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.

Adult, Books, Comics, YA (Young Adult)

May Wrap Up

Today would normally be comic book Wednesday, but seeing as I have spent the last week or so moving I have not read anything of note and therefor have nothing really to talk about.  On the other hand, it is June first so maybe I should tell you what I read this month?  Mayhaps?

I have to say it was a bit of a sad month this month, at least in terms of reading.  I moved out and got my own place this month so I won’t be too hard on myself for reading four comics, one book, and DNFing one.  Lucky for you, I have reviews of all of these, with the exception of one I believe, but its an ongoing series and who needs me to prattle on about something so much.

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Going to try something new this month and rather than giving you a paragraph of ramblings on each title, you can click on the image of the title that intrigues you and it will take you directly to my review of it (or the goodreads page for that one that I didn’t review… play Russian Roulette which one is it?)

As far as my reading challenges are concerned, the sorry state of the books I read mean that I did not complete a single Pop Sugar challenge, but they did all count toward my Goodreads challenge with the exception of the DNFed book which I myself am excluding.

This brings my totals to:

Goodreads Challenge: 46/50
Pop Sugar Challenge: 19/40
#RYODB Challenge: 12/50

There it is folks, May in a nut shell.

Books, Comics

April Monthly Pull

I was going to do a weekly pull, but I realized I don’t buy that many comics at once so it might be wiser to talk about what I read in a month.

Here is the toddling baby of that idea that hopefully will grow and flourish later… because its a bit of a mess right now.

Hope this wasn’t too cringe worthy.  I will be back on Friday for a review so get excited about that!

Adult, Books, Comics, Musings

East of West: We Are All One by Jonathan Hickman Review

So you are little bit intimidated by the scale of East of West, and rightfully so, I wanted to talk about my experience reading this comic as well as maybe help some folks who are little nervous get into it.

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Comic Title: East of West
Volume Title: Vol. 2: We Are All One
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Nick Dragotta
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letters: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image
Page #: 144
Genre: Science Fiction, Western

As I’m writing this post I’m not entirely certain whether I reviewed the first one or not but I’m leaning toward not.  The only reason I say that is that this is perhaps one of the most confusing comics I have read.  While that may seem intimidating hold on just a moment because I am going to tell you why its worth it.

I know that when I got back into comics and discovered Image as a company who put out a lot of things I love East of West put out a single issue that had all of the different factions mapped out.  I remember thinking, if you need a dramatis personae for your comic you probably aren’t doing it right.  While I do think having that would have been helpful when I picked up the first volume I no longer think that its such a bad thing.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who abandoned it because there were too many people, it was too confusing, etc. I mean I myself often talk about how too large a cast of characters is one of the main reasons I can’t ever seem to finish Game of Thrones, and yet… and yet.

I think that the artist did a really great job of illustrating each faction so that they visually represent something.  I’m not quite sure how I feel about them all being along racial lines, but at the same time it means that you see someone and you instantly understand where they are coming from and what their values are.  I think that this also allowed for interesting discussions on history, this world seems to share some portions of our own history, but somewhere along the lines separate but equal was taken to the extreme.

There are moments where I feel like it strays a bit into stereotyping but it always seems to push past that to something more.  The things that seem stereotypical have different motivations and lead somewhere that I wasn’t expecting.

While I wasn’t entirely sold on the art style I think that it has grown on me and I am actually very impressed by how many different characters there are that all are very distinct.  The problem with a huge cast of characters is that they can become confused and like I said not only is their style showing the faction they belong to but is entirely their own.  There is no confusing characters in this way.  Even Low, which I love, sometimes has a character whose design is so close to another’s that I momentarily forget who I’m looking at, and context usually irons it out for me, but I don’t even need that here.

In any case, I said in my goodreads review and I’ll say it again, I cannot wait to get the third volume. I am so excited.  This one was especially good and I hope that it keeps up the pace.

