Steve Aldous, “The World of Shaft: A Complete Guide to the Novels, Comic Strip, Films and Television Series” (McFarland, 2015)
Who’s the black private dick That’s a sex machine to all the chicks? (Shaft) Ya damn right Who is the man that would risk his neck For his brother man? (Shaft) Can you dig it? Who’s the cat that won’t cop out When there’s danger all about? (Shaft) Right on... Read More
Karl Baden, “The Americans by Car” (Retroactive Press, 2016)
The Americans by Car is Karl Baden’s latest book. An homage to Robert Frank’s The Americans and Lee Friedlander’s America by Car, Baden’s book “is a personal, more specific answer to the vague question of ‘how are we influenced,'” according to the artist. The photographs in the book were taken... Read More
Laurence A. Rickels, “The Psycho Records” (Wallflower Press, 2016)
Reading Laurence Rickels‘ The Psycho Records (Wallflower Press, 2016) gave me the urge to ask random strangers questions like: Are you haunted by Alfred Hitchcock’s famous shower scene? How do you feel about Norman Bates and other cinematic killers pathologically attached to their mothers? Does the thought of Anthony Perkins... Read More
Christopher Pizzino, “Arresting Development: Comics at the Boundaries of Literature” (U of Texas Press, 2016)
There’s a common myth about the history of comic books and strips. It’s the idea that the medium languished for decades as a sort of time-wasting hobby for children, but now has redeemed itself and can be appreciated even by the literary. University of Georgia professor and comics scholar Christopher... Read More
Gleb Tsipursky, “Socialist Fun: Youth, Consumption, and State-Sponsored Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1945-1970” (U. Pittsburgh Press, 2016)
Socialist Fun: Youth, Consumption, and State-Sponsored Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1945-1970 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016) offers a compelling investigation of Soviet leisure culture. Gleb Tsipursky undertakes an unexpected approach to illuminate some aspects of the USSR history, which have been previously disregarded. Describing leisure activities that were... Read More
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