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Sold, Viewed, Playful, New

By Terry Fleming • August 23, 2021

Welcome to Sold, Viewed, Playful, New, where we spotlight popular/fascinating/favorite items in four distinct categories. Sold, for used books. Viewed, for DVDs or Blu-rays. Playful, for board, card, or video games. And New, for new books. Check out our selections—we're sure you'll find something to intrigue you!

Sold

Fantagraphics is a Seattle-based comic and art book publisher. I've been a fan of theirs since I discovered their slacker classic Hate by Peter Bagge in the early nineties (also known as the Buddy Bradley Series). Besides breaking Bagge wide (sorry, couldn't help myself there), Fantagraphics helped introduce such luminary comic book artists as Daniel Clowes, Jim Woodring, Gilbert Hernández, Jaime Hernández, Charles Burns, Chris Ware, Gary Groth, and Dave Sim. Check them all out!

Viewed

Scarface
Scarface, the bloodiest, most ridiculous and over-the-top gangster movie of all time, has to be seen to be believed. Yes, you're entertaining and all New Jack City and King of New York—and of course Goodfellas, Casino, and (it should go without saying) The Godfather Saga are classics (and yes, so's The Sopranos for TV, sheesh). But I'm talking for over-the-top gangster movies, Brian De Palma's Scarface remains untouched. First off, the violence in the thing is so extreme it earned an X rating upon release (this was before NC-17). Second, its story of 80s-style excess is so excessive it provided a standard for gangsta rap stars that no one was able to match (not for lack of trying). C'mon pelican!

Batman: Soul of the Dragon
Batman in the seventies going to karate school and kicking and chopping evil doers along with other badass students. Also, there are samurai swords. What more could you possibly need?

A Quiet Place Part II
Ok, if you're living in a world inhabited by man-eating aliens with heads that ring like gongs every time the slightest sound is made (making them very, very angry), it's probably a good idea to teach your son not to shriek like a harpy whenever he makes a boo-boo. Too bad Emily Blunt didn't think of that! More tiptoeing, whispering, terrible impromptu versions of charades, and manic gesturing ensue as the family from the first movie (minus—well, I won't spoil it) try to survive. In other words, great fun for the audience. Now Ssssshhhh!

Playful

Witcher: Wild Hunt Complete Edition
I just started playing this game and I'm already hooked. Typically, when a video game wins as many awards as this one, my first instinct is to believe it's overrated. In other words, I was all set to dislike this game. But somehow the fun inherent in it crept through my curmudgeonly perspective and infiltrated my senses, and now I look forward to playing it in a way entirely cringe-inducing for a man of my advanced years. This is an epic Fantasy RPG filled with hideous monsters, stunning vistas, and political intrigue. Read The Witcher books to get the backstory!

The Sinking City
A super-creepy Lovecraftian atmosphere permeates this ingenious detective game. You walk through the murky city of Oakmont, trying to figure out the source of your own disturbing visions, only to discover the whole town seems to be in the midst of one gigantic psychotic breakdown. Predictably, fun times follow from there, as you employ investigative and supernatural techniques to break one freaky case after the next.

New

And to circle back around to Fantagraphics, here are some new titles from them deserving of particular attention:

Monsters
A secret U.S. government program transforms a solider into a beast. This is the project Barry Windsor-Smith worked on for 35 years. An absolute tour de force!

Farewell, Brindavoine
"Paris, 1914. In one auspicious night, Lucien Brindavoine's humdrum life is thrown into wild disarray..." That's putting it mildly! Twisted assassins, a bizarre Billionaire, and strange characters of all sorts chase Brindavoine while he stumbles towards his peculiar destiny.

Alberto Breccia's Dracula
Who doesn't want to drink deep the adventures of a broken-down Dracula hunted by ridiculous enemies, especially when the artwork is this spectacularly deranged!

Queen of the Ring: Wrestling Drawings by Jaime Hernandez 1980-2020
What more do you need to know? You got the great artwork of Hernandez coupled with the grace and brutality of female wrestlers. This type of thing here sells itself.

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