Strange Practice

Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw has an immediately grabbable premise — Dr. Greta Helsing is a monster doctor — that it uses to show a gripping battle to save the world among some unlikely allies. I really like Greta’s determination to keep her practice going in spite of money issues, time struggles, and difficult but rewarding work. She treats her patients well, and their unique issues are fascinating. I would have been happy just following her around, without the world-threatening […]

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The Hostess With the Ghostess

The Hostess With the Ghostess is the ninth (!) in the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series by E.J. Copperman, but it’s also an excellent starting point. Particularly since it’s moved to a new publisher (Crooked Lane Books) and is appearing in hardcover for the first time. A new reader can find out everything they need expressed through Copperman’s breezy narration as characters are introduced and events recapped, and a long-time reader will appreciate the reminders, since it has been a couple […]

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Boom! to Release Crowdfunding Book With No Comic Examples

Boom! Studios has announced the upcoming release of a Kickstarter advice book called Six Figure Crowdfunding: Why Strangers on the Internet Want to Give You $100,000. It’s described as a bold, irreverent, hilarious how-to guide from bestselling Kickstarter campaign manager Derek Miller (Cyanide & Happiness), co-writer Noelle Pugh (Joking Hazard), and featuring laugh-out-loud illustrations by cartoonist Joy Ho. There have been a number of comic projects that managed to hit these kinds of pledge levels. (I was involved with one, […]

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The Art of Harley Quinn

I had no idea, when I posted preview pages from The Art of Harley Quinn, just how huge this book was! It’s almost the size of a TV tray! All the better to show off the art pieces within in glossy color. It’s not just pretty pictures, though. There’s a foreword by Paul Dini, character co-creator, with some thoughts on how Harley Quinn lends herself to different approaches. There’s a brief history, with quotes and memories from key players, of […]

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The War Bride’s Scrapbook

As she did with The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, Caroline Preston has created a visual history of a woman who never existed but whose life is enlightening. The War Bride’s Scrapbook portrays how Lila found herself married after knowing Perry only a few weeks. The daughter of a status-seeking Virginia woman and an insurance salesman, Lila was too tall and plump for her mother’s taste. When war breaks out, she finds ways to be useful, culminating in renting a room […]

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Groovy: When Flower Power Bloomed in Pop Culture

The book Groovy: When Flower Power Bloomed in Pop Culture is quite the time capsule. Not just in its content, which is all about material from the 1960s and 70s, but that it exists at all. When I was a kid, I loved these kind of popular grab-bag histories, with weird little stories about things that happened in the relatively modern era but before I was born. This one rambles through music, notable TV shows (The Monkees and Laugh-In), movies […]

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The Plot Is Murder

The first in a new line of Mystery Bookshop mysteries, The Plot Is Murder is predictable but good-hearted, a welcome diversion for fans of cozy mysteries. I liked that, while our middle-aged heroine Sam is newly on her own and starting a new business, she wasn’t divorced from a cheating ne’er-do-well (as in so many of these books). She’s been widowed, and she’s opening a mystery bookstore as a way of honoring a dream she shared with her departed husband. […]

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Killer Fashion: Poisonous Petticoats, Strangulating Scarves, and Other Deadly Garments Throughout History

The main thing that surprised me about the various ways clothes can kill you that are shown in Killer Fashion: Poisonous Petticoats, Strangulating Scarves, and Other Deadly Garments Throughout History was the sheer number of them that involved catching on fire. Wigs, artificial fabric, and shirt cuffs were all surprisingly flammable. While (as a fan of weird cultural history) I had heard of many of these before, though, I hadn’t seen them expressed in such a charmingly grotesque manner. Each […]

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