Sex, drugs. rock & roll…blah blah blah. BUY MY BOOK. All the usual places or here for a signed copy: https://t.co/8MPLKMfND5” – Kristin Casey
For the Creepy Foodie who loves “Another” Manga:
Anthony Bourdain- Hungry Ghosts
Hungry Ghosts was Tony’s idea. I think he mentioned it first during an interview for Get Jiro!: Blood and Sushi, a prequel to our New York Times’ #1 best-selling graphic novel, Get Jiro! “Edo period Japanese ghost stories” was how he presented it to me, as I remember. “One hundred samurais in a dark room, telling stories to scare the shit out of each other.”
Sounded good to me. What could be better? I was on board.-
“Where Food and Horror Met for Anthony Bourdain and Me” by Joel Rose
In this intriguing essay, Author Joel Rose, friend and longtime collaborator of The Late Anthony Bourdain, relates the story of how their final collaboration, ANTHONY BOURDAIN’S HUNGRY GHOSTS came to be. A series of horror stories inspired by the popular Japanese Edo period parlor game of Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
The graphic novel substitutes chefs in place of the traditional samurai, and transforms the classic stories of yokai, yorei, and obake by adding a common thread: food is central to each bone-chilling tale!
So what are you waiting for?
Here’s the link
For the “Space Monkey” who refers to himself as “I am Jack’s smirking revenge!”:
Chuck Palchucknik -Adjustment Day
Fat Cats get fatter and America continues to fail the vast majority. Angry young men simmer, with nothing to lose.
Talbott Reynolds appears on TV promising a new system built truly by the people. Copies of his little blue and black manifesto proliferate quickly underground through the U.S., speaking of an “Adjustment Day” a reckoning that will bring power to the powerless.
The premise of Chuck Palahniuk‘s new novel ‘Adjustment Day’ is just as irreverent, relevant and revelatory about the disaffected male psyche today as ‘Fight Club’ was in the ’90s. Only now, it’s no secret, people know (or should have expected) Adjustment Day and they didn’t see it coming.
The wheels come off the bus in the most spectacularly “Palahniukian”(trademark) of ways!
This novel blew my mind!
If you want to read it clean with no spoilers you might want to pick up a copy before you dig into my exclusive interview with Author Chuck Palahniuk
Again here’s the link
For that heroic little polymath who’s an Amazon-in-training:
I am Elemental Elements of Power Workbook/Superhero Starter Kits
This is a twofer- Featured in my Article: Award Winning Toy Company I Am Elemental Marks Veterans Day with new “Elements of Power” Workbook. Part of the profits from the company’s new children’s activity book, the Elements of Power Workbook, support United Through Reading, an organization that connects military families who are separated — for deployment or military assignment — by providing the bonding experience of shared story-time.
The book features female action-figure pioneers IAmElementals award-winning action figures who are fierce, strong females ready to save the world. Series 1/Courage Bravery, Energy, Honesty, Industry, Enthusiasm, Persistence and Fear
Series 2/Wisdom includes Creativity, Ingenuity, Curiosity, Logic, Exploration, Mastery and Oblivion. These beautifully crafted figures make the perfect gift for kids, collectors, educators, activists and powerful people everywhere.
For the holidays, IAmElemental’s figures are available in limited-edition gift sets including Superhero Starter Kits.
I’ll let you know how awesome this workbook is. My daughter reviewed this. She’s already found her polymath sister in Hypatia, “Daddy! Did you know Hypatia of Alexandra was a philosopher, mathematician and astronomer? She even drove her own chariot! She was sooooo cool!”
Support children in finding female heroes to inspire them and #supportourveterans and their families as well! You can’t go wrong. Go to http://shop.iamelemental.com/
For the “Woke” Humanist/Anti-Apartheid activist who thinks they don’t like Graphic Novels:
Mandela and The General
Today Nelson Mandela is an international icon: the first leader of the new South Africa, an anti-apartheid hero and a universal symbol of justice. But in 1994, Mandela’s nonviolent struggle for equality very nearly spiraled into an all-out war that would have only ended in “the peace of graveyards.”
As the first post-apartheid elections approached with South African blacks poised to take power, the nation’s whites feared reprisal. White nationalist militias claiming 50,000 well- armed former soldiers stood ready to fight to the death to defend their cause.
