First off, here's to hitting double digits with this little endeavor. Thanks for joining me on this ever-expanding adventure into new awesomeness.
Issue 010 orbits around the concept of encountering new worlds. Be it the ones outside your front door or ones a galaxy away. Let's go exploring.
The Raw Shark Texts
First up is one of my favorite books in well over a decade. Here's what you need to know about me - when it comes to reading, I like it weird. And this book? It delivers - in spades.
A friend handed me an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall to see what I thought. I could tell that he was excited about this book by the look in his eyes. So I took it home and cracked it open.
2 days later, I resurfaced.
I've handed this book to many people over the last decade. I only, really, receive one of two reactions: 1. "That was so weird. I loved it!" and 2. "What the #@$% was that?"
So. It's a book that elicits a strong emotional response. And if you read it, you'll see why. I don't want to say much about it because the less you know going in, the better.
Suffice to say, If you commit to following the second Eric Sanderson through this story, you will find yourself diving deep into some delightfully strange rabbit holes.
Speaking of delightfully strange...
I discovered Rumble by way of James Harren. I've been digging his illustrations since discovering his work through Instagram. The designs and premise of the book seemed like the weird kind of storytelling that was right up my alley. John Arcudi, as writer, certainly didn't hurt. I have a whole shelf full of his B.P.R.D. work.
This is one of those stories where the perfectly mundane take a hard turn for the strange when Bobby, a loser bartender, gets dragged into a war of monsters from millennia past.
Harren's work is why I picked this up and, holy cow is it splendid and strange. Kinetic, gritty, absurd - and the monster designs are just wonderful.
Side note: Like many of Image's books these days, it's not for the kiddos. Enjoy at your own discretion.
Travelogue: Volume 1 by Michael Giacchino and his Nouvelle Modernica Orchestra
OK. So far we've had amnesiacs finding clues about their former selves and a loveable loser holding the key to winning a war of monsters, millennia old. Let's dig into a musical exploration of an alien's experience visiting Earth.
Yes. You read that right.
Thanks to Mondo, I discovered that Michael Giacchino released a non-movie-score album perfect for a music omnivore such as myself. Travelogue: Volume 1 is the definition of a concept album. While mainly instrumental, there are bits of story and dialogue that weave throughout the album. The story of an alien arriving on Earth and what she discovers.
Giacchino is one of the most prolific composers for film, TV, and video games working today. If you've watched anything in the last 20 years, you've heard his work.
Apparently, Travelogue has been out for a bit, but Mondo's special vinyl release was impossible to pass up. Especially after checking out what the album sounded like online.
The multicolored LPs and the package design are brilliant and beautiful. I've gotten out of the habit of buying vinyl. My schedule doesn't seem to allow for near as much record spinning these days as I'd like. But this? It's certainly a great way to get back into the game. A lovely listen and a stunning display piece. What more could you ask for, really?
As this is "Volume 1" I'm crossing my fingers that more volumes are on the horizon for Michael Giacchino and his Nouvelle Modernica Orchestra. I would love to continue this journey.