Matt Wagner's comic Mage: The Hero Discovered, originally published from 1984 to 1986, is a personal work that also taps into universal stories and themes. The main character, Kevin Matchstick, is modeled on Wagner himself (in the sequel series, Mage: The Hero Defined, published 1997-1999, Kevin Matchstick's hairline has receded much like Wagner's has) and the depression he speaks of in the first issue is the frame of mind Wagner was in when he began the comic.
The second book in the Echo Park Coven series picks up immediately after the end of the first book, The Witches of Echo Park. Lyse and her fellow witches, or blood sisters as they prefer to call themselves, have a major threat called "the Flood" looming over them. It isn't long before the Flood comes in and washes the coven, and the plot, in many different, dangerous directions.
What happens when you wake up in the middle of a park, with no memories, surrounded by bodies? If you're Myfanwy (rhymes with Tiffany) Thomas, you find a letter in your pocket written by the person you used to be and take over her life.
Amber Benson is mostly known as an actor, primarily for her role as Tara Maclay on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but she's also an accomplished author with a number of books and other projects under her belt.
Two Serpents Rise, the second book in Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence, can be read independently of the other books, although I'm glad I read this after the first, Three Parts Dead. Both are great, but I liked Two Serpents Rise a wee bit more. I found the characters a little more developed and the plot a little more complex than Three Parts Dead.
Life hasn’t been easy for Jim Stark, the protagonist of Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim. His old apartment isn’t his anymore, his lover Alice has been murdered, and, oh, yeah, he’s just spent the last 11 years in hell. Returning to Los Angeles to murder the cohorts who sent him to hell, Stark finds himself in the middle of something bigger, with the fate of the world at stake. In this showdown, the bad guys are terrifying and the good guys are only good by comparison. And Stark?
The newest book in The Dresden Files picks up about a year after Cold Days, and Mab is calling in her Knight once again. This time he's being blackmailed into helping Nicodemus break into a secure vault, all the while upholding the good name of Winter, watching his back against a Fallen with a grudge, and hopefully managing to sabotage the project to keep old Nick from getting
Ted Hall is a San Francisco blogger suddenly hit by strange events. After a fortune cookie explodes in his face in a Chinatown restaurant, he starts having restless sleep, apparently sleepwalking. Even worse, his sleepwalking seems to coincide with the actions of the Hang Wire Killer, a serial killer that's been hitting the city, murdering people and stringing them up with wires like puppets. Meanwhile, a circus has come to Golden Gate Park, and the Celtic dance troupe is practicing eerie rituals in the off hours. A masked acrobat with no name has joined the circus.
When I was in elementary school, I read many, many books on monsters and the paranormal. Books about ghosts, UFOs, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, mummies, werewolves...and vampires. Outside of books, there wasn't a lot to see with vampires at the time. You might catch classic Universal monster movies or the later, bloodier Hammer horror movies on late night TV (assuming you could convince your parents to let you stay up that late).