Lagoon, Signal to Noise, and other great books I’ve read lately

As part of a determined “read things for fun” kick (as opposed to “read for review/story research/copy edit” which had become most of my reading) as well as an attempt to read more diversely, I decided to stop adding things to my To Be Read list and start TBRing them. And thanks to many good recommendations and things like K. Tempest Bradford’s challenge, I got to read some awesome books.
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Classic Canadian comic heroes to be collected for first time

Splash page from Johnny Canuck’s first adventure.

You may not have heard of Brok Windsor or Johnny Canuck, but back during the Second World War they were part of Canada’s Golden Age of comic books. Comics from the U.S. were deemed “non-essential” imports under wartime legislation and as such were not allowed into Canada. But kids were already hooked on superheroes, adventure comics, humour books and more. So a homegrown Canadian comic book industry was born — and it lasted until the end of the war.

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Thunder God Thursday: Walter Simonson’s Ragnarök

simonson-ragnarok-teaseShould you be interested in Walter Simonson’s Ragnarök? If you’re already familiar with the writer-artist’s work, particularly his acclaimed run on Marvel’s Thor, you can probably skip to the line below.

TL;DR – Shut up and take my money. Yes, it’s that good.
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Why you should read Walt Simonson’s entire run on Thor

MightyThorOmnibuscropIn the 1980s, superhero comics were in the process of reinventing themselves for a more sophisticated audience, and one of the creators who took advantage of that was writer/artist Walt Simonson when he took the reins at Marvel Comics’ Thor.

Chris Clarememont and John Byrne had made their mark on The Uncanny X-Men; Frank Miller and Klaus Janson had overhauled Daredevil into something epic. (Byrne and Miller, of course, later revolutionized Superman and Batman, respectively.) But Simonson, who had worked on The Mighty Thor in the late 1970s, already had mythic material to start with, and when he returned to the title he built it into a world-shattering story.
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Werewolf Wednesday: Anathema and other news

Looks like a busy fall for those keen on werewolves, whether you’re a creator like Rachel Deering, who just launched the second issue of Anathema but is now looking for a new artist to draw the remaining four issues, or a keen fan looking forward to HowlCon 2012 or the new DVD rerelease of An American Werewolf In London. While you’re at it, you can get kitted out in style with the new werewolf tee available at Werewolf News.

Anathema returns

Readers of As You Were should be familiar with the work of Rachel Deering, whose lycanthropic tale of revenge, Anathema, has garnered rave reviews.

The success of the first issue enabled Rachel, who is publishing the series independently, to fund issues 2 – 6 in part thanks to a second successful Kickstarter campaign that concluded this spring.
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Thunder God Thursday: Thor hits the funnybooks

Artist Oliver Coipel revamped Thor’s look for Marvel Comic’s reboot of the series, written by J. Michael Straczynski, in 2007.

Author’s note: a few things have changed since this was written. First, there was the resurrection of Thor by Marvel Comics in the acclaimed run on the new title by J. Michael Straczynski, alluded to in the comments from Tom Brevoort below. Also, there were new incarnations of Norse myths in independent comics, such as Grant Gould’s The Wolves of Odin.

And one other thing, what was that?  Oh yeah, Marvel’s Thor is going to be a female character now, which has some people excited (nothing wrong with a more diverse Marvel lineup) and some people upset (because they forget Marvel’s Thor has also been a frog and a horse-faced alien, among other incarnations).

Add to that, two blockbuster movies starring Chris Hemsworth as the titular thunder god, who also featured in The Avengers movie and in its sequel, The Age of Ultron, due out in 2015.  If you want to see how the god of thunder went from medieval god to modern superman, read on…

The Modern Edda: Norse myths in comics

Though their names leap out at us from the days of the week, Norse gods were relatively obscure until recently. Opera figures of Siegfried and Brunnhild were one tentative step into this pagan world, but it took another form of entertainment to plunge a new generation into the old myths: comic books.
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