The Little Bookshop Between

Luke Finch emailed me out of the blue to send me a copy of his comic The Little Bookshop Between. I wasn’t sure it sounded like my kind of story, but I loved it. It could be called horror, but it’s very much about hints and attitude, not gore or conventional scares, and there’s a surprising note of optimism under it all. An author coming from being told he needs to write more commercial, escapist work settles down at his […]

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Zen Pencils: Inspirational Quotes for Kids

The quotes in Zen Pencils: Inspirational Quotes for Kids by Gavin Aung Than are oddly chosen. The second is about training to avoid bleeding in battle, attributed to an Armed Forces motto, a strange choice to lead off a book of advice for youngsters. The meanings of several are still argued over by adults, so the “inspirational” nature is questionable. And several are mini-essays, trying the patience of a younger reader trying to understand the point. While a few of […]

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Scooby-Doo Team-Up #44 Preview: Dastardly and Muttley!

Out today is the latest installment of one of the comics I most enjoy reading these days: Scooby-Doo Team-Up. Issue #44 puts the characters in contact with a Hanna-Barbera favorite: fiendish Dick Dastardly and his oddly human-like snickering dog Muttley. They starred in a 1969 cartoon, Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines, which spun out of Wacky Races. You probably know it best from the theme song, “Stop the Pigeon“. DC has provided the following preview pages from the […]

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Horimiya Volume 12

I had a hard time following Horimiya volume 12, simply due to its place in the series. This is a long-running relationship manga, which means by this point, we’ve left the core couple as focus a while back and spun out into various friends and schoolmates as continuing characters. We’ve caught up with Japan in terms of releases — there isn’t a backlog — so the previous volume came out almost six months ago. Combined, that means a whole lot […]

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Laid-Back Camp Volume 4

It’s finally the perfect time of year for the winter camping of Laid-Back Camp volume 4 by Afro. The big vacation trip is happening over Christmas, with the club planning meals and making sure everyone has the right equipment. This time, all the girls are going out together, instead of Rin by herself. I admit, I couldn’t keep all the characters straight, since it’s been a while (this past summer) since I read the previous volume. That didn’t matter, though, […]

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Another Version of the Batman Animated Series Blu-ray Announced

Missed out on the gift package version of the Batman: The Complete Animated Series Blu-ray set? Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just announced a content-only version that’s now available. The 12-disc set (list price $89.99) comes with all episodes, “The Heart of Batman” documentary, the remastered animated films Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, and digital copies. Here’s a clip from “The Heart of Batman” talking about the design influences.

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Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem’s Legendary Theater

Due out in January is a comic-format reworking of a significant entertainment history. Ted Fox’s 1983 book Showtime at the Apollo: The Story of Harlem’s World Famous Theater has been converted into a graphic novel illustrated by James Otis Smith. Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem’s Legendary Theater is clearly an adaptation of a prose work, with text boxes explaining key moments in the location’s history, but the illustrations add more hooks to show the reader just […]

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Incredibles 2

As with many recent Pixar movies, Incredibles 2 isn’t a great, ground-breaking animated work with new emotional insight. They don’t do that as much any more, instead focusing on revisiting familiar characters and spending more time with them. It’s comfortable instead of challenging, but the result is still a good cartoon movie. (The studio provided a review copy.) I love the old-style staging of the film. Cars and clothes are retro, but the city has a monorail. Apparently, the setting […]

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