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JLaurenceCohen

JLaurenceCohen

Joined December 2018

Literary fiction in the streets, genre fiction in the sheets
review
JLaurenceCohen
Rorschach | Tom King
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Pickpick

This is a pretty intriguing political thriller that might honestly be better if it had no connection to Watchmen at all. It's very contemporary in its exploration of conspiracy thinking, even as it has a retro feel with landlines, tape recorders, and Columbo references.

Ruthiella I ❤️ Colombo! 🕵️‍♀️ “Just one more thing…” 16m
8 likes1 comment
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JLaurenceCohen
Rorschach | Tom King
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Along with HBO's Watchmen and Doomsday Clock, Tom King's Rorschach is another entry in the genre of Watchmen sequel/spinoff. King uses the tropes of detective fiction to explore the nature of conspiracy thinking.

23 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
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Pickpick

This arc has a nice flashback structure. Jorge Jimenez's attention to detail, from the creases in Oracle's pants to the needles on Scarecrow's fingers, is outstanding. Miracle Molly's ultra '80s neon pink and green leopard print outfit looks ridiculous but that's the point. The Unsanity Collective introduces ideas about the excesses of corporate capitalism.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Jorge Jimenez's art is truly outstanding and Tomeu Morey's colors are electric. The Scarecrow redesign is fresh and scary. Tynion has introduced a lot of new characters in his relatively brief Batman run--Punchline, Ghostmaker, Miracle Molly.

34 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
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After a big hiatus, I've embarked on reading the second half of Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun. I'm a huge Wolfe fan, but have been too busy to do much pleasure reading this fall. I'm only a hundred pages in, but the story is already accelerating in surprising ways--a Wolfe hallmark.

34 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
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Mehso-so

Ghost Maker is a good foil for Batman, and I love bringing Oracle back, but the story is a little flat. The art is a big step down from Jorge Jimenez's work on the previous volume.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Time travel! Podcasts! Battle of the bands! What I love about Sophie Campbell's TMNT run is that it treats its mutant characters as real people with complex motivations and social issuss.

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JLaurenceCohen
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders

I'm teaching Saunders' story "The Semplica Girl Diaries" in class tomorrow and am reminded of how brilliant Saunders is.

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JLaurenceCohen
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I'm really enjoying Gillen's Eternals run. He bounces the Eternals off of more established Marvel characters, including Thanos and the Avengers. Each character has distinct motivations and the sardonic narration is a nice touch. Esad Ribic is a spectacular artist but sometimes his style clashes with the tone of the story.

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JLaurenceCohen
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This book is just so much fun. Great secondary characters, a perfect appearance from a beloved Rebel, very funny dialogue. Big thumbs up.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Doctor Aphra is low key the best original character from Marvel's big reboot of Star Wars comics. First Kieron Gillen and now Si Spurrier have made Aphra an endearing scoundrel. In this arc, Aphra's old murder droid Triple Zero has become a mob leader. Aphra is forced to do Triple Zero's bidding or risk being exposed to Darth Vader. Emilio Laiso's art is a huge improvement on the art in the first two volumes.

25 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
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The story takes several interesting turns. The imagery is like Jack Kirby meets Miyazaki. The Mud King is a great villain because he's a consummate manipulator, always blending truth, lies, and irony. The world building is pretty effective because there's no lengthy exposition--the script is pretty lean.

34 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
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As the quest to end the Mud King's reign continues, Adam must choose between his honor and his life, while the rifts in the company grow. Remender comes up with some really cool ideas, such as a mercenary whose sword identifies the most lucrative prospect. Lots of great world building and character development in this volume, but, unfortunately, guest artist James Harren isn't as good as Opena.

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JLaurenceCohen
Seven To Eternity Vol. 1 | Rick Remender
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Seven to Eternity combines fantasy and Western elements in a story reminiscent of 3:10 to Yuma. A small group of Mosaks strive to free the land from the Mud King, but the catch is they can't kill him without also killing everyone who has accepted his Faustian bargain. The themes of tyranny, misinformation, and xenophobia are drawn from the Trump era.

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JLaurenceCohen
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I need another shelf in my office!

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JLaurenceCohen
Marvel by Design | Gestalten
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Love this oral history of the new X-Men line

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JLaurenceCohen
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Setting up my new office

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JLaurenceCohen
Who Moved My Cheese? 2004 | Spencer Johnson

This summer, my wife and I are buying a new car, buying a new house, moving to a new town, starting new jobs, and have a new baby!

