There’s a story at the beginning of Jon McGregor’s short story collection, ‘This isn’t the sort of thing that happens to someone like you’ called ‘That Colour’ and it just might possibly be one of the finest short stories I’ve read in years. Ostensibly a flash fiction, it runs in at less than two pages and manages to achieve a depth that little to no other short stories have come close to recently. It’s managed to make me very excited about what books are to come this year.
Causing almost as much excitement is The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt. Booker shortlisted and well reviewed it comes across as the Coen Brothers ‘Don Quixote’. A wonderful little western about two oddball brothers on a murderous road trip to California, it bleeds atmosphere, manages some hilariously disgusting scenes and has a running joke about toothpaste. Beautiful.
Over in comics and, as DC’s New 52 experiment wraps up its first storylines, we’re left with…well pretty much what we had before this whole relaunch. Creators deserting titles, titles being cancelled and an overwhelmingly downbeat look on the future. Despite this, there are some mainstays that look good on the horizon, Scott Snyder’s Batman and Swamp Thing titles are excellent, Jeff Lemire excels on Animal Man and Brian Azzerello does Punk Greek mythology over on Wonder Woman. Looking to the future, we’ve also got the immense China Mieville started up on Dial H For Hero, which could be one of the sleeper hits of the future.
Elsewhere, a fantastic publishing venture, And Other Stories are showing exactly how modern publishing should be done, as well as providing excellent books in translation.