Holly Jolly: Celebrating Christmas Past in Pop Culture

Review by KC Carlson Holly Jolly: Celebrating Christmas Past in Pop Culture is a really fun book, especially since it’s designed very well, with lots of great (and possibly long-forgotten) graphics starring such Festive Folks as Babar the Elephant, Gumby and Pokey, Santa Claus (and his helper, Batman. Wha…?), Frank Sinatra, a whole gaggle of Scrooges, I Love Lucy, Linus and Charlie Brown (of course), and what seems like hundreds of other touchstone holiday characters. It’s written by Mark Voger, […]

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The Weirdness of Seeing a Mention You Forgot: Chicks Dig Time Lords and Torchwood Fandom

In my continuing habit of rediscovering fandoms about ten years after the fact, I started reading Chicks Dig Time Lords, a 2010 collection of short essays by women in the Doctor Who fandom. It’s a pretty neat, thorough overview, and it gave me some ideas of conventions to aim for once that’s a possibility again. (I also discovered that the fan internet hangout around this time was LiveJournal.) But what really struck me was getting to the piece by Tammy […]

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Comics Will Break Your Heart

It’s a famous phrase, at least amongst comic creators. “Comics will break your heart,” reportedly said Jack Kirby, expressing how many people love and are hurt by a tough business with little room for success. It’s also the title of a comic-centered teen romance novel by incredibly productive and talented cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks. (I previously wrote about a few of her inspirations for the story.) It’s a great choice, as Hicks uses the kind of background fans are familiar […]

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Boyfriend Material

I have just finished reading Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall, and I had to tell people how wonderful it is. Luc is the mid-20s son of two former rock stars, although he hasn’t ever known his father. His parentage means that he’s in the tabloids whenever he does anything embarrassing in public, though, and that’s made him jaded and insecure. Oliver is a gorgeous ethical vegetarian barrister who nevertheless hasn’t had relationship success, because he puts too much stress on […]

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The Binge Watcher’s Guide to Doctor Who: A History of Doctor Who and the First Female Doctor

Since I’d just rewatched the Doctor Who episodes featuring the Thirteenth Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker, I was looking forward to reading analysis of that series, particularly around the rather significant change of making the character a woman for the first time in over fifty years. Unfortunately, The Binge Watcher’s Guide to Doctor Who: A History of Doctor Who and the First Female Doctor is unsatisfying, slapdash, and self-indulgent. There are four main sections to the book: Random bits on […]

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Under the Cape: An Anthology of Superhero Romance

Under the Cape: An Anthology of Superhero Romance, although a perfectly fine collection of prose stories, illustrates why so many new superhero concepts have a hard time getting off the ground. I was curious to check out this diverse group of tales. There are eleven in total, grouped as six “sweet” and five with “heat” (which mark how explicit the sex acts are). Five are male/female; four female/female; and two male/male. (You can see the breakdown at the publisher’s website.) […]

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The Angel of the Crows, an Urban Fantasy Take on Sherlock

I’m not normally a fan of urban fantasy, or fantasy in general, but if you put Sherlock Holmes in it, turns out I can’t read it quickly enough. Not that we ever see that character name, or Watson, here. Instead, it’s a personality resemblance and twists on familiar cases in a world with magic and vampires and angels. The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison is set in a Victorian world where three kinds of angels exist: those protecting […]

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The Flash: 100 Greatest Moments

Review by KC Carlson There have been several DC characters named the Flash (or something similar, like Kid Flash), and so it was about time that DC did one of these books devoted to all things Flash. The Flash: 100 Greatest Moments is the latest in the series of DC Comics history books by Robert Greenberger, after the Justice League, Batman, Super-Villains, and Super Heroines volumes. Like both Superman and Batman, the Flash first appeared during the Golden Age of […]

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