Random Doodles and Bits

Hey, everyone! ❀ Just sharing some quick drawings I’d done a while ago. Hoping to work on new pieces tomorrow if I can find the time! πŸ™‚

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I don’t know why but I tend to like coloring people’s skin tones in various shades of grey. Not a very healthy look, but one I’ve often enjoyed doing for some reason.

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Also, I’ve always drawn ladies wayyyy more than guys. It’s just more fun in my opinion. πŸ™‚

What sorts of artsy things do you enjoy doing? Any quirky art habits? I’d love to hear about it!

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No Spoiler Movie Review: The Girl With All the Gifts (2016)

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This past September I read M.R. Carey’s The Girl With All the Gifts and was pleasantly surprised. Not only did I wind up enjoying the book, but I also respected the author’s desire to take some artistic liberties with one of the most common horror themes in this day and age: the zombie apocalypse.

As I mentioned when I reviewed the book, I don’t really want to give a ton of details away concerning the actual plot to the story. Some things are best left unsaid, and I certainly wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise. πŸ˜‰

What I will tell you, is that the film follows a group of survivors in a world ravaged by “hungries”. Yep, it’s another movie where we don’t dare to utter “the Z word”, but that’s okay since these zombies aren’t exactly what you’re used to seeing anyway.

The remaining humans are from various walks of life with different experiences that make them who they are today, though I’ll admit that the film doesn’t go into this as much as it does in the book. I think this is the sort of movie that perhaps benefits from its viewers having read the book beforehand when it comes to character backstories.

Overall, I enjoyed the film. It stuck pretty well to the events of the novel, but opted to cut out some of the parts that made the book drag at times which was nice. As much as I, along with a few of my friends, liked the book we all agreed that there were a few parts that seemed to just take too long. It was nice that the movie did not suffer the same fate. One thing that some viewers might not like is that most of the characters did not match the book’s descriptions of them in the slightest. It didn’t bother me though since I liked all of the performances, especially that of young actress, Sennia Nanua as Melanie. Glenn Close also did a great job as the complex character of a doctor who is willing to do whatever it takes to save humanity, even things that make her peers question how humane she really is.

Have any of you read the book or seen the movie yet? If so, what were your thoughts?

Saga, Volume 2: No Spoiler Review

Volume 1 of Saga had me madly in love at first read, and Volume 2 made me put a ring on it. This series really is something special. The writing. The artwork. The characters. It’s the total package.

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It’s actually been a couple weeks since I finished reading this, but I kept getting sidetracked when it came to writing up a review for it. I think I’m going to have to attribute some of that to the fact that this is a tough series to review and define. It’s such a fresh, exciting, witty, and outrageous series that it can be hard trying to confine all of its awesomeness into a neat and tidy little package of a review. That, and sometimes I can be a total procrastinator. πŸ˜‰

This volume gives all usΒ Marko/Alana fans some much desired backstory of how they came to be the epic couple we now know and love.

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We get to see Marko way back when he was just a little tyke and get some more insight regarding the friction between his and Alana’s people. We also get to learn more about how much of a book nerd Alana was before she was too busy on the run from bounty hunters to crack open a good book. (As if we needed any more reasons to love this woman!) ❀

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And of course we have adventures aplenty from bounty hunting duo, The Will and Lying Cat, as well as a certain somebody from Marko’s past. Perhaps someone with an old grudge of her own?

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Prince Robot IV is of course still relentless in his hunt of Alana and Marko. The man is willing to do anything to find them, even reading trashy romance novels.

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Plus, you get adorable new characters like this little cutie:

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If you want a comic series that truly lives up to all the hype around it then Saga is for you. A beautiful blend of science fiction and fantasy, action and romance, laughs and thrills. As if you hadn’t guessed by now, this is a solid read and deserves nothing less than 5/5 stars. The only drawback is if you don’t have volume 3 on hand when you finish reading this because there’s a definite cliff hanger!

The Nightingale- No Spoiler Book Review

As Book lovers, many of us are well acquainted with those nights when we know we should get to bed, but we just can’t put down the book we’re reading until we’ve finished it. This was me last night while reading the last quarter of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

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I don’t even know how to do this book justice in a review, but I’m going to try my best just the same. This novel is a great example of what historical fiction as a genre can accomplish. It takes what we know of history but gives us as readers the ability to step into the shoes of the characters who are living through the events that happened before many of us were even born. It shows us parts of day to day life that we might otherwise not consider while reading about the overall big picture presented in our history books.

The Nightingale follows the lives of two very different sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, as they do what they must to survive in France during WWII. Vianne is the older of the two, a wife whose husband is being held prisoner in a Nazi war camp, but also a mother who wants more than anything to keep her daughter as safe as she can while struggling just to keep them fed. Isabelle is the young and impulsive sister with a rebel’s spirit, a girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. In German occupied France, these are dangerous times. Throughout the story the two sisters are forced to make choices time and time again that could be the difference between life and death, not only for themselves, but for those around them.

