Challenges Update #8 – A Super(nova) book haul and some more Poe!

Hello my weird and wonderful Bookbaggers!

Since my last update I have finished a book and comic and chose new ones, been gifted an interesting comic present, received an exciting couple of parcels filled with a certain series that I’ve been loving this year, and gone to the Supanova Pop Culture Expo here in Perth where I bought almost exclusively books and graphic novels (surprise, surprise).

But first my Comic Companions activity:


Because the last Comic Companion I chose – Clive Barker Omnibus (collecting The Thief of Always The Great and Secret Show ; and Seduth) – is longer than previous offerings (at 400+ pages) it took me longer than one or two reading sessions.

As I said last time I started by reading just The Thief of Alwayswhich was excellent. Then later in the week I read The Great and Secret Show (over two or three session since it made up the bulk of the omnibus) and I was very impressed! I read the book it was based on (of the same name) many, many years ago when I first got into Clive Barker, and I couldn’t remember much of it, so I was pleasantly surprised when as I went through the graphic novel adaptation it started to come back to me in a fantastically visual way! I was also amazed that the  writers were able to adapt a really long book (my copy has 698 thin bible-like pages covered in smallish font and out of my Barker collection is only beaten by its neighbour, Imajica, at over 1000 even more bible-y pages) into a graphic novel without seriously cutting down the plot. Bravo! I then finished it off by reading Seduth on Friday afternoon, which was an excellent, creepy, gory, trippy and artfully illustrated original comic written by Barker. Even if the two adaptations were rubbish (which they were far from!) the omnibus would’ve been worth it just for Seduth.


Besides the  Clive Barker Omnibus, I also devoured The Rescue (The Guardians of Ga’Hoole # 3) by Kathryn Lasky 

the rescue

over the last two weeks (which was a rollicking ride setting up even more action and plot development in the books to come) so this weekend I was able to choose a new book and graphic novel out of the jar.


Once again I let Sarah choose the slips out of the jar. Since I have quite a few books under the red category (books borrowed from others) and people may want them back at some point, I got her to choose one of these which was:

World war z - Jar O' Books

World War Z by Max Brooks, “an oral history of the Zombie war” which my workmate, Scott lent to me and is the basis for the new Zombie blockbuster of the same name. I started it last night, and already its fascinating and promises to be a great zombie book 😀

For the accompanying Comic Companion Sarah picked:

Nevermore - Jar O' Books

 Nevermore by Edgar Allan Poe , Ian EdgintonJamie DelanoJohn Reppion, and Leah Moore (writers) and D’IsraeliJames (Jim) FletcherJohn McCreaShane Oakley and Steve Pugh (artists), which I borrowed from my work early on in the challenge. Last night I read the first 3 stories (The Raven; The Pit and the Pendulum; and The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar) and enjoyed the simple, but effective, black ink-work and how the tales (2 of which I read in Tales of Mystery and Imagination, plus The Raven, which I was very familiar with previously) were adapted into modern settings and experiences. I look forward to the other 6 tales (The Murders in the Rue Morgue; The Fall of the House of Usher; The Black Cat; The Oval Portrait; The Tell-Tale Heart; and The Masque of the Red Death) which were all included in Tales of Mystery and Imagination and were among some of my favourites.

It seems, in fact that my adventures with Poe did not end with the challenge because recently I also received a surprise gift from Scott:

Batman Nevermore

All 5 volumes of a comic called Batman: Nevermore in which Batman (probably my favourite superhero) is in the world of Poe, Baltimore in the late 1800s! Scott, knowing of my Batman favouritism (as we often discuss comics, films and other nerdy fun) and my recent readings of Poe was culling his comic collection and thought that rather than donating them or throwing them away he should see if I was interested (good thinking Scott!). I have already added them to the Jar O’ Books (as a set since they’re single comics, not large volumes of a graphic novel) and I’m excited to read them at some point (as is my brother, another Scott, who is also a fan of Poe and Batman).

Around the same time I received two parcels from Book Depository which contained a series I recently bought:

downside ghosts

Sorry the pic’s a bit crappy – It’s from my phone and I couldn’t get a better one since I’ve now lent two of them to Sarah 😛

I’m so pleased to now own all 5 of the Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane because I loved the first 3 books (so much so that I tracked down 2 and 3 via State Library interlibrary loans) and could not find the next one anywhere! Luckily they were available on Book Depository for 7 and a bit dollars each 😀 ❤ I of course immediately added Book 4 Sacrificial Magic, to the  Jar O’ Books so fingers-crossed I’ll get to read it soon (otherwise I might have to cheat my own system :P)

Lastly I put even more strain on my bookshelf (and bank account) when I went to Supanova on Sunday. I knew I was going to get at least 1 book (Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff  because  he was there to sign it and I had recently started reading his hilarious blog namely this great post, The hittable reflex, about people perusing his book at conventions) and was expecting to maybe buy a new addition (or two) to the Comic Companions horde. What I did not envision was this mighty (and heavy) haul:

Supanova buys

Besides Stormdancer (which I did get signed by Jay 🙂 ) me and Sarah stumbled upon the Ticonderoga Publications stall (which are an Australian independent publisher who specialise in Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror short stories and are regulars at Swancon) and took advantage of their buy 2, get 1 free offer. We both bought The Lady of Situations by local horror author, Stephen Dedmanbut different second choices and free books (because there was a choice of 4 free collections) so we could borrow from each other 🙂

My second choice was The Girl With No Hands by Angela Slatter which was billed as stories which go back to the traditional form of fairytales (which of course intrigued me greatly!) and I picked Fantastic Wonder Stories edited by Russell B. Farr which sounded like more fairytale fun. Sarah bought a collection of vampire stories called Red Dead Heart also edited by Russell B. Farr, and picked Magic Dirt: the best of Sean Williams as her free offering.

As if my bag wasn’t heavy enough with 4 books I then visited the huge Kings Comics stall and bought  Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft , which is an interesting looking graphic novel written by Joe Hill , with art by  Gabriel Rodriguez , colours by Jay Fotos and lettering by Robbie Robbins; and the The Sandman vol # 4: Season of Mists by Neil GaimanUpon purchasing my graphic novels I was given another free thing:

DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels And Chronology 2013

The DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels And Chronology 2013 lists a whole bunch of graphic novels by hero, or type, or creator with short explanations, issue numbers, prices, and the order they’re read in! I looked through it last night and got a lot of new ideas for the Comic Companions challenge so it was certainly a great, and surprising free thingy!

That’s it for now, after possibly exhausting you all with my crazed book buying! I am on term break after the end of this week, which will either mean a couple of weeks of more posting than usual coz I’m bored and I’ll be reading more, or a couple of weeks where I’ll be non-existent because I’m enjoying my relaxing holidays (probably the latter :P), however I have been working on the next installment of The Micro Reviews From Planet Procrastination so that may go up before my break begins.

Until next time I bid all my Bookbaggers:

Happy Reading!


Notable Quotable # 68

There is never any call for envy or stinginess in owls, Soren. We have the sky, we have the great forests and trees. We are the most beautiful fliers on earth. Why would we envy any other bird or animal.

  • Soren remembering his mother’s words, The Rescue by Kathryn Lasky, pg. 110the rescue