Midwest Book Review

October 2008

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

The Midwest Book Review is an organization of volunteers committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. We accept no funds from authors or publishers.

Image from Amazon
Jeff Smith: Bone and Beyond
by Dave Filipi, Scott McCloud, Neil Gaiman, Jeff Smith

D.A.P. Publishers
155 - 6th Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York NY 10013
9781881390466, $24.95 www (dot) artbooks (dot) com

Jeff Smith's BONE comics represent the success of an independent, self- published series which has enjoyed world fame and been translated into sixteen languages: BONE AND BEYOND celebrates this success with the Wexner Center, who put together an exhibition reflected in this accompanying book. Extensive conversations with the creator of Bone accompany color and black and white images from the exhibition. The extensive detail assures a lasting place in any art or graphic arts collection.

Image from Amazon
Sharks Just Wanna Have Fun: The Thirteenth Sherman's Lagoon Collection
by Jim Toomey

Andrews McMeel Publishing
4520 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111-7701
0740773879, $12.99 www (dot) amuniversal (dot) com

The 13th Sherman's Lagoon collection by Jim Toomey, SHARKS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN is an outstanding winner, joining others in the syndicated strip's growing library and providing especially winning and valuable to any area devoid of regular Sherman comics. A year in the life of a great white shark and his lagoon friends receives black and white and a few color embellishments in one of the funniest comics ever drawn: a top pick for any collection serious about representing syndicated comics and top-notch productions.

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Marvel Graphic Novels and Related Publications: An Annotated Guide to Comics, Prose Novels, Children's Books, Articles, Criticism and Reference Works, 1965-2005
by Robert G. Weiner

McFarland & Company
Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9780786425006, $49.95 www (dot) mcfarlandpub (dot) com

The annotated guide Marvel Graphic Novels and Related Publications surveying comics, prose novels, children's books, articles and references covers just about everything relating to graphic novels, from cross-overs into DC to special volumes and series presentations, and is a pick for any serious graphic novel library at the specialty or college level. Chapters offer plot synopsis, compare chapters and formats of related materials, and includes comments on artwork and style.

Image from Amazon
The Crass Menagerie: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury
by Stephan Pastis

Andrews McMeel Publishing
4520 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111-7701
www (dot) amuniversal (dot) com

Stephan Pastis' THE CRASS MENAGERIE (0740771000, $16.99) is a 'Pearls Before Swine' collection including all cartoons from Da Brudderhood of Zeeba Zeeba Eata and The Sopratos. It liberally peppers color full- page strips with black and white features and it requires absolutely NO prior familiarity with the 'Pearls Before Swine' strip to prove appealing and fun. Very highly recommended for any library strong in comic strip representations. Paul Osborne's THE MYSTERY OF SAUSAGE AND OTHER RIDICULOUS BLUEPRINTS (0740771094, $12.99) provides hilarious blueprint-based forms with zany considerations, from Martha Stewart's Guide to Nuclear Reactor Cleaning to How to Open Packaging given only a few tools - like chainsaws and jackhammers. And Revilo's UNKNOWN WORLDS! A COLLECTION OF PARANORMAL CARTOONS (0740776215, $12.99) provides an outstanding, fun collection of single-panel comics with one full color and one black and white facing page. From ancient history observations to the color potentials of genetically engineered cats, UNKNOWN WORLDS is hilarious.

Image from Amazon
From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books
by Arie Kaplan

Jewish Publication Society
2100 Arch Street, 2nd floor, Philadelphia PA 19103-1399
9780827608436, $25.00, www (dot) jewishpub (dot) org, 1-800-234-3151

Comic books have been an integral part of American popular culture since their invention as a mass market media in the early 1930s. The first comic books were simply collections of newspaper comics. It was Jewish writers and artists who took this new medium and expanded it as a form of popular literature that we know today beginning with the creation of such characters a Superman and Batman and the legions of superheroes and villains that were to follow down to this very day. What is less well known is that American Jewish writers and artists were also responsible for Mad Magazine, the graphic novel, the comic book convention, the comic book specialty store, and the underground comix movement of the 1960s and early 70s. In "From Krakow to Krypton: Jews And Comic Books", comedian and comic book writer Arie Kaplan provides an informed and informative history that is packed with history and nostalgia from beginning to end. Profusely illustrated throughout, "From Krakow To Krypton" is highly recommended for personal, academic, and community library "20th Century American Popular Culture" reference collections in general, and the personal reading lists of all comic book fans and graphic novel enthusiasts in particular.


The Midwest Book Review is an organization of volunteers committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. We accept no funds from authors or publishers. Full permission is given to post any of these reviews on thematically appropriate websites, newsgroups, listserves, internet discussion groups, organizational newsletters, or to interested individuals. Please give the Midwest Book Review a credit line when doing so.

The Midwest Book Review publishes the monthly book review magazines "California Bookwatch", "Internet Bookwatch", "Children's Bookwatch", "MBR Bookwatch", "Reviewer's Bookwatch", and "Small Press Bookwatch". All are available for free on the Midwest Book Review website at www (dot) midwestbookreview (dot) com

Anyone wanting to submit books for review consideration can send them to:

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129

To submit reviews of any fiction or non-fiction books, email them to Frugalmuse (at) aol (dot) com (Be sure to include the book title, author, publisher, publisher address, publisher website/phone number, 13-digit ISBN number, and list price).

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review