As I wrote this, from the corner of my eye, I could see CNN providing coverage of a gargantuan hurricane, racing resolutely towards the eastern coastal arc of the US, extending from Florida all the way up to the Carolinas. The footage shows fierce winds roiling the waters of the Atlantic; wave after wave, crashing against the shore, slopping out over the edge of the sea wall. It could have been an event such as this that prompted J.G. Ballard to write The Drowned World—a forerunner of a genre, dubbed in the 21st century as “climate-fiction”—in which he paints a nightmare landscape, where the seas have swelled and swallowed up the land.
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Comic book anthologies never went away. They just became harder to spot since the ‘60s. One reason is because Dr. Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent prompted the creation of the Comics Code Authority in 1954. The CCA’s censoring made it hard for EC Comics to continue publishing its anthologies, which printed the work of Wally Wood, Harvey Kurtzman, Joe Orlando, and many other legends in the field.
Another reason is that many anthologies turned into single character books. Dark Horse Presents, Papercutters, Negative Burn, Kramers Ergot, 2000 AD, and dozens of others kept anthologies alive while single-story comics and graphic novels grew to become the big draw to comics readers. They come and go, get canceled without notice, sometimes only get released once a year, and move to digital. This is the way of the serial anthology. Now that the juggernaut of serial anthologies, Heavy Metal (published since 1977), has Grant Morrison as Editor-In-Chief, it joins Amazing Forest and Islands to make up three serial anthologies on stands today that are offering some of the best variety between two covers.
On 9 November 2016, Donald Trump won the electoral college both on the strength of and in spite of a campaign built upon bigoted, misogynistic, and racist rhetoric. In response, AntiBookClub—a small independent publishing company operating under a progressive, reformist platform—released an “open letter” to Penguin-Random House directly urging the company to stop representing Trump. In an eloquently stated passage, the letter advises:
As an influencer in the publishing world, your continued financial support through the sales of his book sends a message to your readers that you condone his racism, his misogyny, and his contempt for people of different nationalities and religions.
Behold the first sentence of the foreword of Kari Kallioniemi’s book, Englishness, Pop and Post-War Britain:
“As this book will suggest, imagining England from the outside, from the point of view of a foreigner and through pop music is both a strange and familiar feeling of Anglophilia, inviting me to construct such a highly contested subject as pop-Englishness—ambiguously associated with the precious sentiments that ‘only England know.’”
“Oz” is a morpheme for Australia. Many know it to be an oblique nod to the other “Oz”, the fairyland setting of Frank L. Baum’s children’s classic. That connection could have had its genesis in Ozma of O” book No.3, published in 1907.