Three on a Theme: Animal Comics

Animals often figure prominently in comic strips and graphic novels, but the ways in which they are represented and the roles they play in telling a story vary greatly across genres and the works of different authors. Often, animals in the comics genre exist mainly for comedic relief, representing cartoon caricatures or anthropomorphisms that tell us more about human beings than they do about the animal they are representing. Here are three graphic novels where animals are represented in a different way – as narrators, protagonists, or silent companions.

The Rabbi’s Cat by Jonathan Sfar
This is a gorgeous tail about humanity, religion, and… cathood… that takes place in 1930s Algeria and is imbued with a healthy dose of magical realism. The protagonist is a cat belonging to the daughter of a rabbi, who accidentally acquires the power of speech after eating a parrot. Now able to communicate with humans, the cat asks the rabbi for an education and to begin practicing Judaism, sparking a theological debate about whether or not a cat can be Jewish. This novel is beautifully illustrated, with bright colors, warm landscapes, and lively, dynamic characters (both human and non-human alike). The story deftly explores themes of what it means to have a religion, what it means to have a friend, and what it means to coexist in relationship with others. Continue reading “Three on a Theme: Animal Comics”

Who You Gonna Call?

Life can be uncertain, sometimes things get out of hand, and sometimes things are so bad that you need to call in a professional to solve it. Well, if you need help with an Ancient One, outbreak of werewolves, or just a simple disappearance, then these are the folks to call. (If it’s just ghosts, call these guys.)

The Atrocity Archives by Charles StrossThe Laundry Files by Charles Stross

Bob Howard is a computer expert. Not exactly a hacker, but with that little bit of curiosity that never ends well. Playing around with new (to him) fractal equations, Bob finds out, in a most direct manner, that he came quite close to “landscaping Wolverhampton with alien nightmares” and is, um, strenuously encouraged to work for The Laundry, a secret division of British intelligence. Though an office job (cubicle included) Bob does a surprising amount of travel for work, often to deal with Cthulian nightmares, suppress a breakout of Gorgonism, or the like. Unfortunately for Bob, though, saving the world requires quite a few meetings. Continue reading “Who You Gonna Call?”

#BookBingoNW2020: Two Books by the Same Author

Can’t believe this is our last Book Bingo square post! It’s definitely been an added challenge to stay focused. I’ve found with two books by the same author that you can go back to some of those authors you love. Re-read your favorite novel of theirs and grab one of theirs you haven’t read yet and tah-dah! Two squares done!

As a reminder Book Bingo ends September 8th and there are so many ways to get your card counted. Check out our Book Bingo page on how to play. And if you have any additional questions reach out to us on Ask Us!

T. Greenwood: I have read quite a few of Tammy’s books over the years and have found that they are all equally amazing. Her story telling creates a reality that will have you believe the characters live in your everyday life.

Breathing Water
This was the first book I read by the author, it chronicles an abusive relationship. Effie Greer confronts the ghosts of her past by going back to face the trauma of a violent day. She finds strength in the unexpected.

Rust & Stardust
Sally Horner was kidnapped in 1948 by Frank La Salle, who in order to win her trust pretended to be an FBI agent. This novel is a fictionalization of the true story that inspired Nabokov’s Lolita, but told from the perspective of Sally. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: Two Books by the Same Author”

100 Years of Agatha Christie

In October of this year, we get to celebrate Agatha Christie being brought into our lives. Her first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles was published in the U.S. in October of 1920. The United States was first to be introduced to Hercule Poirot. He would go on to be the main character in 33 of her novels, 2 plays, and 50 short stories, and be the only literary character to ever have a written obituary in the New York Times. His death was written into Agatha Christie’s novel Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case. Poirot had his own television series that aired for 24 years on ITV, not to mention many renditions of his books made into movies, most recently Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express.

Continue reading “100 Years of Agatha Christie”

Book Series by Volume – Sleuth Edition

Today’s Book Series by Volume adds three more cubic feet to your already stuffed bookshelves (if they aren’t over-stuffed then you need to get to work on that) with three series you should investigate.

Leaphorn and Chee by Tony Hillerman – This series of 18 books fills in about one cubic foot, though the area it covers is as large as the Navajo Nation. Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police Department is a craggy, quiet, and thoughtful man who is intensely curious and logically rigorous. Officer Jim Chee holds Leaphorn in great esteem, but feels the weight of his shadow at times. Chee has a greater attachment to Navajo spirituality than the Lieutenant which, at times, causes an odd juxtaposition where the younger man espouses traditionalism versus the older man’s respectful rejection of superstition.

Throughout this series, Hillerman educates the reader in Navajo social, spiritual, and artistic culture and somehow makes the intensely hot, dusty, and rocky expanse of the Navajo Reservation a thing of beauty. For someone born and raised here in the Evergreen state of Washington as I am, that is quite the trick. Continue reading “Book Series by Volume – Sleuth Edition”