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beastsalinechristmas.jpgPeanuts Christmas, Alien and Fantastic Beasts

 

What better way to celebrate Christmas than by joining Running Press as it presents ‘The Peanuts Guide To Christmas’?

 

Snoopy takes center stage on the book’s cover as he holds his candy cane decorated food dish in his mouth.

 

Inside readers celebrate the holiday season with whole Peanuts gang as they put up Christmas decorations, write Santa, take part in Christmas fun and festivities and much more as illustrated by classic Peanuts comic strips.

 

It’s a holly, jolly Christmas with everyone’s favorite group of kids with Snoopy and Woodstock along for the ride.

 

Without a doubt the ‘Alien’ movie changed science fiction and horror movie genres forever.

 

The ‘Alien Deluxe Mega Kit’ features a miniature Xenomorph head, complete with transparent skull top and jaws that open and extend inner jaws with a slight downward tug on one of its back spines.

 

The creature howls, screeches and looks as every bit as frightening as its movie namesake.  A small full-color photo mini-book is also included filled with scenes from the classic movie.

 

A modern day classic film: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, introduced a pre-Harry Potter world populated by magic and monsters.

 

The ‘Newt Scamander’s Case Deluxe Mega Kit’ includes a miniature suitcase that when opened pops out two beastly clawed hands and shrieks!

 

It also comes with a small book filled with full-color photos from the movie.

 

Christmas or creatures—whatever one you choose you can’t lose this holiday season.

 

previews-december-2017.jpgPreviews, December

 

COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

Jimmy’s Bastards Volume 1 TP l AFTERSHOCK COMICS

Dreadful Beauty: The Art of Providence HC l AVATAR PRESS INC

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth #1 l BOOM! STUDIOS

WWE #14 l BOOM! STUDIOS

Dejah Thoris #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

Pumpkinhead #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

Is This Guy For Real? GN l :01 FIRST SECOND

Battle Angel Alita: Mars Chronicle Volume 1 GN l KODANSHA COMICS

Dead of Winter Volume 1: Good Good Dog GN l ONI PRESS INC.

Devilman: The Classic Collection Volume1 GN l SEVEN SEAS ENTERTAINMENT LLC

Your Black Friend and Other Strangers HC l SILVER SPROCKET

Bloodborne #1 l TITAN COMICS

Robotech Archive Omnibus Volume 1 GN l TITAN COMICS

Disney·Pixar Wall-E GN l TOKYOPOP

Bloodshot: Salvation #6 l VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

 

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BOOKS

Doorway to Joe: The Art of Joe Coleman HC l ART BOOKS

Neon Visions: The Comics of Howard Chaykin SC l COMICS

Drawing Cute With Katie Cook SC l HOW-TO

Action Presidents Book 1: George Washington! HC l YOUNG READERS

MAGAZINES

Cartoons Magazine #13 l CARTOONS

Black Panther: The Official Movie Special l SUPER-HEROES

TRADING CARDS

Topps 2018 Opening Day Baseball Trading Cards l TOPPS COMPANY

Arrow Season Four Trading Cards l CRYPTOZOIC ENTERTAINMENT

APPAREL

Doctor Who: Vector Icons Tenth Doctor Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Rey Training Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR

Batman Doomsday Clock Ringer T-Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS

Dark Nights: Metal Tour Baseball Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Rey Tote Bag l OUTFIT OF THE MONTH #OOTM

TOYS & STATUES

Justice League Gallery: Wonder Woman PVC Statue l DIAMOND SELECT TOYS & COLLECTIBLES

Living Dead Dolls: Batman Returns Catwoman Doll l DC HEROES

Pixel Game of Thrones Figures l GAME OF THRONES

Puppet Master: Replica Trunk Blu-Ray Box Set l HORROR

Harry Potter: Harry Quidditch Outfit PVC Figure l ICON HEROES

Fantastic Beasts: Newt Scamander PVC Figure l ICON HEROES

One-12 Collective: Marvel: Defenders Doctor Strange Action Figure l MARVEL HEROES

POP! Heroes: Booster Gold & Blue Beetle Vinyl Figure 2-Pack l FUNKO

POP! Heroes: Lobo Vinyl Figure l FUNKO

POP! Dragon Ball Super: Gotenks Vinyl Figure l FUNKO

IMPORT TOYS

Marvel Universe: Spider-Man Webslinger ArtFX Statue l KOTOBUKIYA

Thor Ragnarok Egg Attack Action Figures l MARVEL HEROES

Justice League Variant Play Arts Kai: The Flash Action Figure l DC HEROES

Gozilla Kaiju 8-Inch Series: Anguirus 1968 Figure l GODZILLA

Yu-Gi-Oh!: Yami Yugi Figma l ANIME

Movie Realization Star Wars: Yari Ashigaru Stormtrooper Action Figure l MOVIE/TV

Kojima Productions: Ludens 1/6-Scale Action Figure l VIDEO GAMES

Overwatch: Genji Figma l VIDEO GAMES

Zao Dao: Crow Teeth 1/6-Scale Action Figure l VIDEO GAMES

COLLECTIBLES & NOVELTIES

Avengers Etched Mugs l MARVEL HEROES

Justice League Movie Pint Glasses l DC HEROES

Nickelodeon: Rugrats: Reptar Inflatable Costume l MOVIE/TV

GAMES

Monopoly Gamer Edition l HASBRO TOY GROUP

Monopoly Gamer Figure Packs l HASBRO TOY GROUP

Operation Star Wars: BB-8 Edition l HASBRO TOY GROUP

Pathfinder Adventure Path: War for the Crown Part 1 l PAIZO INC

Marvel Heroclix: Avengers Infinity Colossal Booster Brick l WIZKIDS/NECA

 

parragon-christmas-and-wine.jpgChristmas, Santa, Snowman,
Holiday, Wine and Puzzle

 

It’s that time of the year again!  Break out the eggnog, string the lights, hang the mistletoe, wrap presents and put up the tree.

 

Of course I’m referring to Christmas-the time of year when we celebrate the birth of Christ, spread good cheer and hope Santa Claus brings us lots of presents-especially if you’re a kid.

 

Parragon Books Ltd. Has just released a quartet of holiday books that are sure to bring some cheer and joy.

 

‘Hello Christmas’ is a very special peek-a-boo book for babies and toddlers. 

 

Mom or dad flip through the pages that are filled with colorful holiday scenes as kids follow along. 

 

Page feature a small cut-out area that offer a peek-a-boo look at Santa, a reindeer, a Christmas tree, a polar bear, the moon, a star and a small boy on a sled.

 

Coinciding with the cut-outs on each page are cutout silhouettes of similar images on the top of each page.  Kids will love the clever text and holiday images.

 

‘Friendly Little Snowman’ is small, heavy, cardstock book complete with full-color, holiday illustrations following the holiday adventures of the friendly little snowman.

 

Smack dab in the middle of each page is a large die cut hole where an adorable finger puppet snowman pops out of.

 

Kids will squeal with delight as their parents read aloud the snowman’s adventure, watch the snowman finger puppet wiggle and delight as each page is turned.

 

Watch the snowman travels the countryside and visits with animal and human friends.

 

What would Christmas be without Santa Claus? 

 

In ‘Things You Never Knew About Santa Claus’ kids learn all about the jolly little elf, the North Pole, Santa’s elves and reindeer, what Santa does during his off times, what he eats, does for entertainment and much more.

 

Who knew that Santa was such a versatile guy?

 

Giles Paley Phillips and Rowan Martin provide the words and pictures and what words and picture they are!

 

holiday-tin.jpgFor the ultimate holiday fun pack, check out the ‘Holly Jolly Holiday Collector’s Tin’ a special container with a decorative paper ribbon.

 

Inside there’s all sorts of holiday goodies including three books (Happy Holiday Coloring, The Night Before Christmas and Best Christmas Ever Activity Book), over 50 stickers, four markers and a two-sided poster.

 

Kids can read, place stickers, color and enjoy the holidays with this clever and fun to do Christmas package.

 

wine-book.jpgFor those who enjoy a different type of holiday spirit comes the ‘Wine Gift & Book’ holiday package containing four holiday themed coasters, a wine pourer and a special ‘Wine’ book: ‘A guide to the world’s best vineyards and wines’.

 

Personally I don’t drink, but I’m sure there are those out there who will enjoy this special package celebrating the fruit of the vine.

 

When you get to be my age it is important to keep both your body and mind active-especially your mind.

 

That’s why I recommend that old folks read a lot, experience new things and do puzzles.

 

You heard right-puzzles.

 

What better way to keep your mind active, inquisitive and learning than by doing puzzles?

 

‘Marvelous Mixed Puzzles’ contains over 300 mind-benders, quizzes, challenges, word games of so many varieties that your brain won’t have time to stagnate.

 

My mind is boggled just by flipping through its pages.

 

Take the challenge, do puzzles today.  There’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment when you solve them.

 

 

5-titan-1117.jpg

Justice League, Star Trek,

Thor Ragnarok, Star Wars X 2

 

If you are a mass media, pop culture addict and nerd such as myself then you know who produces the best products.

 

When it comes to magazines about TV shows and movies Titan Magazines ranks as number one.

 

Each magazine they print (regardless of the subject matter) is of the highest quality, boasts superior editorial context and articles and showcases stunning photographs (both archival and current).

 

A lofty position to be sure.  But for all the years I’ve read Titan Magazines the more I am impressed by their consistent high standards.

 

Speaking as graphic designer who is well acquainted with magazine production I can testify it is no small feat to turn out a magazine, especially on a consistent, timely and with such high production values.

 

That being said I’d like to talk about five recently released Titan Magazines: two special one-shots and three bi-monthly publications.

 

‘Justice League The Official Collector’s Edition’ spotlights the new DC Comics movie recently released by Warner Bros.

 

What I found especially intriguing and interesting about Titan Magazine’s Justice League one-shot is that it goes far and beyond simple still photos and trivial fan boy fodder.

 

The magazine gets into the meat of the movie with cast interviews, exclusive and behind-the-scenes photos, concept art, pre and post production, character comic book and cinema histories and appearances, costume designs, set pieces and practical and visual effects.

 

It encompasses the entire making of the movie from concept to completion.  The art and photos are stunning and the text is compelling, easily urging the reader to read more.

 

Last year was the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, beginning with the original series.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere in Ursa Minor somewhere then you are aware of the whole Star Trek phenomenon.

 

In 2009 Star Trek was effectively reborn with the new ‘alternate timeline’ Star Trek Universe which became a big hit with Star Trek fans both old and new.

 

Every other month Titan Magazines publishes its ‘Star Trek’ magazine.

 

I hold issue #63 for November and Decembers in my hands.

 

In this issue the magazine examines the IDW Star Trek comic book series (plural), the recently launched Star Trek: Discovery TV series that re-introduced Star Trek to the small screen and brings pertinent Star Trek trivia and news to the reader.

 

Other articles visit Star Trek Las Vegas 2017, talks to Star Trek: Discovery’s Michael Burnham as played by actress Sonequa Martin-Green, examines Starfleet’s finest, visits the woman who saved Star Trek: Bjo Trimble, encounters the new Klingons, goes through the wormhole, revisits The Next Generation, talks Trek toys and much more.

 

The Marvel Cinema Universe took a decided different approach to its movies when it released Thor Ragnarok to cinemas.

