“There are so many ways to sugarcoat this, but I’m going to be honest with you: this project was born out of anger,” wrote editor Bill Campbell in the introduction. Back when Ferguson, Missouri was shrouded with daily protests over the death of Michael Brown, who was shot dead by police officer Daniel Wilson, the country was a landfill of hot button issues no one really wanted to touch — issues of race, American exceptionalism, and the military industrial complex. But for some people, the best way to channel that anger and frustration was through art.
Artists Against Police Brutality: A Comic Book Anthology is a collection of comic, essays, and short stories about the damage police violence has done to black Americans. From cynical views of the American judicial system to singling out white liberals who misunderstand the issue, APB is a depressingly realistic take on the current racial climate in America. With contributions from more than 50 artists and illustrators, APB puts a human face, a personal touch, to stories most only read about in newspapers. AFB shortens the gap between impersonal news coverage and the reality of the people suffering from it, illustrating that the daily victims of police violence are more than just numbers.
All proceeds will go to the Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Monday, November 16th, 2015||No Comments »|
Korean illustrator Yeji Yun has a bright, colorful style that we’re big fans of, whether she’s illustrating Albert Camus’s The Outsider or sketching illustrations for Korean folks tales. Her 7-page comic “Solitude” is taken from A Graphic Cosmogony, a collaborative anthology about the beginning of the universe. Piggy-backing on biblical theory about the universe being created in seven days, each artist was asked to create a seven-page comic about their interpretation about the creation of the universe. Yun’s excerpt imagines the beginning of creation as an explosion of skulls that dissolve into planets puked up by space gangs. You kind of need to read it for yourself, but the best thing about it is Yun’s explosive imagination and odd sense of humor. Ghost boats, space bands, pukey people? If only we could live inside her head.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Friday, June 12th, 2015||No Comments »|
I love the idea of anthologies–getting them for one author and discovering others–but what inevitably happens is I wait for the starring author to publish their contribution separately as a Kindle Single or go to a Barnes and Noble and read through the stories I’m actually interested in, skipping everything else. But every once in a while an anthology comes out that’s pure magic cover to cover, and all it took was George R.R. Martin on the editing team.
Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love includes Jim Butcher’s “Love Hurts,” a short story from the Dresden Universe that promises to solve at least some of Harry and Karen’s UST, and Neil Gaiman’s creepily mind-blowing imaginary girlfriend story, “The Thing About Cassandra,” both totally worth the anthology’s negligible Kindle price. However, also worth reading are M.N.L. Hanover’s haunted house story, which brings some genuine chills, and a sci-fi classic about a middle-aged man and his alien love, reinvented with use of the internet, by Peter S. Gould. And of course, the pièce de résistance, a snippet from the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon rounds off this anthology’s offerings of bittersweet romance.
|Recommended by J. Harbinger||Friday, May 22nd, 2015||No Comments »|
If you’re sick of seeing the same old classic literature authors on the shelves of your local bookstore and are in the mood for something exciting, the science-fiction anthology Sound and Fury: Shakespeare Goes Punk should certainly be right up your alley. While the authors of the short stories do borrow from the Bard, the end result is Shakespeare as you’ve never seen him before.
For example, Macbeth is adapted into a dystopian cyberpunk tale that cautions you about being careful what you wish for. Yet despite the futuristic setting, each of the five authors manage to preserve the heart of Shakespeare’s tales, and literature geeks will enjoy scouring each piece for little nods to the original tale, too.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, April 24th, 2015||No Comments »|
The poetry anthology Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry, which was edited by Jennifer Gillan and Maria Mazziotti Gillan, takes a look at the multicultural voices found in American poetry.
This anthology features the works of poets such as Gary Soto, Pat Mora, Nellie Wong, David Hernandez, and many more. Each selected poem was chosen because the writing is not only beautiful but also powerful and evocative. The works encompass all languages, ethnicities, and religions to give a strong voice to the lives and experiences of ethnic Americans, many of whom are lost in the shadow of white privilege in today’s society.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, February 13th, 2014||No Comments »|
Whether you’re single or attached, Flirts! Five Romantic Short Stories by Lisa Scott is the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Scott, who is the author of the Willowdale Romance series, entertains readers with five contemporary short stories that revolve around love. While each story can be read as a stand-alone, all five stories do eventually connect in the end.
The Hot Girl’s Friend follows Jane, a woman who’s tired of watching her friend Miranda fend off men while never getting a happy ending of her own. After griping with a bartender named Brady who tries to set her up with a few of his friends, Jane develops feelings for Brady (Editor’s Note: Um, spoiler alert?) and finally finds love.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, February 4th, 2014||No Comments »|
When most people think of Italian-American women, they think of trashy reality television shows like Jersey Shore or Mob Wives. However, Olive Grrrls Anthology: Italian North American Women and the Search for Identity, which is available on Kindle, allows Italian-American women to let their voices be heard and their opinions be aired.
The topics range from essays on their personal experiences to haunting poetry and discussions about sexism, culture, activism, racism, and much more. The voices of these 20-something women resist the stereotypes that all Italian women living in North America are all brash, idiotic, overly sexual, or dumb materialistic party dolls who idolize Snookie and J-Woww.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, January 30th, 2014||No Comments »|