Adult, Books, Comics, Musings, YA (Young Adult)

Summer Reading Wrap Up

So it has been a while since I have wrapped up the books I have read.  Not only has it been difficult for Gretchen and I to get together all summer for various reasons (time conflicts, mental health, internet being actual butts) so you weren’t getting weekly wrap ups in any way but I have been completely nonexistent on the blog.  Which we all know I am attempting to change here and now… hopefully forever, but no promises.

In any case I am going to try and talk a bit about all of the books I have read in June, July, and August.

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This was the first book for book club this season so there is a full discussion on it here!  I loved this.  I still feel that way.  It did seem to check all of the boxes of things that Michaela would like though.  So if you feel very strongly that we are akin then definitely check this out.

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This was an ARC review I did back in June.  It wasn’t my favorite book I’ve read this year but I definitely did enjoy it.  I had heard of Lisa Jewell as an author and this was my first of hers.  I think that I will look into some of her other work.  She is a bit more commercial than I usually go for but not bad by any means.

The second book club book was Gretchen’s pick and I was super not a fan.  That could have been due to the fact that I was super ill at the time of reading it but I kind of hated it.

Next we kicked off the second season of Nostalgia Junkie.  Unfortunately the unanimous decision on this was that we weren’t super huge fans.  It may be that we just aren’t the target audience but we all had issues with it.

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Taylor’s pick for the first round of book club was a debut and we all really liked it.  It was surprising because it takes a really good book to win all three of us over.  This one did it so you should definitely check that out!

Gretchen and I read Nimona together and we did a video review of it for you guys.  It was super cute and sweet and we completely understood why so many people loved it.  I have followed Noelle Stevenson for a while and new she is a cookie to pay attention to in comics.  Watch her.  She will do great things.


I started the second round of summer book club picks with Middlesex.  Taylor was the one who liked this book the most, Gretchen and I had a bit of an issue with the way it was laid out. You should watch the whole discussion to find out more.

I have to say that I do so love Patton Oswalt.  I haven’t spoken about this anywhere else.  It was a pick for my pop sugar challenge and I listened to it on audio, read by the man himself.  It is always great to listen to autobiographical works when written by the author and especially so when he is as awkward and nerdy as you.

Now we find ourselves in the books I read for booktubeathon.  This was my pick for the book I would only read at night.  I both read the physical edition and listened to parts on audio.  I actually wound up enjoying it more than I thought I would.  It also fulfilled the requirement of a book that is more than 100 years older than me for the Pop Sugar challenge.

This was listened to entirely on audio.  I was conflicted with this.  I was expecting a bit of a funnier story from Steve Martin.  That isn’t to say I wasn’t a fan of his writing style, it just caught me off guard.  It was about a community that I haven’t spent much time learning about so I did enjoy that aspect of it.

This one will be featured in an upcoming post so look out for that.  It was a book with yellow on the cover and a book I learned about from booktube.  I ended up really enjoying this one though it took me a while to decide that.  It was definitely one the the end justified the rest of the book for me.  I like what it was saying politically.

This was both Taylor and my own book to movie adaptation and we both came out of it feeling like … welp that was a mess.  I think it was meant to be a mess.  It was really entertaining but all over the place.  We both enjoyed it but were mildly disoriented by the experience.  Which I think is apt.


I reviewed this one on the blog yesterday actually!  So here we have an interesting new comic coming from Image.  We all know how much I love Image.  If you like robots and stories that ask what it means to be human then definitely give this one a go.

Gretchen and I did a discussion of this one but the audio ended up being a bit borked.  Over all I enjoyed the experience.  It read a bit like fanfiction but it was nice to dip back into a world that I loved as a child.  I am curious to see if watching it as a play would be better than reading it if I ever get a chance to do so.

David Wong is a comic god.  Well, he is.  This one isn’t my favorite of his works but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good book and he isn’t a good writer.  I loved hearing from a female protagonist it did change the way the story progressed for me.  If you like science fiction and laughing, give this one a go.

There will be a future review of this one on the blog as well.  Gretchen and I have already filmed it, it just needs to make its way out into the world.  We enjoyed listening to the audio book but we didn’t feel like it ended up doing for us what it was trying to. It was a delight to listen to though so there is that.

This book is most likely going to be in my top 10 books of the year.  It honestly blew me away.  It will also be featured in an upcoming review.  I went into this book skeptical and came out just amazed.  She was able to do so much and so well.  I loved it.  A must read in my opinion.

This was a comic that I picked up based on Taylor’s recommendation.  He had really enjoyed it or had heard good things about it, I am not certain which at this point but I picked it up.  It wasn’t my favorite comic but it did go somewhere entirely unexpected and I give it props for that.

And now we reach the last book I read in August which happens to be Gretchen’s pick for the second round of book club.  This showed up on the blog earlier this week so you can find our discussion of it there.  I enjoyed it, even if much of that video is us picking apart the book.  Sometimes you just have to say, it was a fun experience.