As tensions throughout the country mounted, Mandela began to meet with the unlikeliest of political allies— General Constand Viljoen, former chief of apartheid South Africa’s military.
The two leaders met in secret, in the hopes of keeping their followers and radical fringe elements from acts of violence. Despite the misgivings of their advisers, the two men put aside their differences for the good of the country.
This is that story and it’s by John Carlin, the author of INVICTUS, and the acclaimed artist Oriol Malet.
It’s timely, riveting and beautifully illustrated.
Here’s the link
For that closet Slam Poet:
How To Wait by Erin M. Kelly
In my review of How To Wait’ by Erin, I said, “…she wields her words like a velvet lined gauntlet. She throws them down and challenges us to not look away in this remarkable volume of Poetry”. I stand by that statement upon re-reading.
Erin M.Kelly first utilized her creativity as a way to learn to live with and understand her diagnosis of cerebral palsy. That being said, to assume Erin is defined by her disability, or that she somehow has some inherent “pass” would be a HUGE mistake.
How To Wait gives voice to hard truths of someone who historically has struggled at the fringes to occupy the center, the poems in How To Wait have a sardonic, clever tinge, it isn’t one bit morose or self-pitying. Her poetry is at times a clever observer commentary on the vagaries of humanity and random chance.
You need to read this book. And, gift it to someone you appreciate!
Here’s the link
For the discerning Occult Action Comic lover of historical fiction who owns “Shaft in Africa” on VHS:
Bitter Root written by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and illustrated by Sanford Greene
The new series by Comic Book Dream-Team-David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene. Set during the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance, follows the Sangerye Family—New York (and the world’s) only hope for salvation from supernatural forces threatening doom and destruction with variant covers by Sanford Green & Mike Mignola (Hellboy)!
Imagine a Blaxploitation flick directed by Oscar Micheaux produced by Hammer films, and you’re at the heart of BITTER ROOT. The creators have carved out their own mythology much like early black cinema pioneers.
It’s a familiar world, but totally original in how the creators ingeniously weave macabre, steampunk and horror comic influences into a rich gumbo of badass occult action!
The book does everything a first issue should do! It’s the right balance of giving the reader enough to want more, without giving too much away.
A great comic story is only as good as its villains motivation and it’s heroes resolve. Slavery and domestic terrorism plays a big role in the origin of the villain in Bitter Root.
I particularly loved the way the characters of Blink and Ma Etta, the two female leads are written with agency and depth.
You get one shot to hook a new reader and this action-packed comic didn’t leave me hanging, they drew me into the world of BITTER ROOT and left me wanting more!
This quote by writer David Walker sums why you should consider gifting a subscription for the full run.
The Harlem Renaissance was a very exciting time. Poetry, Painting, Music, Dance, Theater and Philosophy and rising Black Academia. At the same time, Black folks were being lynched down in Mississippi right? But we’re not trying to hit people over the head with that. We’re just trying to tell a good story. – David F. Walker writer “BITTER ROOT
Consider a gift certificate from your local Comic Book Shop.
Here’s the link
For the young Neil De Grasse Tyson fanboy:
Absolutely Everything!: A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention by Christopher Lloyd
Lloyd tackles the challenge with finesse. In addition to bountiful photographs and illustrations, Condensing the history of the world Lloyd highlights the patterns throughout history and as you follow along. It’s less like a reference book of facts and more like an adventure novel.
A brilliant read for kids with curious minds about, well, everything!
Here’s the link
For the hard rockin’ fans of Marrianne Fathful, Crystal Zevon Jo Wood et al.
Rock Monster: My Life with Joe Walsh by Kristin Casey
This was the toughest and therefore most rewarding read of the year for me. This is not a traditional women-in-rock survival tale. It’s not self pitying in the least. There is zero scapegoating. Kristen makes no excuses. She survived and thrived after six years of a drug fueled train wreck of a relationship that nearly claimed her life. Rock Monster is simply one woman’s account of her life-changing relationship with a true Rock legend.
Casey pulls the shades wide open and shines blinding daylight on the real deal. Her no-nonsense writing style dispels any lingering myths of “glamorous” lives of decadence. It’s a sexy, funny, tragic cautionary tale of two addicts in a relationship who genuinely love each other with zero relationship skills.
