Stephan Pastis, Pearls Before Swine: Sgt. Piggy's Lonely Hearts Club Book
Collection of the first two Pearls books, with commentary by Pastis and the Sunday strips in color. Still one of the funniest strips around, and the commentary is pretty good too.
Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert, et al, 1602
Neil writes Elizabethan-era Marvel comics. Hilarity ensues. "The four from the ship called Fantastic
" were a nice touch, as were young Peter Parquagh's constant brushes with spider-bite. Captain America incarnated as a blond-haired blue-eyed Native American was a bit much, but it all ties together nicely in the end. I had fun with this one even knowing as little about the Marvelverse as I do.
Mark Waid, Barry Kitson, et al, Empire
A comic about life under the bad guy's rule. I remember bits of plot [the daughter, the betrayal] but not how it made me feel, and I have no strong desire to read it again. So I guess it didn't have much impact on me. Oh well.
Steven Brust, Agyar
Still the best book ever. On Steve's advice I watched for the phases of the moon and their correspondences with Jack's behavior this time. Nifty.
Susanna Clarke, three stories
Susanna's a wondrous writer with a flair for capturing the fun of nineteenth-century prose without the dullness. "The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse" is a fun romp in Gaiman & Vess's Stardust world, and "The Ladies of Grace Adieu" introduces the inimitable Mr Jonathan Strange, about whom more later. The checkerboard story from the NYT whose name escapes me was less cool, but still a good story.
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
What a wondrous book. Some of Childermass's actions at the beginning leave me a bit puzzled, but overall I can't think of anything I disliked about it. Except maybe for the fact that it ended. I especially appreciated the description of faeries as having much magic but little reason, as opposed to humans. And the occasional bits of very dry wit. "Mr Norrell, who knew that there were such things in the world as jokes as he had read about them in books, but who had never been introduced to a joke, nor shaken its hand . . ."
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