Apparently I have read 19 books in the last three months… which honestly amazes me since I have been struggling to read.  A lot of them were audio books and a good chunk were thanks to the booktubeathon but hey they were things that I read.  I have been reading more in the last couple weeks so the hope is that I am feeling safer in myself again and will be able to read a whole bunch more and talk about it with you guys.  That is the hope anyway.

As far as my reading challenges go:

Goodreads: 66/50 surpassed!
Pop Sugar: 27/40 (13 left I think I can do it!)

How are you guys doing after the summer?  Are you excited for fall.  It is my favorite season and I am in the mood for all of the Horror books!  I need a bunch of cider and pumpkin bread and some crisp fall air and I will be a happy girl.

Talk to you guys tomorrow!

Adult, Books, Comics

Descender Vol 1. : Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire

Comic book day!  Here is a review I did several weeks back now on the first Volume of Descender (Spoilers: I really like the art guys).

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Comic Title: Descender
Volume # & Title: 1: Tin Stars
Collected Issues: #1-6
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Publisher: Image Comics
Page #: 160
Genre: Science Fiction

 

Anybody else read Descender?  Anybody else as obsessed with literally everything that Image Comics publishes.  I swear to god they have so many great new imaginative things coming out every month and it hurts my heart and my wallet.

Comics, Musings

My Comic Project

No, I’m not writing my own comic (although I have had ideas about one… I just don’t think my art is strong enough for that yet…).  I am however doing some art stuff for my home.

I bought two big things to do some art on to hang somewhere in my home eventually and the first one I wanted was to recreate some of my favorite comic cover art.  The first one is probably way too ambitious and I am probably going to tear my hair out over it but I’m at the very least going to try.

I might update you guys as I continue on it but for this first post I figured I would tell you how I am going about turning a comic book cover into a painting big enough to go on my wall.

The cover in question is from the third issue of Low:

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My first step, as I did not want to deface my comic, was to print out a picture of the cover that I could write on.  I then divided up the cover into a grid that I would use to assist me in transfering the image’s size.  (Trust me it super difficult to change the size of something without the grid because it helps keep everything relative to everything else.

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I labelled the grid and measured the size of the board I was tranferring to so that I could use a ruler and mark out a grid exactly like the one on my print out, but a little over three times larger.

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This of course was followed by me sketching out the image, which I am still technically in the profess of doing.  Once that is done I will use clear gesso to seal the board before I begin painting so that it doesn’t deteriorate.  Then come the fun part!  Paint.

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It might look a little like a mess right now, but soon friends I promise it will be something great for me to hang up in my home.

If anyone is interested in the continuation of this process as I work on it, just let me know and I will be glad to show some more pictures.

Just a reminder that this is not my original art, it is someone else’s.  I am not going to be selling this or making prints of it because it is not my art to do so with.  I simply wanted something beautiful to hang in my home.  It will not be a perfect replica because I am not half the artist that Greg Tocchini is but I will do my best.

Adult, Books, Comics, YA (Young Adult)

The Vision: Little Worse Than A Man Review

If you are wondering how I have read a volume of a comic that has yet to be released?  Well my friends, reading comics in single issues sometimes has its advantages.  Let me tell you about a thing you should budget for in June because boy is it a good ‘un.

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Comic Title: The Vision
Volume # and Title: 1: Little Worse Than a Man
Collected Issues: 1-6
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Colorist: Jordie Bellair
Publisher: Marvel
Page #: 136
Genre: Superhero, Horror, Science Fiction

It is super weird to see something from one of the big comic publishers on here.  It is even weirder to see one that is a superhero title.  Although I have to say that this isn’t your average every day super hero comic.

This is the story of an average family.  We have the over worked father whose job has no security and just wants to provide for his family.  There is the lonely house wife who just wants every one to be happy.  The heart broken daughter and the over protective son with slight anger issues.  Sounds like every suburban family to me?  They even get a dog by the end of this book.  They just happen to be bio-netic robots.  Doesn’t your neighborhood have one of those?

While the problems these family members have are very normal, the catalysts for each of their issues are … lets say … slightly out of the norm.  That’s why you should pick this comic up though. This is the story of a family who just wants to fit in.  It just isn’t your average, average family, they have little quirks that make the story interesting.

I honestly did not realize I would feel so badly for characters that have a hard time understanding human emotions.  They seem to be stuck somewhere in between a state of complete emotional break down and apathetic and mildly intrigued by human affairs.

This is the story of what happens when a super hero goes home.  This is the story of one man’s need to be normal, to live a happy life, to just be normal.  I love things like that.  I think I’ve had enough of the crime fighting and the bad guys moving the plot.  We need more stories about the internal struggles.  This is one of those, and honestly it was really done well.

So if you want a super hero comic for people who don’t really like super heroes… this might be the one for you.

