Saturday, March 31, 2018

March 2018 Recap

  1. Shane by Jack Schaefer
  2. The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills by Lorin Morgan-Richards
  3. Memento Mori: The Goodbye Family Album by Lorin Morgan-Richards
  4. Wanted: Dead or Alive… But Not Stinkin' by Lorin Morgan-Richards
  5. Watcher in the Dark by Beverly Hastings
  6. The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún, Vol 4 by Nagabe
  7. Before the End: One-Eyed Willie by Michael DeGrow
  8. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  9. The Ghost, The Owl by Franco, illustrated by Sara Richard
  10. Smoke Eaters by Sean Grigsby
  11. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition by Jason Fry
  12. Robotech, Vol 1: Countdown by Brian Wood, illustrated by Marco Turini
  13. Elsewhere, Vol 1 by Jay Faerber, illustrated by Sumeyye Kesgin
  14. The Window by Amelia Brunskill
  15. Eleanor & the Egret, Vol 1 by John Layman, illustrated by Sam Keith
  16. Descender, Vol 3: Singularities by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen
  17. The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter by Rod Duncan
  18. I Kill Giants: Fifth Anniversary Edition by Joe Kelly, illustrated by JM Ken Niimura

Pick of the Month
I Kill Giants: Fifth Anniversary Edition by Joe Kelly, illustrated by JM Ken Niimura


March 2018
Number of books read: 18
Number of pages: 3,304

Number of books acquired: 32
Number of those books read: 7


YEAR TOTALS
Number of books read: 37
Number of pages: 6,875

Number of books acquired: 88
Number of those books read: 22

I Kill Giants: Fifth Anniversary Edition by Joe Kelly, illustrated by JM Ken Niimura

I Kill Giants I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



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The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan

The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



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Friday, March 30, 2018

BLOG TOUR: The Window by Amelia Brunskill

The Window
by Amelia Brunskill
Published by Delacorte Press • April 3, 2018
352 Pages • ISBN 978-1524720292 • Hardcover



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Book description:
Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside - it's hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.

Or so Jess thought.

After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess's life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn't add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?

Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it's a way to stay busy and find closure… but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she's looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.

Because Anna wasn't the only one with secrets.


Jess and her twin, Anna, couldn't be more different, but they have always had a close bond as sisters. However, after Anna is found dead outside her window, it seems like an unfortunate accident, nothing more. However, as Jess soon comes to understand, Anna didn't share everything with her twin, and as Jess starts paying attention to what is being said about her sister, she begins to unravel the truth behind Anna's death.

Told in sharp, taut prose that is excellently paced and also captures the imperfections of the characters perfectly as they deal with the grief surrounding Anna's death, The Window captured my attention fairly quickly and while there were multiple times throughout that I was fairly sure how the story was going to end, there were enough twists and turns that actually surprised me when everything finally played out. The small town feel was spot on, and the addition of Anna's POV interspersed thru Jess' story was a nice touch, so that we get to see both sides of the twins.

And let's take a moment to appreciate the cover, shall we? Delcaorte's art dept did a fine job in creating an cover that perfectly captures the atmospheric feel to the story and Jess' sense of loneliness after Anna's death.

If you enjoy a great mystery, a dark YA story, or a good page-turner that can easily be read in one sitting, you should definitely check out The Window.



About the Author
Amelia Brunskill was born in Melbourne, Australia, but she grew up mostly in Washington state where she picked a lot of blackberries, read a lot of books, and failed to properly appreciate the epic beauty of the mountains and the Pacific ocean.

She earned her bachelors degrees in psychology and art from the University of Washington and her master in information studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She now lives in Chicago, where she eats as much Thai food as possible and works as a librarian.

The Window is her debut novel.


I received a physical ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Elsewhere, Vol 1 by Jay Faerber, illustrated by Sumeyye Kesgin

Elsewhere, Vol. 1 Elsewhere, Vol. 1 by Jay Faerber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An interesting take on the Amelia Earhart mystery: after the engine failed on their fateful trip, Fred Noonan and Amelia Earhart parachute away from the plane. However, Amelia finds herself falling towards a bright light and falls thru this light into an alternate universe. Not knowing where Fred is, she convinces two of the locals to help her storm the castle of the area's overlord, in hopes of saving Fred. Of course, this doesn't go entirely according to plan, and Amelia must make decisions then on how to save herself and get back home.

