Sunday, December 13, 2009

When Adults Attack

Book:


Blood Crazy by Simon Clark: This novel is a dandy apocalyptic thriller, equal parts Stephen King and John Wyndham with a little New Agey cuckoobanana psychology thrown in. One fine day, everyone everywhere over the age of 18 starts trying to kill everyone 18 and younger. Yikes! The narrative follows protagonist Nick Aten as he first tries just to survive, and then tries to figure out what's going on and why.

The problems of organizing teenagers into viable survival groups allow for some Lord of the Flies-style shenanigans, while the travails of various survival groups in combatting the increasingly organized but ant-like adults also allows for much angst and action. The explanation for the situation reminds me a lot of group and mass psychology tropes from 60's science fiction, especially Dune, Quatermass and the Pit, and a Doctor Who serial called "The Daemons." All in all, a dandy, compulsively readable novel from Clark, whom I grow more fond of with each new novel.


Comics Collection:


Essential Doctor Strange Volume 4 by Roger Stern, Chris Claremont, Gene Colan, Marshall Rogers and several other writers and artists (c.1976-1981, Collected 2009): The relatively brief Stern/Rogers run on Doctor Strange was one of the good Doctor's career highlights. Well, actually anything written by Stern is a career highlight -- he's Doc's second-best writer after Stan Lee. Claremont (long-time X-Men writer) takes Doc a bit too far into the realms of self-pity, but Stern gets him back again.

My only real complaint about the volume (other than the non-ending to the year-long Dweller in Darkness story, caused, I assume, by Stern being replaced by Claremont for a couple of years) is that it features the semi-famous Marvel House Ad from 1981 that promised us Frank Miller taking over the art chores on the book. Now there's a fascinating 'What if?' scenario, as Miller never did make it over to Dr. Strange.

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