March Reading

Folk Socks: The History & Techniques of Handknitted Footwear, Nancy Bush
Not really read so much as scanned for good patterns, and I think I’ll pick this up again when I’m in a socky mood: good fancy and practical socks. Three stars.

Dead Inside: Do Not Enter, Lost Zombies
Each page is a found object, usually paper, an artifact from an imagined world of a zombie infestation in the US. This was done as a collaborative effort online to write in a shared universe. I think it’s incredibly well done and I’m glad my library is filing it in fiction rather than photography or something. Four stars.

Scoundrels In Law: The Trials of Howe & Hummel, Lawyers to the Gangsters, Cops, Starlets, and Rakes Who Made the Gilded Age, Cait Murphy
This has a lighter tone than Murder of the Century, more like a TV series with a saucy narrator, maybe? It’s mostly coverage of the law firm’s cases rather than a history of the lawyers or their firm (though unsurprising, since they made a point of keeping no paperwork). Great and gory crimes and appalling courtroom shenanigans. Excellent chapter on Victoria Woodhull and her entourage. Good stuff. Four stars.

Wormwood, Gentleman Corpse, vol. 3, Ben Templesmith
The binding utterly evaporated on the first read, leaving me carefully turning pages to avoid them falling on the floor. Boo to modern glue! Lovely green and rotting art and lovely green and rotting characters. I grow less enchanted with the light and filmy storytelling in comics, they don’t seem to ever delve into the story or characters. Two stars.

Mangaman, Barry Lyga, illustrated by Colleen Doran
The premise is that a manga man falls into the real world but retains his two-dimensional characteristics and the conventions of manga (speed lines that clatter to the floor, his eyes turn to heart shapes, etc). There’s an intrigue and a love story, but this is pretty much all premise. The “real world” art (that is also explored as comic art) is so very 1987 that I found it odd when characters had cell phones. One star.

The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves
Picking it up, I wondered if any teen would ever take in the advice of grown people. I was relieved that the writers contributing knew that even their own teen self was unlikely to take any heed. The letters are very touching and well worth the read (be ready to cry) but every generation is going to make their own way. There’s no steam engine until it’s steam engine time, individually and as a society. Three stars.