Field Notes: Walking the Territory, by Maxim Peter Griffin (Unbound, 2022)

A possible diary in images and words of a year in the East of Lincolnshire. Can’t say more than that – and this isn’t a review, ‘cos family – but if you’re familiar with Maxim Griffin’s work then this is the motherlode to date. If you haven’t, then this is your departure point. Get on it now before the inevitable Werner Herzog/Ben Wheatley/Johnny Nice bidding war begins. Onwards, as Maxim is wont to say.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Nice House on the Lake, Volume 1, by James Tynion IV, Alvaro Martinez Bueno & Jordie Bellaire (DC Comics, 2022)

A group of thirty-somethings united by a common friend find themselves invited to a remote house to sit out the apocalypse. Lost-ish group drama that’s strong on WTF moments and on asking lots of questions. Told with its writer’s usual confidence: it’ll be fascinating to see where this is going. Issues 1-6 collected here.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Sausages: The Making of Dog Soldiers, by Janine Pipe (Encyclopocalypse Publications, 2022)

A celebration of / making of the 2002 minor squaddies-v-werewolves classic. Unashamedly fannish, while a bit undisciplined (odd personal tangents and a couple of unforced errors), this overview of Neil Marshall’s debut movie Dog Soldiers gets by on charm, enthusiasm, access to almost of the main cast and crew, and a lingering sense of camaraderie from those involved in the movie’s production. Recommended for fans, certainly.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Hollow Ones, by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan (Del Rey Books, 2021)

A suspended young FBI agent finds that their colleague’s death is linked to an ancient demonic evil. The first of a new series from The Strain collaborators Del Toro and Hogan, this is all set-up. While ambitious – immortal demonologists, John Dee, civil rights and slavery, and backstory-a-gogo all involved – it’s also a bit insubstantial. Brisk enough though.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

That Texas Blood, Volume Two, by Chris Condon & Jacob Phillips (Image Comics, 2022)

A veteran lawman recounts a story from forty years earlier, of cultists, a lost child, and regret. This second stand-alone story (anthologising issues 7-12) introduces a horror element: as before, it’s all very capably done if a little on the nose. Nevertheless, if you like tall but bittersweet cop stories and tales told in diners over pie, you’ll be right at home.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Seeds, by Ann Nocenti & David Aja (Berger Books, 2020)

A near-future dystopia: aliens are collecting samples while the planet faces ecological catastrophe; a reporter investigates. Ambitious mini-series (a four-issue run anthologised here) that’s theme-heavy though not always fully engaging on a pure story level. That said, there’s some swagger in the execution, plus odd moments will linger. Worth sampling yourself at least.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Wytches, Vol 1, by Scott Snyder, Jock, Matt Hollingsworth & Clem Robins (Image Comics, 2015)

A family overcoming trauma relocates to a small town: but there’s something in the woods. Effective and at times startling self-contained miniseries (issues 1-6 collected here) that – while it doesn’t quite deliver on all of its promises – is nevertheless absolutely worth your time. Begging for a movie adaptation, this.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Stephen King & Owen King’s Sleeping Beauties: A Graphic Novel, Vol. 1, by Rio Youers, Alison Sampson & Triona Farrell (IDW Publishing, 2021)

A worldwide sleeping sickness affects all women: a small American town may be an epicentre. Excellent precis of the first half of the King father and son collaboration, developing and clarifying the storytelling in creative and visual ways. Vol 2 is anticipated keenly as a result!

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Final Girl Support Group, by Grady Hendrix (Titan Books, 2021)

A killer is targeting the members of a support group for female survivors of serial murderers. Genre-savvy black comedy horror/thriller hybrid, packed with sneaky and overt references, as well as being a zesty read in its own right. Plenty of fun, basically, with something to say about survivor guilt, online obsessives, and our ongoing fascination with ghoulishness.

My own books here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.