Ruthiella That‘s a lot going on at once! Congratulations on your new baby! 😃 4mo
tessavi Congrats! 4mo
julesG Congratulations! 4mo
See All 6 Comments
BookishMadHatter Congratulations 🎊 4mo
ozma.of.oz Congrats! 🎉🎉🎉 4mo
Monica5 Congratulations 4mo
29 likes6 comments
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JLaurenceCohen
Lady of the Lake | Andrzej Sapkowski

Sapkowski introduces a wild framing device: figures from Arthurian legend try to reconstruct the legend of Geralt. Apparently, when Ciri passed through the Tower of the Swallow at the end of the last book, she entered the world of King Arthur. This elaborate framing sets up the story of Geralt & co--still looking for Ciri--on a detour in Toussaint.

24 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
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I like what Soule is doing a lot, but I think there's diminishing returns in trying to fit new stories between TESB and RotJ. There's only so many times you can plausibly pit Luke against Vader.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Fun to see Luke with the yellow lightsaber. Soule connects the Rebels' search for Han to some of the events from the movie Solo. This volume is also part of the larger War of the Bounty Hunters crossover.

29 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
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There are several twists and turns in this whodunnit, but the action in the middle feels superfluous. Werneck's art is luminous but, unfortunately, Messina's art on issues 3-4 drops off.

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JLaurenceCohen
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The Scarlet Witch has been found dead after the Hellfire Gala and Magneto is the prime suspect! X-Factor gets to use their investigative skills, while some of the Avengers show up to retrieve Wanda's body.

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JLaurenceCohen
Timeless: A Drizzt Novel | R. A. Salvatore
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Timeless kicks off the Generations trilogy (books 34-36 in the larger Drizzt saga). I enjoyed it a lot because the contrasting world views of Drizzt, Jarlaxle, and Zaknafein make for interesting ethical debates, which Salvatore loves to interweave with the fierce action scenes. You don't need to have read the previous 33 books to follow this one, but I'd recommend Homeland and The Pirate King.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Al Ewing's run S.W.O.R.D. continues as the team fights galactic threats and forges new alliances. This volume also includes the Cable: Reloaded one-shot, in which Rocket consults with Agent Brand for a crazy plan for Cable to execute as they fight Dormammu.

17 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
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Storm and Doctor Doom having a chat on Mars.

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JLaurenceCohen
X-Men: Hellfire Gala | Gerry Duggan, Jonathan Hickman, Al Ewing
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The Hellfire Gala is another turning point for the X-Men, as Krakoa expands its role on the world--and galactic--stage. My only complaint in the recent batch of X-books is not enough Nightcrawler!

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JLaurenceCohen
X-Men: Hellfire Gala | Gerry Duggan, Jonathan Hickman, Al Ewing
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Welcome to the Hellfire Gala, featuring the all-new X-Men line up, cameos by Doctor Doom and Captain America, and many Emma Frost costume changes!

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JLaurenceCohen
Timeless: A Drizzt Novel | R. A. Salvatore

Timeless operates in two timelines--Zaknafein's past adventures with Jarlaxle and his post-resurrection reunion with his son Drizzt and his companions. I haven't read all of the Drizzt novels and I'm following it pretty well. If you ever wondered why Jarlaxle is bald, the story is here!

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JLaurenceCohen
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Mehso-so

X-Factor combines solid character work with the thrill of investigation. Unfortunately, the last few issues compress a lot of stuff into a short space. Baldeon's art is strong.

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JLaurenceCohen
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The Hellions are a pretty random team of X-Misfits, but Zeb Wells blends character development, action, and humor in a really compelling way. Mr. Sinister is such a fun character to write because he's always scheming and treating others as disposable instruments. Psylocke brings a lot of pathos to the team, as well as extremely badass fighting skills. Segovia's art is terrific.

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JLaurenceCohen
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I'm sad that this is the end of Duggan's Cable run, but it does wrap up the 12-issue story really well, integrating Cable's time traveling into the new Krakoan phase of X-Men.

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JLaurenceCohen
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It's very funny to refer to Professor X and Magneto as the "helmet bros."

KathyWheeler 😄. I think that‘s how I shall refer to them from now on. (edited) 6mo
27 likes1 comment
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JLaurenceCohen
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Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto's Cable run remains incredibly fun. It balances humor, action, and character development. Young Cable is trying to stop his nemesis Strye, who has abducted mutant babies. If you like time travel paradoxes, you'll like this. Noto's art is really great, except that Domino is weirdly drawn differently than she is in X-Force.

23 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
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This might be the weakest arc of Percy's X-Force run. It focuses on Kid Omega defeating his evil doppelganger. While the quality of the art on most of the X-books is consistently high, the art in this one is pretty bad.