 

While many of the classic Thor comic book elements are present the movie is funny and Thor is the chief kidder.

 

In Titan Magazines’ ‘Thor Ragnarok’ one-shot, readers enjoy ‘The Official Movie Special’ including exclusive photos and concept art.

 

Sporting a spectacular color cover the magazine talks to the key actors and actresses in the film, displays stunning art and photos (some never seen before), visits sets, examines key scenes and sequences, details computer generated effects and characters and offers insider information on how the film was made.

 

I especially enjoy reading about costume and character designs and looking at the end results, how vast vistas were created digitally and seamlessly melded into the film and the interplay between the characters-both good and bad.

 

The magazine offers the best look at the making of the film with so much information packed into its pages it will satisfy the reading requirements of the most die-hard of fans.

 

Star Wars-what more can be said about the ground-breaking film series.  Plenty if Titan Magazines’ ‘Star Wars Insider’ magazine has anything to say about it.

 

If I’m not mistaken Star Wars insider is the longest continually published pop culture/film magazine put out by Titan Publishing.

 

I have a number of the older issues and all are worth reading as are the two most recent issues numbers 176 and 177,

 

In #176 Star Wars Insider pays tribute to the women of Star Wars, both good and bad including Captain Phasma, Leia, Rose (in the upcoming film), Padme, Mon Mothma and many more.

 

There’s tons of new Star Wars merchandise to droll over including toys, books, etc, see how the Star Wars Rebels animated series is conceptualized and completed, watch how ILM paints alien landscapes, revisit Star Wars teaser trailers, and stroll along Artist Alley.

 

In issues #177, Star Wars Insider tells Luke Skywalker's story from child to adult, there’s two free Star Wars Destiny Cards included, game on with Star Wars Battle Front II and discover how legendary music composer John Williams brings new musical themes to each Star Wars film, encounter the villains of the last Jedi and like Star wars Insider magazines before it this issue showcases a plethora of Star Wars mechanize, insider info, cast sightings and much more.  It’s a veritable galaxy of Star Wars goodies.

 

If it’s about Star Wars then it’s in this and every issue of Star Wars Insider. 

 

TV1980s.jpgTelevision Series
Of The 1980s

 

Next to the 1960s my next favorite decade of TV shows was in the 1980s.

 

Classic shows like Magnum P.I., Murder She Wrote, Family Ties, Full House, Baywatch, The Golden Girls and dozens of other series lit up the small screen.

 

All were products of their times and are still popular to this day.  In fact, many of them have seen a resurgence of interess and a few have been reborn, albeit for the 21st century.

 

Author Vincent Terrace and Rowman & Littlefield, have assembled essential facts and quirky details about 1980s TV with their ‘Television Series Of The 1980s’.

 

If you’re a TV buff such as myself then you’re sure to love this awesome new book that goes into extensive detail (in alphabetical order) about ‘80s TV series.

 

Beside series' synopsis, the book lists directors, production personnel, character descriptions and backgrounds and every other tidbit of information about each and every show.

 

It’s a nostalgia buffs dream come true!

 

The 1980s was a great decade and love them or loath them the 198os TV series were a blast!

 

 

devils end.jpgThe Daemons Of Devil’s End

 

I’ve always found stories about witches lacking, the witches one-dimensional and the supernatural trappings predictable.

 

That is, until I read the short story compilation ‘The Daemons Of Devil’s End’ published by Telos Publishing.

 

The book centers on Olive Hawthorne, the witch introduced in the classic Doctor who TV episode ‘The Daemons’.

 

Olive Hawthorne is anything but a typical witch.  She’s clever, compassionate, inquisitive, does not boast of her abilities and above all is a protector.

 

In the book various authors offer stories of Olive’s past, her loves and losses, her familiar, pivotal and life-changing encounters with the supernatural-both good and bad and her steadfast determination to protect her little village: Devil’s End, from the dark forces.

 

I enjoyed reading each and every tale and I plan on watching the classic Doctor Who episode she premiered in along with her Reeltime Pictures drama production: White Witches Of Devil’s End.

 

star-trek-book-of-lists.jpgStar Trek The Book Of Lists

 

So you think you know all there is to know about Star Trek? You’re about to find out.

 

‘Star Trek The Book Of Lists’ compiled and written by Chip Carter and Published by Harper Design, features 100 lists of facts and trivia from the Star Trek TV series, movies and more (minus the recently launched Star Trek Discovery).

 

Immerse yourself in to the universe of Kirk, Spock, Picard, Sisko, Archer, Janeway and the hundreds of other Star Trek characters.

 

Learn details about the various stories, the Klingons and Romulans, techno-babble, planets societies—the lists go on and on.

 

What were Kirk’s most memorable kisses?  What does it mean to wear a red Starfleet shirt? Learn Klingon phrases. What famous historical figures appeared on the shows?  Learn all about some actresses and actors before they were famous.

 

There’s so much information, tidbits and behind-the-scenes goodies that it will take you here to Antares to read and digest them all.

 

It’s a Star Trek fan’s dream come true.  The book is packed with photos art, charts and even a section on Star Trek toys!

 

Boldly go where no Star Trek fan has gone before!

 

 

FSF734.jpgThe Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, #734, November/December

NOVELETS
Attachments
Carbo
Water God’s Dog
Racing The Rings Of Saturn
Whatever Comes After Calcutta

SHORT STORIES
Big Girl
By The Red Giant’s Light
Marley And Marley

POEMS
Down At The Goblin Boutique

NOVELLAS
StillBorne

DEPARTMENTS
Books to Look For
Musing On Books
Films: It’s A Wrap
Science: The Science Of Invisibility
Competition #94
Index To Volumes 132 & 133
Coming Attractions
Curiosities

CARTOONS
Danny Shanahan, bill Long, Nick Downes, Arthur Masear, S. Harris

COVER
Kent Bash For “Attachments”

 

Gettysburg and It Came From The Video Isle!

 

gettysburg.jpgBruce E. Mowday, G. Craig Caba and Schiffer Books present ‘J. Howard Wert’s Gettysburg A Collection Of The Relics From The Civil War’ book.

 

During the Civil War J. Howard Wert assisted the Union force during the Battle of Gettysburg.

 

As the battle raged and during its aftermath he collected and cataloged relics from the battle including weapons, furniture, uniforms, documents and other items to preserve for posterity.

 

For years after the conflict he continued to collect and catalog items eventually assembling the most impressive collection of memorabilia from that bloody battle.

 

The new book showcases the various items via color photographs and includes text about Wert, the battle and the Civil War.

 

It’s an engrossing and fascinating trek back in time that provides readers with a first-hand look at the battle that shaped the outcome of the Civil War.

 

it came.jpgCertainly not as old or historical as Gettysburg but important nonetheless is another book about history.

 

Long before the DVD or Blu-ray disc, the internet, Netflix or social media one small movie production company brought movie directly to the viewer n their home, bypassing the movie theaters.

 

Full Moon Features in the 1990s was the king of B-movies of sci-fi, fantasy and horror.

 

Dave Jay, William S Wilson and Torsten Dewi take you ‘Inside Charles Band’s Full Moon Entertainment Studio’ in 'It Came From The Video Isle!’.

 

The book tracks the history of the company from its early 1980s drive-in theater days, its cast and crew and also includes exclusive interviews.

 

Full movie synopses, behind-the-scenes tidbits and full color photos highlight the book that delves into the intriguing world of the B-movie as only Full Moon could do.

 

Cult movie enthusiasts will love the in-depth look at an industry giant in its heyday.

 

previews-november-2017.jpgPreviews, November

 

COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

Strangers In Paradise XVX #1 l ABSTRACT STUDIOS

Pestilence Volume 1 TP l AFTERSHOCK COMICS

Uber Volume 6 TP l AVATAR PRESS INC

Mech Cadet Yu Volume 1 TP l BOOM! STUDIOS

Planet of the Apes: Ursus #1 l BOOM! STUDIOS

Dejah Thoris #0 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

Battlestar Galactica Vs. Battlestar Galactica #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

Sailor Moon Volume 1 Eternal Edition SC l KODANSHA COMICS

Sci-Fu GN l ONI PRESS INC.

Devilman Vs. Hades Volume 1 GN l SEVEN SEAS ENTERTAINMENT LLC

Yokai Girls Volume 1 GN l SEVEN SEAS GHOST SHIP

Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch #1 l TITAN COMICS

Assassin’s Creed Origins #1 l TITAN COMICS

Mega Man Mastermix #1 l UDON ENTERTAINMENT INC

Ninjak Vs The Valiant Universe #1 l VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

RWBY GN l VIZ MEDIA LLC

 

gem-nov-2017.jpg

 

BOOKS

Marvel Black Panther: The Ultimate Guide HC l COMICS

Marvels Black Panther: Illustrated History of a King HC l COMICS

A Tribute To Mike Mignola’s Hellboy Show Catalogue SC l COMICS

DC Super Hero Girls: Harley Quinn at Super Hero High HC l COMICS YOUNG READERS

Justice League: The Joker & Harley Quinn’s Justice League Jailhouse l COMICS YOUNG

READERS

MAGAZINES

The Creeps #13 l HORROR

Brickjournal #50 l LEGO

Star Wars Insider #179 l STAR WARS

TRADING CARDS

Topps 2018 Heritage Baseball Trading Cards l TOPPS COMPANY

Topps 2018 Us Olympic & Paralympic Team & Hopefuls Trading Cards l TOPPS COMPANY

APPAREL

Doctor Who: Poster Art Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR

The Lord of the Rings: Eye of Sauron Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR

Wonder Woman: Red & Blue T-Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS

Batman: Hushhhhh by Jim Lee T-Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS

TOYS & STATUES

Rick & Morty Snowball Construction Set l MCFARLANE TOYS

Samurai Champloo: Mugen Statue l ANIME

One-12 Collective: DC: Ascending Knight Batman (Blue) Figure l DC HEROES

The Flash: The Flash Training With Oliver Polystone Bust l ICON HEROES

Star Wars: The Black Series: Force FX Lightsabers l STAR WARS

Overwatch: D.Va 20-Inch Statue l VIDEO GAMES

IMPORT TOYS

Marvel Universe: The Punisher Fine Art Statue l KOTOBUKIYA

Star Wars

The Dark Crystal Board Game l ALC STUDIO

Doctor Who Fluxx Card Game l LOONEY LABS

Munchkin Collectible Card Game Starter Sets l STEVE JACKSON GAMES

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Heroclix: Unplugged l WIZKIDS/NECACoco and Frozen

: Emperor Palpatine & Royal Guard Artfx+ Statue Pack l KOTOBUKIYA

Wonder Woman Hero Edition Nendoroid l DC HEROES

Movie Realization Star Wars Action Figures l STAR WARS

Godzilla Kaiju 8-Inch Scale Action Figures l GODZILLA

Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla S.H.Monsterarts Figure l GODZILLA

Dragon Ball: Kid Goku S.H.Figuarts l DRAGON BALL

Manga Realization Marvel: Samurai Captain America Figure l MARVEL HEROES

Bioshock: Big Daddy & Little Sister 1/6-Scale Figure l VIDEO GAMES

Bloodborne: Hunter Figma l VIDEO GAMES

COLLECTIBLES & NOVELTIES

Marvel: Stark Industries Welcome Pack Vinyl Decal l MARVEL HEROES

Marvel: Gwenpool PVC Bust Bank l MARVEL HEROES

Marvel Heroes 2017 SDCC Figural Keyring 3-Pack l MARVEL HEROES

DC Heroes: Aquaman Vinyl Decal l DC HEROES

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Halloween Town & Oogies Boys Vinyl Decal l DISNEY

GAMES

The Dark Crystal Board Game l ALC STUDIO

Doctor Who Fluxx Card Game l LOONEY LABS

Munchkin Collectible Card Game Starter Sets l STEVE JACKSON GAMES

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Heroclix: Unplugged l WIZKIDS/NECACoco and Frozen

 

coco-1.jpg

Coco and Frozen

 

Oh yeah!  I know some nephews, nieces and grandkids that are going to love the new selection of kids’ books I just received from Parragon!

