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2012 loot

2013 January 2

A bit more Old Business: the 2012 Christmas haul. I returned with a pile of stuff this year, though a lot of it is household stuff. Clothes, towels, a mixer; very welcome, but not that interesting (to me) to blog about.

But I also got a nice stack of books:

The Judas Coin, and other books

New stuff!

At right, we have The Judas Coin by Walter Simonson. This was an exception to so much new Marvel or DC fare in that it sounded interesting. It has a good high concept, and of course being an Uncle Walt project also helps. The story is quite satisfying, although that leads into what is probably my biggest design criticism: the hardcover format feels absolutely ridiculous. There are like 30 pages of story; this could fit in a standard size staple-bound comic book (without ads). Bulking it up with thick cardboard covers is just stupid. Oh well. I will also note that I think the interior content fell a little short of ambitions based on my understanding of what Simonson was going for; I believe he mentioned in an interview that he wanted each chapter to have a unique visual style, and one can see it in a few, but for the most part the differences are subsumed by 1) his own highly distinctive drawing style and 2) coloring which mostly seems not to have gotten the memo. Still, as it wasn’t my goal for the story, I’m in no way disappointed. Good book.

Atop the stack at left, there’s Superman is Jewish, a surprise book (i.e. not an item from my list). It looks entertaining; informed fans of American comics will be well aware of the Jewish creators behind not only Cleveland’s own Superman, but also many of the Marvel characters which have been parading across the big screen in recent years. But it’s probably a completely valid subject for deeper exploration; I’ll find out.

The second book down, Fire Season by Philip Connors, is fantastic; I read it from the library last year and decided it’s well worth having a copy around. The 16th edition of the Chicago Style Manual may be helpful in future writing projects (or it may just leave me even more awash in confusion).

A History of the World in 100 Objects is another book I decided was worth adding to my personal library after borrowing it from Lakewood’s. This actually has a bit of an interesting back story, in that this is the companion volume to a BBC radio series (which also has a richly featured web presence). I subscribed to it as a podcast for a while because it sounded interesting, and yet I just couldn’t get into it. Which may, in part, simply be another example of how I prefer to process information, because I loved the book. The content is great, but it’s also just a beautiful object by itself. Fine paper, gorgeous photography, just lovely to hold and page through. This one is the belle of this year’s ball.

A final note, one may notice that there are no Sherlock Holmes items items here; I did not receive any new Holmes books this Christmas. Asked for one, but it didn’t make the cut. I did get a DVD though (or rather, two of the same DVD because of miscoordination), the excellent Scarlet Claw from the Basil Rathbone film series. So we’re up to Item No. 31.

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