The People’s Republic of Everything is the most recent short story collection from auteur author Nick Mamatas. Containing fourteen short stories and one novella, People’s Republic strays away from clear-cut genre definitions (unlike Mamatas’ prior collection, The Nickronomicon, which focused on Lovecraftian and cosmic horror) and instead veers into general speculative fiction. While the stories within People’s Republic may not be uniform in tone, setting, or style, they are all unified in conveying Mamatas’ left-aligned politics. While overtly political, People’s Republic is never preachy; its politics are seamlessly integrated into the stories, which range from the comedic to the tragic, from steampunk to folkish.

I had the absolute pleasure of reading issues 7 and 8 of Ronin Island back to back, and it was awesome. When issue 7 came to an end, I verbally projected my joy with a rousing whoop (or about as close as someone can) and was really thrilled that issue 8 was waiting there for me.

What an exceptionally good time. Sea of Stars reminds me what it’s like to be a kid, to want to adventure into space, and to do amazing things. It brings the joy of space adventure - full throttle - back to sci-fi, landing more on the “fi” side than the “sci,” but so, too, did John Carter of Mars.

Previously on… Hellmouth #1, Drusilla successfully opened the Hellmouth and entered it to claim whatever dark destiny awaited her. Hot on her heels are Buffy and her mysterious (rather broody, definitely handsome) acquaintance, Angel.

Buckle up, baby, because The Mandalorian has arrived, and the premiere of Disney+'s new streaming series is setting an impressively high bar for the competition to follow. Written by series creator Jon Favreau and directed by Dave Filoni (the creative force behind Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels), the first episode of The Mandalorian is stunning, awe-inspiring, and nearly everything a Star Wars fan could wish for when it comes to a live-action series.

The nitty-gritty: This is a pretty massive graphic novel with 110 pages of story that reads entirely like a feature film starring the female crew of the Serenity who team up with Saffron for a one-night caper that is most certainly a wild ride. When exactly it’s set isn’t absolutely stated, but given certain context cues, it’s definitely set before the Serenity movie but presumably after Book had left the crew.  

In Our Encounters with Evil: Adventures of Professor J.T. Meinhardt and His Assistant Mr. Knox, we return to the world created by Mike Mignola and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell. For this new anthology of capers and hijinks, the eponymous duo is joined by Ms. Mary Van Sloan, vampire huntress and demon slayer extraordinaire.

I just sat in a car for twenty minutes and explained how special Black Hammer is to someone. This series that began as a microcosm in a barn has expanded into a universe that wraps around the past, the future, alternate realities, and the deconstruction of the story and stories in general. It feels like I’ve lived through decades of Black Hammer comics, and it’s only been two years.

If you are not up to date on Gideon Falls, stop reading this review. Part of the magic of this book is that you only know as much as the main characters know at any given point in time, and I need to talk to some degree about what’s happening, which means spoilers would be ahead for those unfamiliar with the series.

Monster Matador #11 departs from the gritty, monster-of-the-week (or issue) format and focuses on the danger of humans in a post-apocalyptic society.  Ramon and Adelita attempt to get home (somewhere in Mexico) with the help of their Han Solo and Chewey-esque pilot and furry copilot only to be shot down by members of the Guapo Cartel. (Is guapo ever used as a name, or is this literally the “handsome cartel?”)  Ramon’s fame as a matador works both as a blessing and a curse with the cartel’s leader, since he isn’t condemned to immediate death or imprisonment. He’ll get a chance to fight something… even if El Chango feels sure that our hero will die after a final fight in the ring.

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