I've always been intrigued by the Amelia Earhart mystery, so this was an easy buy for me. The character-driven storytelling and simplistic, cartoon-ish yet solid art really made this a great book. Recommended!

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Robotech, Vol 1: Countdown by Brian Wood, illustrated by Marco Turini

Robotech Vol. 1 Robotech Vol. 1 by Brian Wood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A solid reboot of the original cartoon, but that's really all it is. A reboot, with not that much new thrown in. I'll still be interested to see where they take the series, if it's going to be nothing more than a rehash of the cartoon, or if they are actually going to strike off on their own and make it something new and fresh.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition by Jason Fry

The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition by Jason Fry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The novelization of the film, with some extra bits that flesh out some of the scenes in the film. If you enjoyed the movie, you'll probably enjoy this.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Smoke Eaters by Sean Grigsby

Smoke Eaters Smoke Eaters by Sean Grigsby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Firefighters vs. Dragons - that's what this book is all about. One hundred years or so in the future, dragons are awakened after tectonic shifts all over the world and are causing catastrophic fires everywhere. Enter the smoke eaters, humans who can breathe smoke, who use advanced weaponry to kill the dragons and allow the regular firefighters to come in and deal with the fires. It's goofy as hell, but still a fun read.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Ghost, The Owl by Franco, illustrated by Sara Richard

The Ghost, The Owl The Ghost, The Owl by Franco
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A gorgeously illustrated graphic novel about a owl who befriends and helps the lost ghost of a little girl. More importantly, the story is about doing what's right and helping others, especially when told that you shouldn't help.

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wrinkle in Time A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A re-read after seeing the movie, and after reading the book again, I liked the movie even less. Too many unnecessary changes made to the film, IMO.


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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Wanted: Dead or Alive… But Not Stinkin' by Lorin Morgan-Richards

Wanted: Dead or Alive… But Not Stinkin'
by Lorin Morgan-Richards
Published by A Raven Above Press • August 11, 2017
64 Pages • ISBN 978-0997319354 • Paperback



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Book description:
Featuring 100 all new cartoons of the Noodle Rut and the Goodbye Family by Lorin Morgan-Richards! An indictment, Docket #9876543210, is outstanding, charging the Goodbye Family with violation of this book causing spontaneous laughter and disruption of civility. The bureau of comics have ordered their articles must be apprehended and cautioned excessive cackling might lead to back door trots.


Wanted: Dead or Alive… But Not Stinkin' is full of the goofy, oddball, and macabre cartoons that continue the adventures of the Goodbye Family. Much like the previous volume, Memento Mori, the single panel cartoons here are just as clever and the attention is still in the details here. If you enjoyed Memento Mori, you'll enjoy this volume just as much.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Girl From The Other Side: Siúil A Rún, Vol 4 by Nagabe

The Girl From The Other Side: Siúil A Rún, Vol. 4 The Girl From The Other Side: Siúil A Rún, Vol. 4 by Nagabe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This gorgeous series continues to impress me with each volume. The artwork is exquisite and the story remains a quiet yet compelling tale. This particular volume ends on quite the cliffhanger, so I'm anxious for the next release!

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Memento Mori: The Goodbye Family Album by Lorin Morgan-Richards

Memento Mori: The Goodbye Family Album
by Lorin Morgan-Richards
Published by A Raven Above Press • February 5, 2017
64 Pages • ISBN 978-0997319347 • Paperback



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Book description:
Comic miners recently uncovered an album buried over 100 years ago after draining an outhouse in an old ghost town. While treasures are sometimes found, this one just so happened to be loaded with the 1st year of the Goodbye Family and the Noodle Rut by cartoonist Lorin Morgan-Richards.

"The Victorian era hasn't been this much fun since licking arsenic in the wallpaper." - Slug Daily News

"Bleak, morbid, and hilarious." - Nothom Times

"This album is a real danger to society." - Baron Von Nickle


Each of the single panel cartoons collected in Memento Mori: The Goodbye Family Album, reminiscent of Charles Addams' cartoons, tells a story unto themselves. Inhabited by the Goodbye Family, a close knit clan who's macabre adventures underlie their loving of one another. At first glance, the cartoons are in and of themselves fun reads, but pay attention to the details; this is where Lorin Morgan-Richards will hide little Easter Eggs, making the cartoons that much more clever. In addition to to being just plain fun, some of these cartoons tackle modern day problems in a rather macabre way sometimes, but they still strike at the problem and show just how ridiculous it can be.

