The Laundry Files, the Library, and Modesty Blaise

After taking a fairly long break from reading Charles Stross’ Laundry Files series, I picked up The Apocalypse Codex a few weeks ago. I just finished reading it this week. It’s not quite as funny as I remember the earlier books being, but it’s still very good. It includes two characters who are based on Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin. Modesty Blaise was a British comic strip that ran for many years, starting in the sixties. I became familiar with it through reprints published in a magazine called Comics Revue, which I used to read regularly.

Here’s an article about the strip’s creator, Peter O’Donnell, from The Comics Journal, published just after he died. And here’s a more recent article, also from TCJ. Both are written by R. C. Harvey, who knows a lot about comics and who I should really read more often. (In fact, I haven’t actually read these articles yet, just bookmarked them to read later. I’ve been doing that a lot lately…) I stopped buying Comics Revue back in 2008 or so, when I stopped buying comics altogether. (Or at least mostly stopped buying them.) Now that I’ve started up again, I’ve been thinking about picking up on Comics Revue again too. But I still have a couple of unread Modesty Blaise books from the Titan Books reprint series, so I should probably read those before I start buying more issues of Comics Revue.

On a somewhat related subject, I did some spring cleaning last weekend, throwing out some old computer books and getting together some old novels to donate to an upcoming library book sale. I dropped the novels off today, and decided to have a look around the library while I was there. This book sale is not for my local library, rather for the neighboring town of Bridgewater. I’ve always known that Bridgewater’s library was bigger than ours, but I’d never really had any reason to go over there and visit it. Well, I was pretty impressed. It’s much larger than Somerville’s library, and they have quite a lot of books. I browsed through the comics section and the SF section, and found a few things there that I’d like to read. Bringing this back around to the original subject, they have most of the Laundry Files books, in hardcover. So I checked out the next one in the series, The Rhesus Chart. Now I have three weeks to read it. (I’ll have to check and see if I can renew it online, if I don’t get it finished on time. I don’t really know how all this modern library stuff works…)

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