Five Books That Got Me Psyched @ New York Comic Con

Amazing cosplay, booths full of creative, engaging people, and tons of books (and authors!) for me to swoon over. Oh, New York Comic Con. I love you back.

This past Saturday, I hopped a BoltBus for NYCC, to help man the Quirk Books booth and chat with old and new fans alike. I had a great time, caught up with friends and publishing colleagues, and met some truly stellar people.

And over those two days, I stumbled upon a lot of books that got me psyched for the coming season and gave me a reason to update my Goodreads library. I decided to write a little roundup of my favorite five picks.

From dystopian YA to beautiful art books, have a look at them below. Add these to your queue on Amazon, IndieBound, B&N, Goodreads, LibraryThing… whatever. Cause these are absolute must haves.

SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi (HarperCollins): My first day at Comic Con, I finally got to score some face time with Ransom Riggs, the author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Despite having communicated for well over a year, being friends on Facebook, and having worked on the marketing for his book, I’d yet to actually meet the guy. The world of publishing is strange that way.

Anyhow, he stopped by the Quirk booth on Saturday and brought his friend Tahereh Mafi with him, a Young Adult author published by HarperCollins. We chatted for a while about writing, and I stopped by her booth during her signing. I picked up a copy of her debut book, Shatter Me, as well as an ARC of the sequel, Unravel Me, due out in February 2012. Here’s the synopsis for the first title.

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

A dark dystopian YA romance? YES PLEASE. I started this book on my way home from NYCC. Mafi pairs an incredible world with an intriguing protagonist, and I’ll absolutely be reading this all week, rushing to get to the second book in the trilogy… though I suppose that means I’ll have to wait until the end of 2013 for the next one. Hm.

SAILOR TWAIN or THE MERMAID IN THE HUDSON by Mark Siegel (First Second): Alright, how many graphic novels have you seen with a blurb from John freaking Irving on the cover? Seriously. Think about it. None? That’s right. Now let’s move on.

Published by First Second earlier this month (who put out some really outstanding graphic novels), Sailor Twain caught my eye immediately with a gorgeous cover, a high profile blurb, and a long line for an author signing. I would have happily hopped in line for a copy myself, but I had to run back to my booth. Check out the jacket copy.

One hundred years ago. On the foggy Hudson River, a riverboat captain rescues an injured mermaid from the waters of the busiest port in the United States. A wildly popular—and notoriously reclusive—author makes a public debut. A French nobleman seeks a remedy for a curse. As three lives twine together and race to an unexpected collision, the mystery of the Mermaid of the Hudson deepens.

A mysterious and beguiling love story with elements of Poe, Twain, Hemingway, and Greek mythology, drawn in moody black-and-white charcoal, Sailor Twain is a study in romance, atmosphere, and suspense.

Intrigued? You should be. I ordered myself a copy and can’t wait to dive (heh) in.

MOUSE GUARD: WINTER 1152 (BLACK & WHITE EDITION) by David Petersen (Archaia): Frankly, I think it is impossible for me to do any kind of bookish roundup, whether I’m talking about BEA or Comic Con, without mentioning something from the people at Archaia. These guys produce some of my favorite comics and graphic novels. Beautiful packaging and gorgeous art, I’ve yet to read a single Archaia title that I didn’t immediately fall in love with. And that all began with Mouse Guard.

Released in a limited edition, the Black & White edition of Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 comes in a gorgeous black slipcover and is full of the original sketches by David Petersen. And it’s limited to 1,000 copies! An actual collector’s item, it has skyrocketed to the top of my “buy this as soon as you get paid” list.

I stopped by the Archaia booth several times over the weekend for two things. One, to visit Mel Caylo, their awesome PR and marketing guy, and two, to swoon over this book. I. Must. Have. It.

And if you’ve never read Mouse Guard, please get on that. Thanks.

FRINGE: SEPTEMBER’S NOTEBOOK by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry (Insight Editions): Oh Fringe. You are one of the most underrated shows on television, filling that gaping X-Files-shaped-hole in my life. And the folks at Insight Editions are the perfect people to pay tribute to those wonderful show. Well, them and (my certified megacrush) Tara Bennett, an author local to Philly.

Here’s a blip about the book via the jacket copy.

Fringe: September’s Notebook is a uniquely in-world collection that explores the intricate destinies of Walter Bishop, Peter Bishop, and Olivia Dunham. Gathered by the Observer known only as September, these pages reveal new truths about the Fringe Division and Massive Dynamic. The book also closely examines the Amber timeline and the alternate universe Over There.

With its layered storytelling, well-rendered characters, and complex overarching narrative, Fringe is the ideal show around which to publish, and Fringe: September’s Notebook provides a totally immersive reading experience.

Now, Tara is far too humble and sweet to post photos from her signing on her blog, so I’m going to have to do it for her.

CHECK OUT THAT LINE. And Insight wasn’t even giving away books! Tara was just signing posters with her co-author! I had to wait a solid 20 minutes just to say hi to one of my pals, as she was on panels and signings all day. Worth it of course, to score these pictures. Congrats Tara! I’m proud of you.

Anyhow, the Fringe book drops in February, and I’ve already got one pre-ordered. If you’re a fan of the show, you should get on that too.

THE LITTLE PRINCE: GRAPHIC NOVELS (Graphic Universe): Situated across from the Quirk booth, was Graphic Universe, a publisher of wonderful graphic novels. Prominently on display was the new The Little Prince series, four graphic novels that detail the new adventures of the beloved character.

The artwork is lovely, the stories are charming… it’s everything you’d want to see in the resurgence of an already beloved character. I picked up all four and gave them to Quirk’s managing editor, who absolutely loves all things French. I plan to order the whole series once they finish the line of books.

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