Overall, a clever and fun collection of cartoons inhabited by equally clever and fun characters.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills by Lorin Morgan-Richards

The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills
by Lorin Morgan-Richards
Published by A Raven Above Press • May 26, 2017
72 Pages • ISBN 978-0983002062 • Paperback



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Book description:
The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills by Lorin Morgan-Richards investigates seven unfortunate accounts piled together to make you laugh. The collection opens with Tina Teatree who has a compulsion for weeding that soon digs up the root of her problem. The title story is The Dreaded Summons about an introvert and his friendship with a lost Manatee. Other stories reveal the Breakfast Hunter, J.J. Whitweather, Shirley Short, and Fig B. Willingsbee.


First off, an apology to Lorin Morgan-Richards for the delay of this review. He had asked me a while ago if I would like to review his book The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills, and being a fan of his previous work, I happily agreed. And then life happened. And I put the book aside. And I'm sorry. It's not much of an excuse, but it is what it is. Now, on to this most delightful book.

The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills is a collection of short stories that range from the funny, to the bizarre, to the down right odd, and usually each story is a little mix of all that. In these tales, you'll find cautionary tales about addiction to electronic devices and being too vain, dealing with depression, and learning to stand up for yourself.

This is one of the aspects of Lorin Morgan-Richards' writing that I really enjoy; hidden in these bizarre and odd stories are glimmers of heart and soul, and lessons learned. Morgan-Richards' accompanying illustrations fit the quirky feel of his stories perfectly. If you enjoy the weird and odd, or are a fan of Charles Addams or Tim Burton, I think this book would be perfect for you.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Watcher in the Dark by Beverly Hastings

Watcher in the Dark Watcher in the Dark by Beverly Hastings
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this up on the library's free shelf because the cover was SO DRAMATIC; When the terror begins, will Abby and her babysitter be the target? What I assumed was going to be a goofy early 90s YA turned out to be a not-so-bad 90s YA thriller. But still, that cover!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Shane by Jack Schaefer

Shane Shane by Jack Schaefer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't think I've ever read a Western before, and whether the glorification of Shane as the quintessential cowboy was intentional by the author as the story is told from the adult POV of the main character as he reminisces about Shane, or if it just came across this way to me, I feel that this is the Wild West as told thru rose-tinted glasses. Still, for my first foray in Westerns, I suppose it could have been worse.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February 2018 Recap

  1. Jim Henson's The Power of the Dark Crystal, Vol 1 by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Kelly and Nichole Matthews
  2. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  3. Gotham by Gaslight: A Tale of the Batman by Brian Augustyn, illustrated by Mike Mignola & P. Craig Russell
  4. Dr. Third / Dr. Fifth / Dr. Sixth / Dr. Tenth by Adam Hargreaves
  5. Dr. Second / Dr. Seventh / Dr. Eighth / Dr. Ninth by Adam Hargreaves
  6. Renato Jones, Season Two: The Freelancer by Kaare Kyle Andrews
  7. Moebius Library: Inside Moebius, Part 1 by Jean Giraud
  8. Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
  9. Descender, Vol 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen
  10. Descender, Vol 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen

Pick of the Month
Renato Jones, Season Two: The Freelancer by Kaare Kyle Andrews


February 2018
Number of books read: 10
Number of pages: 1,663

Number of books acquired: 24
Number of those books read: 4


YEAR TOTALS
Number of books read: 19
Number of pages: 3,571

Number of books acquired: 50
Number of those books read: 6

Monday, February 26, 2018

Descender, Vol 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen

Descender, Vol. 2: Machine Moon Descender, Vol. 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The continuing adventures of Tim as he finds other robots out in the galaxy who have banded together to keep themselves safe. Or do they have ulterior motives for Tim?

