The Birth of Korean Cool: Euny Hong Provides South Korea-in-a-Book [REVIEW]


The Birth of Korean Cool, Euny Hong’s book about the Korean Wave or hallyu, which only appeared to take place overnight. It seems that all of a sudden we’re aware of Samsung phones and Psy galloping his way to gazillions of YouTube hits. However, Hong describes how South Korean’s influencing world culture, not just pop culture, was a few decades in the making.

In just over 250 pages, Hong documents developments in South Korean music, movies, technology, and food. Ms. Hong, a Korean-American who has also lived in France and Germany, is our tour guide through modern South Korea. She maintains a balancing act where she shares her experiences living in Seoul’s Gangnam district as a teenager and reporting South Korea’s aspirations of worldwide cultural dominance. Continue reading “The Birth of Korean Cool: Euny Hong Provides South Korea-in-a-Book [REVIEW]”

Will Gail Z. Martin Satisfy Urban Readers' Deadly Curiosities? [REVIEW]


I’m a newbie to the urban fantasy genre, but Gail Z. Martin’s Deadly Curiosities was a sometimes pleasant, sometimes eerie stroll through one the Deep South’s most interesting cities. At over 360 pages, Curiosities is the first major story in a greater narrative. I may have to read the Adventures short stories if I ever have time.

Martin gives readers plenty of magical strangeness with hints of splendor. The heroine is capable, but isn’t impervious. I must get accustomed to 300-plus page adventures where no stone is left unturned, but I think urban fantasy readers will enjoy Martin’s work. Continue reading “Will Gail Z. Martin Satisfy Urban Readers’ Deadly Curiosities? [REVIEW]”

TMNT Visual History Book Contains Much Turtle Power


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History by Andrew Farago should please all Turtles fans. The hardcover book doesn’t disappoint with big, clear sketches, drawings, animation cels, photos, etc. At almost 190 pages, Ultimate is almost a museum on the printed page. Farago puts together an impressive package; even the text shows enthusiasm for the subject and appreciation for their creators and stewards. Continue reading “TMNT Visual History Book Contains Much Turtle Power”

Wonder Woman Unbound Review


When you stop and think about Wonder Woman, who do you think she really is? To some, she’s THE female superhero. To others, they may have fond memories of Lynda Carter. I accept that she’s one of DC’s Trinity with Superman and Batman, but Wonder Woman seems like a token superheroine. I was pleased that Wonder Woman finally made to the big screen in the Superman/Batman movie, but not even long-gone TV show could form a definitive Wonder Woman in my head.

Tim Hanley, who runs Straitened Circumstances, a blog about Wonder Woman and women in the comic book industry, has written an extensive history of William Moulton Marston’s sensational creation. Hanley goes through great lengths to show how Wonder Woman remains a viable character after 70+ years. While one can glance a general history of Wonder Woman or look for specific points of her history online, Hanley brings together many contexts and subtexts. Continue reading “Wonder Woman Unbound Review”

Finally Glad To Be "Slimed:" A Review of the Nickelodeon Oral History Book


I thank Mathew Klickstein for reconnecting me with an old friend. Klickstein’s Slimed: An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age shows Nickelodeon was “the first network for kids.” Back then, war was cold and dirty kids equaled good, clean fun. Slimed explores how Nickelodeon was “pro-kid,” gives actors and executives a platform to talk about their joys and struggles, and allows Phil Moore to explain why he was so annoying on Nick Arcade.

Ah, yes. Nick and I were good childhood friends. Nick showed me the many ways kids have fun. I was wowed when Nick decided to do some Saturday night work. Nick’s brought new friends in 1991; Doug, Tommy, and Ren & Stimpy were a good reason for me to watch TV on Sunday mornings. I had so much Nick stuff: magazines, Gak, toy blimps, etc. Eventually, Nick and I changed tastes. The parting was amicable and I still check on Nick from time to time. Continue reading “Finally Glad To Be “Slimed:” A Review of the Nickelodeon Oral History Book”

Comics Collector PRO Review

Pic by Dave Fayram (CC BY 2.0)

Comics Collector PRO by Matthew & Lauren Szantyr; published 2012.

CCPRO, as the book’s abbreviated, is a guide written for comics fans making the transition to full-fledged collectors. The simplest advice is a given if you have a basic grasp of economics. The Szantyrs provide many references to resources and personal insights about the collecting business. Yes, collecting those floppies is a business. Continue reading “Comics Collector PRO Review”