The End of the Magazine Age: ACE, We Barely Knew You

At the beginning of the year, I wrote about the planned launch of ACE magazine, a new publication from the editor of Comic Book Artist, Jon B. Cooke, and publisher/retailer Robert Yeremian. “ACE” stands for “All Comics Evaluated”, and the magazine promised both interviews and reviews of current material as well as a price guide. It debuted in March, and it was monthly after that — until May, when issue #3 was published. No issues have followed, although issue #4 […]

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The Doctors Are In: The Essential and Unofficial Guide to Doctor Who’s Greatest Time Lord

Out next month is an entertaining guide to the history of Doctor Who as seen through the different versions of his character over the years. The Doctors Are In, by Graeme Burk and Robert Smith, covers each Doctor, previous and modern (including “The Warrior” played by John Hurt). As part of their effort to answer “What made him the way he is? What motivates him?”, each chapter, one per version, includes the following sections: A profile of the actor and […]

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The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband

Out this October is The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband, the sequel to The Question of the Missing Head, a mystery I quite enjoyed. They’re both credited as written by E.J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen, who are the same person with different literary backgrounds: one alias writes mysteries, the other books on parenting children with autism. The protagonist, detective Samuel Hoenig, has Asperger’s Syndrome, and that condition drives his desire to answer questions brought to him. His different view on […]

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Mastering Manga 3 Announced; Input Sought

Mark Crilley has posted the below YouTube video announcing that Mastering Manga 3, a followup to Mastering Manga With Mark Crilley and Mastering Manga 2: Level Up With Mark Crilley, will be published next year (2016). He says in the video that he has plans for what he wants to cover, but he also wants to know what suggestions readers would like to see. He asks for ideas for what he hasn’t covered or what people think he didn’t cover […]

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Luna Luna

I don’t read a lot of children’s books, although they have certain similarities with comics. I found Luna Luna, though, refreshing and relaxing. Sam Ryan wrote and Hazel Mitchell illustrated this Zen-influenced fable about a little boy trying to capture the “misty summer moon, streaked with green and red and yellow and purple” he sees out his window. Each page spread consists of an illustration, full color with a predominant use of blues and purples, faced with several sentences of […]

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Murder Is Bad Manners

Murder Is Bad Manners is a wonderful read for anyone who likes English boarding school stories or classic mysteries. Although put out by a young adult imprint, and thus marketed for kids, I also enjoyed reading it. Robin Stevens has captured the antique flavor of a residence for proper young ladies during the 1930s, but with a modern attitude. Our narrator is Hazel Wong, who’s come to the school from Hong Kong, and the Brit girls aren’t above the occasional […]

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Batman: Murder at Wayne Manor

I finally got a chance to sample Batman: Murder at Wayne Manor, one of Quirk Books’ interactive mysteries that feature replica artifacts. It’s written by Duane Swierczynski, as was The Crimes of Dr. Watson, but as suits the main character, there are also comic-style illustrations by David Lapham. The plot here seems the best integrated with the licensed property of the three books in the series. (Along with the Holmes one, there’s also Dracula’s Heir, by another author.) Bruce Wayne […]

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More Than Comics: A Comic-Con Romance Novel

I have read an honest-to-goodness romance novel set at the San Diego Comic-Con. More Than Comics by Elizabeth Briggs is the love story of Tara McFadden, a young woman just out of college who’s been writing Misfit Squad, a successful graphic novel for Black Hat Comics, “the third largest comic book publisher” in this universe. That’s not the only discrepancy. She’s meeting her artist, Hector Fernandez, for the first time in person at the con, and he turns out to […]

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The Final Reveille

Since I enjoyed the Chloe Ellefson series of mysteries set at a variety of living history museums, I thought I’d try another one from the same publisher, Midnight Ink. In The Final Reveille by Amanda Flower, out next month, the murder takes place during a Civil War reenactment at a living history farm in Ohio. Kelsey Cambridge has been showing the wealthy donor Cynthia Cherry around for the special weekend events. Cynthia’s unpleasant nephew and heir Maxwell is threatening to […]

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Murder With a Twist

If you miss William Powell and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man movies, have I got a new mystery novel for you! Out in early May is Murder With a Twist by Tracy Kiely, a modern, gender-flipped version of that premise. Nic (Nicole) Martini used to be a New York City police detective (until she was shot and went on disability leave). Nigel is her flippant husband, with plenty of inherited money and a crazy family. They’re back in the […]

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