Tag: geek lit (page 1 of 2)

Misplaced: The Collected Edition

New Kickstarter for a four issue collected volume from Source Point Press

Hello again El Moochadores! Been awhile right? Well, we’re back and this time we got a Kickstarter campaign to share! Sooo… Let’s go!

Currently on Kickstarter is a new(-ish) campaign for a pretty cool indie comic; The Misplaced: The Collected Edition. Written and Illustrated by Chris Callahan, and published by Source Point Press, Misplaced is a collection of four issues about a dark supernatural tale of love and desperation in the aftermath of a horrific tragedy. Here’s a proper synopsis:

A young man pushes through the afterlife searching for the soul of his lost bride. But to find the missing, one spirit must return to the land of the living and uncover the truth of immortality.

From what I’ve seen, this comic looks pretty cool. Callahan has an almost “Sandman” like art style and I’ve always dug the other world adventures. Maybe it’s all the Lovecraft reading. Anyways… As of this post the kickstarter has met its goal and there are 19 days left to contribute. Also, they have some pretty cool stretch goals. If the campaign earns $4,500.00 then every single backer will receive a FREE digital copy of our newest release FALLSTREAK. A whole graphic novel! If the campaign hits $5,500.00 then the Misplaced will be produced as a hardcover volume at now extra cost to the backers. El Moochadores interested in contributing can hit the KS link above to read more about the rewards which also include digital copies and original art.

I’ve posted the Kickstarter promo video below, along with the sample pages provided on the KS page. For more information you can also check out the Misplaced page on the Source Point Press website.

Cheers!

WARHEAD: Volume One

He has a giant, acid green atom bomb for a head

Okay El Moochadores, check out this new Kickstarter for one of my favorite indie comics; Warhead! If successful, this project will collect issues 1 to 6 in one awesome volume. Written and illustrated by Katrina Kuntsmann, Warhead is about Adam, a young grafitti artist living in London, who has a large (acid green) atom bomb for a head. Check out the KS synopsis:

He also has a giant, acid green atom bomb for a head. But then again, when your ex-girlfriend and landlord is en eight legged elk centaur, and your best friend has a cricket for a head, you don’t stick out so much. With Adam seemingly sliding in and out of this already surreal landscape, it begs the question how much of his world is real, and how much is a product of his mind.

As we follow Adam as he tries to keep his life together, we are invited to watch as his mind begins to unpin and witness what occurs when the two meet. Given life by Katrina’s rough, vivacious style and talent for cinematic pacing, WARHEAD delivers engaging atmospheric scenes and haunting imagery.

Katrina (Kat? Kitten? I think she’d be okay with that) has a great illustrative style, and there’s something very creepy-cool about the world she’s created in Warhead. I’ve posted a few sample images below from the KS page, but hit the link above to see original prints from Katrina and learn about contributor awards.

Cheers!

Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories

An Atomic Moo Book Review


I’ve been trying to write this review for about a week now, but I just keep tripping over my own life. Actually, I think I owe Titan an apology. They’ve sent me a stack of books to read and review, but personal, “my life’s a mess” stuff has kind of kept me occupied. However, things are getting better, and (as hard as it may be) I’m working to focus more on this site and exploring being a creative. Which means that hopefully, I’ll also get back my reading time. Hopefully.

Anyways, now out through Titan Books is a pretty niffty (yeah, “niffty”) collection of short stories by Kim Newman. This collection of short stories takes readers through the in and outs of 19th century macabre, old Hollywood, and even the life and times of a Martian movie star (I kind of especially dug that one). Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories is a collection of twenty-one short stories by a master story teller. Newman’s versatility as a writer is on full display here as he effortlessly switches gears from the late 1800’s to the 1950’s in such a way that totally engulfs the reader. Which is pretty damn amazing (for the books of his I’ve read) how he can perfectly capture the tone of the selected era when he writes. I think what enjoyed most about these books though was he hit (on almost every story) my kind of geeky fandom. I love old horror films, and when he wrote about American International Pictures being cursed by Vincent Price, or “Jack the Ripper” murder mystery based on the fall of EC’s Comics (not called EC comics in the story, but totally EC), I was digging it! Even his short stories that dealt with classic horror tales like Jekyll and Hyde, or a brilliant take on the Invisible Man, were incredibly entertaining to me. There’s not a lot of people I think I can go to (in my small circle of friends) and discuss my love of old Christopher Lee/Peter Cushing flicks, or how I have Treasure of the Sierra Madres and Casablanca pretty much memorized (not that there’s a lot/any of Bogart in this book, just saying…), but I think Newman would get it, and that’s kind of cool getting some of that fandom coming back at me through his short stories.

