tremblay steps away from the ambiguous, maybe-supernatural horror novels he’s been writing over the past few years to present a realistic tale of survival amid a scientifically-based epidemic.…Read more »
  • 08/11/2020 — The Scariest Part: David Mack Talks About THE SHADOW COMMISSIONThis week on The Scariest Part, I’m delighted to host my good friend David Mack, whose latest novel is The Shadow Commission, the third volume in the Dark Arts series. …Read more »

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