And Then I Read: 2 SISTERS by Matt Kindt

I don’t like Matt Kindt’s art. I find his writing difficult to follow. Despite that, his Super-Spy books like this 336-pager keep me reading and wondering what I will happen next to the very end.

There are several storylines here that may or may not connect. One follows an ancient Roman gold cup through history. One features a girl who joins the pirates who have captured the ship she was on. One features a group secretly building guided-missile rockets.

One features Elle and Anna, sisters living in the country with their alcoholic father, who has not recovered from the death of his wife. Anna is in love with a fine house beyond their woods, and declares she will live in it someday. Anna has a boyfriend, and Elle is jealous.

Later in time, we follow Elle to London during World War Two, where she takes a job as an ambulance driver. She meets a smart, charming man named Alan and they begin an affair, but tragedy strikes. Soon, Elle is recruited to be a spy, and begins to go on missions in Europe. Having lost Alan, Elle seems reckless and willing to do anything. What will she do when she finds out that Alan might not be dead after all?

I have to admit I would never have bought this book, it was a gift at last year’s ‘Ringo Awards ceremony. It took me this long to read it, and now I’m kind of glad I did even though the book left me with many unanswered questions.

Mildly recommended. If this is your kind of book, you’ll love it.

And Then I Read: HASHTAG: DANGER #2

Image © Ahoy Comics.

This comic is a funny take on superhero/science fiction teams along the lines of Doom Patrol. I guess it’s part of the humor that the cover has nothing to do with the contents. The main story by writer Tom Peyer and artist/letterer/colorist Chris Giarrusso has the three-member team trying to get some publicity for the baby Yeti they’ve captured, to the yawns of reporters. Meanwhile, the giant alien egg they found in the sewers is about to hatch and wreak havoc on their town of Cityburg. After that, it gets weirder in a funny way.

The backup Snelson story by writer Paul Constant and artist Fred Harper is weirdly funny in a different way, kind of Seinfeld in flavor, with more realistic art.

Of the text stories, I liked the one by Carol Lay the best.

Not a bad read, I can’t say I love it, but entertaining. Recommended.

Incoming: CAPTAIN GINGER Volume One

Image © Stuart Moore, June Brigman and Ahoy Comics.

If you’ve been waiting for the collected first season of this mashup of Star Trek and Cats, it’s here, or soon will be. I enjoyed reading the six individual issues, but the plot is complex enough that I suspect binge-reading them all together is probably a better idea. Look for this at a comics retailer near you, or check the Ahoy website.

And Then I Read: THE DREAMING #9

Image © DC Comics. Written by Simon Spurrier, art by Bilquis Evely, colors by Mat Lopes, letters by Simon Bowland, cover by Yanick Paquette & Nathan Fairbairn.

The two issue interlude on Earth of issues 7-8 is over, and we are back to the excellent art of Bilquis Evely and much more interesting writing by Simon Spurrier, not to mention a fine cover by Paquette and Fairbairn. Hooray! Matthew the Raven is telling someone about recent developments in The Dreaming, as we see Dora appealing to the strange moth-like creature (as seen on the cover) who seems to be in charge. Dora wants a search made for Lucien. Other Dreaming regulars have demands, too. What the nameless moth-thing decides is that Dream himself is who is most needed, and with new evidence found to track him, that search begins, undertaken by Matthew and Dora. It first takes them to Faery, where we find out what’s been happening to Nuala, the one-time servant of Dream, the person Matthew has been talking to. She has seen Dream recently, and has a very interesting story to tell about his last visit to Faery and what he left there with Queen Titania.

Man, I am loving this book again. Highly recommended!

And Then I Read: GIANT BONES by Peter S. Beagle

Cover design by Ray Lundgren.

This short story collection from 1997 is one I had missed until now. I remember loving “The Innkeeper’s Song,” to which it’s connected, but not very much about that book. As Beagle says in his introduction, the stories here are not closely tied to the earlier novel, just on the same world.

All of the stories but one are narrated by someone with a distinctive, and at times almost too omnipresent voice that tends to get in the way of the storytelling, but each story is interesting and involving all the same. “The Last Song of Siril Byar” is about a talented song-writer and bard in his final years, and how he finally comes to resolve the mental anguish of an old lover. “The Magician of Karakosk” is about a man with a natural talent for strong magic, and how it forces him from the simple country life he wants to dwell in a king’s castle and serve a ruler he does not like. “The Tragical Historie of the Jiril’s Players” follows a theater company into the halls of power, where they become pawns in the political games of the king’s family, each with a lust for the throne. “Lal and Soukyan” is the one not narrated in first person, and the one with the most connection to the earlier novel, as it follows two freelance warriors on a last mission together to settle old debts. “Chousi-wai’s Story” is connected to that one by the narrator, and tells of a thief who is hired to steal a bride. “Giant Bones” is about an ancient race of giants that is dying out, and the regular-sized person that becomes part of their final days.

As with much of Beagle’s work, there is a thread of melancholy and regret, but also humor and clever ideas. Recommended.