I honestly don’t have a lot of criticism for this book. Well, maybe that Newman’s enthusiasm for fandom can go extremely deep and it is possible to get lost in the references and parodies, but that only if you’re kind of in the know. For any casual reader, this a collection of really fun stories, and I highly recommend it. Also, go rent the Raven, and I hope you dig Price, Karloff, and Lorre and their best(?). Yeah, matter of opinion, but check it out all the same!

Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories is available in bookstores now, or you can get your copy online at Titan Books!

Cheers!

New Bookies Episode!

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A Look at Good Omens!

Our good buddy, and fellow brethren moo, Brandon Noel has his own book review podcast called Bookies! On this episode Brandon and his crew (which for all the damn times I’ve had him on our show, you’d think just once he’d offer me a chance to join in… sheesh) are reviewing Good Omens by Neil Gaiman! Check out the podcast below and also look for Brandon at Nerdbot Con on September 24th, at the Pasadena Convention Center!

Enjoy!

The Vinyl Detective: Written in Dead Wax!

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of Andrew Cartmel’s New Novel!

Andrew Cartmel’s The Vinyl Detective almost abates my hatred for hipsters. Almost. I don’t think anyone can stop hating hipsters. It’s just too easy to despise those bearded, coffee obsessed, man bun toting, shit bags that clog our beach streets with Fiats and Vespa scooters, but somehow (weirdly) Cartmel crafted a story that makes a coffee chugging – vinyl obsessed – hipster kind of cool. With a solid mystery to boot! Wow.

Written in Dead Wax begins when the nameless vinyl detective (later nicknamed “Chef”) is hired to find a rare Jazz LP by a now defunct 1950’s publishing label. Up until this point, Chef has eeked out a living by scouring London’s charity shops (I’m guessing that’s either like a pawn shop or a 2nd hand store…?) for rare records to sell online, or add to his vast collection. Then one day he is contacted by a foreign company’s very beautiful representative, Nevada, to help track down an incredibly rare jazz album, Easy Come, Easy Go, but finding the record won’t be easy. There just happen to be a pair of murderous blonde athletes also hunting the album and then there’s the dark mystery hidden in the record it self!

The thing is, I really enjoyed this book. Cartmel did a wonderful job of making his characters (though still disgustingly hipster-ish) likable and fun. Chef is an excellent detective, in a sort of not being a detective kind of way. He’s the total underdog hero, and as a geeky outsider myself, I can’t help but root for the underdog. I think the stories unique way of unfolding a mystery is also what makes the book such a great read. Written in Dead Wax takes it’s readers deep into the world of music, and (even better for geeks) collecting. I honestly have no opinion on what sounds better, CD or LP, but I’ve got a closet full of vintage Star Wars figures. I could easily tell you about the backing card, year produced, or existing variants of any of the collectible action figures (not dolls!) safely sealed away in the many containers which are piled to the ceiling in my closet. I can even spot reproductions and cheap knock offs. I don’t know why, but reading about collectors, and a mystery that goes deep into their respective world, was really refreshing. I honestly think this is one of the best mystery stories since The Big Lebowski! And yes, that was a mystery too. In fact; I’m almost willing (grudgingly) to consider the likes of Chef and Tinkler as geeks. Almost. ‘just have to lose the cats and any opinion about coffee.new16oz-coffee-cup Seriously!? What grown man keeps cats and gives a shit about the taste of coffee!? Coffee should be black and burn just as hard going out at as it did going in! That’s it. Its there to get the job done. You drink it, stay awake, and lose a year or so of unwanted life expectancy. When I put a $1.29 of hard earned cash down on the counter for my 7-11 what ever brew, I need it to do its goddamn job of keeping me upright and lucid for the next few hours. Not brag about its “aroma”, or what part of India a child laborer had to pull it out of. Coffee should be burly, stalwart, and humble. Just like my women. ‘merica.

Anyways… I’m very much looking forward to the release of the next book (The Run-Out Groove), and even if Titan doesn’t send me a review copy I’ll probably go pick one up. Yeah, I’m willing to spend my own money on the next edition. That’s how much I enjoyed this. Below I posted a copy of The Vinyl Detectives official synopsis. However, visit Titanbooks.com to get a copy of your own.

Cheers!

