Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Books”

Audible Review: Tortured Souls by Clive Barker

Clive Barker is an incredibly creative person. Books, movies, paintings⁠—Clive Barker has created them all and done so masterfully. Oftentimes, his artistry will span across multiple mediums at the same time, which is the case with Tortured Souls. This novella, which is an Audible exclusive, consists of writings that accompanied Todd McFarlane action figures of the same name. These figures were released between 2001-2002, and each of them included a 32-page novelette. There were two sets of figures. The first contained six figures⁠—each accompanied by a novelette exclusive to that figure. The second batch of six figures didn’t include any new written material. In February 2015, these novelettes were combined to create the Tortured Souls novella.

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Audible Review: Cabal by Clive Barker

Originally released in 1988, Cabal is one of Clive Barker’s most well known stories because it was the basis for the cult classic film Nightbreed. The protagonist Boon is “a tortured soul haunted by the conviction that he has committed atrocious crimes.” According to the synopsis, “In a necropolis in the wilds of Canada, he seeks refuge and finds the last great creatures of the world – the shape-shifters known as the Nightbreed. They are possessed of unearthly powers-and so is Boone. In the hunt for Boone, they too will be hunted. Now only the courage of this strange human can save them from extinction. And only the undying passion of a woman can save Boone from his own corrupting hell…” Cabal is an inventive story, featuring wildly imaginative characters, and it has some of the most exquisite and poetic writing I’ve ever encountered.

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Usagi Yojimbo/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Collection

My 35th anniversary celebration of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continues! Next, I’m going to talk about another great book available from Dark Horse. This one is entitled Usagi Yojimbo/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Collection As the name suggests, it’s a complete collection of the iconic team-ups for fans of all ages, collecting every existing Usagi Yojimbo/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover comic in existence. This book contains ”Turtle Soup and Rabbit Stew,” ”The Crossing,” ”The Treaty,” ”Shades of Green,” and the recent full-color tale ”Namazu.” This volume also includes tons of extra material from Stan Sakai’s studio. If you’re a fan of Ninja Turtles comic books and are looking for something out of the ordinary, this book is a great option.

The Art of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Published in June 2019, The Art of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a beautifully produced book focused on the popular 2012 animated series. This book is 200 pages in length, and it features behind-the-scenes stories, art, and more from all five seasons of the show. This tome also has a forward by Kevin Eastman, the co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If you’re a big Ninja Turtles fan like I am, you can’t go wrong with this book, especially if you enjoy the 2012 iteration of these heroes in a half shell. The Art of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is yet another way to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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Take It Off: KISS Truly Unmasked

On November 19, a new book about KISS is coming out. Unlike the many that came before it, this one is focused on the non-makeup era of the band, which is from 1983-1996. As a big fan of this KISS time period, I was eager to read this book and see if it lived up to the hype it has been getting. I’m glad to say that, overall, it’s an excellent book with a wealth of information. Inside you’ll find chapters on each album from the band during this era, as well as some additional subcategories. The author provides his thoughts for each of these, while also including insights from industry influencers and those that were either in the band or worked with KISS. My only complaint is I don’t like that Eddie Trunk was included in this book, specifically because Gene and Paul don’t like him (because he doesn’t support the current incarnation of the band) and, as a result, many KISS fans don’t like him either, including yours truly. I think Eddie Trunk’s prominence in this book hurts it and could have a negative impact on sales because of how vehemently opposed some fans are toward him. All of the other guest commentators in this book are perfectly fine, but it’s puzzling why the author chose to highlight someone as polarizing as Eddie Trunk, especially since he’s such a negative force in the KISS world. If you can set this aside, then you should definitely pick up a copy of Take It Off: KISS Truly Unmasked.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Cookbook

My celebration of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ 35th anniversary rolls on! Next up is my review of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Cookbook.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History

2019 marks the 35th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. To celebrate the occasion, I’m reviewing several books about the heroes in a half shell, working on a massive article about all things Ninja Turtles, and more. I’m kicking things off with my video review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History. Is this book a worthy way to celebrate 35 years of Ninja Turtles? Watch my book review below to find out.

Audible Review: X-Files Cold Cases & Stolen Lives

The X-Files is a pop culture phenomenon that has spanned decades and various mediums, including TV, movies, video games, and audiobooks. Speaking of which, there are two Audible Originals for X-Files fans to enjoy: Cold Cases and Stolen Lives. Both of these books feature David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprising their iconic roles. There’s also a full cast and various sound effects to round out the top-notch production, making each audiobook feel like a full-fledged episode of the show.

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WWE 35 Years Of WrestleMania

DK is back with another WWE book. This time it’s an updated version of WWE 30 Years of WrestleMania, a book I got autographed by “Mr. WrestleMania” himself: Shawn Michaels. This new edition expands on the previous one by adding five additional WrestleMania events, as well as other content. Below is my video review of WWE 35 Years of WrestleMania.

KISS: The Hottest Brand In The Land

KISS: The Hottest Brand In The Land is a new coffee table book by Nicholas Buckland. Clocking in at 390 pages, it is the officially licensed story of the KISS merchandising craze of the late 1970s and early 1980s. While the Ultra Deluxe Edition, which was autographed by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, and the Deluxe Edition are sold out, the Standard Edition is still available for $99.

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