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Review by C.J. Bunce

TV’s ultimate phobe, Adrian Monk, said he had 312 phobias, ranging from dryer lint, feet, and harmonicas, to polyester, thatched roofs, and touching food, to the fear of wind and zebras.  It’s easy in a crazy world to be afraid of anything, or everything.  Enter a new kids’ book billed as a horror book, Afraid of Everything: An Alphabetical Compendium of People’s Weirdest Fears If you skip the “weird” part (that’s far too “judgey” for us), this book might actually help you realize that in having one or more fears, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  And you’re not alone.

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If you’re tiring of the sounds of real life and you’re looking for an escape while you go about your day–whether they call you essential or not, whether you’re sheltering at home, or whether you’re marching for your rights–grab your go-to music source and check out some of these soundtracks from your favorite video games.  The latest is Death Stranding: Songs from the Video Game, consisting primarily of songs from the post-rock/electronica of Ryan Karazija aka Low Roar, following up on the instrumental musical score from composer Ludvig Forssell.

Several other soundtracks are topping the Amazon sales charts right now, and may be your next go-to vice for your own personal soundtrack.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Adventure on the high seas.  We’ve read it the best in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, we’ve seen it the best on television in the A&E Hornblower mini-series, and we’ve enjoyed it with Captain Jack Sparrow in five Pirates of the Caribbean movies (and a sixth on its way starring Karen Gillan as the red-headed pirate called Redd from the Disney park ride).  Coming later this month is a new comics series featuring a legendary pirate duo of women, Anne Bonny and Mary Read.  A Man Among Ye is more swashbuckling action of the Jack Sparrow variety than anything pretending to be historic, but it will be a fun ride for fans of Treasure Island and Captain Blood.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

It’s a similar set-up to that used in the new Stargirl television series: A great superhero of the past has headlined success after success.  It all begins as the greatest pulp hero of them all, Adventureman, faces his death at the hands of his nemesis, Baron Bizarre, in a soul-shattering cliffhanger.  Or not.  Flash forward 80 years later to a mother and her son–the only two people that recall the Adventureman sagas.  It all begins here, in the first, triple-sized issue of Adventureman, with some great visuals that conjure the early artistic stylings of Adam Hughes.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

If you remember last year’s Captain Marvel (the movie, not the character in Shazam!), you’ll be familiar with the pilot Carol Danvers (known as the most powerful Avenger) and her cat named Goose (movie) or Chewie (comics), who is actually a Flerken (an alien with tentacles and a pocket dimension in her mouth).  IDW Publishing is re-printing a Marvel Comics series from last year that may be the most fun of all the Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel stories, the all-ages series Marvel Action: Captain Marvel Now you can get the first three issues in the compilation trade paperback, Marvel Action: Captain Marvel–Cosmic CAT-tastrophe, a blast of a story packed with more than one cosmic cat.  Lots more.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The Forgotten Realms have never been more fun.  Writer Jim Zub has partnered with artists Max Dunbar & John-Paul Bove, Nelson Daniel, Thiago Ribeiro, Milen Parvanov, and Glauber Matos in a huge compilation book, Dungeons & Dragons: Days of Endless Adventure IDW Publishing and Wizards of the Coast have brought forward the best from the D&D game books and card games, and combined good fantasy storytelling with classic artwork like you’d find in both D&D manuals or J.R.R. Tolkien’s magical worlds, with humor similar to Mike Wieringo’s Tellos.  Best yet, it features the Dungeon Mayhem’s Minsc and his trusty partner hamster Boo, meaning lots of bravery (and laughs) await you.

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Dark Horse Comics is bringing another unused movie screenplay out of the vaults and adapting it into a five-issue comic book mini-series.  Dark Horse’s biggest success at this approach was adapting George Lucas’s original 1974 treatment for Star Wars as The Star Wars, featuring the incredible artwork of Mike Mayhew (reviewed here at borg).  Next up will be Dan O’Bannon’s original screenplay for Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi/horror classic Alien, which was heavily edited and modified before arriving in its final form for theaters.  It’s arriving with the comic book touch as Alien: The Original Screenplay, in bookstores this summer.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Some writers are great at writing crime novels from the perspective of the detective, some are great at writing as the criminal, and then there are writers like Donald E. Westlake who had it all figured out.  The latest publication of a classic Westlake novel from Titan Books’ Hard Case Crime imprint is from the vantage of a murderer who keeps getting wrapped deeper and deeper into his web of lies.  The novel is A Travesty, a 1977 pile-on of crime references and tropes about a film critic trying to prove wrong the maxim “crime does not pay”–featured in a new 2-for-1 trade edition with the short story Ordo titled Double Feature, and originally released together under the title Enough.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

This year marks the 90th year since Nancy Drew first started showing off her detective skills in The Secret of the Old Clock by Mildred Benson back in 1930.  Eighty million books in print later and several adaptations in different media including a current CW TV series, and despite updates and changes to the character, readers keep coming back for more.  Partnered with her familiar allies The Hardy Boys, a new series from Dynamite Comics arrives next week, but will it be the last?  Get ready for Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew.

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Review by Elizabeth C. Bunce

We’re fans of classic film here at borg (remember when we stumbled into the oldest movie theater in the world?) and the history of motion pictures (like George Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon, his lost film, and several vintage films).  Now one of our favorite authors celebrates the heyday of these early movies with Daring Darleen: Queen of the Screen.  Anne Nesbet’s new historical fiction adventure for young readers, Daring Darleen follows the exploits of twelve-year-old Darleen Darling, star of the cliffhanger serials, “The Dangers of Darleen.”

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