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Descender, Vol 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen

Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A future scifi about a galaxy out to destroy all robots or androids after their worlds were decimated by mysterious, planet-sized robots. Tim, a long dormant robot programmed to keep his "brother" company on a distant mining planet, awakens 10 years after the incident, and inadvertently advertises his presence. There are bounty hunters out for him and members of the galactic council as well, who want to try to find the link between his OS and the giant robots. One thing that I think is a great touch with this series is the artwork is rendered in watercolor - not something I would associate with a sleek, futuristic graphic novel. But it works so well.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

Thrawn Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great re-introduction of Zahn's character Thrawn in the current canonical Star Wars universe, who had been part of the old Expanded Universe Star Wars books before Disney did away with those as being canon.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Inside Moebius, Part 1 by Mœbius

Inside Moebius, Part 1
by Mœbius
Published by Dark Horse Books • February 20, 2018
216 Pages • ISBN 978-1506703206 • Hardcover



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Book description:
Moebius draws himself encountering his favorite characters--creations like Blueberry, Arzak, and Major Grubert--and also meets a younger version of himself!

Working closely with Moebius Production in France, Dark Horse presents
Inside Moebius, a six-part study with Inside Moebius Part 1 collecting the first two chapters in this fantastic exploration of a creator meeting his own creations. Dark Horse will release all parts to this exceptional, intimate series in 2018! This is the third volume in the Moebius Library hardcover series and the beginning of Moebius's most intensely personal project.


The description for this book is far too simplistic an explanation for what this book is about; it is far more than just Moebius illustrating himself interacting with his own creations. Inside Moebius is an illustrated journal he kept after he decided that he wanted to stop smoking weed. He was working thru his feelings about his decisions, using his characters as foils to discuss his thoughts. Eventually, he even works a younger version of himself into the story.

As time moves on, real world events begin to encroach into Moebius' conscious, most specifically the events of 9/11. This was obviously a remarkable event in his life (as it was for everyone), and to work his way thru this he introduces Osama bin Laden as a character in his journal, discussing bin Laden's motivations behind the 9/11 attacks.

Overall, this is a fascinating look into Moebius' mind as he works his way thru freeing himself from his addiction and dealing with real world events. It's not often that we are given such an intimate look into the thoughts and feelings of an artist, and I found this entire volume enthralling.

I'm loving Dark Horse's new Moebius Library. I've been a longtime fan of his artwork, but with much of his work published in his native France, it's not always been easy to track down his work, especially when some of it was never translated into English. Inside Moebius was originally published in six volumes, and Dark Horse is now releasing it for the first time in English as a three volume set. With the Inside Moebius series, and the two previously released Edena books, Dark Horse is providing us with some fantastic reading from one of the finest cartoonists of his time.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Renato Jones, Season Two: The Freelancer by Kaare Kyle Andrews

Renato Jones, Season Two: The Freelancer
by Kaare Kyle Andrews
Published by Image Comics • January 30, 2018
136 Pages • ISBN 978-1534303386 • Paperback



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Book description:
Mysterious vigilante Renato Jones showed the One% that for all their money, for all their power, they are not untouchable. But now they're pushing back, and resulting class warfare may be more than even Renato can handle. When full-time villains control the whole word the only hero who can take on the job is self-employed… a Freelancer.

KAARE KYLE ANDREWS proudly presents Season Two of the most dangerous comic on the planet!

Collecting
Renato Jones Season Two #1-5


What started out as a satire of the current political climate in the US quickly grew into a scathing commentary about where we are probably going as a country. Renato Jones is Andrews way of dealing with the mess that our country has become over the last couple years, and it is brilliant, hyper violent, and continues to be one of my favorite books Image is releasing right now.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Doctor Who meets Mister Men by Adam Hargreaves


Dr. Second by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-0515158502 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • August 29, 2017

Dr. Third by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-1524784935 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • February 6, 2018

Dr. Fifth by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-1524784942 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • February 6, 2018

Dr. Sixth by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-1524784966 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • February 6, 2018

Dr. Seventh by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-0515158519 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • August 29, 2017

Dr. Eighth by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-0515158526 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • August 29, 2017

Dr. Ninth by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-0515158533 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • August 29, 2017

Dr. Tenth by Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages • ISBN 978-1524784959 • Paperback
Published by Penguin Young Readers Licenses • February 6, 2018



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Book description:
These storybook mash-ups, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves, combine the iconic storytelling of Doctor Who with the whimsical humor and design made famous by his father, Roger Hargreaves.


I know there isn't much to any of these books (I only count 4 of them as a whole book), but as a fan of the Mister Men books and a certified Whovian, I think these books are hysterical fun. Each is illustrated and told in the fashion of the Mister Men books, and each Doctor and the Companions in the books are written very closely to their live-action counterparts.

