A belated Warmachine update - after retiring my High Reclaimer, my first outing of my new Mortenebra army went (suspiciously) well.
Despite my horrific history with Cryx, Mort and I managed to click right off the bat. I like to think it was because I managed to turn her into one of my better conversions - instead of being a steampunk cyber-centaur, she's now a Lovecraftian tentacle-monster.
One Monday We Killed Them All (1961) is one of John D. MacDonald's stand-alone thrillers. A Fawcett Gold Medal original, the first edition (pictured) has a fantastic cover. I'm not sure who the artist is (doesn't look like a McGinnis), but the layout is a masterpiece - skillfully evoking tension. I'm also a sucker for big goofy lettering, which this has in spades.
The book itself is equally tense (and not, happily, goofy). The story begins with Lieutenant Fenn Hillyer - a model policeman - picking up his brother-in-law from prison. Dwight McAran has spent five years in jail for manslaughter. On one hand, he's lucky - he beat his girlfriend to death in front of a dozen witnesses. On the other, he's not - the woman was related to the most powerful man in town, and McAran has had five long, long years getting the hell kicked out of him.
Although his beloved wife is everything good and pure in the world, she has a blind spot for her brother Dwight. So while Fenn would rather McAran just ride off into the sunset, he's stuck welcoming McAran back with open arms.
Daredevil: Yellow (Loeb / Sale): This is the first Loeb & Sale excursion since the epic disaster that was Catwoman: When in Rome, and I was pleased to discover that - when you don't read their work chronologically, they've regained their old skill. (Yes, that was an insult, but so was Catwoman).
Yellow is a retelling of the Daredevil origin story - with a focus on the hero's human side. While Matt Murdock struggles with some unspecified ennui, he recounts his early days as a superhero and his romantic entanglements with Karen Page. Sale's bright colors and cartoony style fit perfectly with Loeb's attempt to make a bittersweet romcom out of the Daredevil story.
Although certainly nowhere as good as as Brian Michael Bendis' lengthy run on Daredevil, Yellow was still a nice surprise. Loeb and Sale are pretty decent at what they do - when they stay in their bittersweet, four-color box. (7/10)
The book: Despite hard-sell from Orion and Waterstone's, this signing wasn't really about the books. David Simon and George Pelecanos mostly spoke about The Wire, prompted by audience questions that were nine-tenths about the TV series.
The stars: The writers took turns to answering questions and supported one another's responses in a way that hinted at their strong working relationship. Pelecanos and Simon both fielded a lot of odd questions, but were largely unflappable. Simon demonstrated a pretty impressive vocabulary. Both demonstrably came to life when interesting questions engaged them (music, the legalisation of marijuana and basketball).
The crowd: This wasn't really about books. The audience was there to talk TV and film. Specifically, how to break into it.
- Todd Klein has released his fourth print. This time he's paired up with artist J.H. Williams III to create a stunning Arthurian print - 'Drawing the Sword'. Our copies have already shown up in the post and are fantastic. If you're not collecting Klein's prints, you're missing out. From an design standpoint, they're brilliant collaborations of a master typographer with some of the best artists in the business. From a collector's standpoint, these are huge, limited-edition prints with some of the most sought-after signatures in the business for a ridiculously low price.
- Centipede Press - publishers of beautiful editions of classic horror, mystery & sf - have a wonderfully arbitrary sale. Check the description of every book, as the owner has been slashing prices at random. A good chance to get some great editions.
Despite undoubtedly being on the list of internet snark mongoloids because I kvetched about the London signing, I think Ellis' list of San Diego FAQ's is pretty awesome. Exact times, handy tips, advance answers to the stuff he's normally bugged about (e.g. Fell) and a cute note about whiskey. Well done, Mr. Ellis.
(Also, Planetary 27 and Fell 10 are both in the works? Wow)