25 Books to Read Before You Die

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

Bodyworld by Dash Shaw

Citrus County by John Brandon

The Cry of the Sloth by Sam Savage

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

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

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

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

Lucinella (Contemporary Art of the Novella) by Lore Segal

Lucinella (Contemporary Art of the Novella) by Lore Segal

Mesopotamia by Arthur Nersesian

Misadventure by Millard Kaufman

The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones

Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books by William M. Kuhn

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

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

To Hell with Cronje by Ingrid Winterbach

Walled States, Waning Sovereignty by Wendy Brown

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