Here is a line right from the first dozen pages the book, “Can we please fuck normally now”. This was a true romance between a stripper and a Rock God. Unflinchingly honest, Casesy’s writing is stark and uncomfortably revealing at times. She was on the front lines of all the sex, drugs and rock n roll one could possibly have and lived to tell her tale.
Set in the late ’80’s – ’90’s this was Walsh’s darkest period. He went from a junkie circling the drain to the pinnacle of his late career with the Eagles’ Hell Freezes Over Tour. This book chronicles this period with never before heard stories that is essential reading for anyone who’s lives have been touched by addiction (trigger warning) and classic rock fans alike. I’m surprised no one has optioned this for a biopic. It would garner an Oscar no doubt in my mind.
All that being said, it’s written with surprising humor, self deprecation and even affection, which speaks to Author Kristin Caseys’ skills as both storyteller and her true grit. For example, in her bio as she speaks of herself third person-“She’s survived numerous addictions, clinical depression, a suicide attempt, the panhandle of Texas, and seventeen years of Catholicism
This is a rare memoir you need to read.
Here’s the link
For the fledgling “Evil Genius”:
Downtown Bookworks The Big Book of DC Super-Villains
From the Joker to Harley Quinn, Lex Luthor to Darkseid, DC’s super-villains offer a fascinating collection of cautionary tales.
The Big Book of Super-Villains gives the enlightening back stories and need-to-know facts about DC’s most popular bad guys.
Discover their special powers, tricky devices and secret lairs, as well as memorable battles with their archenemies. Learn why the Joker, Penguin, and Harley Quinn love to tangle with Batman and Robin; why Lex Luthor won’t rest until he has defeated Superman; what drives Cheetah’s competition with Wonder Woman, and the reasons behind many more famous feuds.
Classic style DC comic book art and a shiny foil cover complete the irresistible package.
Here’s the link
For the “Girl on Fire!”
Kirin Rise Series; Cast of Shadows/The Shadows Unleashed by
I met Sifu Cruz & his student Ron at NYCC, learned how the series came to be and was instantly taken in by the premise. Cruz’s action/fantasy debut sees a young woman take on an entrenched, shady league of mixed martial arts fighters and eventually the corrupt corporate power structure that dominates her polarized society with bloodsports, bread & circuses?
The intriguing narrative has three main elements, Kirin’s Gung Fu training, Krin’s present day journey and her Sifu’s perspective and philosophy. Author and Wing Chun Gung Fu Practitioner and Sifu Ed Cruz, weaves these threads into a tapestry of an entertaining and thought-provoking tale that, while sharing some current YA tropes, (dystopic future, class inequality, heroine’s journey) is comfortably is own animal. And is like no other Young Adult Book I’ve read.
Kirin is no “Mary Sue”. She’s grounded in her frailties and insecurities. She’s pragmatic. She’s aware of her limitations, she’s not superhuman, but like all heroes, she’s got the determination to go beyond her fears to do what must be done. She embodies her Siuf’s most important lesson “Don’t fear trying, don’t fear failing, but most of all, fear not living.” Which resonates for everyone.
Wing Chun principles were demonstrated throughout, and not just in the physical aspect, but also more importantly in the mental aspect. Wing Chun is the only Chinese Martial Art that was solely developed by a woman. This is very important and empowering for girls, boys and non gender specific children who can find a hero in a very engaging female protagonist.
Kirin Rise origin story is basically Batman’s. She experiences an extraordinary childhood tragedy, and, suddenly orphaned, haunted by the nightmare of that tragedy, burdened with feeling vulnerable and questioning whether she could have done more. These conflicts fuel her burning desire that she applies to learning the ancient art of Wing Chun Gung Fu.
Unlike Batman however, Kirin’s motivation isn’t about fear or punishing the guilty. When “Kirin Begins” the first book Cast of shadows, She stuns the fighting world, captures the imagination of the populace and most importantly, in the second book, challenges the status quo.
Wing Chun at it’s heart is about the power to heal. She defies her family, and trains incredibly hard over a decade under her Sifu’s watchful eye to master his teachings. As devastating a tool that her Gung Fu skills become, (she’s a total badass when taking on all comers) she stays true to the philosophical root, which is both empowering and inspirational. Wing Chun helps her heal herself, and, find redemption in helping others.
Both books are available!
Art Credit – Publishers