Staff picks – Week of 30/01/2019

Book Love
Debbie Tung
Andrews McMeel

Will says: To say that Debbie Tung (author of Quiet Girl in a Noisy World) is obsessed with reading is an understatement. Early into reading Book Love, it is obviously clear Debbie loves books, and if you love books too, then you will love this book, Book Love (tongue twister over!). It is a personal account of Debbie’s experiences and relationship with books, where she shares hilarious and heartfelt comics that any fellow bookworm can relate to. A wonderful celebration of the medium and a welcoming reminder that there are other people who enjoy smelling books.

To Drink and To Eat Vol.1: Tastes and Tales from a French Kitchen
Guillaume Long
Lion Forge

Camila says:I picked up a different volume of Guillaume Long’s great food-centric series in France a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I was pretty excited to find out the series is being translated.

And a great volume this one is! Combining recipes, dining experiences, travel diaries and food-related trivia and tips, To Drink and To Eat is a lovely ode to cooking, eating, and just generally appreciating good food.

It is also the best and most effectively indexed (comic) book I have ever laid my hands on, so if you feel like trying one of the many nice recipes Guillaume sneaks into the stories after leisurely devouring the entire book, finding it again will be no trouble at all.

Doctor Strange #10
Mark Waid (w), Jesús Saiz, Various (a)
Marvel Comics

Liz says: In this milestone 400th issue of Doctor Strange, the good doctor discovers the hard way that magic always comes at a price. This theme was touched upon in Donny Cates’ recent run, and here we find out just how transactional the channelling of the mystic arts actually is. As it turns out, Stephen Strange has racked up a whole lot of mystical debt and angry lenders are looking to collect, with interest. It’s a lot of fun and makes for a great cliff-hanger to this issue. Plus, there are a bunch of great back-up strips that make this a real celebration of 400 issues of the Sorcerer Supreme!

Wyrd #1
Curt Pires (w) Antonio Fuso (a)
Dark Horse Comics

Chief says:This caught my eye on delivery day and made it’s way to the top of the pile, just behind all the books I had to read for the pod this week. Drawing at first glance on Wolf (Image Comics’ immortal supernatural detective thriller from 2017) and Hellblazer, seeming to be so much like the latter that I was surprised to find out the lead, blonde supernatural problem solver of the title WASN’T British. But as I said, these were all first glance assumptions and they were quickly dispelled. Sure, it draws on a bunch of sources, including of all things, Hellboy but there’s an element of angry malaise running through the book, partly in the quasi-comical notion of a man who can’t die trying to commit suicide over and over. As leitmotifs go, it’s a bleak one to suggest might become a running theme throughout the series.

The first issue story is a simple one, with Wyrd called to the Crimea (how often do see that as a location for comic??) to stop a creature that’s murdering some villagers, giving us a pleasing mix of modern military bravado, spliced with the old-world feel of Hammer and the aforementioned boy from Hell. By the end, it’s suggested that we might be heading for something quite, quite different with the early rescue of a child given extra meaning and heart by a closing flashback that hints at a Captain America-style origin for our lead character.

The art is nicely etched, recalling the simple colour schemes and dark-inked, hard lines of Sean Martinborough’s Thief of Thieves and Batman work, with those colours supplied sparingly and effectively by Stefano Simeone, combining with Fuso’s art to give the early part of the story an electric, urgent feel and the later half an atmospheric creepy tone. This is one to watch.