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Showing posts from August, 2011

We Have Power!

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We're Open, originally uploaded by sugarfreak. So it won't be this dark anymore.

Hurricane Irene

Irene was all about taking out our power here in Baltimore.

We are without power and so is everyone else on our grid, which is mostly Falls Road shops, but also the Golden West Cafe.

We'll be here for a while longer in case the power comes back this morning.

ETA: Still no power! Hopefully it'll be back soon.

ETA: Still no power this Monday morning. We'll be open anyway at 11am so you can browse books in the natural light of a dark shed.

Mail Bag: Odd Letters 1

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We sometimes get odd and interesting letters sent to us at Atomic Books. It isn't always easy to determine the intent of the sender. But we thought it might be interesting to share these letters from time to time.


This letter was sent to us by an inmate in the US Penitentiary in Jonesville, VA.

Comics Reading Picks

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The other night, I was invited by a local organization of graphic designers to give a lecture on the history of the graphic novel. I finished that lecture with a list of reading recommendations. Since I rushed through it, and because a friend asked me for the list, I thought I'd post it here.

So if you're looking for some quality graphic novel/comics reading, I suggest you try one of the many titles below.


A Contract With God by Will Eisner
Arguably the first graphic novel. It's a 1930s autobiographical story told through 4 interwoven tales that is also a look at life in New York in the early part of the 20th century.





Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman
Art Spiegelman tells the story of his father surviving the nazi death camps – using mice and cats. It won the Pulitzer Prize.





The Dark Knight Returns – Frank Miller
Miller’s revision of the DC Comics hero is largely responsible for superhero comics being taken more seriously. While it hasn’t aged well, and Miller’s m…

Comic Lists Gone Bad - The Sacco Omission

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All the world loves a list: Top 10s, Top 5s, Top 50s, it doesn't really matter how you number them.

In fact, for magazines they are go-to sales boosters, and for web periodicals they are traffic drivers.

But sometimes lists go wrong. Witness, for example, Kirstin Butler's "Comic Books as Journalism: 10 Masterpieces of Graphic Nonfiction" for The Atlantic.

The first red flag comes when you try to figure out what qualifies Butler to rank such a list. Her bio states that she "is writing an adaptation of Gogol for the Google era called Dead SULs." While her project may be very good, there is nothing about it that suggests she is any way an expert in, or even particularly knowledgeable of, comics journalism.

Then there is the list itself.
1. The Beats by Harvey Pekar/various
2. Edible Secrets by Michael Hoerger / Mia Paltrow / Nate Powell
3. A.D.: New Orleans After The Deluge by Josh Neufeld
4. The 14th Dalai Lama by Tetsu Saiwai
5. The Stuff Of Life by Mark Schul…

Hampdenfest 2011

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Keyboard Man by Lachlan Hardy

It's coming!

Beijing Welcomes You Book Release Party

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This Friday, Tom Scocca, author of Beijing Welcomes You, will be at Atomic Books to help familiarize you with our new overlords. Starts at 7pm! Adult refreshments will be needed.

The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel - August Book Pick

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This month's Reading Club pick is The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel by Amy Hempel.

See you August 31st for the discussion - 7:30 at Atomic Books! New members are welcome at any time, and you get 15% off all the books for this year's Club titles. Join the Facebook Group for more discussion and updates.