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Shade the Changing Man Vol. 1: The American Scream by Peter Milligan

The Red-Headed Poet: Peter Milligan's Changing Man

A review by Martyn Pedler

The POW! and KABOOM! of childhood superheroes is only one of the defining moments of my comic fandom. The other is my discovery of DC Comics' "mature readers" books -- those that became the first wave of their Vertigo imprint in the early 1990s. They began with Alan Moore's Swamp Thingbefore splintering into a dozen variations, notably the Swamp Thing spin-off Hellblazer; Grant Morrison's Animal Man and Doom Patrol; and, of course, Neil Gaiman's Sandman. It had the kind of fans that wrote terrible Morpheus-inspired poetry for its letter columns, and became so ubiquitous that even Gaiman joked that Sandman was passed around relationships like a venereal disease.

Because they had a foot in the familiar DC Universe -- hey, Sandman met the Martian Manhunter long before he met Shakespeare, remember? -- these comics were a comforting bridge between corporate superhero comics and more alternative, sometimes creator-owned fare. Many of these titles remain in print, their collections...



Previously Reviewed by Bookslut
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Walled States, Waning Sovereignty by Wendy Brown

Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall, there's been a strange increase in wall-building. It's not just a resurgence in the construction of physical walls, like the Israeli West Bank barrier, the US-Mexico border fence, or similar barriers on the edges of the European Union or the borders of India, ...


To Hell with Cronje by Ingrid Winterbach

Two thousand ten might be called a banner year for Afrikaans women in English, if a few fat books can be said to make a banner. Marlene van Niekerk's Agaat won a blurb from Toni Morrison and a review from the New York Times, while a reprint of Begging to be Black by Antjie Krog flew disappointingly ...


Hollywood Westerns and American Myth: The Importance of Howard Hawks and John Ford for Political Philosophy (Castle Lectures in Ethics, Politics, & Economics) by Robert B. Pippin

There's a strange moment near the end of John Ford's The Searchers, which, if you believe the argument of Robert Pippin's new study of the mythic narratives in classic Westerns, has much to say not just about the meaning of the film, but about the very nature of our political life. John Wayne, as...


Lucinella (Contemporary Art of the Novella) by Lore Segal

Artists are cherished and reviled for their bad behavior. They transgress where normal people cannot. In Lore Segal's Lucinella, a thrilling experimental novella first published in 1976 and now reissued by Melville House's Contemporary Art of the Novella series, New York poets are a competitive and ...


Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference by Cordelia Fine

In 1972, when I was ten, my mother co-authored a study on sex-stereotyping in children's readers entitled "Dick and Jane as Victims." The study's authors, who called themselves Women on Words and Images (WOWI), examined 134 elementary school readers from 14 different publishers all then in use in...


In Our Control: The Complete Guide to Contraceptive Choices for Women by Laura Eldridge

Young women discover very quickly that navigating their sexuality is a perilous journey through treacherous and unforgiving waters. With whom, when, how soon, how often, even just how, not to mention the adjacent Scylla and Charybdis whirlpools of pregnancy/reproduction and femininity (and the...


Misadventure by Millard Kaufman

Misadventure contains all the quick-fire, lingo-saturated dialogue of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross with the twisting plot arcs of a Coen Brothers noir. Millard Kaufman, one of the creators of the Mr. Magoo cartoon character, weaves a story full of distinctive oddities, mystery worthy of...


Mesopotamia by Arthur Nersesian

Arthur Nersesian is a New York writer. His debut novel The Fuck-Up remains one of the most notable depictions of the Lower East Side of the late 1980s. Follow-ups like Manhattan Loverboy, The Swing Voter of Staten Island, and The Sacrificial Circumcision of the Bronx stayed just as close to home -- ...


Citrus County by John Brandon

Citrus County is the story of a crime that tears apart middle school classmates Toby and Shelby. Toby is the criminal and Shelby is the victim, but Toby hasn't been caught. Actually, he and Shelby are dating. And their lives aren't torn apart in the sense that they become the center of a police...


Bodyworld by Dash Shaw

Before you read Dash Shaw's BodyWorld, you should note his strict instructions inside the cover: "THIS BOOK IS FOR IDEAL READERS ONLY!!!" Is that you? Consider the fact that even before you wade into the story, you'll have to grapple with it as a physical object. Will your first thought be "This is ...


Shade the Changing Man Vol. 1: The American Scream by Peter Milligan

The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones

Lucinella (Contemporary Art of the Novella) by Lore Segal

Flow: Cultural Story of Menstruation (09 Edition) by Elissa Stein

The Cry of the Sloth by Sam Savage

Ambrose Bierce's Write It Right: The Celebrated Cynic's Language Peeves Deciphered, Appraised, and Annotated for 21st-Century Readers by Ambrose Bierce

Shoplifting from American Apparel (Contemporary Art of the Novella) by Tao Lin


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