Now, we will just need a Dr. Thirteenth adventure come the end of the year to complete the set!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Gotham by Gaslight: A Tale of the Batman by Brian Augustyn, illustrated by Mike Mignola & P. Craig Russell

Gotham by Gaslight: A Tale of the Batman
by Brian Augustyn, illustrated by Mike Mignola & P. Craig Russell
Published by DC Comics • March 12, 2013
112 Pages • ISBN 978-1401211530 • Paperback



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Book description:
Presenting a new edition of the title collecting the adventures of the Victorian era Batman. This volume includes the breakthrough Elseworlds epics GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT and MASTER OF THE FUTURE, which pit the Dark Knight against Jack the Ripper and a death-dealer from the skies over Gotham. This title features artwork by Mike Mignola (HELLBOY) and P. Craig Russell (THE SANDMAN).


Gotham by Gaslight is a unique retelling of the Batman origin. This book was actually the starting point for DC's later Elseworlds series due to its popularity. The Elseworlds series took their characters and reset them in time periods or circumstances different from their established histories and told one shot stories around these new ideas. The other interesting bit about this new (old) Batman story is that it can be considered a Steampunk Batman tale, before Steampunk was as popular as it is today.

Gotham by Gaslight follows the basic idea of Bruce Wayne/Batman's origin, with Bruce Wayne's family being murdered in front of him as a young boy and him later in life going out into the world to recreate himself into a force of good against evil as Batman. The difference here, however, is that this all takes place in the 1890s and his first adversary is Jack the Ripper. (This isn't spoiling anything. You learn that Jack the Ripper is in this book on the very first page.)

The real star of this book is the art by Mike Mignola. Fans of his Hellboy series will appreciate his dark and shadowy graphic sense, which ultimately lends itself perfectly to this tale. I think anybody who is a fan of Batman, or of Steampunk and is at least familiar with the Batman mythos, will find this quick read enjoyable.

This newer edition of the graphic novel also includes the lesser impressive sequel, Mast of the Future, which finds Batman up against a more generic villain and while the story is good, neither the art nor the writing is quite up the to the first volume's originality.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

The Fire Next Time
by James Baldwin
Published by Vintage Books • December 1, 1992
128 Pages • ISBN 978-0679744726 • Paperback



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Book description:
A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose," The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.


The second selection from David Bowie's son's online book club honoring Bowie's love of books, Baldwin's The Fire Next Time was originally written in the 1960s, and is just as important today, if not more so as it shows just how little we've come as a society. Collecting a letter that Baldwin wrote to his nephew on the the hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation and an essay on Baldwin's thoughts about where the country was at the time in regards to civil rights, it's disheartening to think that he could just as easily be writing about the current climate in the US.

Jim Henson's The Power of the Dark Crystal, Vol 1 by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Kelly and Nichole Matthews

Jim Henson's
The Power of the Dark Crystal, Vol 1
by Simon Spurrier,
illustrated by Kelly and Nichole Matthews
Published by Archaia • October 31, 2017
112 Pages • ISBN 978-1608869923 • Hardcover



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Book description:
An official sequel to Jim Henson’s cult classic fantasy film The Dark Crystal.

Years have passed since the Dark Crystal was healed and peace was restored on Thra. Though Jen and Kira have ruled as King and Queen, they have become distracted by power. The planet is sick and those on the surface of Thra are not the only ones effected. A mysterious race of creatures called Firelings live in a realm near the planet’s core, hidden from the Gelfling and their kingdom. A young Fireling named Thurma is tasked with stealing a shard of the Crystal to restore power to her world. Along the way she’ll befriend the young Gelfling Kensho, conjure the Skeksis and Mystics, and embark on one incredible adventure.

Written by Simon Spurrier (
The Spire, X-Men Legacy) and lushly illustrated by Kelly and Nichole Matthews (Toil & Trouble), The Power of the Dark Crystal includes behind-the-scenes materials on the making of this sure to be classic tale of wonder.


Picking up 100 years after the events of The Dark Crystal, the land of Thra is lush and vibrant, a world basking in the glow of the healed Crystal. Or, at least that's what the Crystalline Eminence wants everyone, including Jen and Kira, to believe. Jen and Kira slumber in the glow of the Crystal, trusting that the world of Thra is still at peace. In their absence, the Crystalline Eminence has convinced the inhabitants of Thra that in order for them to bask in the glow and be healed by the Crystal, they must bring tributes to the Crystal, and without a tribute, they are turned away. This is not the world that Jen and Kira dream of in their slumber. Thra is sick, and they are unaware.

