Rom: Space Knight

(early issues)

Written by Bill Mantil and drawn by Sal BuscemaROM, Space knight, Marvel,  Bill Mantlo, Sal Buscema

Oh, Rom. You and your melodramatic rants over your lost humanity, your inability to have children, your desire to get into Brandy’s pants. I would never imagined a comic based on a badly designed toy could capture the emotional range of my grandmother’s soap operas as emoted by a cyborg. Never would I have guessed that bemoaning the fate you chose would take up so much of the time you didn’t spend vaporizing aliens in front of humans. You taught my pre-teen self so much about the inner life of a walking toaster. Rock on, space knight, rock on.

-Sarah

War for the Oaks

Emma Bull

I can’t call it kid nostalgia, as this book came out in the 80s.  But I loved this book and read War for the oaks, Emma Bull, Pamela Patrick, Tor Teenit until it was dogeared.   It’s one of the few stories from that time with a female protagonist.  Eddi is a badass guitarist for a local Minneapolis band, and she’s just come off a bad breakup with a boyfriend who was in the band.  Somehow, the Faerie recognized her talent and skill and asked her to join them  as the Seelie and Unseelie fae of Minneapolis were at war — but without a mortal present on each side, it’s not serious enough.  With a mortal on each side the fae can die and it’s more than a game.  Along the way she deals with battle of the bands,  and the Queen of Air and darkness, and falls in love with the playful and eloquent Phouka.  This book set me on a lifelong love of urban fantasy. Good luck finding a copy – pretty sure it’s out of print. In fact I may have to go find my copy and reread it now just from having waxed nostalgic about it here.  Sadly, although I don’t generally believe in guilty pleasures, this one falls under it due to the Racefail thing that happened with Emma Bull & Steven Brust within the past decade.

-Jamie

Harriet the Spy

Louise Fitzhugh

I wanted to be Harriet the Spy when I was a kid. She was like Penny from Inspector Gadget Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh, Yearlingminus the advanced technology. She was old school. Her spy tools were a notebook, binoculars, and a magnifying glass (plus a heavy dose of moxie). Every kid is curious what goes on in other peoples’ houses, but Harriet went right up to their windows to find out what they were doing. I followed suit and put together a spy kit and carried a journal with me everywhere. I even cleverly labeled it SPY JOURNAL DO NOT READ PRIVATE. My older brothers inevitably read it and nearly died laughing. It had everything in it: neighbor’s license plate numbers, odd things I’d observed family members doing, the types of trees next door. Needless to say, my spy career was cut short, but I still read the book over and over, until the pages were falling out.

-Lana