Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Killer, Come Back to Me by Ray Bradbury


Published by Hard Case Crime, this book celebrates Ray Bradbury’s centennial. This book collects 20 of Ray Bradbury’s crime stories, some of which have rarely been reprinted. Bradbury’s crime stories are not easy to come by. Originally published in the pulp magazines, these 20 stories offer a range of stylistic approaches to their subject matter. This is a good collection, but far from the best. These stories represent Bradbury’s developing talent as a narrative stylist. I enjoyed re-reading those stories I’ve read before, and I enjoyed getting acquainted with a few I was unfamiliar with. As a collector, I generally buy any new collections or reprints that have notable distinction from other editions. Hard Case Crime puts out high quality hardbacks and paperbacks, and this made a really fine addition to my collection. The cover artwork is by Paul Mann. Bradbury’s narrative powers are on full display, and as far as I’m concerned, returning to Ray Bradbury’s work is always a cause for celebration. This is a “Must Have” for your home library. Here are the stories you’ll find in Killer, Come Back to Me by Ray Bradbury: 


A Touch 0f Petulance
The Screaming Woman
The Trunk Lady

“I’m Not So Dumb” 
Killer, Come Back to Me! 
Dead Men Rise Up Never 
Where Everything Ends

Corpse Carnival
And So Died Riabouchinska
Yesterday I Lived! 
The Town Where No One Got Off 
The Whole Town’s Sleeping 
At Midnight, In the Month of June

The Smiling People
The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl 
The Small Assassin 
Marionettes, Inc. 
Punishment Without Crime 
Some Live Like Lazarus 
The Utterly Perfect Murder

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Superman: The Golden Age Volume 5

 At a time when DC Comics is in flux, as their recent layoffs and staff purges reminded us, the importance of getting comic books in the hands of young readers takes on added importance. Like it or not, this is the age of digital readers, and many comic book companies are going the digital route. That’s fine as long as it gets people reading. This fifth volume of DC’s Golden Age reprints issues from 1942 to 1943. I’ve said before, this historic reprinting is the preferred full color format and includes cover art, which in this case is by Jack Burnley and is adapted from the cover of Superman # 19. The great Jerry Siegel wrote all of the stories included here. Other artists at this time are Joe Shuster, John Sikela, and Fred Ray. These stories take place during World War II, and yes, the Japanese and Germans are presented as stereotypes that might make some politically correct people today feel a tad uncomfortable. Too bad for them. That’s no reason to ignore or condemn this book. DC editors wisely and correctly include this statement on the indicia page: “The comics in this volume were produced in a time when racism played larger role in society and popular culture both consciously and unconsciously. They are unaltered in this collection, with the understanding that they are presented as historical documents.” DC has handled these paperback reprints exactly the right way. Other comic book companies should note the quality of this paperback format and take heed. The stories themselves are entertaining, with the typical plots demonstrating Superman’s strength and ingenuity. They are wholesome in that regard, and the word balloons are crammed with dialogue. I sincerely hope that DC Comics executive continue these incredible collections. Kudos!