Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yola reads a book.

OK, it’s only a comic book, but still (and this is the straight skinny from me to you, baby)…
it kicks ass.

The book is The Punisher: Welcome Back Frank (Marvel Comics, 2008), a 12-part mini-series that originally appeared in 2000-01. The writer is Garth Ennis (that’s the important part) and the artists are a couple of other guys.

The Punisher is Marvel’s long-running rip-off of the even longer-running paperback hero The Executioner. You know, a one-man-war against the mob. The Punisher has accumulated a lot of comic book baggage over the years, but this mini-series pressed the reset button and put him back on track.

Make no mistake: This book is about killing. Bloody, brutal killing. The body count here is around 100, with our hero accounting for about 70, 30 by other hands, 1 suicide and 1 murdered dog (never fear, the dog killer is one of The Punisher's 70). But the tale is told with such finesse that it leaves you gasping for more. Sonehow, Garth Ennis weaves in a healthy dose of humor, a little heart, even a touch of pathos.

The overall effect is Jeez, I can’t believe this is happening in a comic! That lady above, for example, is Ma Gnucci, New York crime boss and the focus of The Punisher’s latest vendetta. After he kills her brother and two sons, she’s pissed enough to lead her street soldiers after him personally. They corner him in a zoo, but he turns the tables and lures them into the polar bear habitat, and Ma emerges with a few pieces missing. Later, when he tosses a firebomb into her house, she flops out the window onto the street and bites him on the ankle, so he boots her back into the burning building. I’d like to see Spider-Man or Superman do that!

Not your cup of blood? OK, what is? Let’s hear what you’ve been reading lately.


  1. I'm reading Drood by Dan Simmons. I was one of those people who avoided The Terror because I (wrongly) believed no 1200-page tome could live up to that title. Yet it did in a kind of epic, slogging through the icy north and eating your comrades kind of way. So I picked up Drood, another vast collection of dead trees, and I'm 100 pages to the good. My secret desire is for a Lovecraftian sense of location, and Dan doesn't do that. No one does; it's the cross I bear. But he is a master of the did-he-or didn't-he? bait and switch plot device. John Fowles does Charles Dickens. Yummy. Be warned: if this book falls on your face it'll break your nose.

  2. I'm perusin' this collection of tales entitled The Riot at Bucksnort by a feller called Robert E. Howard. Got to admit, next to my autobiography*, these here stories are examples of the finest litrature ever perpetrated in the American language. The hero is a gent from the backwoods named Breckenridge Elkins, and his adventures in civilization should be a caution to every red-blooded human.

    *The aforementioned book, known variously as "Davy Crockett: His Own Story as Written by Himself", "A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett of the State of Tennessee", and "The Life of David Crockett, the Original Humorist and Irrepressible Backwoodsman: An Autobiography, to Which is Added an Account of His Glorious Death at The Alamo in Defense of Texan Independence", is available from numerous online booksellers and finer bookshops everywhere. Dang, I wish I was gettin' royalties.

  3. When I'm not watching Diagnosis Murder I'm most always rereading my collection of Nancy Drew mysteries. The only one I've yet to find is Nancy Drew and the Hidden Banana. If any of you lovely people could help me I'd be ever so grateful.

  4. I’ve been relishing a Romance Classic: The Wedding Chase by Rebecca Kelley. This book is lyrical and oh so fun! The sizzling romance and intelligent storyline kept me glued to the pages, and I could hardly take time out to write this review. The characters are a hoot and you find yourself cringing and chuckling for them, not to mention falling in love with them! The only bad thing about this book was the turning the last page, which left me starving for more. FIVE STARS ALL THE WAY!
    But Be Warned: Do not eat chicken soup when reading The Wedding Chase. Wolfgang’s bizarre oaths (e.g., "Satan's small clothes," "By Satan's Pointed Tail," "Lucifer's Cloven Hoof") and the wedding night bedroom scene, complete with jealous cat and Irish Wolfhound, made me snort noodles out my nose.

  5. I'm always on the lookout for a good cat detective book. One in which the cat is not the sidekick, but the lead predator as nature intended. In lieu of that I've been in a scifi frame of mind and I'm reading Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. Clever and fun and he has a big cat, doesn't talk but you can't have everything. He does almost make up for it with a talking skull in the basement named Bob.

  6. Gosh, JessieLynn, I'm not sure there is a book by that title, but you could commission me to write you one. Do you know where your Daddy keeps his credit card?