He is a record collector — a connoisseur of vinyl, hunting out rare and elusive LPs. His business card describes him as the “Vinyl Detective” and some people take this more literally than others.
Like the beautiful, mysterious woman who wants to pay him a large sum of money to find a priceless lost recording — on behalf of an extremely wealthy (and rather sinister) shadowy client.
Given that he’s just about to run out of cat biscuits, this gets our hero’s full attention. So begins a painful and dangerous odyssey in search of the rarest jazz record of them all…

Dead Letters!

DeadLetters

An Anthology of the Undelivered, The Missing, The Returned…

An Atomic Moo Book Review

The Dead Letter office is a real thing. According to Wikipedia (never a real source), the dead letter office is “is a facility within a postal system where un-deliverable mail is dealt with”. A lot of countries have dead letter offices, but I think the US is the only one to actually use the name. According to 99percentinvisible.com – over “90,000,000 items were marked undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) and entered the dead letter and parcel system.” This is all really cool, and (of course) it is also the prefect premise for dozens of stories the likes of which can be found in a new anthology from Titan Books! See how I brought that around. I think I’m good at this…

Anyways… Now out through Titan Books is a fantastic new collection of stories centered around the (mostly) sinister idea of unwanted mail! Okay… on the surface you wouldn’t think that was such a scary idea, but think about it: The wrong addressed letter, the misplaced package, that message that just disappeared, represent an idea of mystery. Opening a strangers mail is like a starting off point to the unknown! A possible leap into an unknown mystery! The shadowy secrets of your apartments former resident’s credit history suddenly laid bare! It’s possibly a goddamn ticket to the Twilight Zone, people!

Exploring the vast ocean possibly within 90 + million undelivered messages are eighteen writers (list below) who contribute their literary talents to this idea. Now I don’t want to give the idea that Dead Letters is all spooky horror stuff. The variety of stories cover everything from horror to mystery to the kind of mundane. One of my favorite stories in the book is actually one of the first stories and deals with a mysterious green envelope. Not necessarily an evil green letter (could be), but definitely a very bizarre green letter. Then other stories take you through painful personal histories or to mythical places. It’s this variety of ideas all based on the one premise that makes this book a fun read. There’s even an H.P. Lovecraft-esque story by Andrew Lane that reads incredibly spooky, and I think would have made Lovecraft proud. Overall, I really dug this book. Though, I thought it was weird every person in the story had a moral dilemma about opening a piece of lost mail (really? Not one guy/gal was like, “free shit!”), all of the stories take an unexpected journey and some of them are even kind of touching. I think this would be a much better book to read in the fall, closer to Halloween, but if you’re looking for an overall eerie vibe in your summer reading, then The Dead Letters would be a great place to start!

Dead Letters is available now in all major book stores, or you can get your copy online at Titanbooks.com. I posted the official synopsis below along with a complete list of contributing authors.

The Dead Letters Office: the final repository of the undelivered. Love missives unread, gifts unreceived, lost in postal limbo. Dead Letters: An Anthology features new stories from the masters of horror, fantasy and speculative fiction, each inspired by an inhabitant of the Dead Letters Office, including tales from Joanne Harris, China Miéville & Maria Dahvana Headley, Adam LG Nevill and Michael Marshall Smith.

Conrad Williams , Joanne Harris , Michael Marshall Smith , China Miéville , Nicholas Royle , Ramsey Campbell , Pat Cadigan , Nina Allan , Angela Slatter , Alison Moore , Kirsten Kaschock , Maria Dahvana Headley , Steven Hall , Lisa Tuttle , Muriel Gray , Claire Dean , Christopher Fowler , Adam LG Nevill , Andrew Lane

Goldtiger: The Poseidon Complex

Goldtiger_Cover

Best Comic Strip That Never Happened!

An Atomic Moo Book Review!

Okay El Moochadores, we’re back from Power-Con 2016 and now we need get this blog rolling again! Wait, do blogs roll? eh… what ever.

A couple of weeks back I received a copy of Goldtiger, and (without a doubt) this is one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read. Written by Guy Adams and illustrated by Jimmy Broxton, Goldtiger chronicles the history of a fictional comic strip (most popular in Malta!) about swinging 60’s fashion designers turned secret agent adventurers! The strip features (featured?) Lily Gold and Jack Tiger, homosexual Londoners who’s adventures take them up against a yacht stealing monster in their debut story line: the Poseidon Complex.gt3-600x8721

If they had just done a whole comic strip like this, that alone would have been incredible, but in, out, and surrounding the strips, is this wonderful story of the comics creators, Louis Schaeffer and Antonio Barreti. They don’t get along. Their sometimes contentious relationship (often explained through letters, interviews, and even sketches) results in some incredible humor which, at one point, leads to Barreti referring to Schaeffer as a “cross-eyed pedarast.” From there, Barreti only ever refers to Schaeffer as “writer” and only occasionally uses his submitted scripts.

