Sacred Decay – The Art of Lauren Marx
Release Date: Early May
As part of my resolution to get more art and design into the store I am finding new and interesting things every day. The latest discovery is Lauren Marx. In this book, she combines images of death and decay with those of growth and life. Flowers growing out of abandoned skulls, bird’s eggs laid in nests of ribs. It’s an interesting combination of ideas and they are strangely beautiful and also a little sad. It’s a fascinating way to construct an image and I think people will really enjoy them – particularly if you have got a slightly off beat sense of the bizarre or the beautiful. I’m looking forward to seeing what people think of these. I am certainly impressed.

Lovesickness by Junji Ito
Release Date: Mid May
There is probably nobody else who combines disturbing imagery and worrying ideas better than Japanese horror Manga artist and writer Junji Ito. That’s why, I imagine, he is a store favourite. This month we have a new collection of his short fiction in the form of Lovesickness. To be honest, it’s new for us, but the work itself was originally published in Japan in 2011 making this in fact some of Junji Ito’s earlier work. I am intrigued to see whether or not his style has changed, whether his art and his ideas have gotten more or less worrying than when he was doing work 11 years ago. This is going to be good fun – if by fun, you mean profoundly disturbing.

Gotham City Cocktails by Andre Darlington
Release Date: Late May
Well, there has been a flurry of media-related cookbooks over the last few years and just about every media property has got one. So, I guess it stands to reason that the Batman universe would eventually get theirs. However, given that Gotham City is a dark and dismal place full of terrifying criminals and only slightly less terrifying crime fighters it seems quite natural that more than something to eat, what the residents of Gotham City really need is a strong drink. Which is why we’re getting the Gotham City Cocktail book. I am looking forward to trying some of the cocktails and maybe finding out what some of the bigwigs and big bads drink in Gotham City. I imaging they’re mostly pretty intoxicating.

Star Wars: Galactic Baking  
Release Date: Mid May
Has the media tie-in cookbook thing gone too far? I don’t know, but the releases don’t seem to be showing any sign of slowing and folks are still buying them so what the hell. If you’re a Star Wars fan with a sweet tooth then this new one is probably for you. Galactic Baking is a collection of dessert-y recipes like Cloud City Marshmallows, Loth-Cat Kibble, Keshian Spice Bread, Dagobah Bog Pie and more. Since there a bunch of new Star Wars stuff heading to screen, it’s probably a good idea to have some snacks ready to go. Also, if you are old enough to remember the Star Wars TV special that Lucasfilm and Disney would prefer we all forget, you can even make yourself a Life Day Cake, although I suspect you will have rather more ease with it than poor mother Wookie did. This one is going to be great fun, and it’s also worth pointing out that we should be getting stock of the Galaxy’s Edge cookbook as well, which is the companion cookbook to the feature at Disneyland that is dedicated to Star Wars although that one is not so certain yet.

Infinitum by Tim Fielder
Release Date: Early May
Infinitum by Tim Fielder is a book that is many things at once. It’s an art portfolio, a graphic novel, an exploration of history and African people’s experiences in Africa and in America. It’s also a social commentary that is part of the burgeoning art form within speculative fiction known collectively as Afrofuturism. Our guide is Oba who was a king in Africa some thousand years ago and cursed with immortality. He sees the death of everything he loves, the rise of the Atlantic slave trade and eventually makes his way to the new world and the Americas where sometimes he observes and sometimes participates in the changes that happen in the world. This is a profound and fascinating look at social and cultural issues as well as being a beautiful piece of art. Highly recommended for anybody who wants to be educated, moved and also uplifted by something utterly unique.