 

I am about to become a very popular uncle and grandpa!

 

To make things even more exciting all five books are about Disney characters: one fan favorite and one new up-and-coming movie character.  First things first.

 

Kids love to color and use stickers.

 

coco-2.jpgIn ‘Little Snowman Big Adventures’ everyone’s favorite wacky snowman: Olaf from Frozen, stars in his very own adventure complete with over 30 stickers and puzzles, coloring pages and a set of four crayons with a crayon keeper.

 

This colorful combination is sure to be a hit with kids.  

 

Beautifully illustrated, with clever puzzles and one whole page of full-color stickers, makes the entire package a winter wonderland of fun.

 

Speaking of sticker and coloring fun, ‘Coco Always Remembers’ and ‘Coco Friends Forever’ are two new fun-filled books based on the new Coco computer-animated film from Disney and Pixar.

 

Based on the Mexican celebration of ‘The Day Of The Dead’ the film finds Coco reunited with his deceased ancestors in the afterlife.

 

Far from a ‘dead’ story, the film is an exhilarating celebration of life, family love and devotion.

 

Coco Always Remembers is a fun coloring book with four crayons and a holder.

 

Kids can color the black and white inspired ‘Land Of The Dead’ pages and add a little color to bring them to life.

 

I especially love the design of the crayon holder with skull shape accented by red, blue, yellow and purple.

 

For even more coloring fun along with activities, puzzles and stickers Coco Friends Forever immediately grabs your attention with its gold accented color cover, four pages of colorful stickers, full-color Coco story where kids match the stickers to the story, intricate and detailed coloring pages and challenging activities.

 

There’s nothing ‘dead’ about this book!

 

coco-3.jpgThe stunning silver cover accented by full-color illustration cover of ‘Coco Sing Your Song’ book is a real treasure.

 

Not only can kids sing Miguel’s songs they can also punch out their own skull masks, sketch, create a family tree, keep a journal, keep special notes and draw, draw, draw!

 

Now this is the kind of sketchbook I wish I had had when I was a kid!  What a wonderful way to stir a child’s imagination, organizational skills and writing and drawing talent.

 

Last, but certainly not least, is ‘Coco Mosaic Sticker By Numbers’.  This book is literally bursting with stickers and color. 

 

Of the four Coco books this is my favorite. 

 

Inside are colorful pieces of various mosaics. Kids use the pieces and match them up with the color illustrations inside. 

 

Once done they have wonderful mosaics worthy of putting on display and showing their friends and family.

 

Besides looking awesome the book is a great teaching tool for kids encouraging them to use their cognitive skills while they use the number pieces to match correctly where they go on what particular drawing.

 

Matching, counting and dexterity are all tested in a fun and exciting book that is guaranteed to keep kids’ attention while they play and learn.

 

All five of the books reviewed make for fun and exciting playtime and kids learn all sorts of skills without even realizing it.  Now that’s a great way to learn!

 

House Stark Direwolf 3D Mask & Wall Mount.jpg

House Stark Direwolf

 

The Game Of Thrones HBO TV series is wildly popular.  Legions of fans are glued to their TV screens when each episode airs.

 

The fantasy based TV series is resplendent with court intrigue, deceit, manipulations, wars, secret alliances, ghoulies, monsters and of course—dragons!

 

Carlton Books presents the ‘Game Of Thrones House Stark Direwolf 3D Mask & Wall Mount’ that brings the world of the coming Winter to life.

 

Designed by Wintercroft, the book contains an easy-to-assemble 3D House Stark Direwolf Mask & Wall Mount.

 

Beautifully illustrated push-out pieces make assembly quick and easy.

 

Wear or display it, the choice is yours.

 

Full instructions are included with the lavishly designed, slipcase book with silver ink trim and type and special backboard wall mount.

 

close encounters.jpgClose Encounters Of The Third Kind

 

Hot off his huge success directing JAWS for Universal Studios, director Steven Spielberg tackled science fiction with his next film: ‘Close Encounters Of The Third Kind’.

 

The movie is one of my all-time favorites and for good reason(s).

 

A brilliant script, stellar acting, spectacular visual and practical effects and a compelling sense of wonder made the film a huge hit and endeared itself to millions of movie-goers and is a considered a movie masterpiece and classic even today.

 

It, along with the Star Wars franchise, refashioned and revitalized the sci-fi film genre and helped define the ‘blockbuster’ phenomenon.

 

Harper Design proudly presents its deluxe, hardbound book commemorating the classic film with its ‘Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: The Ultimate Visual History’.

 

If you’re a fan of the film or sci-fi films in general then this book is sure to satiate your behind-the-scenes appetite.

 

Inside the impressive book are special, tipped-in ‘extras’ full-color, two page spreads, photographs, artwork and much more describing and chronicling the film.

 

Look for a complete script breakdown, the cast selection, costumes, sets, location filming, special visual and practical effects, miniatures, pre and post production behind-the-scenes photos, commentaries from cast and crew and any and everything that had to do with the film’s production.

 

It is the ‘ultimate’ compilation of facts, photos and personal recollections and a heartfelt tribute to many creative and imaginative minds behind the phenomenal film.

 

It is movie-making magic all wrapped up in a wonderful, hardbound book bulging with information and visual stimuli that will fascinate the most diehard film fanatic.

 

alienmanual.jpgU.S.C.M. ALIEN

 

The Alien movie franchise is one of the most successful, and lucrative, film series ever produced and filmed.

 

While some of the films have been less received by moviegoers more than others, the franchise is alive and well and promises to add more to its impressive roster of terrifying films.

 

Carlton Books knows a good thing when it sees it and has compiled a sort of ‘survival guide’ should you ever have the misfortune of running into one of the nasty critters.

 

The ‘U.S.C.M. Alien Augmented Reality Survival Manual’ that goes into exhaustive detail about the deadly Xenomorphs.

 

Included in the manual are a complete history of the planetary, ship and space station encounters with the Aliens, weapons used, equipment deployed, spaceships, spacesuits and personnel.

 

Each variation and adaptation of the Alien spawn is analyzed, and examined thoroughly using photos, internal and external capabilities and encounter procedures and safeguards.

 

Also included is a fully augmented reality exercise coupled with a download version of the simulation.

 

The beautifully illustrated and photographed hardbound book is the perfect resource for survival should one encounter such a beast in a variety of situations and scenarios.

 

heroes and villains.jpgHeroes & Villains

 

Who exactly are cosplayers?

 

Cosplayers are fans of movies, TV shows, comic books, literary characters, Anime, Manga, toys and video games who love to dress up and pretend they’re their favorite characters in each genre.

 

What started out as simple expressions of creativity within a small group of fans has blossomed to a huge following with literally hundreds, If not thousands, of cosplayers attending conventions and various events.

 

One of the biggest conventions is the New York Comicon and cosplay is huge there, as gigantic as NYC itself.

 

Smith Street Books/Rizzoli and writer Andrew Boyle present a small, thick, hardbound book called: ‘Heroes & Villains: A Photographic Odyssey Into The Fantastic World Of Cosplay’.

 

Inside readers are treated to cull-color photos of cosplayers dressed up as their favorite superheroes, super villains, video game characters, movie persona and just about every type imaginable of pop culture characters.

 

Accompanying the photos are interviews and quotes from the cosplayers themselves (many of whom make cosplaying a lifetime occupation).

 

Visually mind-boggling the book is a gallery of costumes by fans whose creativity and imaginations knows no bounds. 

 

how_to_draw_and_paint_anatomy_5.jpgHow To Draw And Paint Anatomy

 

When I was teaching drawing at a local high school perhaps the most challenging and often frustrating thing young artists faced was anatomy.

 

Whether it was human or animal, drawing and understanding the mechanics of anatomy is far more than just drawing pretty pictures.

 

I told my students that the best way to draw humans or animals is to start from the inside out.  As an artist you MUST know how the muscles and bones work in animals and humans.

 

It’s difficult to find a book that offers good examples and advice on how to draw anatomy.

 

I found one.  Fox Chapel Publishing’s ‘How To Draw And Paint Anatomy’ is an excellent guide on creating life-life humans and realistic animals on paper or canvas.

 

Besides step-by-step instructions on drawing anatomy from head-to-toe the book provides excellent examples of realistic and fantasy drawings and paintings.

 

It’s far more than a book on dry and stagnant poses; it is a vibrant, dynamic compilation of examples that teach artists how to breathe life into their human or animal renderings.

 

A DVD is also included with instructions and demonstrations.  It’s a great two-in-one combination for new and veteran artists to use when drawing or painting.

 

beatles memorabilia.jpgbeatleschanged.jpg

The Beatles X 2

 

The Fab Four, The Moptop Quartet and The British Teenyboppers: regardless of how they were referred to The Beatles was the band that completely changed the face of Rock and Roll music in the 1960s.

 

Individual members of the band would transform and influence music for decades after that.  In fact, the two remaining members still shape modern music.

 

Liverpool hometown boys Ringo, Paul, John and George started out as a group of youngsters who got together to play their favorite music.

 

From their humble beginnings the boys behind The Beatles would gain worldwide fame and influence generations to come.

 

Carlton Books presents a duo of Fab Four books that look at the phenomenon of The Beatles and much of the Pop Culture memorabilia so sought after by Beatles’ fans today.

 

Author Terry Burrows examines in great detail ‘The Band That Changed The World’ in ‘The Beatles’.

 

Complementing the detailed text the book includes black and white and full-color photos and document reproductions that chronicle the group’s beginning to the individual member’s work after the breakup of The Beatles.

 

It’s a visual time capsule of a Pop Culture phenomenon and the decade that changed the world.

 

Beatles’ fans clamor for anything associated with the group.  Clothing, documents, toys, literature and a plethora of other Beatles associated with or own by properties garner huge amounts of money at auctions, private collections and online.

 

In ‘Beatles Memorabilia’, The Julian Lennon Collection is showcased.

 

Gold records, original art and animation art, musical instruments, clothing, song lyrics, personal items and much more make up the collection that includes not only John Lennon items but pieces from all the other members of The Beatles.

 

Each piece is accompanied by a text piece detailing the importance and relevance of each item. The book is a ‘must-have’ item for any Beatles memorabilia collector.

 

 

gnomeroam.jpgMy Gnome
On The Roam

 

There’s no place (or person) like Gnome!  Gnome is where the heart is.  Gnome, Gnome on the range.  OK, OK, I’ll stop.

