The third Saturday in September is here, and it brought Weekend Reading 177! As usual, we plan to hole up in Stately Beat Manor and get lost in a good book.

What will you be paging through this weekend? The Beat wants to hear from you! Give us a shout-out in the comment section and let us know what you’ll be paging through.

Weekend Reading 177
Weekend Reading 177: Stamped from the Beginning and Entangled Life.

AVERY KAPLAN: This weekend I’m going to be checking out Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning: A Graphic History of Racist Ideas in America, adapted and illustrated by Joel Christian Gill. Then, inspired by my interview with Wendy Xu on The Infinity Particle, I’m going to check out Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake.

Weekend Reading 177
Weekend Reading 177: Star Trek: Lower Decks.

TAIMUR DAR: As I openly admit, my interest in and familiarity with Star Trek is mostly casual. But through osmosis of our own Avery’s fandom for the franchise over the years combined with Star Trek Day last week, something suddenly clicked and I just have been traversing various Trek media lately and finally understand why it’s so beloved. Thus it seems fitting to delve into some Trek comics. Having finally seen the acclaimed “The City on the Edge of Forever” episode that Harlan Ellison wrote, I’m going to read the Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s The City On the Edge of Forever the Original Teleplay comic drawn by J.K. Woodward that IDW published a decade ago. I’ve also been enjoying the comedic take with the Star Trek: Lower Decks animated series so I’m also going to check out the 3-issue miniseries from writer Ryan North and artist Chris Fenoglio.

DEAN SIMONS: I recently returned to the UK from a busy few weeks in Brussels and picked up a few classic books that have yet to see English translation (though I hope someday they will…). First I got Spirou & Fantasio Integrale [omnibus] vol 1, which covers the beginnings of André Franquin’s legendary run that defined the world of Spirou Magazine’s iconic lead character and made him a titan of Franco-Belgian comics. The first story – a tryout completed in 1946 and published in an almanac in 1947 – is utterly bonkers post-war mayhem where Spirou’s friend Fantasio decides to buy a surplus tank from a couple of rogue US servicemen looking to score a quick Franc or some booze. Despite reading with the aid of Google Translate, I was in fits of laughter. The humour is very of its time but shows an early master at work and gives an interesting glimpse into European comics (and attitudes) in that period of time. The other book I am going through is the first volume of Jacques Martin’s classic Alix series (which has become a large franchise with two ongoing spinoff books long after its creator’s passing). It follows the adventures of a young Gaul separated from his family and enslaved before finding himself brought to Rome. First published in Tintin Magazine in 1948, this year marks the series 75th anniversary so I had to give it a look to see what the big deal was.

Weekend Reading 177
Weekend Reading 177: So I’m a Spider, So What?, All Tomorrow’s Parties, and Blood on the Tracks Vol. 1.

REBECCA OLIVER KAPLAN: I just read The Castle on Sunset: Love, Fame, Death and Scandal at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont by Shawn Levy, which mentions that The Velvet Underground’s 1969 album The Velvet Underground was conceived in the Hollywood hotel. While I’m a fan of what I’ve heard from The Velvet Underground, I don’t know much about the band, its history, or music and the story piqued my interest. So this weekend, I will be reading All Tomorrow’s Parties: The Velvet Underground Story by Korean Shadmi. Next on my to-read list this weekend is the first volume of the manga Blood on the Tracks by Shuzo Oshimi, recommended to me by Mangasplaining’s Deb Aoki, as well as the first volume of So I’m Spider, So What?, with art by Asahiro Kakashi, an original story by Okina Baba, and character design by Tsukasa Kiryu.

BILLY HENEHAN: Last month, while visiting Baltimore, I attended Comics Klatch at Atomic Books. It’s a monthly comics reading club that meets in the bar at the back of the store, where everyone attending gets the same 4-5 comics for half price. There’s an hour of reading and then an hour of discussion. Plus all beers are half-price. It’s a lot of fun and I recommend checking out Atomic Books, and Comics Klatch if you’re there on a Klatch weekend. One of the comics we read last month was That Enfield Gang Massacre #1 by Chris Condon and Jacob Phillps. I’m not usually a Western comics fan, but was blown away by the first issue of this. I hadn’t heard of That Texas Blood and didn’t realize it was a prequel of sorts to that series. But The Enfield Gang Massacre #1 was so good that I immediately went out and reserved the first volume of That Texas Blood, also by Condon and Phillips, at my local library. I can’t wait to read the entire first volume this weekend. 

CY BELTRAN: I am in desperate need of another break from Stephen King, and lucky for me, Jillian and Mariko Tamaki just released Roaming, their newest joint comic in quite some time. And that’s probably gonna be it for me, I need to read something very different for a bit.

You can peruse the 176 previous entries in The Beat’s Weekend Reading archive by clicking here.