Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Creepiest School Ever

Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher, & Karl Kerschl “Gotham Academy volume 2: Calamity” (DC, 2016)

If you’re not hip to the concept, the elevator pitch is simple:  kids going to a boarding school in Gotham find out that the school is, well, Gothamy.

This is a great book.  Cloonan & Fletcher have created a loveable Scooby Gang of kids that find mystery and adventure all while rarely leaving the (creepy) grounds of their boarding school.

This is not a like a teen X-men book, where all the kids are superheroes, they are just regular kids who happen to live in Gotham.  Yes there is some crossover with characters from the Batverse.  But take it from me, I’m the first person to complain about needless crossovers & this book didn’t make me want to scream at all.

So yeah, think more Lumberjanes than X-Men.  

Karl Kerschl does a great job on the art.  He has what feels to me a more Japanese influenced style than what you often see in comics.  It really sets the book apart & lets you know that this just isn’t your normal cape book.  He keeps the numerous YA characters easy to identify and action is easy to follow.

I was very happy with this book, & find myself looking forward to volume 3!

Go Read This Book!

Ken Liu “The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories” (Saga Press, 2016)

Ken Liu is a hot writer these days.  He’s been racking up awards for his short stories.  He won a Hugo for translating The Three Body Problem.  He has released the first book in his epic fantasy series (The Grace of Kings).  And now he drops this collection of short stories.

I always feel like I’m breaking some kind of SFF rule when I say this, but I’m not really a big fan of short stories.  I grew up reading novels, & so I often feel like short stories are just somehow lacking. But I know that Liu has one of best reputations currently for the format, so I wanted to give them a try.

Wow.  I am so glad that I did.  I have NEVER read an anthology that I enjoyed so much.  Emotion, world building, these stories have it all!  And not a single clinker! This was so so good!

I just want everyone to read this collection.  Really.  You will not be wasting your time.