Current Reading: graphic novels

I discovered last week Expresso had “marked” the spines of some graphic novels on the bottom shelf of a bookcase full of them. I’ve been cleaning them up the best I can, and some can be saved, but many cannot. In the process of this work, I saw many I decided I wanted to re-read, so my current reading, now and for a couple of weeks, will be graphic novels and collected comic issues.

Way of the Rat by Dixon (writer), Johnson (penciller), [Crossgen Comics Jan 2003] – One of the later series Crossgen published, this collects the first 6 issues. There was a second collection, The Dragon’s Wake published by Crossgen (July 2004) and a third by Checker (now itself defunct), Haunted Zhumar published by Crossgen/Checker April 2007. Way of the Rat was a good comic that lasted only 24 issues total.

Monkeyman and O’Brien by Arthur Adams (creator, author, illustrator) [Dark Horse Comics June 1997] – collects the Special Edition (introductory issue) and issues 1-3. Art Adams is a legend among modern comics illustrators and much loved by me. This is one of the no-saves, but I had to read it one last time.

StormWatch by Warren Ellis (writer), Tom Raney (penciller) [Wildstorm/DC Comics 1993-2001] – Stormwatch began in the comic book Stormwatch, published by Image Comics and owned by Jim Lee. Early writers of Stormwatch included Jim Lee, Brandon Choi, H. K. Proger and Ron Marz; early artists included Scott Clark, Brett Booth, Matt Broome and Renato Arlem. After a second imprint-wide crossover, Warren Ellis took over writing StormWatch (now with a capital W) with #37 (July 1996). Ellis’ run on StormWatch was collected into these five trade paperbacks:

  • Force of Nature collects StormWatch Volume 1 #37-42
  • Lightning Strikes collects StormWatch Volume 1 #43-47
  • Change or Die collects StormWatch Volume 1 #48-50, preview and Volume 2 #1-3
  • A Finer World collects StormWatch Volume 2 #4-9
  • Final Orbit collects StormWatch Volume 2 #10-11 and WildC.A.T.S/Aliens

5th womanI still have some of the StormWatch collections to go, so that’s current reading. I’m having a lot of fun reading these graphic novels. So would you, if you were into super team graphic novels.

Barbara, meanwhile has finished the Stephen King book End of Watch which she zoomed right through and liked a lot, and plans in the next couple of days to start reading Henning Mankill’s The Fifth Woman which she had read just a half dozen pages of when the King showed up from the library.

She has also been doing a lot of quilt work, and before too long I might have pictures of a new quilt for you.

How about you?
What are you reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Books & Reading, current reading, Fiction, Graphic Novel. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Current Reading: graphic novels

  1. Reading Dolores Hitchens for my panel at Bouchercon. And maybe some Vin Packer too.

    • Interesting pair of authors, if you do read them both together or back-to-back. Hope your panel goes really well. I’m sorry we won’t be there, but for me it’s too far away.

  2. steve oerkfitz says:

    Just finished Dodgers by Benjamin Beverly and am now reading Soho Sin by Richard Vine and a new collection of short stories by Jeffrey Ford called A Natural History of Hell. Up soon a couple of library books : Second Life of Nick Mason by Steve Hamilton and The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins.
    I enjoyed the Stephen King trilogy but didn’t love it. I am a big fan of Henning Mankell’s Wallender novels. Not so much his stand alones.

    • Steve, Barbara would agree with you about the Mankell stand-alone novels, but she really likes the Wallender books. She has the DVD of the first few TV adaptations, and is enjoying those too. I’ll be interested to hear your opinions of the Richard Vine book.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I read King’s first but the second was not something I wanted to read after starting it. Maybe another time. Or not.

