Lander Quits

Goodbye, Randy. You’ll be missed. Randy was one of the few old-timers left from when we were both writing on Usenet ten years ago. I can sympathize with his feelings, especially when it comes to being motivated by guilt and writing for the right reasons: Truthfully, I’ve considered quitting before, and one of the factors that always kept me in was a sense of duty to the folks who sent me comp copies for review. I figured that I should […]

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Speakeasy Cancels Titles

From the Riot blog, posted by a retailer (link no longer available): every single Speakeasy title that I ordered over the past two months has been cancelled…. it’s obvious to me that the publisher is going the way of Dreamwave, CrossGen, and all the other “hey, let’s try something NEW and DIFFERENT” dodo publishers. Speakeasy tried to do too much too soon. Instead of building an audience for four or five titles over the course of a year and then […]

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Owly

Using animals to comment on the human condition is a tradition with a long history in comics. Andy Runton is the latest to use it to its full potential, creating this generation’s Winnie the Pooh in his stories of Owly and his worm friend. The first book, The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer, contains two mostly wordless pieces. The first story shows how Owly rescues a worm from drowning during a rainstorm. After recovery, and although the two species […]

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Retail Strip Debuts

The New York Times reports that the new comic strip Retail will launch tomorrow. His aim for the comic strip … is to do for the mall what Dilbert did for the office, revealing the dysfunctional world of bickering employees, spineless managers, and cruel shoppers that lurks behind the cheery sales slogans. It’s a good topic, with lots of possibilities, and one most people can relate to. Everyone’s been shopping, even if they haven’t had the life-changing opportunity of working […]

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Last Exit Before Toll

Charles is driving south for a business trip but finds himself killing time at a small-town coffee shop when his car overheats. That summation of the premise of Last Exit Before Toll is too simple and almost irrelevant. This thought-provoking little book isn’t about what happens; it’s about the search for authenticity and a simpler way of life in an overly busy world. To fully enjoy it, you have to be willing to accept and experience a different pace, just […]

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The Annotated Northwest Passage

Scott Chantler’s historical adventure series is collected into a handsome hardcover volume. It’s only missing a ribbon book marker to take its place in a family library, next to the Jack London books. Charles Lord, a former hero living out his days managing a frontier fort, takes on a last adventure when a French rogue mercenary captures the incoming supply ship. He’s seeking revenge and some of the immense profit to be made by controlling the fur trade, while Lord’s […]

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Scandalous

It’s Hollywood in the early 1950s. Paige Turner is queen of the gossip heap, using her column to push her grudges. She’s aware of her power and wields it whenever possible, demanding the trappings of respect and declaring how people may and may not speak to her. She’s convinced beyond doubt of her own righteousness and takes people kowtowing to her as her due. She claims her bigoted pronouncements are all for her audience, who wish to know about indecency […]

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