Fallen angels, devils, polar explorer and women artists: books read

HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick is a Y/A fantasy about Nephilim that I could not get into. The problem isn’t Fitzpatrick’s writing but the lead being exactly the kind of manipulative bad-boy alpha male I can’t stand — the kind (at least in the portion I read) who gets the female lead to do exactly what he wants even though she can’t stand him (e.g., she doesn’t want to see him outside school but he won’t work on their class project unless she comes to find him at a pool hall). So, not for me, but might be for some of you.

BPRD THE DEVIL YOU KNOW: Messiah by Mike Mignola, Scott Allie and Laurence Campbell kicks off the final story arc for the BPRD very well. It turns out Johann took down the Ogrdu Jahad at the end of Comes the Hour so the worst of the monsters went with it. That still leaves a lot of creatures walking the Earth, and the demon-child Varvara has decided that with Hell overthrown, she’ll build a new infernal region here on Earth. While Kate and Johann are apparently dead, the BPRD crew is back together (Abe, Liz, Fenix and exorcist Ashley), though the organization is decidedly fractured. Looking forward to more.

SCOTT AND AMUNDSEN is Roland Huntford’s myth-busting history contrasting Amundsen, the practical, cautious Polar explorer with Scott, who in defeat and death became far more iconic. Supposedly Scott lost because of his rigid gentlemanly way of doing things; Huntford shows it was more sheer ineptitude: no margin for safety, refusing to use sled dogs (he was lousy managing dogs) and failing to recruit people with the right skill set or develop his own. This goes into more detail about their expeditions than I really wanted to know, and Huntford makes me wonder about his own biases (the only one of Scott’s crew who comes off well is the upperclass one) but still an impressively job.

A CENTURY OF WOMEN CARTOONISTS by underground artist Trina Robbins takes us from the days when Rose O’Neill created the original Kewpies (a surprise to me as I didn’t realize they had a creator) through Brenda Starr, Patsy Walker and Dykes to Watch Out For. Shows, unsurprisingly, that women have been more involved in strips, comics and one-panel gags than they’re often given credit for, and how their work has changed with the times as flappers, adorable moppets, working girls and teen romance shifts in an out of fashion. A fun read, though as it came out in the early 1990s, we don’t get anything on the last 25 years.

#SFWApro. Art by Allie, all rights remain with current holder.

 

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