Goldtiger is one of those books you’re going to go back to for its wonderful art, humor, design, and sheer creativity. It is very easy to get lost in this book and forget that Barreti and Schaeffer never existed. I think a lot of credit goes to Adams and Broxton for crafting a unique way to tell a story, which they pulled off wonderfully! They created this really unique reality that is somehow believable. Readers and comic fans will both want this book in their collections!

I’ve posted a few images from an online search below (I really need a new scanner!), but hit the links above to get you’re own copy! Also, listen to our interview with Adams and Broxton on Atomic Moocast #50! A long time ago…

Enjoy!

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Tech Manual

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An Atomic Moo Book Review

Okay El Moochadores, it took awhile, but I finally got a chance to read the Tech Manual for Batman v. Superman. Published by Titan Books, 2016, and written by Adam Newell and Sharon Gosling, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – Tech Manual (wow – long title) is nearly comprehensive review of all the gear, vehicles, and costumes used in the film. Check out the official synopsis below:

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Tech Manual is a definitive guide to the weaponry and props created for the movie. It closely examines the Utility Belt, the Batwing, grappling hook and batarang. Everything in the Batcave is explored down to the construction of the set and the graphics from Bruce Wayne’s mainframe.IMG_0275 This official volume also goes deeper in to the world of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, showcasing Superman’s Kryptonian suit and Wonder Woman’s iconic weaponry.

The official companion book to the new movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Tech Manual,features interviews with concept artists, the film’s weapon’s master, the mechanic for the Batmobile, and Zack Snyder himself.

Now the review! First, I want to apologize to Titan Books. It was incredibly cool of them to provide us with both the Tech Manual and The Art of Batman v. Superman (review coming soon!) a couple of months back, but it’s taken me a while to get the review online. It was my goal to post about both books when the film released, but because of life and work stuff, I just wasn’t able to do it.batman-v-superman-trinity

Second; I got this book before seeing the film, and now I’m finding it hard to reconcile my personal views of the film with writing an objective review about the tech manual. So, I’ll start by just putting it out there: I hated the movie. I’m not going to nerd rage, and I know this post isn’t a review of the movie, but I really don’t like this darker take on Batman and Superman. However; I do like Zack Snyder’s other films, and I think Ben Affleck could make an awesome Batman, and you can’t get a better Wonder Woman than Gal Godot… but all the same: I hate these films (this last one and the prior Superman movie) so much that I found it kind of difficult to open these books to write a review.

Though I won’t go into why I hate (yeah, “dislike” just doesn’t feel strong enough) these films, I can honestly report that Titan Books put together an amazing Tech Manual. This is a beautiful volume that thoroughly reviews the props, vehicles, and sets used on Batman v. Superman. It’s kind of mind blowing the level of detail the film makers put into the practical effects. Much of what we saw on the film actually existed and wasn’t just some digital paint up. I actually enjoyed reading about the level of detail that went into conceptualizing the Bat suit, Bat Cave, Gauntlets, and even the shaping of the Batarang. Everything from his utility belt to his “mech suit” are shown off in a series of excellent photos and diagrams. Though most of the volume focuses on Batman, there are chapters (towards the end) that discuss the costumes and equipment made for Superman and Wonder Woman.gallery-1460472097-batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-tech-manual-179704 Actually, it kind of blows me away that they put so much detail into the making of the Bat-mobile, rope guns, and Wonder Woman’s sword, but they couldn’t shell out for a semi decent script. Okay, that was snide, but the tech manual itself is an excellent example of design. Between the covers (and the cover art is frigg’n great!) are dozens of never before seen photos, art, and concept designs, all accompanied with comments and notes by the film makers. If you’re a person interested in learning about prop creation, or everything behind the scenes on a film, then you’re going to want this tech manual. If you’re like me (tall, handsome, wise…), and you like drawing stuff, the tech manual is a great resource for references and styles. I may hate Snyder’s take on superheroes, but I’m for damn sure going to be using this book for some pretty cool art. Art that maybe shows Batman not murdering the shit out of people… or Jonathan Kent never (ever!) telling a young Clark that maybe he should’ve just let the kids in the bus die… Yeah, I hate these movies.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: The Art of the Film is now available in all major book stores, or you can get your copy online at Titan Books! Check out a few sample images below I took with my iPhone. Yeah, kind of sucks, but I still don’t have a scanner and I don’t like pulling the images from the web.