 

Everybody likes Gnomes.  You see them in people's yards and gardens, hidden in secret, forest Gnome homes and populating children’s literature.

 

They’re funny, little, pointy-hat, miniature humanoids that are mischievous, hard-working, sometimes grumpy but always adorable.

 

Join ‘My Gnome On The Roam’ with its ‘Family Adventure Kit’ that offers a suitcase of memories waiting to be unpacked!

 

I was curious when I received my Family Adventure Pack.  I wasn’t sure what it was.

 

gnome kid.jpgI opened up the latched, sandy-brown suitcase and the only thing I spotted were some crinkled-up, shreds of paper.

 

Wait a minute! Is this some kind of joke?

 

Shifting aside the shredded paper I discovered a Gnome Notebook/Journal and Anne Armstrong’s hardbound book appropriately entitled ‘My Gnome On The Roam’ featuring a Gnome adventure in text complemented by black and white and full-color Gnome art. 

 

Also included was an adorable Gnome figurine ready to paint, a rustic, tree limb Pencil, a Gnome Travel Tag and an Adventure Kit Booklet filled with suggestions for filling out my own Gnome adventures each day. 

 

It’s a quirky, creative cache of Gnome fun perfect for young (and the young at heart) adventurers.  To know a Gnome is to love a Gnome.

 

how comics work by dave gibbons.jpgHow Comics Work

 

I first encountered the comic book art of Dave Gibbons back in the mid-1980s.

 

He was a part of DC Comics’ British Isles creative talent import program. 

 

Having established a good reputation as an artist in his native land, the DC editorial staff took notice of said talent and asked him to use his talent for DC Comics.

 

The first work I saw that he produced for DC was taking over the pencils chores of DC’s Green Lantern series.

 

From there he would go on to pencil a plethora of fill-in and one-shot titles for DC.

 

Not long after he teamed up with another British import: writer Alan Moore, and they collaborated on what is considered the best superhero series ever created: Watchmen.

 

Dave would then go on to other projects for DC and other publishers: most notably the Frank Miller Dark Horse series starring Martha Washington.

 

Gibbons has expanded his creative venue by adding inking, plotting, scripting and every other aspect of creating comic books.

 

Once such project is his comic master class where he teaches about the creation of comic books.

 

Gibbons and comic book expert Tim Pilcher have combined their considerable talents to publish the ultimate ‘how-to’ of comic book creation with ‘How Comics Work’ published by Wellfleet Press/Quarto.

 

I’ve read and studied a huge amount of books on how to produce comic books and I have to say that this is the best one so far.

 

Gibbons has opened up his archive of original comic book art and using it he demonstrates all facets of how to create comic books.

 

While the book primarily consists of his work there are examples of other artists, inkers, colorists, letterers and writers works included along with several tributes.

 

For a real ‘back to the basics’ and 'meat and bones’ approach to creating comic books this book delivers.

 

From story plots, scripts, sketches, designs for characters, vehicles, etc, inking, word balloon placement, lettering, coloring, cover designs and so much more this book goes into exhaustive detail.

 

It is a visual treat that delves into the process by which comic books are created.

 

I suggest that anyone considering entering the comic book field read and study this book from cover to cover.

 

Switheart.jpgSwitheart

 

Besides being an award-winning actress, singer and entertainer Loretta Swit (forever known as Hot Lips in the M.A.S.H. TV series) is also an accomplished watercolor artist and well-known and respected animal rights activist.

 

In ‘Switheart’ published by Ultimate Symbol, and designed and edited by Mies Hora, Loretta’s watercolor paintings and drawings and love of animals are put on full display.

 

Inside the book the actress shares her love of animals, including rescue animals and her own pets and offers personal, heartfelt memories of her life as an animal activist.

 

Besides animal renderings, Ms. Swit also shares several photos of her plant watercolors and several archival photos of herself and her many animal encounters.

 

It’s a very personal book by a very private person whose love of animals and her long struggle to save and protect our furry, feathered, scaled and finny friends.

 

There is also a wonderful homage to her fellow cast and crew members from M.A.S.H.

 

Book proceeds will be donated to charities and programs that are   dedicated to ending animal suffering and cruelty.

 

collecting-history.jpgThis Day In
Collecting History

 

It seems these days that everyone is collecting.  Big or small objects, cheap or expensive, rare or commonplace-almost anything is collectible.

 

But what about the truly rare and expensive items?  Every day of every year someone discovers, buys or sells one of a kind or limited in number antiques, memorabilia and art objects.

 

A plethora of TV shows, websites, blogs, videos, literature, stores, auction houses, clubs and more about collecting are everywhere.

 

Never in the history of collecting have so many avenues for collecting been available.

 

Authors Michael A. and Marla K. McLeod have compiled a wonderful new book called ‘This Day In Collecting History’, published by Schiffer Books, that breaks down collectible treasures sold on each day of the year.

 

Spanning back decades the book chronicles incredible memorabilia and treasures that were sold for small and large fortunes on specific days of the year.

 

Three hundred and sixty five days of treasures are showcased with full color and archival photos accompanied by informative text.  Everything from movie memorabilia, sports items, furniture, art and dozens of other antique and collectible genres are represented.

 

It’s a fascinating book that provides hours of reading and viewing pleasure.  You may even learn something along the way.

 

previews-oct-2017.jpgPreviews, October

 

COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

Terry Moore 25th-Anniversary Sketchbook: 8,800 Days of Blondes & Brunette ‑ ABSTRACT STUDIOS

Hero Cats Volume 1 HC ‑ ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT

Babyteeth Volume 1 TP ‑ AFTERSHOCK COMICS

Casper and Wendy #1 ‑ AMERICAN MYTHOLOGY PRODUCTIONS

Klaus and the Crisis in Xmasville #1 ‑ BOOM! STUDIOS

Rocko’s Modern Life #1 Main ‑ BOOM! STUDIOS

Belladonna: Fire and Fury #1 ‑ BOUNDLESS COMICS

Barbarella #1 ‑ D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

Grumpy Cat/Garfield HC ‑ D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

Superb Volume 1: Life after the Fallout TP ‑ LION FORGE

Kim Reaper Volume 1: Grim Beginnings TP ‑ ONI PRESS INC.

Under #1 ‑ TITAN COMICS

Robotech #5 ‑ TITAN COMICS

Justice League: The Art of the Film HC ‑ TITAN COMICS

Quantum & Woody #1 ‑ VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

Shiver: Junji Ito HC ‑ VIZ MEDIA LLC

Splatoon Volume 1 GN ‑ VIZ MEDIA LLC

So I’m A Spider… So What? Volume 1 GN ‑ YEN PRESS

 

gem-oct-2017.jpg

 

BOOKS

In The Night Studio: Illustration After Dark by Dan Brereton ‑ ART BOOKS

Joe Sinnott: Embellishing Life HC ‑ ART BOOKS

Batman: Nightwalker HC ‑ COMICS YOUNG READERS

The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi HC ‑ STAR WARS

 

MAGAZINES

Cartoons Magazine #12 ‑ CARTOONS

Fantasm Presents #1 ‑ HORROR

007 Magazine Presents: Exhibitors Pressbooks Volume 2 ‑ MOVIE/TV

 

TRADING CARDS

Topps 2018 Baseball Series 1 Trading Cards ‑ TOPPS COMPANY

 

APPAREL

Doctor Who: Cybermen Evolution Black T-Shirt ‑ PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR

Judge Dredd: Many Faces of Dredd Black T-Shirt ‑ PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR

 

TOYS & STATUES

Marvel Premier Collection: Deadpool Statue ‑ DIAMOND SELECT TOYS & COLLECTIBLES

DC Super Powers Collection: The Joker Maquette ‑ DC HEROES

One-12 Collective: DC: Ascending Knight Batman Figure ‑ DC HEROES

One-12 Collective: Marvel: Spider-Man Homecoming Figure ‑ MARVEL HEROES

Guardians of the Galaxy Legends Gear: Star-Lord Helmet ‑ MARVEL HEROES

Thor Legends 6-Inch Action Figures ‑ MARVEL HEROES

Thor Legends Gear: Electronic Hammer ‑ MARVEL HEROES

Captain America Civil War: Captain America 1/4-Scale Figure ‑ MARVEL HEROES

Marvel: Deadpool 1/2-Scale Figure ‑ MARVEL HEROES

Marvel: Deadpool “X-Force Costume” 1/4-Scale Figure ‑ MARVEL HEROES

Cinemachines Blade Runner 2049 6-Inch Spinner Vehicles ‑ MOVIE/TV

Power Rangers Legacy: MMPR Green Ranger Helmet ‑ POWER RANGERS

POP! Rides Marvel: Classic Ghost Rider With Bike Figure – FUNKO

 

IMPORT TOYS

Justice League Movie: Wonder Woman S.H.Figuarts ‑ DC HEROES

Dimension of Dragonball: Super Saiyan 4 Goku PVC Figure ‑ DRAGONBALL Z

Star Wars: A New Hope: Millennium Falcon 1/72-Scale Model Kit ‑ MOVIE/TV

Predator 2: Stalker Predator 1/18-Scale Figure ‑ PREDATOR

Predator 2: Lost Predator 1/18-Scale Figure ‑ PREDATOR

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon 1/6-Scale Figure ‑ THREEA/THREEZERO

 

COLLECTIBLES & NOVELTIES

Justice League Movie Laser Cut Figural Keyrings ‑ DC HEROES

Kong Inflatable Costume ‑ MOVIE/TV

 

GAMES

Candy Land: My Little Pony Movie Board Game ‑ HASBRO TOY GROUP

Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers Infinity ‑ WIZKIDS/NECA

Marvel Heroclix: X-Men First Class ‑ WIZKIDS/NECA

 

beastsrockmusic.jpg

Beast, Rock and Music

 

Beasts: mythological, magical, fictional and real-humanity has always been fascinated by beasts.  They permeate our culture, legends, mass media and imaginations.

 

Books, movies, TV shows, poems, tall tales-it seems we humans are always trying to explain the unexplainable.

 

Ancient man relegated natural phenomenon they did not understand to beasts, Medieval times were filled will tales of winged serpents spouting fire, no matter the terrain, location or weather conditions, beasts have always been present, even it was only within our  collective imaginations.

 

In Carlton Books’ ‘The Fantastical World Of Beasts’ mythical creatures and ferocious beasts are given their due with lust, full-color illustrations, elaborate twin page layouts featuring artifacts, tools of the trade, first-hand accounts and fascinating facts and flights of fancy.

 

Beautifully illustrated from cover to cover the book is a masterpiece of design and quickly draws the reader into the world of beasts where imaginations run wild and fantasy comes alive.

 

Rock and Roll fans often talk about the formative years of R&R during the 1950s and the counter-culture explosion of the 1960s.

 

But, speaking from experience and a first-hand account I can testify that the 1970s was the most turbulent, inventive, momentous and awe-inspiring decade of R&R.

 

From Folk Rock, Soft Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Country Rock, Disco, Heavy Metal, Punk Rock, Soul, Rap and a dozens of other forms of R&R and music genres, the 1970s saw an explosion of creative outpouring.

 

For a complete story of a momentous musical decade be sure to pick up a copy of ‘Uncut Presents History Of Rock In The 1970s’.

 

Just a few of the remarkable musicians mentioned are CS&N, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, The Rolling stones, Led Zeppelin and Neil Young-the list goes on and on.

