HEROIC TIMES Top 20 Books list (top 10 this week :)) is a new weekly installment that ranks the most interesting, intriguing books of the week (old, new, reissues, digital, etc). Contributors represent a variety of genres and sources. Each book includes Title and publisher blurb.
Joe Golem and the Drowning City: An Illustrated Novel
Joe Golem and the Drowning City: An Illustrated Novel [Hardcover] – In 1925, earthquakes and a rising sea level left Lower Manhattan submerged under more than thirty feet of water, so that its residents began to call it the Drowning City. Those unwilling to abandon their homes created a new life on streets turned to canals and in buildings whose first three stories were underwater. Fifty years have passed since then, and the Drowning City is full of scavengers and water rats, poor people trying to eke out an existence, and those too proud or stubborn to be defeated by circumstance.
Among them are fourteen-year-old Molly McHugh and her friend and employer, Felix Orlov. Once upon a time Orlov the Conjuror was a celebrated stage magician, but now he is an old man, a psychic medium, contacting the spirits of the departed for the grieving loved ones left behind. When a seance goes horribly wrong, Felix Orlov is abducted by strange men wearing gas masks and rubber suits, and Molly soon finds herself on the run.
Her flight will lead her into the company of a mysterious man, and his stalwart sidekick, Joe Golem, whose own past is a mystery to him, but who walks his own dreams as a man of stone and clay, brought to life for the sole purpose of hunting witches.
Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot (King Size B&W) (Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot)
Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot (King Size B&W) (Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot) [Paperback]- Geof Darrow was awarded an Eisner for his spectacular artwork on 1995’s hit miniseries, The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot. For all the time and all the care he lavished on those pages, it’s an award that was well-earned. When Geof first came into the Dark Horse offices with the finished pages for the two-issue series, we were all stunned by the detail. On these huge pages, there were minute details that we couldn’t see clearly without a magnifying glass — things that would be lost in the reduction and hidden behind word balloons and coloring. At that point we knew we would have to publish an even-more-oversized edition of the series, in black-and-white and sans dialogue, so that everyone could see a better approximation of what we saw. This 11 3/4″ x 15 3/4″, softcover collection is the direct result of that first viewing, an attempt to show the comics world what we were privileged to see that first day. Reproduced here as large as possible, this action-packed adventure is presented in its “natural state,” somewhat akin to watching a widescreen, laserdisc version of Scorsese’s Raging Bull. All 65 pages of the original story are included, as well as a gallery featuring some rarely seen art. Even if it took you by storm the first time around, you can be assured that you ain’t seen nothing yet!
The Spider: Judge, Jury & Executioner HC
The Spider: Judge, Jury & Executioner HC [Hardcover] – The very first Spider collection ever! Get the complete run of the first series of the most violent and relentless crime fighter of all time! Justice is served! Contains The Spider: Judgement Knight #1-3, Chaos Maker, and The Spider short from The Phantom Noir #6. Plus, exclusive to this volume: a brand-new Nita and Ram team-up story!
Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Collector’s Box Set (Vol. 1-2) (Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse)
Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Collector’s Box Set (Vol. 1-2) (Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse) [Hardcover] – Just in time for the holidays! This collection of books—identical to the individual volumes—ships shrinkwrapped, with the two hardcovers Race to Death Valley (volume 1) and Trapped on Treasure Island (volume 2), , packed in a sturdy custom box designed especially for this set. The perfect gift item.
Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: “Race to Death Valley”: Relive Mickey’s race to a gold mine with Pegleg Pete hot on his heels; Mickey’s life on the lam after being framed for bank robbery; even Mickey’s ringside battle with a hulking heavyweight champ! The premiere volume features a dozen different adventures starring Mickey, his gal Minnie and her uncle Mortimer, his pals Horace Horsecollar and Butch, the villainous Pegleg Pete, and the mysterious and shrouded Fox. Gottfredson’s vibrant visual storytelling has never been more beautifully reproduced; we promise the best reprinting the strip has ever seen, with each daily lovingly restored from Disney’s original negatives and proof sheets. “Death Valley” also includes more than 50 pages of fascinating supplementary features, including rare behind-the-scenes art and vintage publicity material from the first two years of the strip. Critics, scholars, seasoned Disney archivists, and fellow cartoonists provide commentary and historical essays on the strip’s creation and execution.
Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: “Trapped on Treasure Island”: “Oh, for gosh sakes!” Floyd Gottfredson’s classic 1930s Mickey Mouse is back for another round of thrills, chills, and epic quests — taking him from the depths of teeming jungles to the halls of spooky Blaggard Castle. Mickey’s classic Disney bad guys are here, too, with arch-enemy Pegleg Pete joined for this book by the mysterious “Bill Shakespeare” and hypnosis-happy Professors Ecks, Doublex, and Triplex! In this book you’ll relive Mickey’s fight with pirates on desolate Treasure Island; his quest with Goofy to catch ruthless counterfeiters; and his battles to save windy Horace Horsecollar from mad scientists, a robbery frame-up — and himself! Lovingly restored from Disney’s original negatives and proof sheets, Mickey Mouse: Trapped on Treasure Island also includes more than 50 pages of fascinating supplementary features. You’ll enjoy rare behind-the-scenes art, vintage publicity material, and vivid commentary by a full team of seasoned Disney scholars. Walt Disney often said that his studio’s success “all started with a mouse” — and today Mickey is among the world’s most recognizable icons in the world. Now it’s time to rediscover the wild, unforgettable personality behind the icon: Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse. Color and black-and-white comic strips throughout
Anatomy for the Artist
Anatomy for the Artist [Hardcover] – In Anatomy for the Artist, acclaimed artist and teacher Sarah Simblet unveils the extraordinary construction of the human body, and celebrates its continual prominence in Western Art.
