The next Peter Wimsey mystery, MURDER MUST ADVERTISE, has advertising copywriter “Death Bredon” (“Most people stuck with the name pronounce it to rhyme with ‘teeth.’”) taking a suspicious interest in the way his predecessor at the agency broke his neck falling down a staircase, not to mention his curiosity about the man’s self-indulgent, wealthy girlfriend and her drug-addicted circle. This felt so different from the usual Wimsey novel (taking on a ring of drug-dealers rather than the usual lone murderer) I wondered if Sayers had decided to write a social satire. Her biography, however (I found this on Wikipedia, but the article quotes the bio at length), says she ran into trouble getting the technical details she needed for The Nine Tailors so she used her own experience (she was an advertising copywriter for years), added drugs to be topical and got a Wimsey novel in by deadline (Nine Tailor is next in the series). The rush may explain the pulpish details like Wimsey convincing a drug dealer Death Bredon is his evil twin; fun overall, and interesting how some things don’t change—the Bright Young Things don’t seem very different from the world of Less Than Zero. I do suspect some of the advertising jokes would have had more punch for people reading advertising back then.
ICHIRO by Ryan Inzana is two good graphic novels that don’t quite fit together. In Part One, American teenager Ichiro stays with his Japanese grandfather and gets a crash course in history, then in Part Two Ichiro gets tangled into a war in the world of Japanese mythology. The shift from reality to fantasy is really awkward, but the pieces work well.
GIRL GENIUS: Agatha Heterodyne and the Siege of Mechanicsburg by Phil and Kaja Folio has Baron Wulfenbach revealing his master plan to move against Agatha while she and her allies struggle to get Castle Heterodyne up and running in time to stop him. Full of humor and energy, as always.
SAGA, Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples has Marco and Alana hiding with the author of the romance novel that brought them together, while The Will and Marco’s ex Gwendolyn contemplate their own relationship and two reporters learn this cross-world romance is something nobody among Alana’s people wants discussed. Good, though the reporter plotline doesn’t really work for me (I think maybe because I don’t see why it’s so controversial to discuss them). This appears to mark the end of the first arc, as the closing pages show Hazel transitioning from babe in arms to one year old. Still a winner.
And now, we catch up on the BPRD—Killing Ground (cover by Guy Davis, rights with current holder) by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Guy Davis has the BPRD locking up a wendigo in its headquarters. Unfortunately, Daimio’s been hiding a lot of secrets and soon the wendigo isn’t the only man-monster the team has to deal with. Daimio departs with this issue, and I miss him (the normals they’ve introduced since lack his hardened military presence), but a good, action-packed story.
BPRD: The Warning by the same team happens one week later (I’ve discussed some issues with the chronology) as the team breaks off the hunt for Daimio to identify the mystery man in Liz’s head. When they go to confront him, however, he’s ready for them—and as if that wasn’t bad enough, the subterranean creatures from The Hollow Earth are joining the demon frogs in attacking humanity. Another good one.