Books, Comics, Musings

A Super Late Comic Book Wednesday: Why I Signed up to get Previews and You Should Too!

Are you the type of person who sits and thinks to yourself, “Gosh there are just so many different comic publishers.  How can I keep track of them all, and what they are coming out with.  Should I check all of their websites every week.  I don’t really have the time for that.  What if I miss out on something that is really good?”

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Well have I got news for you.  The comic industry has solved this problem for you.  Each month a giant book called Previews comes out and will tell you all of the items that will be coming out in two months.  Some of the things they are pushing will have a couple of preview spreads and they will let you know if things that have been out of print will be reprinted.january2011previewscover

It is a great resource to find new comics, new comic book companies, or old stuff that was before your time being a collector that you now have a chance to snatch up for a reasonable price.

img_20150102_0001-page-0_zpsf2c77d58The new comic store I have subscribed to gives it free to their subscribers but if you need to pay for it, don’t worry it is the same price as your average comic book.

If you are new to comics and have no idea about any of this it can also be a good resource to see what you might like.  It will have many of the titles from all of the companies and if you find one that intrigues you then you can do more research on the wonderful interwebs.previews001

I have had absolutely not time this week at all.  Remember at the beginning of the week when I was like, I hope I have more time this week. HA! What a joke.  I will hopefully be able to film and edit a video tonight that will come out tomorrow morning then tomorrow Gretchen and I will film our wrap up for Sunday and I have to attempt to edit that.  I have no time guys.  Somebody figure out how to clone people so I can make the clone go to my second job and I can just blog and be a librarian.

Alright, that’s all I got.  Hopefully I won’t collapse from exhaustion.  I do have a vacation coming up so … that should be a relief.

Adult, Books

March Wrap Up

a.k.a The saddest month so far in terms of reading, but the happiest month so far in terms of being employed, so you give and you take.

28430424The first book I read this month was actually one I was super excited for.  I did a full review of this one because I requested it from the publisher in exchange for my review.  I think this is one of my favorite books I’ve read so far this year.  It isn’t a happy book and there are moments when you sit there going, how could this get worse, and then it does.  If you want to know my full thoughts on the way it was written and why I picked it up, definitely check out that post.

20170404The next book I read was actually the #imbibliomancy pick for this month.  My own pick if you didn’t know.  Station Eleven was pretty quick despite the fact that it is clearly literary fiction.  I think the consensus our book club got to was, “We completely understand why it was a nominee for several awards but didn’t win.”  There were so many things done well but it was just not perfect.  If you want to know what our few faults were you should definitely go watch that book club discussion.

28253202I then managed to snag a copy of the trade for one of the comics that I abandoned over the summer just to see how it turned out.  I think this was my first openly negative comic review, and even then I mentioned its strengths.  I think for me it all came down to the fact that I am not in love with superheroes any more.  I talk more about why exactly I didn’t enjoy this comic in the review I did so you should definitely check this one to know that I don’t love all comics.  Even though it seems like all of my comic reviews are gushing.
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The next book I listened to on audio and I honestly regret that decision.  I did a Flicks episode on this one.  I said those dreaded words, “I honestly liked the film better than the book.”  Now before you write me off completely, I have a hard time with books written from a young child’s perspective and on top of that I had to spend hours listening to a woman speak as if she were a little boy, it just ended up grating on me.  On top of that I felt like I was spoiled for this one.

27753938Remember, when I said I don’t love all comics, well I did love this one.  I have been a fan of Remender’s stories as of late and this one was no exception.  I think the strength here is the world he creates.  The characters were a little cliche, but this was the first volume so it was introducing us to them and their dynamics.  I will be interested in seeing where this story goes from here.  I haven’t decided whether I will pick up the comics monthly from this point on or continue pulling the trades.  We shall see.  I did a review of this one as well so you are welcome to see my thoughts on it in detail.