    And this week I read,…SOMEONE ALWAYS KNOWS by Marcia Muller, latest in her Sharon McCone series, which started in 1977 with EDWIN OF THE IRON SHOES and is past 30 titles now. I wouldn’t put this as one of her best, just a good average (for her, which is better than average) entry. Next was another ebook collection, PULP INK, which was variable in quality but no better than OK for me for the most part, Next was LAKE OF TEARS by Mary Logue. I’d missed this latest Claire Watkins mystery somehow, and raced through it (a library download). The Wisconsin deputy takes over as Acting Sheriff after her boss has a heart attack, while getting her daughter ready for college and dealing with murder. Good regional series set on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border.

    Rick was the one who clued me into Maeve Brennan’s THE LONG-WINDED LADY: Notes From The New Yorker, and he has written about it here. These are pieces – a few pages each – about her life in New York mostly in the 1960’s, set mostly in the Midtown theater district and Greenwich Village, the areas she lived in. I enjoyed it quite a bit, reading a few at a time.

    Lastly was the next (#5) in Linda Castillo’s series about Police Chief (and former Amish) Kate Burkholder, HER LAST BREATH. These are very fast reads for me, but for once I must admit I did not see the end coming, which is always a good thing for someone who has read as many thousands of mysteries over the years as I have. I’ll be getting the next one today.

    Current reading: Megan Abbott’s YOU WILL KNOW ME and Jack Pendarvis’s short story collection, MOVIE STARS, which is very offbeat.

    New arrivals: a new collection of stories (thanks, Beth!) edited by Lawrence Block: IN SUNSHINE OR IN SHADOW: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper, which will be coming out later this year.

    And I ordered a number of books on sale which arrived must faster than expected, included three more Peter Turnbulls, the next Bill Slider book by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, Evan Hunter’s BUDDWING, and one I haven’t been able to get at the library, Chris Knopf’s A BILLION WAYS TO DIE.

    • Wow, what a busy reading, and acquiring, week! I think I know you’re not a graphic novel / collected comics reader, so I’m unsurprised you didn’t comment on them, but I will mention that Warren Ellis is a fine writer if you could get past the medium.

      I think I have said before how far behind I am with Muller, I’ve read maybe the first 8 or so, finding each enjoyable. There are so many series I’m behind on I doubt I’ll ever catch up. I haven’t finished The Long Winded Lady, having set it aside for other things, but I’m 2/3 through and will finish this week, I think. I’l have to look into the Castillo and Burkholder.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    We were going out so didn’t get a chance to comment on everything. I like the look of the covers of the books, especially the RAT. It isn’t that I don’t like them as much as I rarely look at them. My library does get quite a few graphic novels these days.

    The Amish series is a little dark but I think it is a pretty good regional small town (5,000) setting in Northeast Ohio.

  5. Jerry House says:

    It’s been a quiet week on the reading front here, Richard. Having exhausted John Connolly’s Charlie Parker stories, I moved on to two of his fantasies. THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS was published as an adult novel, but I am more inclined to consider it a “semi-YA.” It’s overall theme is the importance of story in the world, while turning some fairy tale tropes on their respective heads. A fine, fun read. THE INFERNALS is the second in the Samuel Johnson YA series. This time Samuel is sucked into Hell, along with four very nasty dwarfs, a cheerful ice cream man, and two British policemen. The focus is more on the hapless denizens of Hell and the seven others who were sucked in rather than on Samuel and the result is a pleasant, wacky romp.

    Also read this week are two books “Lester del Rey” books. ROCKET JOCKEY, a Winston “Adventures in Science Fiction” novel and my FFB this week, was del Rey’s first published novel and was first published under his “Philip St. John” byline. TUNNEL THROUGH TIME was actually ghosted by Paul W. Fairman (one of six he did for del Rey) from an outline written by del Rey. This one was a Juvenile (as opposed to a YA) and was in dire need of copyediting — two major boners in the first two chapters nearly made me put the book down. A so-so book that could have been more interesting.

    I read three graphic novels this week, all about Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corps. Not impressed, although some of the artwork was cool. (I was never much of a Green Lantern fan. His superpower — a magic ring that does all the work — always seemed like cheating to me.

    Coming up is Neil Gaiman’s new collection of essays, THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS, and (if I can wrestle it from Kitty, who grabbed it first) Stephen King’s END OF WATCH. I also dug out a Will F. Jenkins Gold Medal western and a John D. MacDonald movie tie-in novel that are calling to me.

    While you are scrubbing down your graphic novels, please be aware that I suspect cat pee was the main ingredient in the beer I used to drink in college.


    • It was Rocket Jockey that most interested me, I probably read it ages ago but don’t remember much. I loved those Winston books. I have some Green Lantern GNs, and they are okay, it really depends on the writer, of course. The Green Lantern / Green Arrow sets were good.

      That beer in college may have also have had Yellow Food Dye 17, which has a side effect of making a person like old books, so watch out!

  6. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I had to buy 5 sale books to get the extra 30% discount. The fifth was a book I read and enjoyed over 50 years ago that I’ve wanted to re
    read – Jim Brosnan’s The Long Season, his diary of the 1959 season as a relief pitcher with St. Louis and Cincinnati.

  7. Deb says:

    Perhaps Expresso knew you’d need some comfort reading/rereading when he passed away. So sorry for your loss.

    Greetings from Grand Isle, Louisiana, where we’re spending a few days before school reopens (I return to work this Friday). I brought several books with me while my husband and kids go fishing. I have a 2004 edition of BEST NEW BRITISH MYSTERIES, edited by Maxim Jakubowski and featuring short stories from names such as Ian Rankin, Robert Barnard, Peter Lovesey, Reginald Hill, Val McDermid, and many others. A perfect “dip-into” book while sitting on the beach or fishing pier.

    I’m about halfway through Diane McKinney-Whetstone’s LAZARETTO, a historical fiction novel set among the African-American community of Philadelphia in the years right after the Civil War. The main characters are a nurse who works on the immigrant quarantine area of the Lazaretto (an early version of Ellis Island) and a woman who fosters two white orphans when her own mixed-race baby (fathered by her employer) is taken from her.

    And I also bought a Jennifer Blake bodice-ripping romance, ARROW TO THE HEART. Like many of Blake’s books, the novel is set in Louisiana. Some great brain candy at the end of the day.

    • Glad to hear you’re enjoying your vacation, Deb. Sounds relaxing, provided you’re not being called on to feed the family every night. You brought a good variety of things to read, especially that British mystery anthology. Lots of good authors there. Re: Lazaretto, I doubt they called them “African Americans” just after the Civil War…

    • Jeff Meyerson says:

      Have fun, Deb. I haven’t heard the name Jennifer Blake in a while, at least since Jackie moved on from straight romance to the paranormal variety. But years ago she read a bunch of them in her :Louisiana Gentlemen” series, including CLAY, LUKE, WADE, etc.

      She’s now reading the new Harry Potter play, by the way.

  8. This for me remains completely virgin territory – I read Marvel and DC comics as a kid, but that really is it.

    • I got into comics and graphic novels in a big way in the mid to late Eighties, and continued until 2003 or so, when I kind of lost interest, so a lot of the things I have are from the period, or collections of older “classics”. I have a lot of Marvel and DC stuff, but the things in this post just happen tone what first fell to hand.

  9. Cap'n Bob says:

    I’m reading the first Joe Sonnetag police procedural by Axle Brand, pen name of Richard Wheeler. It takes place in 1947 Milwaukee and the evidence flows slowly as Sonnetag investigates the murder of a hotel peeper who got his kicks breaking in on couples using their room for close encounters.

  10. been reading a few graphic novels myself lately.

  11. Roger says:

    One of the great graphic novels is Martin Rowson’s The Waste Land – this features a Chandleresque PI caught up in Eliot’s poem and trying to solve the mystery.

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