Monday, 25 May 2020

Naomi: Season One Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Jamal Campbell)

A kid, sent to Earth on a spaceship by their birth parents who’re left behind on a doomed planet, is raised by surrogate parents in a small American town and discovers they gots superpowers. Wow - how DOES Brian Bendis come up with such original ideas? Bendis - the dude also writing both Superman titles! But yeah this kid is Naomi, not Superpants - although he is all over that first issue to let you know this be a DC book and, y’know, parallels and junk.

Frogcatchers by Jeff Lemire Review

A man awakens in an obvious nightmare/metaphor for dying where he’ll meet his younger self, frog monsters and the inevitable sentimentality that comes with looking back upon one’s life. Serious! Feels! Scroogecatchers!

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Dictator by Robert Harris Review

Dictator is the final chapter in Robert Harris’ Cicero trilogy, recounting the great Roman’s final fifteen years through the eyes of his faithful secretary Tiro. And I was really hoping it’d be better than Lustrum and as good as Imperium but unfortunately it wasn’t.

Adele by Leïla Slimani Review

Adele’s public life seems perfect: a journalist married to a doctor, mother to their three year old son, living the cosmopolitan life in Paris. Her private life though is bleak: a secret sex addict, she joylessly sleeps with any and almost every man she comes across, each degrading coupling becoming more desperate and unfulfilling. With no end in sight from her increasingly out-of-control behaviour, how long can she keep her private life from being exposed?

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Witch Hat Atelier, Volume 1 by Kamome Shirahama Review

Coco, the daughter of the village seamstress, dreams of being a witch. And she gets her chance at being one after a mysterious figure at a fair sells her a magic book and wand. Except she doesn’t know what she’s doing and accidentally transforms her mother into a statue! Luckily, a good witch – Qifrey – is nearby to save her from herself and decides to take her in as one of his students at his atelier. Coco must study magic to pass the Four Trials of the Librarians, gain access to the Tower of Tomes, and use what she finds there to undo the spell on her ma!

What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe Review

I have no idea why this book got stuck in my head years ago as something I had to read but it did and when I saw it on a shelf recently I thought why not give it a crack at long last now? And I’m glad I finally read it but… eh, it’s just ok.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Young Justice, Volume 1: Gemworld Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Patrick Gleason)

Not familiar with Young Justice or whatever the hell “Gemworld” is? Me neither - nor is it a problem as Brian Bendis’ 8725th new DC title (this month - there’s gotta be like 5000 clones of this guy in a giant underground bunker somewhere writing all these comics!) is surprisingly accessible for newcomers given that its premise seems aimed at established fans.

People Who Eat Darkness: Love, Grief and a Journey into Japan's Shadows by Richard Lloyd Parry Review

Lucie Blackman was deep in debt and her poorly paid job as a British Airways stewardess wasn’t going to get her out of it. And then the 21 year old heard about making big money in Japan as a hostess to Japanese salarymen: paid bar companions to talk to men, light their cigarettes, pour their drinks, and sing karaoke; there is no sexual component to hostessing as touching is forbidden. Attractive foreign women, like Lucie, are seen as exotic in Japan and even in the seedy Tokyo district of Roppongi you were safe (the Japanese crime rate is remarkably low). It sounded like a good plan, so she joined her friend Louise Phillips and set off from England in May 2000 – she would never return. Lucie went missing in July 2000 and her dismembered body was found in a cave on the coast 30 miles south of Tokyo in February 2001. How did things go so badly?

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Champions, Volume 1: Change the World Review (Mark Waid, Humberto Ramos)

Generally I’m not a fan of superhero team books as they tend to be formulaic and dull - we gotta punch that big thing together while vapidly bantering! So I was surprised to find myself kinda enjoying the first volume of Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos’ Champions.

Lustrum by Robert Harris Review

I tried reading Lustrum a while ago but gave up early on, sensing that it wasn’t anywhere near as good as its preceding book, Imperium. Except I really want to read Dictator, the final book in Robert Harris’ Cicero trilogy, which I’m hoping will be awesome, and I’ve been on a Harris kick lately, so I powered through Lustrum – and I was right the first time because unfortunately it ain’t all that and a bag of potatoes!

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

We Never Learn, Volume 1 by Taishi Tsutsui Review

Nariyuki Yuiga is a brilliant but poor high school student who’s offered a scholarship to the university of his choice – with one condition: tutor maths genius Rizu Ogata and literature genius Rumino Furuhashi to excel at their chosen subjects to get into the universities of their choices. Except Rizu wants to be good at literature and Rumino wants to be good at maths, and neither are remotely good at either! Sounds like this wacky crazy manga needs multiple volumes and a hit anime show to play out!

Archangel by Robert Harris Review

Historian “Fluke” Kelso flies to Moscow to attend a symposium on Stalin, his specialist subject, and discovers the existence of a secret notebook Stalin kept during his final years – what does it contain??

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Wolverine: Infinity Watch Review (Gerry Duggan, Andy MacDonald)

The Infinity Stones have become fused to people thanks to Adam Warlock in the latest Infinity Wars book. One of them peeps is a Texas death row inmate who now finds himself pursued by the galaxy’s most dangerous power-hungry loonies (not Thanos for once)! It’s down to the unlikely pair of the freshly-resurrected Wolverine and the newly un-Sorcerer-Supremed Loki to protect poor Hector in Wolverine: Infinity Watch.