I have noticed I’ve been slack of late with posts on the site but even more so with reviews (I haven’t done one all year). People have mentioned that there is a real need for reviews – proper critical reviews of Irish books. My issue has been that I find reviewing a bit tough as I don’t think I’m the best reviewer in the world. I think they are people who are much better at it and have a much better grasp of the craft. People like Leeann Hamilton. Also, I tend to review books that I like and tend to the lean towards the positive aspects of the work. However, I have taken feedback on board and plan on knocking out some reviews post haste and I plan on giving the books even handed, if a little critical in places, reviews. In the meantime, here’s some things I’ve been reading lately.

Finally read that

After the last Laydeez Do Comics event, I promised myself I would check out more of one of the guest Michael Carroll’s work. I kind of did things in reverse of most people who follow his work checking out Jennifer Blood first (I liked it a lot and even did a an interview with him on it). Recently, I was in a Judge Dredd mood and decided to check some of that out. Seeing that a Judge Dredd collection of his wasn’t out till June (pre-ordered!), I moved on to his novella: Judge Dredd: Year One: The Cold Light of Day. It was the first time I’d tried a comic book novel or novella and I have to say that I enjoyed it a great deal. It really captures the feel of Mega-city One and the world of Dredd or at least how I see it. The story is a mixture of early street Dredd and Cadet Dredd. People should check it out. It’s a great read and it is ridiculously cheap on the Kindle Store.

MCM pick-ups

At the recent MCM, I managed to catch up with a number of creators (a number of whom mentioned the review thing) and picked some books to read. Alan Nolan was there with his Sancho teaser for the new book: Land of Saints and Psychos (love that title). Perfectly described a James Bond scene before the opening credits style book, it had all the feel of the previous books and has interesting hook for fans of the series. I also managed to grab my copy of Anthea West’s sketchbook which she recently funded using Fundit. The book has some great pieces in it but my favourite part was The Earthbound God related stuff which included some hints to the future. There’s a big universe that we’ve only seen a small part of. Issue two of Tim and Lynne series about serial killers also came into my hands. Writer Stephen Coffey tends to lean towards the controversial kind of story whether it be suicide, guys in love or in this case murderers. It has an interesting hook and I am wondering where the story is going. I’d be interested in a dark humour book from the writer. I think Irish comics needs a dark humour book.

Webcomics and weekends

The creators of Splitting Borders, Sadhbh Lawlor Gareth Gowran were also at MCM. (A bit of in my brain info, I’m always terrified of spelling creator’s names wrong and I nearly always look Sadhbh’s up before I write it). I have already reviewed the series and interviewed both of the creators for 7 Questions but I thought I’d mention it once more as I’m still enjoying this slice of life and often surreal webcomic. Another webcomic on my reading list (and also previously reviewed with all the creators being 7 Questions victims) is Superhero Helpdesk. It still reminds me of a mixture between The Tick and Office Space and it still makes me laugh. A strange thing about interviewing people is that often times you miss parts of their work (more on that later). In the case of webcomics, I had totally missed Between Worlds by Anna Fitzpatrick (a 7 Questions victim). I spent a Bank Holiday Monday catching up on the series. It is a must read book for fans of RPGs such as Final Fantasy or just fans of comics in general. It is beautifully illustrated with a really interesting story, I can’t wait to see more of this series.

Wait, he writes books too

To kind of end where I began, I return to work of Michael Carroll. After catching his Judge Dredd novella, I was finally convinced to check out the first book in his young adult New Heroes series, The Quantum Prophecy. I think this is a book for all comicbook fans. They’ll get it on so many levels with nods to kind of superhero stories and tropes that they grew up with. It is refreshing in that embraces all the things about superheroes but has a real world feel. The story really hooked me and I managed to finish it in a few sittings. I’ll be checking out more of the books whenever I find the time.

Well that’s my recent reading list, I’m off to review some books.