Look out behind you! In the shadows – it’s Scorpio season! …which must mean it’s time for 31 Weekend Readings Later.
As you might expect, some members of The Beat team are complementing our Halloween preparations with some suitably spooky reading! Whether your reading is seasonally-themed or not, we hope that you’ll let us know what your comics & prose plans are in the comment section. Hearing what our readers are getting into has been one of the highlights of our weekend since we began this feature waaaay back in March!
AVERY KAPLAN: Reeling from the “unexpected” delay of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XXXI from Matt Groening & co., I’ll be turning to my well-worn copy of Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror Heebie-Jeebie Hullabaloo to heal the pain. Then, I’ll be digging into The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez, a novel about a Black lesbian vampire’s 200 year journey to find a place she can call home.
ARPAD OKAY: I’m sure you could sit down with Trung Le Nguyen‘s new graphic novel The Magic Fish and have it consume your evening. There are inklings of trauma and drama in the pages I’ve gotten through so far that would lead me to guess drinking this potion in a single draught will leave the reader shaken, satisfied, silenced; that’s the way of good stories and that’s what The Magic Fish is. But instead I am taking my time. Like this weekend. The Magic Fish is about coming out and coming of age, and the past’s inability to rest, but told with another book in hand. The Magic Fish is a fairy tale about identity, cruelty and hope, power older than time. Within the story, one person picks up a book and puts it down, memories and parallels well up. Check out Avery’s review if you want to get a better sense of the book’s underlying themes- for my part, I’ll be playing things out in real life as they do in The Magic Fish. Picking it up and putting it down, never really leaving it alone.
TAIMUR DAR: I’m not a huge horror fan, at least compared to others I know especially here at Stately Beat Manor, but I enjoy diving into the darkness every now and again. I usually watch the Bram Stoker’s Dracula film directed by Francis Ford Coppola every year in October when it dawned on me to actually read the original Dracula book for the first time. In keeping with the Halloween theme, I’m also going through the into Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities since it’s been awhile since I went through it.
JOE GRUNENWALD: Last weekend I set out to catch up on comics I’ve fallen behind on. My attempt was partially successful, but it turns out I buy a lot of comics (did you know new ones come out every week?), so my to-read pile hasn’t really shrunk much. I’m excited to read new issues of Chip Zdarksy & Ramón Perez’s Stillwater, Jeff Lemire & Tonči Zonjić’s Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy, and the first issue of the Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood anthology from AHOY Comics. I’ve also been on a true crime kick, so I may finally dig into Van Jensen & Nate Powell’s Two Dead.
ADAM KARENINA SHERIF: I recently finished Dancing After TEN by Vivian Chong and Georgia Webber, and it is a beautiful, life-affirming book. Another place I regularly go for resonance and solace is the work of Black artists and activists to whom I owe an inestimable debt. I think this weekend I’m going to spend a little time leafing through Ron Wimberly’s Black History In Its Own Words. As a sometimes slightly reluctant historian, I always try to bear in mind Erykah Badu’s words: “We as Black people have to tell our own stories…When we allow someone else to document our history, the history becomes twisted and we get written out. We get our noses blown off”. A cursory look at Black History has already introduced me to early Twentieth Century writer, historian and activist Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and I’m excited to discover other new voices to explore through Wimberly’s mini bios, quotations and thoughtful portraits.