BOOKGASMARAZZI >> Popgun Friday 2.26.10

Image Comics’ graphic mixtape POPGUN VOLUME FOUR was released this week, and last night, two of its contributors were on hand at New World Comics in Oklahoma City to sign copies at a party dubbed “POPGUN Friday.” Writer (and occasional BOOKGASM contributor) Brian Winkeler has two “Bastard Road” stories in the 512-page volume.

“Elle Hath Fury” was illustrated by “Bastard” co-creator Dave Curd, who couldn’t make it, and “This Bludz for You!” was illustrated by Eric Sandhop, who could. You can see them holding court behind a way-cool Plastic Man table after the jump.

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The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology

In assembling THE NEW DEAD: A ZOMBIE ANTHOLOGY, Christopher Golden not only has rounded up a bunch of original stories from a bunch of big names, but also has restored my faith in the viability of the undead-fic genre. No same ol’ same ol’, formula-following entries here; in the idea department, the contributors actually live up to the “new” of the title.

John Connolly kicks things off with his take on perhaps the first zombie story in the history of the world: “Lazarus.” It’s your one and only warning that the contents of NEW DEAD aren’t itching to play it safe — a fact made painfully clear in the next at bat, “What Maisie Knew,” in which David Liss’ narrator keeps a female zombie as a sex slave, but worries she might recall their past together — more specifically, the circumstances surrounding her passing.

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Blood and Groom

Jill Edmondson’s BLOOD AND GROOM is a fast-paced whipcrack of a book — a little self-aware, a little edgy and a lot of fun, much like her protagonist, Sasha Jackson, an ex-rock-‘n’-roll singer trying her luck at doing small-time private investigative work. Suddenly, she is hired to look into a murder which would seem beyond her capabilities, but hey, her rates are cheap.

Jackson uncovers two rather remarkable plots along the way, and nearly gets herself killed for the trouble. The victim was murdered on what was to have been his wedding day, except he had already broken off the engagement. When our hero finds another victim who died under the same circumstances, she slowly begins to piece together the mystery.

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Who won HELLA NATION?

Evan Wright’s affinity for outsiders has inspired this deeply personal journey through what he calls “the lost tribes of America.” A collection of previously published pieces, HELLA NATION: LOOKING FOR HAPPY MEALS IN KANDAHAR, ROCKING THE SIDE PIPE, WINGNUT’S WAR AGAINST THE GAP, AND OTHER ADVENTURES WITH THE TOTALLY LOST TRIBES OF AMERICA, delivers provocative accounts of sex workers in Porn Valley, a Hollywood über-agent-turned-war documentarian and hero of America’s far right, runaway teens earning corporate dollars as skateboard pitchmen, radical anarchists plotting the overthrow of corporate America, and young American troops on the hunt for terrorists in the combat zones of the Middle East.

We have five copies to give away, going to:
• Josephine Wheeler-Diggs of Richmond, Va.
• Bernard Crowshit of Conneaut, Ohio
• Mark Hasse of Camden, Ohio
• Louis Raia of Aurora, Colo.
• Mark Guertin of Jewett City, Conn.

Buy it at Amazon.

Gone ‘Til November

It took a while — something like five or six years — but now it’s official: Wallace Stroby is back with us. And while GONE ‘TIL NOVEMBER features neither State Trooper Harry Rane, the star of THE BARBED-WIRE KISS and THE HEARTBREAK LOUNGE, nor the street-smart, predominantly Jersey Shore setting of his first two novels, anxious fans need not worry one bit. GONE ‘TIL NOVEMBER is Stroby’s finest and most assured work yet.

Late one night, Florida Sheriff’s Deputy Sara Cross answers a radio alert and arrives at the scene of a roadside shooting along a deserted stretch of highway near her home in Hopedale. There, she finds that Billy Flynn — fellow deputy, former partner and ex-lover — has shot and killed a young black man in what started as a routine traffic stop.

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BOOKS 2 FILM >> The Hound of the Baskervilles

books to filmToo bad 1959’s THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES marked Peter Cushing’s one and only time to play Sherlock Holmes on the big screen, because he does a great job at it. And too bad HOUND is the only Holmes adaptation undertaken by Hammer Films, because this had franchise potential written all over it.

After a 10-minute prologue that doesn’t even involve Holmes or Dr. Watson, detailing the curse of the well-to-do Baskerville family, the movie gets going with the plot, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle originally presented it: With Sir Charles Baskerville dead of fright, his nephew, Henry (Christopher Lee), inherits his estate on the moors, and Holmes and Watson (André Morell) suspect he may suffer the same fate as his uncle.

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PREVIEW >> Angelology

In ANGELOLOGY, her fiction debut, Danielle Trussoni delivers an epic about an ancient clash reignited in our time, between a hidden society and heaven’s darkest creatures, in a tale of ordinary people engaged in a battle that will determine the fate of the world. Enjoy this excerpt.

St. Rose Convent, Hudson River Valley, Milton, New York
December 23, 1999, 4:45

Evangeline woke before the sun came up, when the fourth floor was silent and dark. Quiet, so as not to wake the sisters who had prayed through the night, she gathered her shoes, stockings, and skirt in her arms and walked barefoot to the communal lavatory. She dressed quickly, half asleep, without looking in the mirror.

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Dolor: Chrissy — Book II

No sophomore slump with DOLOR: CHRISSY — BOOK II, the second chapter in Rick Florino’s proposed 10-novella horror series all set in the town of Dolor. In fact, I liked it even more than DOLOR: LILA.

To the newcomer, the wraparound device of the FBI agent reading diaries will make no sense. If you’re that person, simply pay no attention to that and get right into the main course, and all will be well. It’s the one with the opening line of “All the beautiful girls I know do blow.”

See?

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BULLETS, BROADS, BLACKMAIL & BOMBS >> Family Matters

bullets broads blackmail and bombsIt’s the column that was sure to happen at some point: nothing but books about one Steven Urkel. And if you believe that, then have I got a bridge for sale in Brooklyn. All right, enough of this joshing around and onto this week’s theme. All the titles have some connection to family life, be it sons, daughters or a unit as a whole.

TRUE SON OF THE BEAST! by Carter Brown — This 1970 effort really shows what happens to a writer grabbing at straws to continue his output. No longer do the novels feature light and fun travelogue-like mysteries. Now, they’ve become very graphic in their depiction of sex and bizarre situations, like some bizarre mash-up of Gothic stories and a PENTHOUSE FORUM letter.

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Olympians: Zeus: King of the Gods

Between the PERCY JACKSON adaptation and the CLASH OF THE TITANS remake, I suspect the movies are going to turn a lot of kids on to mythology this season. One good place to start would be with First Second Books’ OLYMPIANS series of graphic novels, which retell the stories of the Greek gods.

First among the four is OLYMPIANS: ZEUS: KING OF THE GODS, written and illustrated by George O’Connor. After a little-too-lengthy prologue about the gods in general coming to be, it tells the story of Zeus beginning at birth, having been sired by Kronos, who’s eaten all his previous born children. (Creepier than that: His sister is who Kronos has been knocking up.)

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