Several times while reading this I thought back to people I’ve met and cared for who were there in the thick of things during WWII. In previous jobs I’ve had I have taken care of people from different walks of life, born in different countries, but who all had lived during the same war. Soldiers, civilians, holocaust survivors. I’ve seen firsthand the numbers that were forcibly tattooed onto a person’s arm in their youth that they had to carry with them into their old age long after the war was over. I’ve seen how something seemingly as simple as helping someone to undress and take a shower even decades later can trigger a horrible flashback that mentally takes them right back to the horrors of life in a concentration camp. As I read The Nightingale I couldn’t help but be reminded of these people I once knew. I was moved to tears several times as I read this book.

There is a quote from the book that I think is very relevant now, much as it would have been back then. “What good is safety if she has to grow up in a world where people disappear without a trace because they pray to a different God?” Wars like WWII don’t happen overnight, and I think this book illustrates that very point. Hate, ignorance, and intolerance are all ugly things that can only build in momentum if we let them. This happened then, and one can’t help but feel it happening now. It makes another, older quote come to mind: Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It is a disturbing thing to consider, but we as people have to learn from the mistakes of the past if there is ever to be any hope of us moving forward. As another quote from the book explains, “love has to be stronger than hate, or there is no future for us.”

The Nightingale shines a light on the ugliest parts of humanity as well as the beauty and compassion we are capable of if only we choose to do the right thing and be there for one another. It shows that love comes in many forms, not all of them perfect or easy.Β  This book gets a solid 5/5 stars from me.

Paper and Pencils, and Sharpies, Oh My!

I was in a drawing mood the other day and wound up doing a few quick sketches, and figured I’d share them here. πŸ™‚ Most of my drawings I’ve posted on here are older pieces, but I’m slowly but surely trying to get back into drawing again. Another goal being to learn lots of new art-related skills of various kinds through online tutorials this year.

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A bewildered Totoro (fan art).
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Random lady with dimples sketch.
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Angel meets Devil.

They’re nothing fancy, but I was feeling creative and had fun doing it. πŸ™‚

Any of you guys working on anything crafty or artsy right now? I’d love to hear about it. What sort of creative hobbies do you have or would you like to learn?

Review (No Spoilers): Giant Days

So, I can’t say for sure if I believe in fate or not, but it certainly seemed to ring true with this weekend’s addition of Giant Days to my comic collection.

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I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend who also loves comics. This means many of our date days involve excitedly perusing the many shelves of our local comic book shop and/or the library. This weekend it was all about the comic shop and I was a girl on a mission! I went with several recommendations in mind, many fromΒ The Brunette Book Worm Blog‘s recent post about some of her top comic picks. On this list was volume 1 of Giant Days, written by John Allison and illustrated by Lissa Treiman with colors by Whitney Cogar.

And by some weird twist of fate, the woman working behind the register just so happened to select this exact title that was on my list to fill an empty spot on the shelf in front of me.With absolutely no prompting from me. It was uncanny!

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She was awesome and backed up the recommendation when I told her about it, so it was basically a done deal.Β Giant Days had officially earned its spot on my bookshelves. (Especially since my boyfriend was treating!) πŸ˜›

I am so glad I picked this little gem off the shelf. I feel like I must have devoured the first volume because I was eagerly turning the page to read the supposed next chapter and surely enough was confronted by the covers gallery and end of volume 1.

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I was so bummed I didn’t have volume 2 on hand. It was so fun and cute, and I loved the characters. It’s always great to see a story focused on strong female friendships, and that is exactly what Giant Days represents. Some people assume male writers are incapable of writing believable female characters, but to them I say “NAY!” because Giant Days is proof that this just isn’t the case as it
follows new friends Susan, Esther, and Daisy as they navigate their way through life at University. Each of our leading ladies is a different and believable character with their own talents and their own feelings and lives that they are trying to figure out.

So, enough about what I’m reading, what are you currently reading? Have you uncovered any recent gems of your own lately? πŸ™‚

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As suggested by Forged From Reverie I have decided to share some pictures of my own furry companion after marveling at another adorable post about his trusty battle pug, Oghren. This was his ninth installment of “A Man and his Pug” and this one featured Oghren in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume. As if that wasn’t enough to make you want to go check it out, the post also discusses the pure joy it is to have a pug, a topic I can definitely get behind!

So, on that note, allow me to formally introduce you fine folks to my loving and faithful companion, Bailey. She’s a sweetheart, but is also capable of being a total crap sandwich when she wants to be. Seriously, I’ve got plenty of stories I could tell you. She’s great in the sense that she always uses her litter box and never scratches up the furniture, and very rarely has hairballs, but she’s got some major sass and attitude sometimes. Even then, it’s impossible to stay mad at her because the circumstances are usually more ridiculous than infuriating, anyway. I wouldn’t give her up for anything.

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She makes a great sidekick. She even has an amazing burger costume she dons on occasion! Probably to fight crime or something. πŸ˜‰

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