 

Candid black and white and color photos are complemented by indebt biographies of the artists and the influence their music had on the music scene.

 

First-hand accounts, historical footnotes and insider sneak peeks chronicle what is considered the most ground-breaking and all encompassing era of modern music.

 

Considered one of the best, if not the best, movie musical ever produced, ‘The Sound Of Music, starring Julie Andrews is still a favorite over a half a century since its premiere.

 

In ‘The Sound Of Music Family Scrapbook’ join writer Fred Bronson as he invites readers to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the legendary musical.

 

Cast and crew provide personal photographs and memorabilia from the film, loving recreated in a spectacular book that delves into the movie masterpiece.

 

Photos, notes, production stills and instructions, costume fittings, marketing material, call sheets, autographs and much, much more are accompanied by up-close–and personal, first-hand accounts of the making of the film along with pivotal moments, cast and crew insider recollections and even music scores.

 

The hills may be alive with The Sound Of Music, but this book is filled with the magic behind the sounds.

 

 

weird war.jpgEncyclopedia Of
Weird War Stories

 

What is it about weird happenings, objects, people, stories and the like that fascinate us?

 

Weird stuff about wars or any unusual military phenomenon is especially appealing to our imaginations, ponderings and analysis.

 

Author Paul Green’s new book, from McFarland & Company Inc., Publishers:  ‘Encyclopedia Of Weird War Stories’ offers readers of the macabre, horror, science fiction and fantasy a plethora of weirdness to satisfy the most intuitive of minds.

 

Whether it’s supernatural, unexplained, myth, legend or just plain made up, the stories and tales contained in this book cover every sort of mass media genre imaginable.

 

Books, comic books, pulp magazines, film, TV, games and much more are covered in exhaustive detail complete with a smattering of art and photos.

 

If it’s weird, if it’s war and if they somehow intermingle then you’ve come to the right place.  It’s so weird—it’s wonderful!

 

As a comic book collector I especially found that particular reference fascinating, especially since there was at one point a comic book called: ‘Weird War Tales”.

 

 

FSF733.jpgThe Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, #733, September/October

NOVELETS
Leash on a Man

The Hermit of Houston

Children af Xanadu       

 

SHORT STORIES

Evil Opposite   

We Are Born    

Tasting Notes on the Varietals of the Southern Coast     

The Care of House Plants

On Highway 18 

Hollywood Squid

Still Tomorrow's Going to Be Another Working Day

Bodythoughts

Riddle

The Two Choice Foxtrot of Chapham County

Starlight Express

 

DEPARTMENTS

Books to Look For

Books

Science: Vanishing Act

Films: On Finding Her Inner Kaiju

Coming Attractions

Curiosities

 

CARTOONS

Danny Shanahan, Nick Downes, Arthur Masear, S. Harris

 

COVER

Maurizio Manzieri for "Starlight Express"

 

the world of james bond.jpgThe World Of James Bond

 

To most James Bond the British Super Spy is someone they’ve seen at the movies.

 

To the older generation James Bond was the literary creation of writer Ian Fleming that sprung to life in the 1950s.

 

James Bond books rocketed to popularity when President John Kennedy mentioned that the James Bond novels were some his favorite reading material.

 

When the first James Bond movie came out in the early 1960s, starring Sean Connery as the suave spy, the movie became a big hit overseas and an even bigger sensation in the United States.

 

From that point on James Bond became an institution known around the world.

 

Author Jeremy Black examines the literary and big screen adventures of Bond in his new book, The World Of James Bond’ published by Rowman & Littlefield.

 

In his book the author delves how the James Bond books and films reflected the times they were released in.

 

The Cold War, the sexual revolution, the drug culture, the counter-culture-all of the changes and events that shaped the decades are intertwined with the James Bond legacy.

 

Class, race, gender, changing social norms, and other events and phenomenon of the times are all represented in one form or another in the Bond literary and film releases. 

 

As times changed, Bond changed.  Nowhere is that more evident than with the various actors that portrayed Bond.  Each represented a certain aspect of Bond intricately linked with the time the Bond films were released.

 

Bond himself transformed from a hard-nosed assassin to womanizer to partnering with women that were his equal then to a back to hard-edged killer.

 

From Connery to Craig, James Bond has evolved and adapted to fit the times and promises to do so for another 50 years.

 

human-body-noms-nums-yellow-sumarine.jpg

Num Noms, PJ Masks,

Human Body and Yellow Submarine

 

From Parragon Books Ltd., and its various imprints, come five new books that are sure to keep kids of all ages excited and motivated to read and learn.

 

To show you how out of touch I am with the current kid craze of collectibles I’ve never even heard of the Num Noms until I saw a selection of the toy figures at a local store and spotted the ‘Num Noms Collector’s Guide’ amongst Parragon’s book selection.

 

Intrigued, I did a little research and discovered that Num Noms are lovable little creatures (over 300!) that are based on sweets, candy and pastry.

 

What kid wouldn’t like that!?  I know I would have when I was a kid, if such a collection existed.  Play and get sweets!  Come on!  No brainer!

 

The ‘Collector’s Guide offers full details on over 300 Num Noms that ‘Smell so delicious!’

 

Another kid’s pop culture phenomenon I am unfamiliar with is the animated adventures of the ‘PJ Masks’

 

Evidentially three kids, dressed in PJs, are superheroes who fight all sorts of wild and wacky adversaries while encouraging kids to learn and create things

 

In the ‘PJ Masks Tin’ kids get a chockful of fun with PJ Masks’ books (3), 4 markers, a poster and over 50 stickers.

 

Kids get to read some cool adventures, color and put stickers, everywhere! Sounds like fun to me.

 

One thing I do know about is the human body.  As an artist and designer I studied anatomy and I am very familiar with how the body works.

 

When I taught my high school students they would sit in awe as I explained the intricacies and wonders of the human body-especially the skeletal and muscular systems.

 

In ‘Factivity Your Amazing Body’ small children learn all about the various functions, systems and organs of the human body provided by easy to comprehend facts and 80 cool flaps that hide some pretty cool additional facts when opened.

 

For the slightly older child/student ‘Discovery Kids Human Body’ offers a much more comprehensive, lavishly illustrated book that allows kids to see how the body works from head to toe.

 

From the microscopic scale to entire body systems the book provides extensive information that budding scientists, teachers and medical professionals will find fascinating.

 

‘In the town where I was born

Lived a man who sailed to sea

And he told us of his life

In the land of submarines

 

So we sailed up to the sun

Till we found the sea of green

And we lived beneath the waves

In our yellow submarine

 

We all live in a yellow submarine

Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

We all live in a yellow submarine

Yellow submarine, yellow submarine’

 

As a child of the 1960s The Beatles had a great influence on my life.

 

The Beatles breakout, controversial and trend-setting animated film: Yellow Submarine’ introduced to the mainstream the psychedelic world of The Beatles and their mind-altering lyrics.

 

Crayola presents an oversize ‘The Beatles Yellow Submarine Color By Numbers’ book that will thrill both young and old with its classic images from the film. 

 

For those who need a little help on what colors to use a helpful gallery of full-color images of each page is presented.

 

Color each page; remove them from the book and viola! you have the perfect Yellow Submarine art gallery!

 

previews-september-2017.jpgPreviews, September


COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

Comic Shop Tales Book 1: Grand Opening l PREVIEWS PUBLICATIONS

The Harcourt Legacy #1 l ACTION LAB - DANGER ZONE

Brilliant Trash #1 l AFTERSHOCK COMICS

Underdog 1975 l AMERICAN MYTHOLOGY PRODUCTIONS

Kong of the Planet of the Apes #1 l BOOM! STUDIOS

Fence #1 l BOOM! STUDIOS

Jungle Fantasy Survivors #7 l BOUNDLESS COMICS

James Bond: Solstice One-Shot l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

The Shadow/Batman #2 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

Fantagraphics Studio Edition: Charles Burns’ Black Hole HC l FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS

Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Volume 1 l KODANSHA COMICS

The Altered History Of Willow Sparks Gn l ONI PRESS INC.

Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini #1 l TITAN COMICS

Quarry’s War #1 l TITAN COMICS

Doctor Radar #1 l TITAN COMICS

Street Fighter Vs. Darkstalkers Volume 1 TP l UDON ENTERTAINMENT INC

Ninja-K #1 l VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

The Children of Whales Volume 1 GN l VIZ MEDIA LLC

 

gem-september-2017.jpg

 

BOOKS

Jamie Hewlett: Inside The Mind of Jamie Hewlett HC l ART BOOKS

Spectrum Art Book 24 SC/HC l ART BOOKS

The Art of Harley Quinn HC l COMICS

Marvel’ Black Widow: Creating The Avenging Super-Spy HC l COMICS

MAGAZINES

The Creeps #12 l HORROR

Star Trek Magazine: Discovery Special l STAR TREK

Star Wars Episode VIII Collector’s Edition Magazine l STAR WARS

Star Wars Insider 2018 Special l STAR WARS

TRADING CARDS

Bowman 2017 Draft Baseball Trading Cards l TOPPS COMPANY

Topps 2017 Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trading Cards l STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

APPAREL

Marvel: Defender Squares Black Heather T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR

Army of Darkness: Ash Amber Ale Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR

Buckaroo Banzai: Overthruster Album Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR

Buckaroo Banzai Institute Hoodie Black l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR

Justice League: Batman Symbol T-Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS

TOYS & STATUES

Marvel Premier Collection: Moon Knight Statue l DIAMOND SELECT TOYS & COLLECTIBLES

Recoil Live-Action Role-Play Weapons l ACTION/ADVENTURE

DC Super Powers Collection: Supergirl Maquette l DC HEROES

Marvel Knights 6-Inch Legends Action Figures l MARVEL HEROES

Marvel Spider-Gwen Statue By Phantom City Creative l MARVEL HEROES

Transformers Generations: Trypticon Action Figure l TRANSFORMERS

Spyro the Dragon: Spyro 15-Inch Statue l VIDEO GAMES

Thor Ragnarok Mystery Minis l FUNKO

IMPORT TOYS

Marvel Universe: Cooking Deadpool ArtFX+ Statue l KOTOBUKIYA

DC Universe: Robin & Bat-Hound ArtFX+ Statue l KOTOBUKIYA

Gigantic Series: Godzilla by Yuji Sakai Figure l GODZILLA

Game of Thrones: Winter Is Here Titans Mini-Figures l GAME OF THRONES

Overwatch: Mercy “Classic Skin” Nendoroid l NENDOROIDS

DC Comics: Justice League: Batman S.H.Figuarts l DC HEROES

DC Comics Play Arts Kai: Harley Quinn by Tetsuya Nomura Figure l DC HEROES

2000AD Titans: Judge Dredd Vinyl Figure l JUDGE DREDD

Ghostbusters: Stay Puft 400% Bearbrick l KUBRICKS & BEARBRICKS

Spider-Man Homecoming EAA-052: Iron Man Mark 47 Figure l MARVEL HEROES

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Krang Polystone Figure l TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

COLLECTIBLES & NOVELTIES

The Hulk Desktop Figural Business Card Holder l MARVEL HEROES

Twin Peaks: Owl Enamel Keychain l MOVIE/TV

Twin Peaks: Nameplate Enamel Lapel Pin l MOVIE/TV

Spider-Man: Homecoming Adult Fabric Cowl Mask l SPIDER-MAN

GAMES

Modern AGE RPG: Basic Rulebook HC l GREEN RONIN PUBLISHING

Starfinder Pawns: Alien Archive Pawn Box l PAIZO INC

Marvel Codenames Board Game l USAOPOLY

DC Dice Masters: Harley Quinn Starter Set l WIZKIDS/NECAWhat Was That All About!

