The PopCult Bookshelf
This week, since your PopCulteer is knee-deep in planning his coverage of The International Toy Fair in New York next week, there has been scant time for reading. So instead of reviewing books, we’re going to preview five pop culture books and graphic novels that aren’t out yet. Some of them are available for pre-order at Amazon, or you can put in a request at your local bookstore and keep the money local.
Trees Volume 1
Warren Ellis and Jason Howard
Due out February 24
Ten years after they landed. All over the world. And they did nothing, standing on the surface of the Earth like trees, exerting their silent pressure on the world, as if there were no-one here and nothing under foot.
Ten years since we learned that there is intelligent life in the universe, but that they did not recognize us as intelligent or alive.
Trees, a new science fiction graphic novel by Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Red) and Jason Howard (Super Dinoasaur, Astounding Wolf-Man) looks at a near-future world where life goes on in the shadows of the Trees: in China, where a young painter arrives in the “special cultural zone” of a city under a Tree; in Italy, where a young woman under the menacing protection of a fascist gang meets an old man who wants to teach her terrible skills; and in Svalbard, where a research team is discovering, by accident, that the Trees may not be dormant after all, and the awful threat they truly represent.
Winterworld Book 1: The Mechanic’s Song
Chuck Dixon and Butch Guice
Due out March 3
Fans of Winterworld only know Scully’s story from after he met Wynn.
But what was life like for the traveling trader before he rescued a young girl and found a new reason to survive in the endless wastes of a frozen planet?
Presented in stark prose by creator Chuck Dixon (author of the acclaimed Bad Times series) we learn for the first time of Scully’s past from childhood to manhood in the brutal and unforgiving world where every day presents another challenge from death.
Filled with the kind of breakneck pacing, savage action, and high stakes that have made the comic series a world renowned classic, Winterworld Book 1: The Mechanic’s Song will thrill you, horrify you, and touch your soul. Find out how the saga begins!
The Adventures of Basil and Moebius
Larry Hama, Ryan Schifrin and Adam Archer
Due out March 10
Alaric Moebius and Basil Fox are two lovable scoundrels looking to make a quick fortune.
Basil is a former SAS trooper turned Queen’s Guard by day and thief by night. Moebius is an Oxford-educated charmer with a knack for getting into trouble. Together they chase adventure under the patronage of “The Collector,” a mysterious billionaire with a taste for rare and valuable supernatural objects of the occult.
This first volume contains the first three adventures in their career together, introducing the unlikely duo for the first time in a highstakes chain of pulpy high adventures!
Written by the legendary Larry Hama (G.I.Joe, Wolverine) with creator Ryan Schifrin, these wild adventures have the thrills of Indiana Jones, the wit and banter of the best buddy-cop pairings, and the globe-hopping wonder of James Bond.
The History of Canadian Rock ‘n’ Roll
Due out May 19
Rock and roll was born in the United States during the 1950s. Its popularity rapidly grew, spreading across the Atlantic to England. The Brits transformed rock, bringing it back to the States in a new form with the British Invasion. Since that time, the two countries have dominated headlines and histories, in terms of rock music.
What’s often forgotten in these histories is the evolution of Canadian rock and roll during the same period. Over the years, a huge contingent of Canadian artists has made invaluable contributions to rock and roll. The list of innovative Canadian artists is quite impressive: Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Paul Anka, Arcade Fire, The Band, Bryan Adams, Rush, Leonard Cohen, Celine Dion, Diana Krall, Gordon Lightfoot, Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Tegan and Sara, Feist, Nickelback, and many others, not to mention the all-star producers, such as Daniel Lanois (U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel), Bob Rock (Metallica, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi), Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Kiss), and David Foster (Michael Jackson, Celine Dion).
The history of Canadian rock and roll is a lively, entertaining, and largely untold tale. Bob Mersereau presents a streamlined, informative trip through the country’s rich history and depth of talent, from the 1950s to today, covering such topics as: Toronto’s club scene, the folk rock and psychedelic rock of the 1960s, Canadian artists who hit major stardom in the United States, the challenges and reform of the Canadian broadcasting system, the huge hits of the 1970s, Canadian artists’ presence all over the pop charts in the 1990s, and Canada’s indie-rock renaissance of the 2000s.
Shirley, I Jest: A Storied Life
Cindy Williams, With Dave Smitherman, Foreword by Ed Begley Jr.
Rowman & Littlefield/Taylor Trade Publishing
Pub Date May 5 2015
Cindy Williams, best-known as half of the comedic duo of Laverne & Shirley, has had a wild and lively career in show biz. After spending years waiting tables, she landed her first big break with a role in American Graffiti as Ron Howard’s long-suffering girlfriend. This book is an engaging and heartfelt journey from Williams’s blue collar roots to her unexpected stardom—from being pranked by Jim Morrison at the Whisky a Go Go to the emotional rollercoaster of celebrity.
Cindy Williams is an actress and comedian who has starred in some of the most notable movies and television programs in entertainment history. Her career began in the 1970s in prestigious movies like Travels with My Aunt (with Maggie Smith, directed by George Cukor) and American Graffiti (with Ron Howard, Harrison Ford, and Richard Dreyfuss and directed by George Lucas). Williams is now focusing on theater, and has performed in shows across the country, including the musical Nunsense. She lives near Palm Springs, California.