Jocelyn Sakal Froese, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor
Political power in the city of Transylvania has been concentrated in the hands of Mayor (formerly Count) Dracula and now serves the interests of only one third of Transylvania’s population. Tired of their interests taking a back seat to those of the Vampires, and aware of rising political tensions and that real oppression may be only just over the horizon, the Werewolves and Witches decide to take matters into their own hands, after a fashion: They resurrect Frankenstein (He can’t go by “monster” forever.) who, being a one-of-a-kind supernatural being, is without a natural political alignment, and so potentially a very balanced (or at least a more balanced) candidate for mayor. This is where installment #1 of Chris Allen, Jack Wallace, and Rei Lay’s Frankenstein for Mayor leaves its readers.
The Mouse Guard Alphabet Book is exactly what it sounds like: an alphabet book grounded firmly in the fantasy world of David Petersen’s Mouse Guard cannon. For those who are entirely unfamiliar with the world of Mouse Guard, it is a fantasy space that centers on the trials and challenges of a mouse civilization whose collective survival depends on their adopting a united front in opposition to mouse-predators, such as ferrets, owls, and foxes. Mouse Guard, like many fantasy texts, has a bit of a medieval-inspired feel, and generally reminds this reader of Brian Jacques’ Redwall series.
Fred Van Lente, Ryan Dunlavey, and Adam Guzowski’s The Comic Book History of Comics: Birth of a Medium is a treatise on the place of comics as an important part of the fabric of American popular culture. Readers who are familiar with American history and culture may catch that Birth of a Medium is a citation of D. W Griffith’s early American film, Birth of a Nation, but non-American readers (like me!) may not get the reference and may be surprised at the American-centric nature of this text. Though I do think that readers will want to be aware that Birth of a Medium doesn’t offer a comprehensive account of the rise of comics as a medium globally, I count the extreme focus of the text as a positive; Lente and Dunlavey are excellent historians of American comics, and they’ve produced a detailed and relatively balanced text on that topic.