 

 

 

what-was-that-all-about-zits.jpgWhat Was

That All About!

 

Why is that all of us at one time in our lives are/or will be teenagers and yet when we grow up and have kids of our own and they become teenagers we are completely baffled by them?

 

Speaking as a parent of two kids: one boy and one girl, who (thankfully are grown up) I dealt with teenagers.  I even taught high school so I dealt with a plethora of teenagers of all temperaments and types.

 

Teenagers are confusing, compulsive, contradictory in their behavior, sometimes callous and always, always, a conundrum.

 

And yet they can be the most loving, caring, thoughtful and compassionate people at times.  They drive you crazy!

 

For 20 years Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman have examined, sweat over and portrayed teenagers with all their foibles, faults and strengths in their awesome ‘Zits’ comic strip.

 

The star of the strip: Jeremy Duncan, is the perfect vehicle by which Scott and Borgman were, and are, able to demonstrate the complexity and contradictions of a typical teenager.

 

Join Jeremy and his friends as they confuse their parents, confound their teachers and offer insight into the minds of teenagers.

 

In ‘What Was That All About?’ the creative team offers readers the very best of ‘Zits!’ over the past 20 years and a very personal and up-front look at their own lives.

 

Readers will discover where the duo met, how they came up with the idea for ’Zits!’, the teenagers in their own lives, the strips publishing history, its up and downs and excerpts from their sketchbooks.

 

The deluxe hardbound book with die-cut front panel, spotlighting Jeremy, is a real treasure that ‘Zits!’ fans will love and cherish, from Andrews McMeel Publishing.

snoopy.jpgCelebrating Snoopy

 

Charles Schulz was a genius and was responsible in no small part for making reading newspaper comic strips a respected pastime and American art form.

 

Although he did not invent the comic strip his ‘Peanuts’ comic strip brought a whole new level of sophistication to comic strip humor.

 

No longer were characters mere caricatures of humans or animals.

 

Each of Schulz’s ‘Peanuts’ cast has a distinct personality and philosophical outlook on life.

 

There was Charlie Brown, the perpetual optimist who suffered though perpetual pessimistic circumstances, Linus, the boy philosopher straddled with a complex set of phobias and Lucy his domineering and opinionated sister and other memorable characters in the tiny tot universe.

 

Then there was Snoopy. 

 

Snoopy was Charlie Brown’s pet beagle who embraced life, possessed a vivid imagination, unbridled ambition, a unique outlook and who represented the unspoken and un-acted upon opinions and pent-up wishes of the common man.

 

Snoopy was, and is, by far, my favorite ‘Peanuts’ character.

 

Andrews McMeel Publishing presents ‘Celebrating Snoopy’ the ultimate Snoopy compilation of comic strips beginning with Snoopy’s humble start as a simply pet to his resounding finale as the voice of a whole generation.

 

This massive collection comes in a HUGE hardbound book, complete with slipcase, both decorated with the image of a dancing Snoopy.

 

For 50 years Snoopy delighted fans and comic strip readers with his inexplicable, outrageous and hilarious hi-jinx accompanied by the ‘Peanuts’ cast, a perplexed Charlie, a befuddled Linus, a infuriated Lucy and his best-bud: Woodstock the bird.

 

Who can forget his Red Baron adventures, Joe College, ice-skating on a birdbath and dozens of other adventures and schemes?

 

Literally thousands of ‘Peanuts’ strips featuring Snoopy and insightful commentaries and observations of the ‘Peanuts’ strips’ 50 year heritage are included. 

 

This is Snoopy at his finest and will make a stellar addition to any ‘Peanuts’ fan’s collection.

 

wwiibibleskiesartpickupsbeatles.jpg
Top Secret, Art, Bible and Beatles

 

Talk about diversity!  Chartwell Books presents four new books from about the most diverse range of subjects imaginable: WWII, Art Supplies, The Bible and The Beatles!

 

Author William B. Breuer examines WWII in a unique an intriguing new way: by writing about the little mentioned facet of the war; top secrets and secret weapons.

 

World War II was the war that determined the survival of Western civilization—or at least a free democratic Western world, and undoubtedly with the rest of the known world as well.

 

To put it blunt-war is nasty and often even the good guys have to use some pretty questionable tactics to win.

 

So too do the bad guys.

 

In this fascinating book: ‘Top Secret Tales OF World War II’, the author delves into the hidden corners and crevices of the war and explores the shadowy worlds of espionage, assassination, deadly weapons and other darker and sinister aspects of the war.

 

It’s a fascinating study and examination of the part of war most people seldom see and for good reason.

 

As former art teacher and artist and designer myself I’m always looking for new art techniques and media with which I can express myself or complete a project.

 

‘The Complete Guide To Art Materials & Techniques’ is an invaluable resource for any new or veteran artist.

 

Illustrators, painters and designers are privy to a plethora of new and old art materials, their uses, advantage and disadvantages.

 

Full color photos offer easy-to-follow instructions accompanied by examples of each medium and technique.

 

Everything from pencils to watercolor and oil painting are explained in full detail accompanied by handy tips and tricks.

 

As a Christian I’ve found it hard to find a book that explains in simple and clear terms the history of the Scriptures.

 

In ‘The Illustrated Guide To The Bible’ author J.R. Porter uses period art, photos and other visual aids along with captivating and researched text to carry readers through the Bible.

 

It makes for a satisfying trek through the Holy Word as it brings the Bible alive with references, art depicting Bible times and explanations of the significance of events and how they tie into ancient and modern times.

 

I look forward to absorbing every page and sharing my new found knowledge with fellow Believers.

 

What was it like to be a member of The Beatles?  How did they spend their days both in front of the public eye and alone?

 

The Fab Four were a world-wide phenomenon with everyone wanting a piece of them.  Imagine the tremendous pressure put on the members of the band and how hectic their lives must have been.

 

In author Richard Harver's new book: ‘The Beatles The days Of Their Life’ readers get a rare behind-the-scenes look into the day-to-day activities of the famous quartet.

 

From the earliest days to their breakup the book follows the band members as they deal with fans, family, friends and their own personal struggles.

 

It’s a delightful and personal look at the four young men who changed music forever and influenced society in the 20th Century.  Changes felt even today.

 

Filled with photos, documents and interesting insights the book is a treasure trove of information about the band that changed the world.

 

 

its alive.jpgIt’s Alive!

 

Kirk Hammett is my kind of collector.  He loves classic horror and sci-fi movie posters.

 

Kirk Hammett of the Rock and Roll group: Metallica is a huge fan of classic horror and sci-fi films and his collection is impressive.

 

Starting with such classics as Dracula, Frankenstein and other films

from the Universal Studio monster classics film series the book proceeds to travel through the decades and examines classic Cold War monster films, sexy sixties sci-fi fantasies and all the way up to present day with such films as Alien.

 

As a lover of monster and sci-fi films I am thrilled to have the opportunity to read and absorb the fascinating text and see the classic posters.

 

The book is a real visual treat and if you’re anyone like me it brings back many childhood and young adolescent memories.

 

They just don’t make films like that anymore.  More’s the pity!

comic-book-story-aliens-robots-movies.jpgMovies, Aliens, Robots, Cyborgs, Heroes and Story

 

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am a HUGE comic book and movie fan.

 

In fact, at one point in my life I considered being a comic book artist (yes, I can draw) and/or becoming part of the movie industry.

 

The problems I encounter with many of the books about how to draw for comic books or create characters is that the books tend to be overboard when it comes to explaining how to do each.

 

There really isn’t that much involved.  You simply have to know how to draw (almost anything) and how to tell a story using panels.

 

Comic book illustration is much like staging a film, only artists use paper, not film.

 

The Rosen Publishing Group Company, Inc./PowerKids presents two books about how to draw and tell stories that simplifies matter in fun and entertaining ways.

 

Mark Bergin’s ‘How To Draw Comic Book Heroes’ is a great resource for up-and-coming comic book artists.

 

The book explains in easy-to-understand text and clear, concise drawings everything a young artist needs to know to get started.

 

Subjects covered begin with perspective, drawing materials, creating heroes of all shapes, sizes and types using simple geometric shapes and ending with full illustrations.

 

So what do you do with your characters?

 

Frank Lee writes and illustrates a very compelling sequence explaining the elements of the page, panels, composition, telling a story and much more in his ‘Telling A Story In Your Graphic Novel’.

 

I have to tell you this book is probably the best example of how to draw comics that is easy to comprehend and understand.

 

Movies, ya gotta luv ‘em!

 

I especially love Monster and Science fiction movies.

 

And what make them so interesting?  Throw in some Aliens, Robots and Cyborgs and you are guaranteed a good time at the movie theater.

 

David Kassnoff in his ‘Robots and Cyborgs’ book, part of the ‘Greatest Movie Monsters’ series, delves into the mechanical monstrosities that fascinate movie goers.

 

Starting with classic creations such as Maria from Metropolis, Robby The Robot from Forbidden Planet and other mechanized marvels such as The Terminators, the Star Wars Droids, The Transformers and many more the book is a tour-de-force of technological terrors.

 

Equally impressive is Greg Roza’s ‘Aliens’ book with such creatures as Aliens, Gort, Martians, The Thing and many more outer space monsters.

 

Both books are filled with fascinating text and black and white and full color photos and offer fun reads.

 

For the hopeful movie director check out Mary R. Dunn’s ‘I Want To Make Movies'.

 

The small hardback book offers a short and concise glimpse of what many would consider a ‘Dream Job’.

 

Kids will get a kick out of seeing their favorite stars, characters and movies along with tips on costuming, directing, sets and much, much more movie magic.

 

 

PreviewsAugust-2017.jpgPreviews, August

 

COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

Animosity: Evolution #1 l AFTERSHOCK COMICS

Namwolf Volume 1: Heart of Darkness TP l ALBATROSS FUNNYBOOKS

Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! Illustrated Novel HC l AMULET BOOKS

Lady Mechanika Volume 1 Oversized HC l BENITEZ PRODUCTIONS

Rugrats #1 l BOOM! STUDIOS

The Shadow/Batman #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

Walter Simonson’s Battlestar Galactica Artist Edition HC l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast #1 l HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE

Akira 35th Anniversary HC Box Set l KODANSHA COMICS

Whiteout Compendium GN l ONI PRESS INC.

Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch Gold Edition HC l SEVEN SEAS ENTERTAINMENT LLC

The Fighting American #1 l TITAN COMICS

Dan Dare #1 l TITAN COMICS

Eternity #1 l VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

Tokyo Ghoul:Re Volume 1 GN l VIZ MEDIA LLC

The Mortal Instruments Volume 1 GN l YEN PRESgem-August-2017.jpg

 

BOOKS

Comic Shop: The Retail Mavericks Who Gave Us a New Geek Culture HC l COMICS

The Flash: Hocus Pocus Novel l COMICS

The Marvel Age of Comics 1961-1978 HC l COMICS

Wonder Woman: Ambassador of Truth HC l COMICS

Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies HC l MOVIE/TV

Totally Awesome: The Greatest Cartoons of the 80s HC l MOVIE/TV

MAGAZINES

Comics Revue Presents October 2017 l COMICS

Horrorhound 2017 Fall Annual Special l HORROR

Justice League Magazine Official Collector Edition l SUPER-HEROES

TRADING CARDS

Topps 2017 Update Series Baseball Trading Cards l TOPPS COMPANY

Topps 2017 The Walking Dead Evolution Trading Cards l NON-SPORTS CARDS

APPAREL

Guardians of the Galaxy Logo 9Twenty Dad Cap l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR

Marvel: “Spidey Think” Red Foil/Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR

Marvel: “Wolvey Fist” Silver Foil/Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR

Star Wars: “Vader Bust” Red Glow-in-the-Dark/Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR

Dark Nights: JLA by Greg Capullo T-Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS

Wonder Woman II Movie Symbol T-Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS

TOYS & STATUES

Marvel Gallery: Thor Ragnarok: Hulk PVC Figure l DIAMOND SELECT TOYS & COLLECTIBLES

Batman: The Animated Series Figure Collection #1: Batman l EAGLEMOSS

Batman: The Animated Series Figure Collection #2: The Penguin l EAGLEMOSS

DC Super Powers Collection: Harley Quinn 19-Inch Maquette l DC HEROES

Fantasy Figure Gallery DC Comics Collection: Wonder Woman 1/6 PVC Figure l DC HEROES

Justice League Movie: Aquaman Statue l DC HEROES

Justice League Movie: Batman Statue l DC HEROES

Justice League Movie: The Flash Statue l DC HEROES

Justice League Movie: Tactical Suit Batman Statue l DC HEROES

Justice League Movie: Batarang Letter Opener l DC HEROES

Supergirl TV: Supergirl Statue l DC HEROES

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Legends 6-Inch Action Figure l GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

IMPORT TOYS

DC Comics: Catwoman Artfx Statue l KOTOBUKIYA

Attack on Titan: Commander Erwin Smith Nendoroid l ATTACK ON TITAN

Attack on Titan: Levi Nendoroid l ATTACK ON TITAN

Berserk: Guts “Black Swordsman” Repaint Figma l BERSERK

Justice League Variant Play Arts Kai: Batman Tactical Figure l DC HEROES

Wonder Woman Movie Variant Play Arts Kai: Wonder Woman Figure l DC HEROES

Gigantic Series: Godzilla Vs. King Kong: Godzilla Figure l GODZILLA

Godzilla Kaiju 12-inch Series: Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla Figure l GODZILLA

Marvel: Iron Man Mark V S.H.Figuarts with Hall of Armor l MARVEL HEROES

Marvel Universe Variant Play Arts Kai: Black Panther Figure l SQUARE ENIX PRODUCTIONS

Boruto: Naruto Next Generation: Boruto Figure l NARUTO

Boruto: Naruto Next Generation: Naruto Figure l NARUTO

Kirby’s Dream Land: Kirby Nendoroid l NINTENDO

One Piece 20th-Anniviversary: Going Merry Chogokin l ONE PIECE

Predator: Boar Predator 1/18-Scale Figure l PREDATOR

Predator: Shadow-Snake Predator 1/18-Scale Figure l PREDATOR

Star Wars: Emperor Palpatine Artfx+ Statue l STAR WARS

Dark Souls: Siegmeyer of Catarin 1/6-Scale PVC Figure l VIDEO GAMES

COLLECTIBLES & NOVELTIES

Legend of Zelda: 8-Bit Link Hand Held Teether l FUTURE NERDS

Legend of Zelda: Link Caped Superbib l FUTURE NERDS

Game of Thrones: Dead Man 7-Coin Set l GAME OF THRONES

Lord of the Rings: Elvish Copper Leaf Of Fall Coin Necklace l LORD OF THE RINGS

Deadpool Decal Pack l MARVEL HEROES

Star Trek Ships Enamel Pins l STAR TREK

Wonder Woman Classic Bust Bank l WONDER WOMAN

GAMES

Jules Verne’s Michael Strogoff Board Game l DEVIR AMERICAS

Starfinder RPG: Alien Archive HC l PAIZO INC

The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 Board Game l USAOPOLY

Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate Board Game l WIZARDS OF THE COAST

Magic the Gathering TCG Gift Pack l WIZARDS OF THE COAST

 

chasing secrets.jpgChasing Secrets

 

I read a lot of books.  Over the years I’ve read a lot of crime and mystery novels.

 

After awhile they all pretty much read the same and I usually figure out the plot before I finish a book-if I finish a book.

 

Very seldom do I read a book and find myself surprised-especially when it comes to crime novels.

 

Lynette Eason’s new ‘Elite Guardians Chasing Secrets’ book from Revell/Baker Publishing Group, surprised me.

 

I was not expecting to be surprised, but I was.  It was delightful.

 

To be sure the book has many of the elements of a good romance suspense novel but author Eason managed to use those elements in a new and unique way to craft a story that kept me glued to my seat, soaking in each page.

 

In ‘Chasing Secrets’ Elite Guardian body guard Haley Callaghan finds herself knee-deep in a mystery.

 

Someone is trying to kill her, but for what reason?  Does it have something to do with an encounter she had with a vengeful street thug, her shadowy past or is it something else entirely?

 

Mystery and intrigue abound as Haley slowly pieces together the pieces and finally puts together the puzzle involving her life, her profession and her past.

 

Along the way a romance blossoms, a tragedy turns to triumph and (here’s the big surprise) God gets the glory!

 

It is refreshing to read a crime novel where foul language is absent, morals are applauded and God is honored.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading others in the series.

 

 

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Army, Marines, Navy and Special OPS

 

From Quarto/Hachette/Voyageur/Zenith comes a quartet of books about the U.S. Military.

 

Three of the books form author Chester G. Hearn and Zenith Press examine three of the branches of the U.S. Military.

 

The three books offer illustrated histories of the Army, Marines and Navy.

 

Each of the military branches is given their due with full timelines and historical facts from their inception to the present day.

 

Key campaigns, famous military figures, important developments, battles, innovations, strategies and their military role and importance are complemented by archive photos and art.

 

Each book is packed with black and white and color photos which bring history alive.

 

Intriguing and interesting text chronicling each branch is provided with emphasis put on important dates, campaigns, personnel and weapons and equipment develop are fully detailed.

 

Each book will make an excellent addition to any military history buff’s library

.

Author Fred Pushies and Voyageur Press examine the history, weapons and missions of Elite Military Forces in ‘U.S. Special OPS’.

 

For a thorough examination and explanation of each branch of the military’s special forces the book covers everything from weapons, campaigns, techniques, training, equipment, aircraft, transports, key personnel, officers and non-coms and much more.

 

It is filled with historical text, hundreds of photos and all the facts about the US Special Ops.

 

All four books offer a great resource to any hopeful military recruit, history buffs, military archivists and anyone who is interested in the U.S. Military and its illustrious history and mission status.

 

Alice and The Beatles

 

wonderland.jpgMany readers and movie goers are discovering the wonderful, whimsical and magical world of Alice.

 

The children’s classic tales of yesteryear has sparked the imaginations of kids and adults around the globe.

 

Carlton Book’s Carlton Kids has released a duo of Alice books by author Lewis Carroll as beautifully illustrated by Zdenko Basic and Patricia Moffett.

 

Both ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’ and Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland’ feature some of the most breath-taking illustrations to ever grace children’s books.

 

Colorful, whimsical and ingenious in their page layouts the books also feature action pull-tabs, clever inserts and fold-outs.

 

looking glass.jpgEach book is as whimsical and magical as the story it contains. 

 

I absolutely love the clever way the text and illustrations complement and intertwine with each other.

 

The design of each book captures the spirit of Carroll’s tales and will make a fine addition to any child’s library for generations to come.

 

Hardbound and of heavy stock the books are perfect for young hands.

 

I was fortunate enough to have enjoyed The Beatles music as I grew up and the band matured.

 

beatles songs.jpgI remember the band from the early 1960s during its ‘bubble gum’ era right up to its social relevant and ground-breaking last days.  I even stuck around as each band member went their own individual ways pursuing separate music careers.

 

In ‘The Complete Beatles Songs’ as written and compiled by Steve Turner, Beatles fans get to go behind the scenes of every song written by the Fab Four.

 

Black and white and full-color photos and art accompany the lyrics along with informative and historically relevant text that explains the meaning behind each song and how it came about.

 

It’s a wonderful celebration of the greatest Rock and Roll band of the 20th Century that shaped popular music as it is today.

 

THE EXO PROJECT_CVRGB.jpgThe Exo Project

 

The Earth is dying.

 

The average daytime temperature is 120 degrees.  Crops are dying, animals are starving, water is drying up and soon the Earth will be a dry desert wasteland.

 

Mankind is barely hanging on.  Millions of people are dying from the sun’s radiation and those that do survive are forced to wear protective suits to stave off the heat.

 

Before long mankind will cease to exist.

 

But, there is hope: the stars.

 

A large fleet of spacecraft has been prepared to send hundreds-thousands of people to the stars in search of habitable planets.

 

Although faster than light speeds have been obtained it will take at least 100 years to reach what is hoped to be an earth-like planet capable of sustaining human life.

 

As the air grows increasingly stale and food and water diminish a brave group of volunteers prepare to go into suspended animation in the desperate attempt to wake up on a new world and thus save mankind.

 

There are no guarantees and it is certain a large portion of the volunteers will die.

 

In ‘The Exo Project’ by author Andrew Deyoung and published by Boyds Mills Press/Highlights, seventeen year old Matthew must make the hardest decision of his young life.

 

Several years previously Matthew’s father died leaving his mother,

younger sister and Matthew to fend for themselves.

 

When Matthew’s mother contracts cancer and must be put in suspended animation until a cure is found Matthew decides to volunteer for the one way trip to the stars in order to get the money to cure his mother.

 

He is chosen, leaving his mother, sister and his home behind him.  Or so he assumed.

 

Meanwhile on a distant planet a young alien girl (Kiva) experiences a vision of visitors from space.

 

Are the fates and lives of Matthew and the girl intertwined?

 

Are things are as they appear?  What of ‘The Exo Project’?

 

When Matthew and Kiva meet what will become of their lives and their worlds!

 

‘The Exo Project’ surprised me.  The end of mankind is no new concept or fodder for literature.

 

But, author Andrew Deyoung managed to take what would appear to be a cut and dry ‘end of times’ story and throws in a number of surprises for a remarkably fresh perspective.

 

pink floyd.jpgroyal navy.jpgPink Floyd and The Royal Navy

Many years ago when I was working at an ad agency the Art Director: Bruce Floyd, was a big music fan, especially of contemporary music.

One of his favorite bands was Pink Floyd-partly because it shared part of his name.

I never was a big music person.  I enjoyed some groups and recording artists like CS&N, America, James Taylor and other singer/songwriters.

To be frank, I knew nothing of Pink Floyd and was not familiar with their music.

Bruce proceeded to educate me and after listening to several of their songs I soon came to realize just how important,  ground-breaking and influential Pink Floyd was and is to this day.