23 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
Batman: The Joker War | James Tynion IV
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Tynion draws on ideas from Grant Morrison's Batman RIP and The Dark Knight Rises, as the Joker seizes control of Wayne Enterprises--how, exactly, I'm not really sure--to wreak havoc on Gotham. With Alfred gone, Batman's best ally is . . . Harley Quinn. Jorge Jimenez is at the height of his powers and Tomeu Morey might be the best colorist in the biz.

23 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
Once & Future Vol. 4 | Kieron Gillen
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Gillen ramps up the action by having multiple undead King Arthurs battle for supremacy. I love the idea that Shakespeare is the greatest monster hunter of all time because he used plays to domesticate deadly stories.

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JLaurenceCohen
Once & Future Vol. 4 | Kieron Gillen
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Once & Future absolutely rules. Gillen, Mora, and Bonvillain are totally in sync. Gillen's writing is fast paced, Mora's character designs are intricate, and Bonvillain's colors are wonderfully bold. O&F perfectly balances action and horror. In this volume, the monsters and mythical figures proliferate, as Otherworld overtakes the UK.

25 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
Ill Will: A Novel | Dan Chaon
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Ill Will is so chilling. Chaon is very good at channeling different voices for each character. He pays close attention to minute details, such as whether a teenage guy would know the name of a certain fabric. The story unfolds in two timelines from six people's perspectives.

KathyWheeler I had started this book and put it down and didn‘t finish. I need to go back to it. 6mo
29 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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JLaurenceCohen
Ill Will: A Novel | Dan Chaon
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"No doubt this must happen to everyone at a certain age: You look up for a moment and you're not sure which life is real. You've split yourself into so many honeycombed parts that they barely notice each other--all of them pacing, concurrently, parallel streams of thought, and each one thinks of itself as me."

Ruthiella This book was so good but so creepy! 7mo
JLaurenceCohen @Ruthiella extremely creepy! 7mo
30 likes2 comments
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JLaurenceCohen
Ill Will: A Novel | Dan Chaon
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Like the film Memento, Ill Will is about crime, memory, and identity. Chaon shifts perspectives and skips around in time as he carefully unveils the story of a family destroyed by murder set against the backdrop of the "Satanic Panic" of the '80s.

31 likes2 stack adds
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JLaurenceCohen
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Pickpick

A lot of Dark Nights Death Metal doesn't make a ton of sense, but Wonder Woman has a chainsaw, which is pretty rad. Snyder incorporates a bunch of stuff from across DC comics history, including putting the heroes and villains together to fight a greater evil.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Death Metal is the final event of Scott Snyder's Justice League run, which kicked off with Dark Nights Metal. Snyder once again collaborated with Greg Capullo, his partner in crime from all the way back during his original New 52 Batman run. Whereas in Snyder and Capullo's Black Label story Last Knight on Earth Wonder Woman was the skeptic and Batman was the optimist, in this story Batman is the pessimist and Wonder Woman is the more hopeful one.

28 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
Marvel by Design | Gestalten
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Marvel by Design is an awesome coffee table book about the visual elements--lettering, panel layouts, font, logos, color schemes--in Marvel comics and marketing. It's a great primer on how comics are assembled, as well as an interesting case study of graphic design principles.

21 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
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review
JLaurenceCohen
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Pickpick

Percy is really good at conveying the sheer weight of Wolverine's trauma, acquired through decades of deadly missions. Adam Kubert's art makes great use of inset panels and negative space.

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JLaurenceCohen
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"Today is a victory over yourself of yesterday"

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JLaurenceCohen
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More misadventures from everyone's favorite X-Pirates. Kate and Emma get some payback from their semi-ally Sebastian Shaw. Stefano Caselli finds really inventive ways to show Kate using her phasing powers. The arc sets up the Hellfire Gala crossover event.

18 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
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Pickpick

I had a great time strolling down a few of Marvel's many lanes with Doug Wolk. Most of the book is a daisy chain of brief comments on particular issues that Wolk has selected for their artistic, thematic, or commercial significance. This book is the ultimate sampler platter: a bit of history, a bit of art criticism, a bit of cultural context, and a taste of all the Marvel characters without nearly exhausting any single story.

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JLaurenceCohen
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"At the very end of the gigantic Marvel story, Reed [Richards] does exactly the same thing he did at its beginning, building a rocket and bringing his family on board with him. The first time he's trying to break free of the Earth, and this time he's trying to break free of the collapsing reality of his narrative."