When Thurma, a young Fireling (beings who live in the flames of the core of Thra), is sent to beseech help from the Gelflings who rule Thra, she sets in motion events that she does not truly understand, because she is sent to request a shard of Crystal, which her elders say will rekindle the dying flames of their world. When she is turned away, Thurma takes matter into her own hands and cracks the Crystal again, freeing once again both the Mystics and Skeksis. As she flees the Castle of the Crystle, Thurma is entirely unaware of the evil that she has let lose into the world again.

I loved this story. Based on a script that was written as the sequel to the film, this reads just like the original movie feels. All of the characters from the film make an appearance, including Aughra and Fizzgig, and everyone feels like themselves. Simon Spurrier has expertly captured the characters voices and personalities. Kelly and Nichole Matthews' art is spot on perfect for this project, with a lovely natural flow to the art that breathes life into the land people of Thra.

I wish this had been made into a film; I'm wildly curious as to how they would have created Thurma in puppet form. However, being given the opportunity to read what could have been in film is still just as thrilling. If you're a fan of The Dark Crystal, this is essential reading.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January 2018 Recap

  1. The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún, Vol 1 by Nagabe
  2. The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún, Vol 2 by Nagabe
  3. The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún, Vol 3 by Nagabe
  4. Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire's End by Chuck Wendig
  5. Saga, Vol 7 by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples
  6. Saga, Vol 8 by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples 
  7. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Graphic Adaptation) by Chuck Wendig, illustrated by Luke Ross
  8. Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
  9. I Hate Fairyland, Vol 3: Good Girl by Skottie Young

Pick of the Month
The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún, Vol 1-3 by Nagabe


January 2018
Number of books read: 9
Number of pages: 1,908

Number of books acquired: 26
Number of those books read: 2


YEAR TOTALS
Number of books read: 9
Number of pages: 1,908

Number of books acquired: 26
Number of those books read: 2

I Hate Fairyland, Vol 3: Good Girl by Skottie Young

I Hate Fairyland, Vol 3: Good Girl
by Skottie Young
Published by Image Comics • October 24, 2017
136 Pages • ISBN 978-1534303300 • Paperback



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Book description:
Gert finally realizes that being such a murderous maniac might be the reason she’s not been able to find her way out of the candy-coated world of Fairyland that has been her nightmare for over forty years. She sets off on a new quest to redeem herself and tries to earn her way back home with good deeds and kindness and love an whatever other mushy, touchy-feely things she can manage.

The epic and hilarious fantasy quest continues from fan favorite cartoonist SKOTTIE YOUNG

Collecting issues 11 through 15.


This volume felt a little less episodic than the previous one, but still seemed to jump from one scenario to the faster and faster to get to the end of the story arc. However, SPOILER ALERT after having a revelation that being her usual murderous self may not actually be working in her favor, Gert changes her ways and finally finds her key, and all looks like it is finally working in Gert's favor, but of course this is Skottie Young and he can't let Gert off that easily. The twist at the end was spot on perfect for this series, and I can't wait to see how this next story arc plays out.

Full of Young's typical dark humor and wildly outrageous art, and Nate Piekos continues to explode retinas with his eyeball-popping colors, I Hate Fairyland continues to be one of my favorite series coming out of Image these days.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

Neverworld Wake
by Marisha Pessl
Published by Delacorte • June 5, 2018
192 Pages • ISBN 978-0399553929 • Hardcover



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Book description:
Enter a realm where fears are physical and memories come alive in this absorbing psychological suspense thriller with a twist, from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Special Topics in Calamity Physics and Night Film.

Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her five best friends were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim--their creative genius and Beatrice's boyfriend--changed everything.

One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft--the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world--hoping she'll get to the bottom of the dark questions gnawing at her about Jim's death.

But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and unfathomable silence, Beatrice senses she's never going to know what really happened.

Then a mysterious man knocks on the door. Blithely, he announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions.

Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers… and at life.

And so begins the Neverworld Wake.