Enjoy!

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The Lazarus Gate!

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of Mark Latham’s New Novel!

The Lazarus Gate is probably one of the best pieces of science fiction literature to come out this year. A bold statement sure, but (in my humble/right opinion) also true. Written by Mark A. Latham, and described as “victorian science fiction,” the Lazarus Gate is an introduction to a dark world of parallel worlds, secret agents, and addiction all set in a grimy 1890’s London. The story begins with Captain John Hardwick’s release from the army shortly after being freed from a Burmese prison. Upon his arrival in London, Hardwick is quickly recruited into the Apollo Lycea, a secretive gentlemen’s club that works to protect England. His first assignment is to investigate a series of mysterious explosions all across London, set by would be anarchist. However, as Hardwick investigates the crimes he is soon pulled into a dangerous world of weird science, psychic mysticism, and his own past. Although the while fighting a dangerous opium addiction forced on him by his Burmese captors.

Though I’ve always enjoyed steampunk and Victorian adventure stories (like the Sherlock Holmes adventures), The Lazarus Gate is a rather unique paranormal mystery. Latham does a brilliant job of describing 1890’s London, and of creating all the weird happenings that drive this story forward. He added just the right mix of mystery and sinister villains to create a fun, if not dark, story of parallel universes on the brink of war. Also, I felt that in John Hardwick Latham gave us a fantastic new anti-hero through which to experience the dangers of a hidden (and weird) world. As of this story, Hardwick isn’t the jaded sort of protagonist we’ve seen in other stories, but he does have serious problems that effect him through out the novel. All in all, an excellent adventure story with a lot of charm.

Check out the official synopsis for the Lazarus Gate below, but also go and get a copy for yourself at Titanbooks.com!

London, 1890. Captain John Hardwick, an embittered army veteran and opium addict, is released from captivity in Burma and returns home, only to be recruited by a mysterious gentlemen’s club to combat a supernatural threat to the British Empire.

This is the tale of a secret war between parallel universes, between reality and the supernatural; a war waged relentlessly by an elite group of agents; unsung heroes, whose efforts can never be acknowledged, but by whose sacrifice we are all kept safe.

The Future Is Disgusting!

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of TJ Bass’s Half Past Human!

Original Review by Neko-Bijin!

“So Neko, do you ever review a book that’s still in print?”

Yes, smartypants, I do! It so happens that T J Bass’ Half Past Human (1970) was reprinted last year, and I’m giving it a thumbs-up. Bass saw the future, and it was disgusting! Overcrowding and poor nutrition created a human race of stunted dwarfs living underground among rats (which are hunted for food). Also hunted are the handful of wild humans living outdoors.20101110halfpasthuman If you’ve read The Machine Stops (1909) or Brave New World, or seen THX 1138 or Logan’s Run, you know that the story will be driven by a handful of mavericks who forsake the Human Hive to live free in the dangerous wild. But somewhere around page 150 the book takes a left turn into Biblical metaphor, complete with a Cosmic Benevolence and a New Zion.

The science fiction of the 1970s was about constraints. Limits on populations size, energy use, and radiation tolerance drove the speculation. There are plenty of strange science fiction books dealing with Biological Determinism, ecological degradation, human evolution and the Noble Savage, but Half Past Human isn’t satire. The author appears earnestly to believe in his vision of the future, and he fills it with enough unsettling detail to make This Reader believe also, if only for a while. The best science fiction transports you, and then doesn’t bring you all the way back.

Moral problems are proposed and immediately disposed; infanticide, cannibalism, hypnotic conditioning, etc, simply don’t matter much weighed against the teeming mass of 3 trillion hungry stomachs.

T J Bass was a medical doctor who also wrote The Godwhale200px-TheGodwhale(1stEd) (1974) which is less a sequel than a rewrite of Half Past Human with a more humorous air. The books are peppered with medical in-jokes that leaven the seriousness of the prose (e.g., A character called Hip is mocked as the Ass at Tabulum, a pun on acetabulum). To follow everything in the story you’ll need a medical dictionary handy. So don’t plan on catching everything, just read and enjoy. They don’t make ’em like this anymore. They never did.

This review was originally posted on Neko_Bijin’s Serious Blog and was re-posted here with permission. Check out more of Neko’s reviews on his blog!
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