-Post by Joe Johnston Turner
Every Monday, I head out to my favorite watering hole (Casino El Camino – best burgers in Austin!) for happy hour food, drinks, and friends. I always bring with me a graphic novel of some kind because if there’s one thing I love to do it’s read at bars. So here’s a little collection of some of the four color fabulous books I’ve been reading lately.
First off, we’ve got the second volume of Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr’s Batgirl of Burnside. This is one of my favorite books! Batgirl’s Barbara Gordon has to fight crime, plan a wedding, catch a tiger or two, and deal with her father who has up and decided to become Batman! Whew! Life can be tough for a woman in her 20s! This is comic is a blast to read and, unlike a lot of books on the market, I have no problem handing this book to a ten year old. Good stuff!
This big hunk of a doorstop is Walter Simonson’s Orion Omnibus. I’ve barely put a dent in this so I can’t offer much of an opinion except that Walter Simonson is one of the giants in the modern superhero industry. His work on Thor back in the 80s was the second most character defining run in the history of the character (the most defining run was, of course, Jack Kirby who created the character). When Kirby wasn’t allowed to kill off Thor and introduce a brand new pantheon of gods, he jumped ship to DC and used the concept of “new gods” to create, well, The New Gods.In this book, Walter Simonson continues to follow in Kirby’s footsteps and tackles Orion, Darkseid, and all the other New Gods. Epic cosmic adventure!
Imagine the movie Bad Boys II was a fantasy comic and in place of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence you had four of the toughest, baddest, foulest, and funniest broads to ever wield a broadsword. Rat Queens is that name that Hannah the Elven necromancer, Violet the Dwarven warrior who dared to shave her beard and drinks wine instead of beer, Dee the atheist cleric, and Betty the magic mushroom eating Halfling thief call their adventuring party. And party is what they do when they’re not slaying! I LOVE THIS BOOK AND CANNOT RECOMMEND IT ENOUGH! The edition you see in the photo is the deluxe version that includes the first two volumes of the series: Sass & Sorcery and The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth.
The next book in our journey into reading & drinking is Dwayne McDuffie’s Damage Control. Soon to be a television show, Damage Control is the story of the people who rebuild New York after the superheroes demolish it in one of their never ending battles with villains. The Hulk smashed your bar? Call Damage Control. The Thing used The Empire State Building to knock down Galactus? Call Damage Control. This book was one of my favorites when I was a kid and am happy to say that it still holds up. Dwayne McDuffie (1962 – 2011) was one of the greats and is still sited today as one of the most influential African-American voices in the comic book industry and the annual award that’s given to celebrate diversity in comics is named in his honor .So, if you think a sitcom take on the Marvel Universe sounds like your cup of tea, then this is the book for you!
And last but not least we’ve got Star Wars comics, in particular, Jason Aaron’s Star Wars and Mark Waid’s Princess Leia Is there anything else I need to say? Well, there is one thing. When reading about adventures that take place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away always make sure you’re drinking something blue.
So there you have it! The last few weeks of Joe Johnston Turner’s reading at bars! If you’re interesting in other books and comics I’ve been reading whilst I drink this year, check out #2016readingatbars on your Instagram!