OK, so I've now been trying to write a review that doesn't give anything away about this book, and I can't. So I'll just give you my general impressions about aspects of the book. I've been sitting on my review of Marisha Pessl's Neverworld Wake for a couple of days now, wondering how I wanted to write this. On the one hand, this is typical Pessl, with a twisting, unpredictable story that doesn't necessarily end up where you think it will. On the other, this is Pessl's first foray into YA, and I think it suffered a little from that. Almost all of her characters come from some life of ridiculous privilege and by halfway thru the book, I had grown very tired of hearing about it, because inevitably it felt like she needed to remind us of their privilege and untouchability. Maybe it was just me, but it felt a little heavy handed on Pessl's part. Add to that, unless I missed it, is there is no real explanation for what is happening to the characters. There's some half-cocked reasoning behind it all, but there is no solid answer to the question, "Why? Why does this happen? Why do these characters need to make this decision?" Maybe it was the fact that this book was far too easy to put down and that it took me almost all month to read it because it wasn't holding my attention all that well and by the end of the month and finishing the book, I wasn't entirely sure I remembered what happened at the beginning, and didn't care enough to go back to reread portions to get caught back up.

I don't know, maybe others will find this enthralling, but for me, I just ended up having more questions than answers by the end. I feel like this should honestly be a 2 star book, but at the end of the day, I kept thinking about it more and more, so I guess that garnered it an extra star? Maybe?

And to be honest, I really wish I'd been reading the book being referenced to in Neverworld Wake far more than NW. Maybe someday, we'll get that book, because that one sounded intriguing as hell.


I received an advanced print copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Graphic Adaptation) by Chuck Wendig, illustrated by Luke Ross

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
(Graphic Adaptation)

by Chuck Wendig, illustrated by Luke Ross
Published by Marvel • November 21, 2017
144 Pages • ISBN 978-1302902032 • Paperback



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Book description:
It's been three decades since the Rebel Alliance destroyed the Death Star and toppled the Galactic Empire...but now, on the remote planet of Jakku...there is a stirring in the Force. A young scavenger named Rey...a deserting storm trooper named Finn...an ace pilot name Poe...and a dark apprentice named Kylo Ren... Their lives are about to collide as the awakening begins. Writer Chuck Wendig (Star Wars: Aftermath) and artist Luke Ross (Hercules) take us back into the saga of a lifetime!

COLLECTING:
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS ADAPTATION 1-6


I know this is an adaptation of the film, but when it is a word for word, scene for scene rehash with absolutely nothing new added, the redundancy of the project becomes wildly apparent. I guess I just expect to have something new added in to make it worth my time and money. I probably won't be picking up any future adaptations if they are this one dimensional.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Saga, Vol 7 & 8 by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples


Saga, Vol 7 & Saga, Vol 7
by Brian K. Vaughan,
illustrated by Fiona Staples
Published by Image Comics
2017/2018 • 152 Pages
ISBN 978-1534300606
ISBN 978-1534303492
Paperback




Vol 7 at AmazonVol 8 at Amazon
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Saga, Vol 7
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Saga, Vol 8
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Book description:
Saga, Vol 7
From the worldwide bestselling team of FIONA STAPLES and BRIAN K. VAUGHAN, “The War for Phang” is an epic, self-contained SAGA event! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. New friendships are forged and others are lost forever in this action-packed volume about families, combat and the refugee experience.

Collects issues 37 through 42.


Saga, Vol 8
After the traumatic events of the War for Phang, Hazel, her parents, and their surviving companions embark on a life-changing adventure at the westernmost edge of the universe.

Collects issues 43 through 48.


Saga is another series that continues to surprise me with how much I enjoy it. I did not like the first volume of the collected editions the first time I read it, and set the entire series aside in my head. Cut to about a year later, and a friend convinced me to give the series a try again, so I picked up the first volume again and something clicked for me this time - the story really stuck with me (Vaughn's writing really hit home for me the second reading), and Staples artwork is spot on perfect for this story.

As the series has progressed, it has become way more timely and aware of what's going on in the real world today and bringing those themes into the story; themes of acceptance for those who are different (or lack of acceptance in some cases), trans rights, women's rights, etc. What started out to me as being a simple battle between two cultures who cannot accept each other's differences has become a story that is still about these problems, but one that is now holding up a mirror to what's going on in the real world. Staples art has continued to shine issue after issue and while there does seem to be a whole lot of nothing happening from one story arc to another, the storytelling is still strong and Vaughn continues to move the characters along, albeit at a slightly slower pace than I'd like, but it still seems to work. I'll continue to read this series as long as Vaughn and Staples continue to out out such strong work.