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Supernatural And/Or Spooky

It is the Friday before a long weekend and I have far to travel. Let’s do this.

  • I read Wayward #1 by Jim Zub and Steve Cummings yesterday; my thoughts on the story were shared here last month, as Zub was kind enough to send me a preview PDF, so I’ll just add one thought. Namely, reading this story on paper makes it even better. Yeah, yeah, digital distribution is the future of comics and it would solve my bookshelf space problem, but some things you just need to have the sensation of flipping pages. I look forward to many months of traditional Japanese monsters getting their asses kicked by teen girls.
  • Also mentioned last month; Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods, which it took me forever to find a copy of. It was worth every bit of the wait, however, as Carroll weaves five tales of … I know the usual word there is terror, but that’s not quite the right word. Terror jumps out at you and screams boogedy-boogedy, jumps up your heart rate and makes you scream, but relies on that suddenness, that shock to gets its scares. Carroll’s stories are instead built on a foundation of unsettlement, as things seem a little wrong, then a little more, and pretty soon you can’t tell when things weren’t wrong and just the act of trying to get back to where they are un-wrong seems impossible and futile.

    And that’s a more scarifying, a more legitimately I have to put this book down right now or I will never sleep again-inducing way of telling stories than any attempt by mere terror. Carroll starts firmly in the pre-industrial past, where the wrong things are safely in the deep dark woods, feared by the primitive and ignorant, and nobody today could fall afoul of such imaginary beasties, ha ha. But with each story, the clothes are little less simple, the homes a little less anachronistic, the language a little more modern and holy crap the last story is all the way in the 20th century and there are cars and doctors and flappers and shit, shit, shit those beasties and haunts have persisted until the present day and that means they could be

    right here

    in the room



    That’s why Through The Woods is the most frightening book I’ve ever read, the delicious kind of scares that settle into your brain and take up housekeeping, the ones that make you reflect on your life and resolve to be a much better person because none of the protagonists of her five stories was horrible (okay, the guy who killed his brother in a jealous fit) and look how they ended up. If I’m good enough that won’t happen to me.


  • Good news that doesn’t involve existential dread! Noelle Stevenson’s Lumberjanes is described in the house ads of this week’s BOOM! Studios comics as no longer being an eight-issue limited series, but rather an ongoing series. Well done, Team Lumberjanes!
  • Your semiregular reminder: Ryan North never forgets. NEVER.

Spam of the day:

Greetings from {Idaho|Carolina|Ohio|Colorado|Florida|Losangeles|California}! I’m {bored to tears|bored to death|bored} at work so I decided to {check out|browse} your {site|website|blog} on my iphone during lunch break. Just wanted to {tell you|mention|say} keep up the {fantastic|excellent|great|good} {job|work}!

This is excellent — somebody forgot to run the script that turns a Mad Libs-style template into a pseudo-unique blogspam message, and sent the entire damn thing to me. It’s 2800 words long and totally not suspicious in the least!

¹ You see the book credited everywhere as “Jim Zub’s Wayward“, but Zub is a classy guy and insists that we acknowledge artist Cummings’s contributions, to the point of calling him his co-creator.

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