Holland centers the story of the wreck of the airship Italia over the Arctic on the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and the path that put him on the rescue mission that ended his life. Produced as a Kindle Single, the work is compact, but alternates capably between the long historical trajectory of Amundsen’s career, the European geopolitics of the interwar period, and experience of the wrecked crew of the Italia. In particular, the narrative of the wreck provides a good example of creating narrative tension in moments of peril from relatively limited and contradictory primary sources.
This opening volume of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s take on Black Panther was both impressive and a bit difficult to get into. It took me until the final issue of this collection to feel like I was on firm footing with the several storylines (and their different scales) going on. The story is very much embedded in our current historical moment of re-examination of our history of racial conflict, populist discontent, and armed conflict with non-state actors while also being engaged with comic book history in its skepticism with regard to the singular hero. From a packaging standpoint, including early appearances of Black Panther is a nice touch, and I hope that continues in future collections.
I read this second volume straight on from the first, and much of my reaction to this second installment is the same. The main change is the inclusion of ‘The Crew’ comprised of Storm, Luke Cage, Manifold, and Misty Knight which provides some opportunity for some lighter dialogue to break up the heavy monologuing of the first volume of stories.
Paul Greenberg takes three sea creatures—the Eastern Oyster, the Gulf Shrimp, and the Alaskan Salmon—that typify North Americans’ historical engagement with seafood and uses them as a lens on the problems posed for maintaining seafood resources in the twenty-first century. Each serves as a different cautionary tale: the Eastern Oyster for over-development of our coastlines, the Gulf Shrimp for competition from globalized commodity markets built on aquaculture, and the Alaskan Salmon for American ignorance of the source of their seafood. The book is brisk and readable despite the bleak picture it paints and touches on a wide array of subjects including global labor markets, climate change, urban planning, and consumer tastes. Greenberg concludes in outlining some possibilities for progress and makes the case that positive change has already begun, but the changes are still small and the road ahead seems very, very long.