AmGodsprintedCover art by Robert McGinnis

Just arrived, some copies of the 10th Anniversary mass market paperback edition of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” for which I designed the title and chose and placed the type (mostly). This is the first of a series we are working on and has been released early because the upcoming TV show has created so much demand for the book that previous stocks are sold out. I’m thrilled to be working on the series with Neil and legendary illustrator/painter Robert McGinnis, who is 90 and still doing wonderful work.

AmericanGods10thAnnivEdI think at first glance the cover will give the hoped-for impression that this book was actually published during the 1960s-1970s, but there are two obvious clues it’s more recent: the spot varnish and emboss on the title, and the two-inch thickness of the book. There can’t have been many (if any) paperbacks of that era that were so thick! I’m looking forward to rereading this myself, as it’s Neil’s preferred text with about 12,000 more words than in my first edition hardcover.

Neil writes about the project HERE.


DannyCrespi1982byEliotRBrownDanny Crespi, 1982, photo © Elliot R. Brown.

This time I’m covering pages 25 to 28 of the collection of Marvel cover lettering from about 1974 to 1978—mostly by Danny Crespi—compiled by fellow letterer Phil Felix. I never met Danny but have an ever-growing respect and appreciation for his work seen in these photocopies of his hand-lettered cover titles and balloons. Continue reading

And Then I Read: WONDER WOMAN #2

WW2Image © DC Comics.

Very smart, writer Greg Rucka’s plan for this series revamp, alternating two story lines. In issue 1 we saw Wonder Woman today, here we return to her beginnings on Themyscira. As Diana expresses her desire to know more about life beyond their island and has some adventures there, we see the idyllic but predictable world of the Amazons beautifully depicted by artist Nicola Scott. (Different artists for each alternating series. Smart.) As Steve Trevor’s path brings him inevitably to an airplane crash on the shore of the island, we learn of his character through interactions with fellow soldiers and friends. The transitions between these two threads are equally clever. I’m tired of the revamps. but so far this one is fun to read, and I think alternating between the past and the present will make each story line resonate with the other going forward. Very smart, very well done.



GreenLanterns1Image © DC Comics

GREEN LANTERNS is a new series shared by the two newest Earth Lanterns, Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz. “Shared” in story pages and narrative, but the two don’t seem to like or trust each other very much, and it’s an uneasy alliance at best. Each has non-Lantern problems to deal with, and each is new enough to the Green Lantern Corps to be constantly surprised by what their rings tell and show them, not to mention the situations they find themselves in. Old villain Atrocitus is here too, with Bleez, one of his Red Lanterns, and there are aliens, dead humans and an ominous red tower and A.R.G.U.S.

I was hoping this book would provide a fresh direction, but the appearance of Atrocitus, and yet another plot about the potential end of the universe suggests not. I enjoyed the interplay and personal stuff with Jessica and Simon, so will read on, but perhaps not for long.

Mildly recommended.

And Then I Read: A WIZARD ALONE by Diane Duane

awizardaloneThis is the sixth book in the Young Wizards series by Duane. I’ve enjoyed one through four but missed book five, so there were some new plot elements and characters in this one I need to catch up on, things that factored into the plot here. Most importantly, the death of Nita’s mother and Kit’s magic-empowered dog Ponch.

Kit and Nita are the young wizards, part of a universe-wide elite group that works to make good things happen and fights evil. They are assigned tasks by older wizards and try their best to carry them out, usually with difficulty. This time Kit is assigned to investigate a boy named Darryl who has been undergoing his Wizard Ordeal for months, far longer than usual, and seems to be trapped somewhere. Kit and his dog Ponch find ways into Darryl’s mental world and try to help him, but are threatened themselves by the evil they find there. Darryl is autistic, and can’t be spoken to or reasoned with in normal ways, and only in his own mental world can he be reached at all. Meanwhile, Kit’s partner Nita is still trying to recover from the death of her mother, and is not able to be of much help to Kit and Ponch…until that need for help becomes desperate.

I enjoy this series, though it is becoming increasingly inward-looking, and at times the mental gymnastics are tiring to follow. More real-world action would be better for this reader. Still, good characters and ideas.