Burn’s ‘Sugar Skull’ a powerful read for adults _lowres


“Sugar Skull” by Charles Burns. Pantheon, 2014. $23.

In this reality-bending third installment, we follow Dougy, a normal man dealing with his past, and Johnny, his alter ego.

The story flashes back and forth between reality and a semidream state where things can get very unusual.

Dougy, dealing with the poor decisions of his past, escapes into a dreamscapelike world, where every vision is a metaphor for his life. This is a powerful short read, about the remorse that most feel about their past.

Charles Burns’ powerful illustrations make this story come to life. This is a great adult graphic novel, and is not intended for younger audiences.

— Phillip Dequeant, pdequeant@theadvocate.com

“Edge of Eternity” by Ken Follett. Dutton Adult, 2014. $36.

The third installment of Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy, “Edge of Eternity” feels like an end.

His first two books, “Fall of Giants” and “Winter of the World,” started the tale of five intertwined families, and “Edge” is the culmination of the story.

The third generation of all five are beautiful and all are favored by fortune, always landing on their feet in just the right place as some of the headiest developments of the 20th century take place around them.

In fact, there’s just a little too much fortune for my taste; so often, it’s mistakes that lay bare our humanity.

Like most of Follett’s books, this one is a bruiser. It sweeps parts of three decades into more than 1,000 pages.

If you like to take your books with you, put it on your mobile device and save your arms.

— Beth Colvin, bcolvin@theadvocate.com

“Masterful Marks: Cartoonists Who Changed the World” by Monte Beauchamp. Simon & Schuster, 2014. $24.99.

“Masterful Marks” is a wonderful historic recounting of 16 of the best illustrators of all time.

Each graphic biography takes the reader through the artist’s life and the events that led to that artist changing history. It covers such artistic talents as Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, creators of Superman; Jack Kirby, co creator of Captain America; Charles M. Schulz, creator of Peanuts; Robert Crumb, underground comix pioneer; and Dr. Seuss, creator of children’s picture books.

Each biography is illustrated by a different artist and reflects that artist’s style.

This is a great history of the artists that have changed many lives with their work and the struggles that these artists have gone through for their art.

This is a must-have and a great gift for any comic art enthusiast.

— Phillip Dequeant, pdequeant@theadvocate.com