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Weekend Recommendations: Books & Music

Each weekend,’s staff of whackos will wrack our brains to give you interesting and new things to do over the weekend. Books, movies, whatever. We’ll throw them out, you do with them what you will. And hey…if you have something you want to recommend–whatever it is–drop us a line.

Incidentally, we’ve provided links where we can for you to buy the stuff or find out more if you’re interested, courtesy of those Amazon types, in the US, the UK and Canada.

Hey, come on, we can’t be totally selfless in this, can we? Okay, books and music first…

Book cover art for The Comics Go to Hell Audiobook cover art for A Changed Man Comic book cover art for Fables #36

Book of the Week:The Comics Go to Hell by Fredrik Stromberg. Ah, Satan. What a guy. This Fantagraphics release takes a look at the many incarnations of Old Man Splitfoot we’ve seen over the years. And while “Comics” is in the title, it doesn’t just stop with Mephisto and Belasco and whatnot. Stromberg goes back to medieval times to talk about how he’s appeared, along with how he’s been the foil for whackos with capes, been played for laughs, or just how he’s interpreted around the globe. It’s a quick but informative little read. (Buy it from Amazon.)

Audiobook of the Week: A Changed Man by Francine Prose, performed by Eric Conger. Not to be off the subject here, but is this author’s last name really Prose? I tried to check and see if it was a pseudonym or not because…well, damn no pressure as to what she’s going to grow up to be, right? Anyway. Vincent is a skinhead who chucks his hateful ways after dropping a bunch of X and having an apostrophe. He seems to have changed his stripes and he’s actually working on the side of the angels now, but of course…things are never that clean or simple. HarperAudio gives you this thing unabridged, capably read by Conger. (Buy it from Amazon.)

Comic Book of the Week: Fables #36 by Bill Willingham & Mark Buckingham. This Chazzie-award winning series kicks off a new story arc that finally takes us back to the Homelands (at least in the present). Apparently, there’s a legend going around about The Black Knight, kicking much goblin ass and trying to save the folken who live on the lands there from the exorbitant taxes they must pay. He’s working his way up the food chain, apparently…but who is it? Three guesses. You always have some idea of the picture of where Willingham is going, but you sure as hell don’t know the details of how he intends to get you there. We love this book.

Book cover art for Hellboy: Weird Tales, Vol. 2 CD cover art for Nathan Larson's Filmmusik

Graphic Novel of the Week: Hellboy: Weird Tales, Vol. 2 by Various. We have to admit: we hadn’t really checked out this book before the movie hit. Not really. But, intrigued, we’ve started reading up on Mignola’s universe and we’ve decided: he’s whacky. We like it. Here, he allows others to come and play in his sandbox, with great results. Among those showing up with a bucket and shovel are Chazzie-award winner Craig Thompson, Ron Marz, Gene Colan, P. Craig Russell, J.H. Williams III, Evan Dorkin, Jill Thompson, Chazzie-award winner John Cassaday and a slew more. It’s handled out of the UK by Titan. (Buy it from Amazon.)

Music CD of the Week: Filmmusik by Nathan Larson. Commotion Records has just started a new line of film music releases, entitled, unsurprisingly enough, “The Film Music Series.” Kicking it off is this, from the guy who created music for such films as Prozac Nation, Phone Booth, Boys Don’t Cry, Dirty Pretty Things and more. If you enjoyed his work in those films, the best of it is right here in this collection. (Buy it from Amazon.)