From the Mailbag December 10
December 10, 2011

Thank goodness for light weeks! Most of what’s arrived at the house this week has been gifts for family for the upcoming holidays. Many publishers have emptier schedules these days, with 2011 books already released. After all, if they’re coming out now, then they’ll miss being on many best-of end-of-year lists, which have already been made.

One high point for us was getting the newest TwoMorrows book, The Quality Companion (preview at the link). KC will be reviewing this in a couple of weeks, and I’m looking forward to learning about this lesser-known publisher. I read about the Freedom Fighters sporadically (mostly when they’d crossover with the Justice League); now I’ll know more about the characters’ lives before DC bought them and made them a team.

(Speaking of reviews KC will be writing, I’ve been reading Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes, which he’s also covering. I shouldn’t be talking about it here, technically, since we got it before I started doing weekly mailbag roundups, but Fantagraphics’ classic reprint volumes are gems, and the very attractive volume would make a wonderful gift for a fan of comic history or illustrated adventure tales.)

Now that Ed has retired, I’ll be looking at the sixth volume of Mechademia. This one tackles how fans become active users and even creators. Should be quite the read, although don’t look for comments any time soon, given how thick the volume is (over 300 pages) and how weighty the essays. This is one to dive into and savor.

On the personal side, I’ve very much enjoyed watching the Criterion DVD of Design for Living I bought myself. Having a nice copy of the film is terrific. I couldn’t make it through the 1964 version of the original Noel Coward play included as a special feature, although it’s wonderful to have for those who want to compare the source material to the (greatly changed) film version. “The Clerk” segment is only a couple of minutes long, but the limited commentary, the film study interview, and the print essay were all insightful and worth spending time with.

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