Pink Floyd is the gold standard to which many of today’s bands strive for.

In ‘The Complete Pink Floyd’ oversize, hard back book, written by Glenn Povey and published by Carlton Books, readers get  ’the ultimate reference’ to the groups’ history, songs and much more.

Learn all about the members of the group, their stage shows, concerts, break-ups, reunions, their music and songs (including linear notes) and even get a rundown on their concert timeline, merchandizing and every possible fact to be found about the group, its members and its music.

At one time it was stated that ‘The sun never set on the British Empire.”

History records that England was the most powerful nation in the world almost a century ago.  To obtain such power the British Empire needed a powerful Navy to rule the Seven Seas.

In ‘The Royal Navy’ author Julian Thompson recalls the glory days of The Royal Navy and how it has changed over the centuries.

While the book pays homage to the history of The Royal Navy, its primary focus is on the last 100+ years, starting with WWI.

Analysis, strategy and examination of key battles is provided along with information on the continuing evolution and improvement of the fleet such as new technology and tactics.

Military buffs and historians are sure to get an eyeful in this spectacular hard bound and slip sleeve book that traces the evolution of Britain’s powerful Navy.

Historical documents, maps, charts, archival art and photos are complemented by informative and fascinating text about The Royal Navy complete with reproduced historical documents in special tipped-in envelopes.

Learn all about famous battles and campaigns, war tactics, commanders, crews and everything imaginable about what was once the most powerful naval force in the world.

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Justice League, Batman, Superman and Coloring

If you’re as big a fan of DC Comics as I am then you’re going to love this cool selection of fun books from Parragon Books Ltd.

As a kid my favorite DC Comics title was The Justice League of America.

The reason being that I got more bang for my buck.  I mean where else could you get ALL of DC Comics’ top superheroes in one place?  Such a deal!

Paragon’s ‘Justice League’ small hardbound book packs a lot of punch for its size.

First off is its special metal, full color insert of some of the members of the Justice League that decorates the inset cover.

Inside is a thrilling tale of the Justice League taking on one of its oldest bad guys: Starro!

Great art, great story and a pretty cool package!

‘Superman The Man OF Steel’ is more than just muscle.  He’s super intelligent and can solve the most difficult of puzzles.

Superman challenges readers to solve 40 activities/puzzles and even provides two spinning pencil toppers for inspiration.

Solve problems, draw and more with this ‘super’ book.

Batman is by far my favorite DC Comics superhero.  The Caped Crusader manages to solve whatever problem he faces and takes on bad guys of all types and always comes out on top.

In the ‘Batman Activity Book And 2-In-1 Jigsaw Puzzle’ you get to help The Dark Knight solve puzzles, put together a jigsaw puzzle, draw and color.

It’s a nifty square bound, Velcro flap, cavalcade of fun filled with awesome Batman art and all in full color.

For even more Batman challenges be sure to check out the special ‘Batman Tin’ that contains an adventure book, stickers, a cool poster, markers and three books.

The tin features a metal embossed Batman figure on its front with Bat Signals decorating each side.

Take it back to your Batcave and get ready for challenges, activities and just pure fun!

‘Batman Justice In Gotham City’ contains over 40 fun activities in black and white and in full color.

Join Batman, Robin, The Justice League and Batman’s Gallery of Villains in a softbound book that is sure to challenge your detective, artistic and activity skills.

There’s even a cool Batman Magnet included!

If you’re a big kid like me then both the ‘Comic Art Coloring’ and ‘Super Hero Coloring’ books are sure to get your comic book blood stirring.

Each book features actually DC Comics comic book art reproduced in black and white.  Practically ever hero and villain in the DC Universe are featured and they are all yours to color and enjoy.

What I love most about the books is that they feature reproductions of classic and current DC Comics covers, animation art and more!  What’s not to love? 

Each book boasts 120 pages for ‘big kids only’.

Destination: Moonbase Alpha and Titillation

Star Trek was broadcasting only as repeats.  In 1975 audiences were just beginning to pay attention to the Star Trek phenomenon.

TV was a Sci-Fi wasteland.

That’s why in 1975 when the syndicated TV series: Space: 1999 premiered I, along with many other Sci-Fi hungry viewers, jumped on the bandwagon to watch the TV series.

Destination-Moonbase-Alpha.jpgAuthor Robert E. Wood and Telos Publishing examine and chronicle the Gerry Anderson British TV series: Space: 1999 in ‘Destination: Moonbase Alpha the Unofficial Unauthorized Guide To Space: 1999.

The former Mission: Impossible husband and wife team of Martin Landau and Barbara Bain starred in the series along with an excellent mixed race and nationality supporting cast.

The premise of the story is the Moon gets blasted out of orbit by a nuclear explosion and is flung into space.

The residents of Moonbase Alpha must learn to cope with the dangers of space including encountering friendly and hostile alien races, unexpected space phenomena and more.

The book follows the TV series from its inception to its production and episodes.

Learn all about the challenges of putting the ground-breaking Sci-Fi TV series on the air and the many ups and downs of production, cast choices, budget limitations and more.

All of the cast and crew are listed and many offer their own memories of the series.

Plus there’s a section on the concept for a return of the series.

It’s all present and makes for an engrossing read.

Titillation-380x0.jpgI’m a sucker for ‘good girl’, bad girl’ and ‘cheesecake art’ from the Pulp Magazine era.

One of the all-time great Pin-up artists of the era: Peter Driben was one of the most prolific.

‘Titillation The Vintage Pulp Magazine Pin-Up Art Of Peter Driben’ as written and compiled by Stephen James Walker, is a ‘must-have’ for fans of the Pin-Up fan.

The book is filled with full-color painting reproductions of Dribens’ work. 

Beautiful women, dressed in revealing attire and in provocative poses, are shown accompanied by publication dates and listings of the magazines they were featured on.

It’s cheesecake at its best!

for the first time on television.jpgFor The First Time On Television

I am of the generation that first saw the advent of TV.  I was born in 1953 and at that time TV was in its infancy.

TV, especially American TV, was just beginning to show its full potential.

The movie studios and other popular culture phenomena that had previously enthralled society were feeling the crunch of dwindling audiences that had shifted its attention (and money) to TV.

I was there when many of the ‘firsts’ of TV occurred from the first international broadcast, the first TV Western, Sci-fi, Drama and Comedy TV shows to the first broadcast from outer space.

TV has seen and taken part in hundreds of ‘firsts’ and they are all listed in ‘For The First Time On Television’ by author Garry Berman and published by BearManor Media.

From the first news broadcast, the first cartoon show and so much more the book examines not just what was broadcast on TV but the many firsts TV and broadcasting obtained.

Filled with interesting historical text and spotlighted with black and white photos the book is a fascinating examination of the technology, individuals and shows that changed the face of mass media across the globe.

manga art.jpgstrictly hollywood.jpg
Osamu Tezuka and Strictly Hollywood

Up until the early 1960s Hollywood produced ‘feel good’ musicals that reflex the particular decade they were produced in.

Carlton Books has released a varnished and ready-to-frame collection of art prints commemorating the great musical of all times.

‘The Poster Collection’ includes eight stunning black and white images from some of the greatest musicals starring such Hollywood luminaries as Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and others.

West Side Story, Singin’ In The Rain, High Society, On The Town, The Gay Divorcee, Funny Face, Cabaret and Top Hat are all represented in ‘Strictly Hollywood’ with images from each film.’

‘The Manga Art Of Osamu Tezuka’ showcases the spectacular art of one of Japan’s leading Manga artists.

Each of Tezuka’s famous figures is represented such as Astro Boy, The Three-Eyed One, Jungle Emperor Leo, Metropolis and many more.

Manga/Anime lovers are sure to want this full-color collection of varnished prints to display.

Both print sets come in oversize, heavy paper stock presentation envelopes.

Other themed collections are also available.

the-Avengers-The-Prisoner-007.jpg
The Prisoner, The Avengers and Casino Royale

I love British TV series from the 1960s-especially the Spy series.

My two favorites were ‘The Prisoner’ and ‘The Avengers’ with ‘The Avengers’ taking the number one spot.

The Emma Peel and John Steed period was by far my favorite but I enjoyed the series overall. 

Originally created as revenge series the show evolved into a spy thriller starring John Steed and several sexy leading ladies.

After the original series was cancelled it was resurrected in the 1970s as ‘The New Avengers’ and in the 1990’s it hit the Silver Screen.

I have an extensive collection of books about ‘The Avengers’ but they pale in comparison to author Michael Richardson’s ‘Bowler Hats And Kinky Boots: The Unofficial And Unauthorized Guide To The Avengers’, published by Telos Publishing Ltd.

It is the most exhaustive and thoroughly researched book about ‘The Avengers’ I have ever encountered.

Everything there is to know about the show is included such as episode guides, behind-the-scenes tidbits, production notes, sequence of original broadcasts, cast and crew bios and so much more.

There are even sections on commercial merchandise tie-ins, the legacy of the show and spin-offs.

There are spy shows and then there is ‘The Prisoner’ what I consider to be an ‘anti-spy’ TV show.

The series star, Patrick McGoohan had just come off his immensely popular ‘Secret Agent’ TV series, as it was known in the United States.

In a brilliant move to bring an end to his popular spy series, McGoohan created ‘The Prisoner’ which although it did not name the key player, was known by fans as the spy in Secret Agent.

When a British spy resigned he is kidnapped and taken to a location known only as ‘The Village’.

While there he is subjected to various forms of mental manipulations in an attempt to learn his secrets.

It is never made clear whether his kidnappers were from the British government or enemy agents.

The series only lasted one season and successfully brought to a conclusion to the saga of the main character.

‘Fall Out: The Unofficial And Unauthorized Guide To The Prisoner’ written by Alan Stevens and Fiona Moore, delves into the enigmatic thriller that changed the face of TV forever.

Filled with pop culture references, utilizing unique storytelling techniques and cleverly managing to keep audiences guessing each week, ‘The Prisoner’ is a cult classic.

Learn all about the series from production secrets to cast and crew bios to episode examinations.

Another British creation made a successful transition to movies from popular novels.

James Bond, the suave and deadly British spy premiered on the Silver Screen in the early 1960s.

Due to a copyright snafu the popular series had a lapse where another production company was able to make its own ‘unofficial’ James Bond film based on ‘Casino Royale’.

Made with tongue securely placed its cheek, ‘Casino Royale’ was more farce that a spy-thriller.

Still it is a James Bond film and although lambasted by ‘true’ James Bond fans it does have a place in cinema history.

‘The Making Of Casino Royale (1967)’ by Michael Richardson takes a good hard look at the James Bond spoof.

Cast and crew bios, production notes, missing scenes, production difficulties and how the film was adapted for the screen and other interesting tidbits fill the pages with information about the cult classic.

FSF732.jpgThe Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, #732, July/August

Novelets

The Masochist’s Assistant

The Bride In Sea-Green Velvet

I Am Not I

Afiya’s Song

Novellas

The Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped A Crooked House

Short Stories

In A Wide Sky, Hidden

A Dog’s Story

An Obstruction To Delivery

An Unearned Death

Poems

Northwest Cruise

Departments

Books To Look For

Musing On Books

Science With The Best Of Intentions

Films: Ghoulies, Ghosties, Beasties

Coming Attractions

Curiosties



 

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