Apparently the comics drought is over #pun


013) Teen Titans: The Prime of Life by JT Krul and Nicola Scott, finished February 2

I like Teen Titans. I'm not a big fan of Tim (my favorite Robin) having become a brooding miniBats and sometimes the romantic entanglements get a bit tiring, but overall, I'm always charmed. I liked the story based on Hindu mythology. I didn't much like the one that was based in DC mythology I had ignored. That's all.
an evening


012) Batman: Vampire by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones and John Beatty and Malcolm Jone III, finished February second

This had some ideas in it and ended with more corpses than Hamlet, but somehow never quite reached the tragic heights of, say, Hamlet. Terribly disappointing.

If, however, you enjoy absurdly sexy women drawn by men who can't draw faces that well, this is the book for you. If you want to see the batsignal shooting out from between Batman's thighs---and Batman apparently grasping it mastabatorially, then this is the book for you.

Structurally, this was a well designed story. And it did have moments and it certainly played new games with the Batman mythos, but I've been passing on it for twenty years no. Then I just saw it sitting there at the library and somehow read the whole thing. Kept trying to stop, but kept coming back.


Also, as regards that cover image? Is that his knee? his chest? What is that anatomy Batman's got there?
a week or so


011) Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor by Isaac Asimov, finished January 26

Asimov simply astonishes. Besides all his science fiction and fact books and tomes on Shakespeare and a zillion other topics, he was apparently a total card as well. This book is light and fun and collects 640 of his favorite jokes, along with a running commentary on the philosophy and theory of joke structure and telling. That he collected the jokes simply by jotting them down as they came to mind blows mine. That he wrote an even longer sequel is incomprehensible.

If you, like me, see this at a thrift store for $1.99, you won't go wrong picking it up. Most of the jokes are still valid and it's a fascinating glimpse into midcentury liberal American culture. I'm into women's lib, Asimov insists, but if women won't tell jokes then they'll continue being the butts of men's jokes.

It's like a trip back through time. A funny trip back through time. Which is the best trip back through time of all.
two or three months


010) Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind, Perfect Collection 1 by Hayao Miyazaki, finished January 22

Nausicaä is a Miyazaki I've been aware of but I don't know much about it. I hear he drew the comic because he wanted to show that manga could do things anime couldn't. Then he got ambitious and wanted to prove he could turn it into a movie. Which is pretty awesome.

What I didn't know is that the book is plain awesome. I knew people loved it, but that doesn't mean I would too. But I did.

This book was the first two volumes. I have the third also. I'm afraid to look up how many there are total.

Crap. Just looked.


That's a big commitment.

about three days


009) The Complete Peanuts 1983-1984 by Charles M. Schulz, finished January 21

Leonard Maltin just wrote one of the best introductions in the series. And once again I feel like saying Schulz Is Hitting His Stride! as if he hasn't been there for decades.

How did he do it? What other artistic acheivements compare to his fifty years of daily excellence?

almost a month


008) My Letter to the World by Emily Dickinson, finished January 21

Although this book is unquestionably too short to qualify for this list, I enjoyed it too much not to share.

Just ten of Emily's poems which you've probably read before, the new hero here is the illustrations from Isabelle Arsenault who understands this poems and interprets them with a beautiful clarity I can't recommend enough. If you like Emily Dickinson, pick this one up. It's gorgeous.


Previously in 2013 . . . . :

Books 1 - 7
007) Spacecave One by Jake Parker, finished January 19
006) The Antler Boy and Other Stories by Jake Parker, finished January 19
005) The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons, finished January 14
004) The Crab with the Golden Claws by Hergé, finished January 14
003) The Adventures of Tintin: Red Rackham's Treasure by Hergé, finished January 11
002) Using the Common Core State Standards... edited by Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Ed.D., finished January 10
001) Jellaby by Kean Soo, finished January 8

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