Friday, 8 March 2019

Cosmopolitan by Akhil Sharma Review

Recently retired Gopal is abandoned by his wife, who’s gone to seek enlightenment in an Indian ashram, and his twentysomething daughter, who’s moved to be with her boyfriend in Germany. Alone in New Jersey and unsure how to fill his days, he unexpectedly finds himself in a relationship with his neighbour and fellow retiree Mrs Shaw and begins to read magazines like Cosmopolitan to brush up on courtship after many years of being married.

Cemetery Beach Review (Warren Ellis, Jason Howard)

Warren Ellis and Jason Howard, the creative team behind Trees, reunite for a new series: Cemetery Beach. And I’m gonna stop there - I could describe the setup, the characters’ names and blah blah blah but it really doesn’t matter. 

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku, Volume 1 by Fujita Review

Office workers by day, secret nerds by, well, all the time! Otaku are young Japanese people obsessed with games/manga/anime/cosplay, which is apparently stigmatized in Japanese society so our main characters have to hide their hobbies from co-workers/non-Otaku. Narumi starts work at a new company where her childhood friend Hirotaka also works and the two hook up. Joining them are another couple, Hanako and Kabakura, who also work in the same office, and the four of them happily nerd out in their spare time! 

The Boy in the Earth by Fuminori Nakamura Review

A depressed taxi driver and his alcoholic girlfriend stumble through life. They both hate living. That’s it! 

So this is definitely no Scorsese’s Taxi Driver - that film had a story! Not that Fuminori Nakamura’s The Boy in the Earth makes any attempt at one. It’s just one long misery-fest: the taxi driver hates himself and gets beat up, drinks, hurts himself some more, then we find out the sad details of his abusive childhood and the story’s over. 

Inuyashiki, Volume 3 by Hiroya Oku Review

The absurdly simplistic good/bad power fantasy that is Inuyashiki continues in Volume 3. The murderous sociopath from the last book is nowhere to be seen as a new baddie is introduced: a giant Yakuza scumbag who abducts women, shoots them up with drugs and rapes them until they’re dead – honestly, the villains in this series are so irredeemably OTT evil, it’s almost funny! 

B.P.R.D. The Devil You Know, Volume 2: Pandemonium Review (Mike Mignola, Scott Allie)

I have a bad habit of requesting galleys I’m not really that interested in purely because they’s freeeeeeeeeeee! Though I used to be a huge fan of all things Mignolaverse so I saw this and, even though BPRD hasn’t been good in years, my old self made me go for it because why not? It’s freeeeeeeeeeeee! And look, Hellboy’s back for no reason! Oh, you stupid man… 

The Last Days of August by Jon Ronson Review

In December 2017, pornstar August Ames (real name Mercedes Grabowski) found out that she was scheduled to shoot a scene with a male performer who had previously done gay porn and not been subsequently tested. As a result, she refused to perform in the scene and tweeted out this refusal and explanation to her followers on Twitter. This immediately led to a series of intense tweets from people calling her homophobic, demanding her to apologise and, in one case, telling her to swallow a cyanide pill! On 5 December 2017, she was found hanged from a tree in a park in Camarillo, California – she was 23 years old. But did she kill herself over online bullying – or was there more going on in the shadows that led her to take her own life…? 

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Supergirl, Volume 5: Red Daughter of Krypton Review (Tony Bedard, Yildiray Cinar)

I’m really not sure what I was thinking with this one. I kinda like the Red Lanterns – the comically-angsty version of the Green Lantern Corps – and Tony Bedard’s not that bad a writer… yeah, I was wrong. Supergirl, Volume 5: Red Daughter of Krypton is terrible! 

The Kamandi Challenge #9 Review (Tom King, Kevin Eastman)

To celebrate Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday in 2017, DC published The Kamandi Challenge, a 12 issue maxi-series starring Kirby’s character Kamandi, where tag-teams of creators would produce one issue before handing off to another. Not that I’m much of a Kirby or Kamandi fan, but I am a Tom King fan which is the reason why I’m reading issue #9 only, the one he wrote (I’m not prepared to pick up the complete book and wade through the other 11 issues considering they’re written by the likes of Dan Abnett, Keith Giffen, Marguerite Bennett, Steve Orlando and Dan Didio – there’s not enough barf in the world to express how I feel about reading those writers’ comics!). And I guess it’s appropriate that Tom King got to write an issue given Kirby’s nickname was “King”! 

Cave Girls of the Lost World by Richard Sala Review

Richard Sala’s a cartoonist but his latest, Cave Girls of the Lost World, is NOT a comic! There’s maybe half a dozen pages that are but the rest is alternating full pages of text followed by a pinup. 

The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura Review

Fuminori Nakamura’s novel The Thief has the distinction of being a quick, fast-paced read without really having a plot! Our protagonist is a skilled Tokyo pickpocket who gets roped into one scheme after another by the Yakuza (Japanese mafia) – until he isn’t. 

Kasane, Volume 1 by Daruma Matsuura Review

Fuchi-san may have inherited her dead mother’s acting talent but she unfortunately didn’t get her movie-star good looks. Except she has an ace up her sleeve: a magic lipstick that, when applied, allows her to temporarily have the face of the person she kisses! Ugly duckling Fuchi-san can finally experience what it’s like to be beautiful – but where will this power lead her… 

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Giant Days, Volume 11 Review (John Allison, Max Sarin)

After being rejected by beautiful Goth princess Esther, Ed Gemmell’s been mending his broke heart (and ankles) with Amazonian Aussie babe Extreme Sports Nina – and the two have fallen in love! So, irony of ironies, when Ess sees Ed and Neen together for the first time, she realises she’s in love with Ed too! Two drop-dead gorges chasing after you? Ed, mate: hi-fucking-five! And TEACH ME! 

The Victim by PD James Review

In PD James’ The Victim, the first husband of a celebrity relates how he got away with killing her second husband after she dumped him to begin her climb up the ladder of wealth and power. 

Look Back and Laugh by Liz Prince Review

Filling the void left when James Kochalka ended his brilliant daily diary strip American Elf is Liz Prince with Look Back and Laugh. The book collects all of her daily comics from 2016, originally available only to her patrons on Patreon – and it’s really good! 

Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Volume 1 by Karuho Shiina Review

Sawako Kuronuma is a lonely schoolgirl, ostracised for looking like Sadako, the creepy girl from The Ring movies. Then one day popular boy Kazehaya starts talking to her and her classmates see her in a different light. Um… that’s it?

The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage by Ryan Holiday Review

Stoicism: the ancient philosophy that teaches mental endurance in the face of hardship. Ryan Holiday explores this outstanding philosophy and how it can help us in our everyday lives in The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage.