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2017 Reading Jubilee

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23. Alex DeCampi, Fernando Ruiz, and Rich Koslowski, Archie vs. Predator. Not a hoax! Not an underground comix parody! Wanna see America's goofiest teenager and his old buddies shot, stabbed, decapitated, vaporized, skinned and deboned? Have we got a twisted travesty for you! When a teen Predator comes to Riverdale on the trail of a MacGuffin weapon, Our Heroes have to save each other from R-rated fates with more than just creaky punchlines and hamburgers. Predator fans can count the movie references (only to the first one, of course) while former kids can count the bodies piling up. Despite the bloodletting, it's still not as weird as the idea of rebooting Miss Grundy as a hot chick for Archie to sleep with, though.


24. Dylan Horrocks, Hicksville. Peculiar tale about an American comics journalist who visits a comics-happy New Zealand town to research their most famous former resident -- a corporate comics juggernaut who's like a cross between Stan Lee and Walt Disney with an extra dash of conniving greed. He hates the town, the town hates him, and everyone hates the journalist for asking. What ensues is a curious reflection on how far some guys will go to succeed at comics, what others will do to stay true to themselves, and the value in creating stories for reasons other than luring in a wide audience.


25. Jonathan Case, The New Deal. In 1930s Manhattan, the famous Waldorf Astoria is the setting for a wacky caper involving a young bellhop in deep debt, a black maid/Shakespearean actress, an outgoing socialite with a mysterious birdcage, and a series of jewelry thefts for which someone is about to be framed. A fun period piece with unexpected twists that would make a nifty 90-minute Wes Anderson throwaway.


26. Michael West, Poseidon's Children. First in a novel series about mutated descendants of the Greek gods finally being fed up with hiding from humanity for so long that they've decided a violent uprising is in order in their idyllic New England resort town. It's like what if Percy Jackson reached a George R. R. Martin level of violence. I know the author offline, so I should recuse myself from review mode as I did above, but I question the wisdom of waiting till page 194 for the one black character to reveal he's black by saying exactly one black thing and then going back to being any-race for the rest of the book, or of waiting till page 283 for the one Japanese character to reveal she knows a martial art. Also, when font sizes changes from one paragraph to the next, that's super annoying and makes me wonder if my eyesight has gotten even worse than I thought.


27. Terry Gilliam, Gilliamesque. The heavily illustrated autobiography of the one American member of Monty Python, who later went on to direct such films as Time Bandits, 12 Monkeys, The Fisher King, Brazil, and more more more. Gilliam is candid about his former collaborators as well as his own flaws, and reveals a lot of behind-the-scenes trivia, drama, and pleasant successes. The book gives short shrift to any films for which he's already done extended commentaries or summations elsewhere, which is frustrating if you haven't already consumed those materials first, but he's not one to repeat himself. His entire career is a must-hear for anyone who wants to know what it's like to brave the grinding gears of the Hollywood movie machines with any of your ideals intact, if not necessarily your career.


28. Jason Lutes, Berlin: City of Stones. Collecting the first several chapters of a longform graphic novel about life in Germany beginning in 1928 and leading up to the eventual Nazi regime. The narrative skips around from one character to the next, weaving in and out of each other's lives -- sometimes shifting viewpoints within the same page and back again -- at a time when Germany struggled after the Great War with its identity as a nation. Lutes averages roughly one completed chapter per year, so this one is still in progress and a bit far from closure.


29. Gwenda Bond, Lois Lane: Double Down. YA novel about the intrepid Daily Planet reporter as a nosy, diligent, 21st-century teenager working for the school paper but making real headlines anyway. The second book in the series has Our Heroine contending with a shady experiment involving two sets of twins -- one natural, one not so much -- while juggling her schoolwork, her suspicious principal, and her online best friend she knows only as "SmallvilleGuy", with whom she holds clandestine chats in a hidden space inside their favorite MMORPG. If you have to update 80-year-old characters for a new millennium, this isn't a bad way to do it.


30. Ransom Riggs, Tales of the Peculiar. If you found Tim Burton's Miss Peregrine adaptation as annoying as I did, you can take comfort that the books themselves remain unharmed. Riggs follows the first trilogy with a short-story collection that boasts so few firm connections to the "Peculiar" universe that this could basically be a set of Twilight Zone pitches. They're largely fun reading, but only two of them offer any official backstory to existing characters. Most memorable to me was "The Girl Who Befriended Ghosts", in which a young lady with ties to the undead decides she really, really wants to have ghosts for friends and so sets about trying to move to different houses and asking them, but they keep running away. In essence, a reverse-Casper. I may have been more amused than I was meant to be.


31. Kate Leth and Brittney Williams, Patsy Walker a.k.a. Hellcat, Vol. 1: Hooked on a Feline. One of the sixty-seven different series that Marvel has canceled within the last six months, in which Patsy (who technically appeared in Netflix's Jessica Jones) and a nearly all-female supporting cast come to life in the current internet art and humor styles, bring back a few faces from her original 1950s heyday, and make me LOL several times in good ways. The series failed to participate in any major Avengers of X-Men crosssovers and therefore was doomed from the start, like a lot of other dead Marvel books that have freed up space in my budget this past year. Pity.

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Oh boy. I just started eye of the world a few days ago...

30. The Eye of the World, by Robert Jordan 31. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

35. The Dragon Reborn, by Robert Jordan   *tugs braid* *smoothes skirt* *sticks out tongue*   Jordan can't write women for shit, can he?   36. Monstress volume 1: Awakening, by Marjorie Lou 37. War St

16. Crossroads of Twilight (WoT #10). Another book with a decent, interesting start, but a slog towards the end. I barely read some chapters, particularly the last two chapters, only skimming them to get the gist of the events. There was even one chapter that apparently was about characters shopping. It was otherwise an uneventful book. The biggest problem with it is that none of the plots get resolved, and some of them only get moved forward a tiny bit. It was mostly just a recap of events from book 9 from the point of view of characters not depicted in that story. I was not pleased with the anticlimactic ending.


Knife of Dreams is next. Who came up with that title? I've always thought it was a stupid one.

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32. Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen, Superman: Secret Identity. In a world where Superman is a fictional comic character, one seemingly normal youngster cruelly named Clark Kent by his parents, who has a closet filled with years' worth of unwanted Superman gifts from relatives who think they're clever, one day finds himself suddenly possessing Superman's powers. With no clues to his own origin, no super-villains to fight, and an American government far more intrusive than the one depicted in DC Comics at the time, the "real world" Man of Steel must figure out what to do with his new talents and how to fit into an otherwise ordinary world. Busiek admits this project was basically his take on the '80s "Superboy of Earth-Prime" character, but the emotional heft and contemplative assessment of what else comes With Great Power make for one of the more offbeat and fascinating post-Crisis/pre-New 52 Superman projects around.


33. Dean Haspiel, Beef With Tomato. Collection of semi-autobiographical shorts about life as an artist in Brooklyn, down amongst the sinners and weirdos and far, far away from the tourists. Anyone who enjoyed the quotidian anecdotes and curmudgeonly observational style of Harvey Pekar's American Splendor (on which Haspiel worked as one of many top-notch artists) will dig this in equal measure, particularly his memories of 9/11 as witnessed from his apartment window in Carroll Gardens.


34. John Leguizamo, Christa Cassano & Shamus Beyale, Ghetto Klown. You might remember him from such films as Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet, Super Mario Bros., one scene in John Wick, and the Ice Age series. His candid, often self-immolating autobiography pulls no punches in recounting his early days as a class clown in Queens, his one-in-a-million route to Hollywood via Manhattan acting coaches, the pros and cons of playing endless stereotypes on demand, his more creatively fulfilling one-man off-Broadway shows, his rise to supporting actor stardom, and his recurring issues with relationships, ego, drugs, self-sabotage, and A-list male divas. Come for the behind-the-scenes cautionary tales; stay for the lessons he learned the hard way; and in between you can recoil at his retelling of the time an overnight bender turned a morning on the set of To Wong Foo into a debacle of rage and vomit.


35. Joe Harris and Brett Weldele, Spontaneous. In a town where random residents keep catching fire and disintegrating from causes unknown, one young man with a tragic past has a theory: spontaneous human combustion. But is the cause truly random, or are there connections at play? This creepy story unearthed an old childhood memory for me -- an old episode of That's Incredible! that was my first exposure to the bizarre phenomenon, which I don't recall seeing used as a plot device anywhere else before unless you count Firestarter, which wasn't the same thing.

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Library has been taking its sweet ass time bringing my holds. How can it be in transit for two weeks? San Diego isn't THAT big!

I've had that happen! I always wondered if it meant "uhhh, we misplaced your item" or "someone carjacked our bookmobile".

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44. Monstress volume 2: The Blood, by Marjorie Liu

45. Lord of Chaos, by Robert Jordan


Monstress is a very interesting comic book with some of the best art I've seen in a long time (even if some of the character designs get a little too furry for me), but I worry I'm too dumb to understand it. It's not that it's complex, I'm just feeling like there's some exposition missing, or that I just glossed over. A few too many holes. I'll probably keep reading though.


I think I liked LOC more than the last few WOT books. Feels like more happened, with Nynaeve learning healing, Egwene becoming Amirlyn, Taim showing up, etc. The end with Rand's kidnapping and rescue felt too rushed, which is hilarious considering how long the book. There was less of the gender wars than usual, or maybe I'm just becoming used to it. Way too many names, though. Too many Aes Sedai, too many Aiel (thank god we're out of the Waste though. Never want to go back there, so damn dull), too many nobles from too many countries, etc.

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17. Knife of Dreams (WoT #11) - just finished it today. I was skimming whole chapters, and instead of re-reading it if the events were unclear, I just went to a WoT wiki and read the chapter synopsis. Was sorely tempted to do that for the last third of the book, but I stuck it out. Apparently a lot of the wording in the wkis are just lifted from the novels anyway.


I think I should feel something about it being the last Robert Jordan WoT novel, but I was just relieved to get through it and that some things actually happened (not much, but some). I can't recall where most of the characters are most of the time, nor why they're doing what they're doing. If a fan-edit of TPM could be made that improved it somewhat, I bet a fan-edit of WoT could streamline this series of doorstoppers, maybe down to a reasonable 5-7 novels.


The Gathering Storm is next. If I can average 35 pages a day, I'll finish it on Halloween.

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46. The Dinosaur Princess, by Victor Milan

47. Copperhead volume 3, by Jay Faerber

48. Image First Compendium volumes 1-2, by various


The last one is actually two trades, but Goodreads only recognizes one and I'd rather my count be the same. Some really interesting and some really not-so-interesting stuff!


But for now, back to Wheel of Time...

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1. Tales of the Shadowmen vol 1 Modern Babylon by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier

2. Tales of the Shadowmen vol 2 Gentlemen of the Night by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier

3. Tales of the Shadowmen vol 3 Danse Macabre by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier

4. Edge of Spider-verse by David Hine

5. Alan Moore's Complete WildC.A.T.S. by Alan Moore

6. Cursed Moon by Jaye Wells

7. Deadly Spells by Jaye Wells

8. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

9. Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

10. Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep

11. Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

12. Entangled by various

13. Lost Continent by Percival Constantine

14. Dragon Kings of the Orient by Percival Constantine

15. Curse of the Necronomicon by Percival Constantine

16. Spear of Destiny by Percival Constantine

17. Hammer of the Gods by Percival Constantine

18. Atlantis Rising by Percival Constantine

19. Kissojen Suomi by Minna Keinänen

20. Demon Collector by Jon Mayhew

21. Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

22. Program by Suzanne Young

23. Treatment by Suzanne Young

24. Guardians of the Galaxy & X-men: Black Vortex by Sam Humphries and Brian Michael Bendis

25. Spider-man The Darkest Hours by Jim Butcher

26. The Red Moon by Warren Murphy

27. Star Wars The Approaching Storm by Alan Dean Foster

28. Hyperforce by Ralph L Angelo

29. Earth 2 vol 2 The Tower of Fate by James Robinson

30. Earth 2 vol 3: Battle Cry by James Robinson

31. Earth 2 vol 4: The Dark Age by Tom Taylor

32. Earth 2 vol 5: The Kryptonian by Tom Taylor

33. Earth 2 vol 6: Collision by Daniel H Wilson

34. Earth 2 World's End vol 1 by Daniel H Wilson

35. Earth 2 World's End vol 2 by Daniel H Wilson

36. New Avengers vol 1: Everything Dies by Jonathan Hickman

37. New Avengers by Jonathan Hickman vol 2 by Jonathan Hickman

38. X-men Colossus: Bloodline by David Hine

39. A New Darkness by Joseph Delaney

40. Dark Army by Joseph Delaney

41. Dark Assassin by Joseph Delaney

42. The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

43. The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde

44. The Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde

45. Spider-man 2099 vol 1: Out of Time by Peter David

46. Magnus Chase: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

47. Star Wars: Lords of the Sith by Paul Kemp

48. A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen

49. The World According to Bob by James Bowen

50. A Gift from Bob by James Bowen

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51. Stray by Rachel Vincent

52. Rogue by Rachel Vincent

53. Pride by Rachel Vincent

54. Prey by Rachel Vincent

55. Shift by Rachel Vincent

56. Alpha by Rachel Vincent

57. Thor: Across All Worlds by Dan Jurgens

58. Thor: The Death Of Odin by Dan Jurgens

59. Thor: Lord of Asgard by Dan Jurgens

60. Thor: Gods on Earth by Dan Jurgens

61. Thor: Spiral by Dan Jurgens

62. Thor: Gods & Men by Dan Jurgens

63. Avengers Disassembled: Iron Man, Thor and Captain America by Michael Oeming

64. Uncanny Avengers omnibus by Rick Remender

65. Avengers & X-men: Axis by Rick Remender

66. Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain by Richard Roberts

67. Please Don't Tell My Parents I Blew Up the Moon by Richard Roberts

68. Please Don't Tell My Parents I've Got Henchmen by Richard Roberts

69. The New 52: Future's End vol 2 by Brian Azzarello

70. The New 52: Future's End vol 3 by Brian Azzarello

71. Injustice Gods Among Us Complete Year 2 by Tom Taylor

72. Injustice Gods Among Us: Year 3 vol 1 by Tom Taylor

73. Injustice Gods Among Us: Year 3 vol 2 by Tom Taylor

74. Injustice Gods Among Us: Year 4 vol 1 by Brian Buccellato

75. Injustice Gods Among Us: Year 4 vol 2 by Brian Buccellato

76. Injustice Gods Among Us. Year 5 vol 1 by Brian Buccellato

77. Injustice Gods Among Us. Year 5 vol 2 by Brian Buccellato

78. Injustice Gods Among Us. Year 5 vol 3 by Brian Buccellato

79. Captain Atom vol 2: Genesis by J.T. Krul

80. Doctor Strange vol 1: Way of the Weird by Jason Aaron

81. Doctor Strange vol 2: The Last Days of Magic by Jason Aaron

82. Batman: Europa by Brian Azzarello

83. Iron Fist: The Return of K'un Lun by various

84. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

85. Hellspawn: The Complete Collection by Brian Michael Bendis

86. Animal Man vol 3: Rotworld, the Red Kingdom by Jeff Lemire

87. Animal Man vol 4: Splinter Species by Jeff Lemire

88. Animal Man vol 5: Evolve or Die! by Jeff Lemire

89. Batman: Cataclysm by Chuck Dixon

90. Batman: No Man's Land vol 1 by Greg Rucka

91. Batman: No Man's Land vol 4 by Greg Rucka

92. Doom Patrol omnibus by Grant Morrison

93. The Flash by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar

94. The Dog Who Rescues Cats: True Story of Ginny by Philip Gonzalez

95. The Blessing of the Animals: True Stories of Ginny by Philip Gonzalez

96. Deadpool Classic vol 11: Merc With a Mouth by Victor Gischler

97. Deadpool Classic vol 12: Deadpool Corps by Victor Gischler

98. Deadpool Classic vol 13: Deadpool Team-up by James Felder

99. Deadpool Classic vol 14: Suicide Kings by Mike Benson

100. Deadpool Classic Companion by Fabian Nicieza

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101. Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating the DC Universe omnibus by various

102. King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard

103. Bone complete edition by Jeff Smith

104. Sin City complete edition by Frank Miller

105. The Complete Far Side by Gary Larson

106. The Green Lama. Complete Pulp Adventures vol 1 by Kendell Foster Crossen

107. The Green Lama. Complete Pulp Adventures vol 2 by Kendell Foster Crossen

108. The Green Lama. Complete Pulp Adventures vol 3 by Kendell Foster Crossen and Adam Lance Garcia

109. The Green Lama Unbound by Adam Lance Garcia

110. Doctor Who: Shada by Douglas Adams and Gareth Roberts

111. Doctor Who: City of Death by Douglas Adams and James Goss

112. Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet by Douglas Adams and James Goss

113. Guardians of the Galaxy Classic omnibus by Jim Valentino

114. Winter Moon by various

115. The Legend of Wonder Woman vol 1: Origins by Renae De Liz

116. Armageddon The Musical by Robert Rankin

117. Sabre-tooth by Peter O'Donnell

118. The Impossible Virgin by Peter O'Donnell

119. Last Day in Limbo by Peter O'Donnell

120. Fantastic Four omnibus by Matt Fraction

121. X-23 Complete Collection vol 1 by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost

122. X-23 Complete Collection vol 2 by Marjorie Liu and Daniel Way

123. NYX Complete Collection by Joe Quesada

124. Convergence by Jeff King

125. Convergence: Zero Hour vol 1 by Ron Marz

126. Convergence: Infinite Earths vol 2 by Dan Jurgens

127. Ella Aura ja Kolmastoista Haltia by Elena Mady

128. Wonder Woman vol 1 by Greg Rucka

129. Powers omnibus by Brian Michael Bendis

130. Hellblazer Subterranean by John Shirley

131. Deadpool omnibus by Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan

132. Civil War 2 by Brian Michael Bendis

133. Ghost Rider Ultimate Collection by Daniel Way

134. Ultimate Comics Doomsday by Brian Michael Bendis

135. X-force Epic Collection: Under the Gun by Rob Liefeld

136. Doctor Strange Epic Collection: A Separate Reality by Roy Thomas

137. Wolverine Epic Collection: Madripoor Nights by Chris Claremont

138. Star Wars Epic Collection: The Empire vol 3 by Haden Blackman

139. X-Force Complete Collection vol 1 by Chris Yost and Craig Kyle

140. Superman: The Golden Age omnibus by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

141. The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz

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18. The Gathering Storm (WoT #12) - I am astonished that I finished it early! It was actually engaging and interesting and fun! After four whole door-stopper books of nothing but blatant set-up, things actually happened!!


That said, Sanderson's writing is just not quite the same as RJ's. His take on Mat is a little bit off. I don't think Sanderson really gets military tactics the way Jordan did. There's a little too much vernacular in Mat's dialogue, I think. He's been written almost as some kind of modern day man-child that was dropped in the fantasy world of Randland. Otherwise most of the characters seemed unchanged, and the whole novel was close enough to Jordan's style that it wasn't jarring, and thankfully Sanderson dropped the costume description filler material (mostly).


Next, Towers of Midnight. The paperback is over 1200 pages, but if the plotting and pace continues as it did in TGS, I might finish before the end of November. There's a light at the end of this tunnel that has been my journey through WoT in 2017, and it probably isn't a train.

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