I was so freaking excited for this book to arrive. I mean, duh. My favorite artist (Phil Noto), one of my very favorite authors (Kelly Sue DeConnick), from my favorite publisher (Dark Horse) - really, the only way this could be better is if each copy came with a bumbling polydactyl kitten and a root beer.
It’s possible that I cried when I opened the bubble mailer today. I mean, I know I tend to err on the side of hyperbole - my “dragged behind a truck” is a regular person’s “slight foxing around the edges” - but this… this is beyond the freaking pale. I bought this as “brand new” - it’s been folded completely in half at some point and there’s a inch and a half slice through the last 1/4 of the book.
Cutting through Noto’s art is a crime against humanity, yo.
So, I sent a polite but pointed email to the seller and am waiting to hear that my actually-new new copy will be sent out shortly. I’m kind of torn, though… if I send this copy back, it’s just going to get recycled and that seems… that seems really sad. Poor little book. I should maybe just keep this one, let it live out its days in my Short Box of Misfit Toys, give it a chance to hang out with Sanctuary Base Ten with the broken arm and the copy of Paul Madonna’s All Over Coffee that a friend bought to cut up. Poor little book.
Right. Anyway. It’s possible that it’s a good thing that this “new” book is falling apart (and smells a bit like pickle) - fear of spontaneous confetti was the only thing that kept me from rushing through this, and is probably the only thing keeping me from rereading this immediately.
Basically, it’s gorgeous (duh). And exceptionally well-written (also duh). The kind of blinding talent of both Noto and DeConnick play off each other exactly as amazingly as you’d expect. It’s like transcendent nerd glee made corporeal… if that happens to smell like pickle.
I mean, I get the feeling that DeConnick and Noto could team up on a book about a small-town librarian switching from the Dewey Decimal System to LOC call numbers - and I’d still be there, flipping pages and oohing and aaahing and seriously considering ways that I could crawl inside of the pages and exist in a world this amazing (current frontrunner: buy many copies. make fort.)
But the story is captivating and the art reinforces it in all of the right places and there’s a freaking Doctor Who joke and, seriously, can these people get cooler? Can this book get more awesome? No. They cannot and it cannot. The only thing keeping me from snuggling a paperback right now is that whole “smells suspiciously of pickle” thing. Seriously.
I squealed like an idiot at this, for the record. That’s not particularly erudite or whatever, but it’s completely true. I squealed like an idiot, and then I called my kitten “bro.” He rolled his eyes at me, but he only has five toes per paw, so what does he know?
When I get a pretty copy of this, I will build a little stand for it on my shelf and let it tower physically over all of the books as it does metaphorically. Okay, no I won’t, because an uneven shelf keeps me awake at night. But I’ll pet it and admire it and sniff it to make sure it smells like book and not condiment. And this copy… I’m not sure. This might end up being the Velveteen Trade Paperback, all defined by its well-loved exterior.
I mean, after I Febreze the ever-loving hell out of it, of course.
I’m so glad you dug it! And sorry about the tear. And the… pickle… smell.
I’m going to hijack this lovely post of yours to mention the new Ghost series — the ongoing. Issues 1-3 were cowritten with Chris Sebela (HIGH CRIMES, DEAD LETTERS) and Chris will be taking over on his own from issue 5 on. He’s been a friend for a decade, he’s from Chicago and he’s a horror movie enthusiast. I trust him with this — he’s going to nail it.
My farewell to Elisa is issue 4, out June 4th. I wrote it solo and I just saw the full proof yesterday. One of my favorite things I’ve ever written, as it happens.
— and Patrick, Everett and Randy in editorial.
It’s a standalone issue, so maybe even if Ghost isn’t your thing, you’ll consider picking it up…? (I should mention: not for kids, this one.)