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review 2018-09-10 19:20
Legion of Super Heroes, Vol. 1
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 1 - Jerry Siegel,Michael C. Hill

My neighbor growing up, his dad collected the DC Archives, hardbound editions collecting gold and silver age comic books. They were of phenomenal quality, and introduced me to the deeper history of Superman, Batman and The Flash, among others. A blast from the past!

 

I loved those books, I was allowed to borrow one at a time and devoured everything he had. My favorites though, were 'The Legion of Super Heroes', teens from the distant future (there was some confusion about their being 100 or 1000 years ahead) who had formed a super-hero club in honor of Superboy.

 

Since they were a 'Superboy' spin-off, they were rather silly at first, but these proto-typical X-Men struck a cord with me. By the end of this volume, the Legion is only beginning to gel into the story-telling dynamo it became, but it was a pleasure to be re-introduced to Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, and the rest (even Bouncing Boy).

 

These books can get crazy-expensive, so I don't know when I'll get to the next volumes, but I'll keep my eyes open.

 

Legion of Super Heroes

 

Next: 'Volume 2'

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review 2018-07-17 02:30
The Silver Spoon, Forsyte Chronicles #5
The Forsyte Saga: The Silver Spoon (A Modern Comedy #2) - John Galsworthy
A Modern Comedy - John Galsworthy

An American relative by marriage arrives pays a call in Westminster, a link to the more interesting, artistic, Forsytes in time to be present at a new scandal. Soames overhears a guest at one of his daughter's parties make a disparaging remark about Fleur and defends her. What should have only been some ruffled feathers turns into a major concern and underlines just how much society has changed since the Great War.

While I have come around a bit in regards to Fleur, I still find her irritating. The social nature of this plotline had little of the dramatic edge of 'The White Monkey' for me. Mont's attempts to make a name for himself in politics is interesting historically, but also didn't have the drama I loved in the first trilogy of Forsyte novels.

What made this book readable was Soames, of course. His own interior distress at the changing times and his attempts to do right by his daughter were sympathetic and made for good reading. Soames is still moving well in financial currents and has developed an understanding of fine art, but emotions and what makes people tick are still a mystery to him. The American cousin, Francis Wilmot, has his own struggles with his fascination for the lovely and modern girl who sparked Soames outrage.

This was an interesting social critique of London society and to an extent global politics of the 1920s. I would still only recommend this for Forsyte fans.

'A Modern Comedy'

Next: 'Swan Song'

Previous: 'The White Monkey'

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review 2018-07-12 03:45
The Mysterious Case of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys by Carole Kismaric
The Mysterious Case of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys - Carole Kismaric,Marvin Heiferman

I picked this up because of my recent re-attachment to the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew novels. I've been curious about what the original books would have been like ever since I discovered they were re-written starting in the late 1950s. I recently had re-read the revised first volume of each series and was under-whelmed enough to do a combo review, and then I began finding early editions. They are sooo much better you guys! Problematic, but not dull!

I haven't reviewed them yet, because I've got stuff going on all the time like no one else on the planet. When I do, you can check my totes-sleuthy shelf....If I don't change that shelf's name. Jeepers. Anyway this book:

This was a fan-letter about Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys with good layouts and illustrations. The content was often repetitive and a trifle biased towards boy detectives. There were musings on other product lines inspired by the series, successful and not-so adaptations for film and TV (this is 1998 so that aughts film didn't get consideration...which is a good thing). The book does provide a nice pocket history of the development of the juvenile series market though the Strathmeyer Syndicate, and how they invented the ghostwriter as we know it today. There are better and much more comprehensive books on the subject: for Nancy Drew there is "Girl Sleuth" by Melanie Rehak, and for the Hardy Boys try "The Secret of the Hardy Boys" by Marilyn S. Greenwald, which focuses on the first ghostwriter for the series.

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review 2018-07-10 04:45
The Vivien Greene Dolls' House Collection by Vivien Greene
The Vivien Greene Dolls' House Collection - Vivien Greene,Margaret Towner

This book, apparently, cannot be called comprehensive, but it clues the reader into the long history of dolls' houses as works of art and later as children's toys. Greene began her collection before WWII, hunting out and rescuing many early examples of houses, dolls, and furniture. Outside of the V&A Childhood Museum and a few other institutions, few entities could offer the timeline that this book does. Of course, like with most everything before Victorian factories mastered mass-production, everything was handmade and unique.

Dolls are not my collection, per se, but I've always loved miniatures as works of art and as playthings. Everything was reproduced in miniature, examples of naive mantel painting in a dollhouse here may be the only surviving example of its type. The same goes for many mundane items scattered through the kitchens and parlors of the houses here. The things that were reproduced in this period, especially the Victorian when these were playthings not curiosities, are remarkable.

I also enjoyed Greene's flights of fancy, which she indulged in when she was a young collector and didn't know any better, or when the house in question was already stripped of its original features, such as with her Bed & Breakfast for Cats. Charming. I can see how if one had the room and the resources a collection of these cabinet houses would be delightful and rewarding.

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review 2018-01-23 01:02
Complete Elfquest, Volume 1 by Wendi & Richard Pini
The Complete Elfquest Volume 1 - Wendy Pini,Rick Pini

Elfquest debuted in 1978 and has a strong cult following - its notable in having a planned conclusion. It takes itself very seriously. This volume collects the first story arc in which the Wolfrider clan of elves is put on the path to seek out others of their kind, and ultimately, their origins in the distant past.

There were many characters, but very few of them get anything like development - at least in these pages, there are hundreds and hundreds more that follow, but I'm not going to read them - they have unique faces and names that are helpfully mentioned when they enter a panel but otherwise they're defined by um....their faces and names and that thing that they do.

I did want to know what happened and certain points of lore that were hinted at, the story does its job, but I hated having to page through the machismo bullshit of submitting to 'recognition', twice, and all of that other ur-'Tarnsman of Gor' nonsense. I get that this was ground-breaking, and that female elves had an unquestioned equality within the clan which is a big deal, but there were too many time when I had to sift through seemingly endless exposition panels instead of something more dynamic.

This isn't a series I'd invest in.

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