I think that’s all I have to say on this one. So I will be back soon.  Whether it is tomorrow as a replacement Monday post or on Friday with a book review!

Adult, Books, Comics

Y The Last Man: Book One by Brian K Vaughan Review

Day two of posting things when they are supposed to be posted this is a pretty good streak so far.

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Series Title: Y The Last Man
Volume: Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 & 2
Writer: Brian K Vaughan
Illustrator: Pia Guerra
Publisher: Vertigo
Page #: 256
Genre: Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic

You would be surprised how much I was actually kind of on the fence with this one.  I had heard of this one, and knew it is one of the most critically acclaimed series to date and it is by the writer of Saga which I have up until this point enjoyed for the most part, and yet? I was sad that it didn’t quite live up to the hype.  Was this a case of the hype was too great?  I don’t know, I didn’t feel over hyped going into it.  I was pretty open to whatever.  Maybe I just figured that more people would have spoken out about the few things that I did take issue with.

My main issue, and it is one that I don’t often mention with comics but is a problem in books a fair amount, was that often times I felt there was author intervention.  The point that Vaughan was trying to make was pushing characters to act in certain ways that I honestly didn’t think they would.  There were times where I felt those out of character scenes were caused in an attempt at humor, and other times in an attempt to make some sort of plot based movement or emotional point.  It just didn’t really work for me.

I have issues with books that stand up on the soap box and shove their message down your throat.  Honestly Saga is much better at it, and it might just be that Vaughan is learning as he works on more and more projects, which is entirely acceptable, but still this is more interesting in concept than what actually shows up.

Now after complaining for three paragraphs I feel I should say that I didn’t hate this book.  Quite the contrary, it was an interesting little romp.  I will definitely continue the story.  Let’s just say I’m not jumping up to get it.

Probably not the most helpful review, but hey, I tried.  I’ll hopefully have a book review on Friday, we shall see.  Gonna do my best.

Books, Comics, Musings

The Joy of #FreeComicBookDay

Now those of you who don’t come here for my weekly opinions on comics might not know that there is such a thing as free comic book day, but for those of us nerds who have fallen into the bottomless pit that is the comic world it is maybe the most exciting day of the year.

I wasn’t actually planning to go out this comic book day.  I hadn’t seen any comics that were being offered that I was particularly interested in but then I saw that one of the comic stores in the next state over were having a sale I figured it was for the best.  Then I dragged my siblings along with me! (I am the best at big sistering)

I think it worked out for the best thought because I bought them each a trade they were excited about and they got free comics.  Plus a local comic artist was there and did sketches of their favorite heroes (I got Red Hood… because my poor sweet baby :#) You can see those on my instagram if you are so inclined.

In any case if you aren’t sure what the event is, unfortunately you will have to wait a year for it to come back around again but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two this year.

If you happen to be part of the cosplay community then this is an event you might want to look into.  A lot of fans will dress up as their favorite supers and head down to the comic store to say high to all the mini nerds in training who are dragged along by their parents and spark some magic in their lives.

Like I said, sometimes local artists are there doing free sketches and showing off their own work.  The guy who did our sketches was also promoting a class he teaches once a week where he helps people learn how to make their own comics.  Which was awesome and might be something I try for myself one day, who knows.

Plus depending on the comic store you can grab a handful of comics that the publishers put out especially for that day to hook you into their currently running titles.  Its like a free sample of the sweetest most addicting cocaine you will ever taste, well that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but my point still stands.

If you haven’t attended one, be sure to put it on the calendar for next year because its something worth doing in the nerd community and definitely something worth trying.  There are comics for every size, shape, age, and taste.  You will find something for you out there.  Whether it is the creator owned science fiction and fantasy stuff I gravitate toward, comics based on shows like the Serenity comic or the Simpsons comic, comics shows are based off like The Walking Dead or Jessica Jones, and of course the old standby, those superheroes.  There is something there that you will like and when all of the nerds are there they are going to be able to help you find something, even if it means talking too much about something you aren’t actually interested in for a bit before you get there, they are well meaning those nerds.  They just want to share with you something they love.  Allow them this day.

 

Adult, Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books, Comics

#imbibliomancy: Death Vigil by Stjepan Sejic Review (Bibliomancy for Beginners Book Club)

Remember how once a month we do drunk book club?  Well this is the last one of Taylor and Gretchen’s undergraduate careers, so its a momentous occasion.  Honestly it is one of our best discussions as well.

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Series Title: Death Vigil
Volume Number: 1
Collected Issues: #1-8
Writer: Stjepan Sejic
Illustrator: Stjepan Sejic
Publisher: Image Comics
Page #: 284
Genre: Fantasy, Horror

Hope you guys enjoy this!  If you want to know what we are reading next and when the live streams are scheduled you should definitely check out the Bibliomancy page up above and follow the book club’s social media.  We have a bunch of fun!