The transparent body. Using superb, specially commissioned photographs of male and female models, together with historical and contemporary works of art, and her own illustrations, Sarah shows us how to see inside the human frame, to map its muscle groups, skeletal strength, balance, poise, and grace. Selected drawing superimposed over photographs reveal fascinating relationships between external appearance and internal structure.
Drawing from life. Six drawing classes guide the reader to see the human body afresh, offering techniques and attitudes that imaginatively show how to view and draw the skeleton, head, ribcage, pelvis, hands, and feet.
Dissecting the Masters. By investigating ten Masterworks, the author demonstrates different artist’s ideas and knowledge across time, ranging from Holbein’s Christ Entombed, to Edward Hopper’s Hotel Room. Each Masterclass presents a photographed model set in the same pose, so that anatomical comparisons can be made. Understanding anatomy is often the key to an artist’s understanding and interpretation of the body. This imaginative modern reference book will enhance the drawing and painting techniques of artists at every level.
The Film Noir Encyclopedia
The Film Noir Encyclopedia [Hardcover] – Enter the world of film noir, a world of darkness, ambiguity, and moral corruption. Meet the cynical and obsessive heroes of film noir portrayed by actors like Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, James Cageny, Joan Crawford, and Bette Davis. You may encounter a gun-toting gangster, a femme fatale wrapped in fur, a detective with the brim of his hat turned down, or a desperate murderer lurking in the shadows of a doorway. It’s a world we all know – the seedy underbelly of the American Dream, and every bit as much a part of our culture.
This wonderfully exhaustive text – tallying more than three hundred thousand words with hundreds of film stills and photos new to the work – distills everything about the movement into one volume from movies to stars to themes and motifs, and brings us up to date with contemporary contributions to the movement. Now completely revised, expanded, and redesigned, this classic pioneering work is the final word on a dark subject.
Painting With Light
Painting With Light [Paperback] – Few cinematographers have had as decisive an impact on the cinematic medium as John Alton. Best known for his highly stylized film noir classics T-Men, He Walked by Night, and The Big Combo, Alton earned a reputation during the 1940s and 1950s as one of Hollywood’s consummate craftsmen through his visual signature of crisp shadows and sculpted beams of light. No less renowned for his virtuoso color cinematography and deft appropriation of widescreen and Technicolor, he earned an Academy Award in 1951 for his work on the musical An American in Paris. First published in 1949, and long out of print since then, Painting With Light remains one of the few truly canonical statements on the art of motion picture photography, an unrivalled historical document on the workings of the postwar, American cinema. In simple, non-technical language, Alton explains the job of the cinematographer and explores how lighting, camera techniques, and choice of locations determine the visual mood of film. Todd McCarthy’s introduction, written especially for this edition, provides an overview of Alton’s biography and career and explores the influence of his work on contemporary cinematography.
The Surreal Killer
The Surreal Killer [Paperback] – After Kaitlynn Barr settles in Chicago as a detective and the world has seemingly rid itself of murder, she drops into a whirlpool of serial killings, love, and a discovery of her sister who has mysteriously come back from the dead.
Deadfall Hotel [Hardcover] – Reminiscent of Ray Bradbury, Deadfall Hotel guides you through a season spent in the ultimate haunted hotel. Told through the story of a widower who takes the job of manager at a hotel, The Deadfall Hotel is a place where the guests are not like you and me, where nightmares seek a place of sanctuary.
William Hope Hodgson: Masters of the Weird TaleWilliam Hope Hodgson: Masters of the Weird Tale [Hardcover] – This massive collection features all of William Hope Hodgson’s finest short fiction and his most important novels, including The House on the Borderland, The Ghost Pirates, The Night Land, and The Boats of the Glen Carig. In addition, there are twenty of Hodgson’s best short stories. With the finest drawings, new and old, by renowned illustrator Stephen Fabian, as well as sterling color and black-and-white work by Hannes Bok and Ian Miller, this makes for an essential addition to everyone’s weird tale library. Cloth in a clothbound slipcase.
The WEDNESDAY WORDS column is a new blog feature, appearing (you guessed it!) every Wednesday. Come back next week to see which books make the list! And if you see items you’re considering purchasing then, if you are able and would like to support this blog, please utilize the attached links. Your helpful purchases through the links generates much appreciated pennies to keep this blog running. Your feedback and support… just way cool, and way appreciated. Thanks!