20696032Alright folks, we have come to the very last book I finished this month.  There were others that I had read a fair amount of but hadn’t finished up to this point.  It is a bit of a weird one, not only because its non fiction but because its a cook book.  Now I generally get my recipes online.  I follow lots of food blogs and foodtubers, but I have recently been trying to avoid dairy because I think I have been developing an intolerance to lactose.  I can’t have anything very milk heavy without feeling sick and bloated for the rest of the day.  This cookbook is vegan and all of the recipes looked delicious so I brought it home with me from the library and pulled out some that I think will be great.  For instance, a summer corn chowder (one of my favorite foods of all time) with no milk.

See how sad this list is.  I am ashamed, but then again I have been trying to find my equilibrium this month.  I started a new job, full time, I still have my old job.  I have also not been cooking for my family which is a problem because nobody else cooks and I feel gross every time we get take out, which is always.  In any case, hopefully in April things are looking up.

Reading Challenges Update:

Goodreads Challenge: 31/50
RYODB Challenge: 6/50
Pop Sugar Reading Challenge: 14/40

Oh and by the way, Happy April Fools Day!

Books, Comics, Musings

How to Find a Comic Store~!

Now, I know you know how to google or ask Siri, Cortana, or whoever to find comic stores near you, but how do you know if this particular comic store is the right store for you.  I mean, you can always go with your gut.  Do you feel at home there, yes, then maybe it is the right place for you, no, maybe move on to the next one.  Also, if there is only one store in a half an hour radius you are probably stuck with that one for better or for worse.

However, if you are lucky enough to have several withing a reasonable distance and you aren’t sure what to look for, this is the guide for you.

  1. The People: I am putting this first because for me it is the most important.  While at school I was forced to buy my comics at a store where the owner didn’t believed I honestly liked comics for my own good.  He thought the only reason I would read comics was to trick a guy into falling for me.  Now, this is despite wearing a Deadpool hat, having several different comic pins on my jackets, wearing several different comic related shirts and the look about me that if I didn’t belong in a library I might next be found at some convention or other, but in any case, it made me uncomfortable to go there.  It was lucky for me that he hired a girl to work there on the weekends and she was entirely charming and worth visiting, but if the people are making you uncomfortable it is time to move on.
  2. Displays: The comic shop I normally use while I’m home has recently moved away from selling comics to marketing more niche things, like records, and nerdy clothing.  You want some mustache leggings, that is the place to be, you wan’t last weeks issue of Low, they probably can’t help you.  I knew I needed to find a new store when they took their already tiny comic display and went from three shelving units, to 1.  If they aren’t making the space to display the new comics, they aren’t going to be getting very many and that isn’t helpful to you.  The store should not only stock the comics you are interested but many others and it should be a resource for finding new ones.  Often comic shops are also game stores or hobby stores, and you can tell which section they care about by the space they devote to it.  Even distribution is fine, just make sure you can get what you want from them.
  3. Location: If you plan to subscribe to a certain comic you need to make sure you can get to the store once a month.  You might have found the perfect store but if it is an hour commute in the next state over, it might not be the best place for you as home base.  Now, again, I am putting this underneath the other two tips because sometimes we are willing to make the sacrifice of our hard earned gas money or bus fair for the perfect community space, but if you aren’t then this is something you need to keep in mind.  You might have to compromise on something else.

Those are the things that I rank as being particularly important when choosing a comic shop.  Of course there are smaller nuances that you might want to decide, as in if you prefer new or old comics, you might want to find stores that have huge back logs or carry more trade paperbacks, etc.  These are things specific to you and your needs and that is something you can keep in mind when picking.

I have found my new home, it is about 20 minutes away from me in a slightly larger city, tucked away in a strip mall.  It might not look like much on the outside but it was like my own personal candy store inside.  Hopefully next week I can do a pull for you guys so you can see the comics I have been picking up this winter season, and I might even discuss some of the ones I am interested in going into the spring!

I will be back on Friday to discuss my March Wrap Up. (Oh My God guys its almost April… where is this year going?)