SPECIAL SHARK WEEK SPOTLIGHT: Sharktopia

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I love art and I love wildlife conservation. Combine the two and you have such an utterly amazing win-win situation on your hands. πŸ™‚ I recently discovered the site sharktopia.org through theirΒ Instagram account and I am absolutely over the moon about it! ❀

Sharktopia is run by the friendly and talented Caiti Rose, a self-described “coffee-loving, shark-obsessed, happy vegan artist with the goal of altering the misconceptions surrounding sharks and other Ocean life”.

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Stickers!
She uses her creative and amazing art to help spread awareness about a variety of topics regarding sharks and other ocean life. Her work ranges from absolutely adorable and lighthearted to impactful and eyeopening, and all of it is for the benefit and love of sharks.

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The line work and coloring and cuteness, I just absolutely adore it. ❀

I’ve already purchased and received my own shark goodies and can honestly say that they were absolutely worth the money. πŸ™‚ I love what I ordered. ❀ I also printed some of the free coloring pages available on the site for my participants at work to color and learn more about different types of sharks as they do so. The coloring pages are awesome and so informative!

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Be sure to check out the Sharktopia website and enjoy some great artwork featuring our favorite finned friends and Caiti Rose’s great mission to raise awareness about their struggle. There’s the free downloadable coloring pages I mentioned, a great shop, and more to be discovered there, so dive on in! πŸ™‚

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol. 1: The Crucible

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“On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, the young sorceress Sabrina Spellman finds herself at a crossroads, having to choose between an unearthly destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey. But a foe from her family’s past has arrived in Greendale, Madame Satan, and she has her own deadly agenda.”

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Back around Halloween I watched the Netflix show’s version of this and loved it. I also enjoyed their Christmas special, and am eagerly awaiting season 2’s release in April. So how do I get my fix until then? Why, by reading the source material, of course. πŸ˜‰

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If you remember those wholesome Archie comics (or even the 90’s TV show) of old you’re likely to be shocked by the element of horror and praises of Satan in this much darker incarnation of Sabrina brought to you by Archie Horror, a more horror-centric branch of the Archie comics. We’re talking necromancy, witch orgies, cannibalism, etc.

I didn’t initially plan to compare the new Netflix version with the comic version, but seeing as so many people have already seen the show, it seems like a good baseline to go off of, so here we are. πŸ˜› There are definitely a lot of similarities between the two, but there are also some pretty damn big differences. Let me start by saying that I did really enjoy the comic, BUT . . . I did enjoy the characters more in the Netflix show. I think they had so much more personality, diversity, and charm. (Except maybe Salem. He talks in this comic, he’s snarky and also a caring companion for Sabrina. I loved Salem in this comic and thought he made a great familiar to our young teenage witch.)

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“. . . Beer . . . I miss beer . . .”

Now, seeing as that the comic came before the show, I think it only fair not to dwell on the show that came after it for too long, so we’ll just move right along onto the comic itself. This artwork had me swooning with nostalgia. As a kid, I loved any chance I got to read my dad or grandparents’ collection of old vintage horror comics. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina takes place in the 1960’s (with flashbacks of the 1950’s) and the artwork does a nice job of reflecting what comics looked like at that point. The colors, the art itself, it was all great in my opinion. Adding to the nostalgic feel, are some Rosemary’s Baby and other vintage spooky film overtones.

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The end to the first volume leaves off on quite the cliffhanger, so you’re likely to be left with your fingers twitching for volume 2. I know I am. I’d give it 4/5 stars. I really enjoyed it, I just wish the characters had a little more personality like they do in the current show. It was a really solid introductory volume and there were a couple moments that genuinely surprised me.

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Book Review: Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues

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Death isn’t always the end. In fact, if you suddenly find yourself recently risen from the dead with an instinctual hunger for brains, it’s really only the beginning. Diana Rowland’s White Trash Zombie series of novels follows underdog character Angel Crawford as she navigates life (or something vaguely similar to it) as a freshly-turned zombie.

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No, not this type of zombie.

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues is a good follow-up to the debut book in the series, My Life as a White Trash Zombie. We see Angel getting more comfortable in her own skin (which only begins to rot if she doesn’t keep herself well-fed on brains, that she is able to obtain with a method far less chompy-chompy than most zombies.)

She may be getting the hang of being one of the undead, (it certainly has its perks in these books), but there are still hurdles aplenty for our struggling-but-determined heroine. A zombie mafia, corpse thieves, creepy experiments, and zombie hunters only seem to complicate things for Angel as she continues to deal with the struggles of work, love, family, and parole. The girl’s got a lot on her plate, and it isn’t all just brains. πŸ˜›

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Yum! Yum!

I really enjoyed this book and a lot of that has to do with how much I like the main character. Angel is flawed. Big time. But she’s working on it, and although things don’t come easily for her, she isn’t one to give up. Her narration feels honest and genuine, and it’s pretty damn entertaining to read given all of Angel’s sass and sarcasm that she wields with little or no apology.

The first part of the book does seem a bit slow at times, but the action and intrigue pick up nicely in the second part. I’d give this one a four out of five brain rating! πŸ˜‰

Also, I know I always rave about the cover art for these books when I talk about them, but c’mon, you gotta give it up to artist Daniel Dos Santos, this artwork is awesome!

Free Comic Book Day 2018 Haul

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Woo!!! It’s Free Comic Book Day, guys! Hopefully those of you who partake in this holiest of holy days already got to go raid and pillage (and also support, of course) your local comic book shop! I got off to my earliest start ever for FCBD and was the second person to hop in line outside the store.

I had to make the expedition all by my lonesome today since my boyfriend couldn’t go until much later in the afternoon, so he urged me to go on without him and collect all the bounty FCBD had to offer. And quite the bounty it was, so let’s get into all the sweet deetz of this year’s Free Comic Book Day Haul! πŸ˜€

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Part of this year’s haul. πŸ™‚

From the glorious table of freebies, we (between my morning visit and the boyfriend’s afternoon visit to the store) were able to snag some really cool stuff. Aaaand, this particular morning warrior (yours truly) was the main bread winner in bringing home the goods today. *flexes*

Barrier #1 (Brian K. Vaughan’s launch to his new miniseries!)

A Brief History of Tank Girl

Attack on Titan Anthology

Marvel Rising #0

Bob’s Burgers

DC Nation #0

Suicide Squad #1

Invader Zim: Floopsy Bloops Shmoopsy

Catalyst Prime: The Event

Lady Mechanika: The Demon of Satan’s Alley

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And, of course, Free Comic Book Day is not only a day to receive, but also to give, so I was damn sure going to support my local comic shop and purchase some goodies. πŸ™‚ I’ve been hearing really good things about the graphic novel I Kill Giants, so I purchased a copy of that.

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Aaaand, they had a limited number at the counter of these adorable little Free Comic Book Day Exclusive Harley Quinn vinyl figures, so you bet I got one. πŸ˜‰

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When my boyfriend ended up getting to go later in the afternoon, he also picked us up some volumes of Lady Mechanika which I’ve been wanting to check out for some time, so that was really exciting. πŸ˜€

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All in all, this FCBD was definitely a good one for us, even if we didn’t get to go check things out at the same time. It was a lot of fun, and the weather was gorgeous. Did you partake in any Free Comic Book Day goodness today? If so, I’d love to hear how it went and what sort of loot you got! πŸ˜› And if not, feel free to just bring up any good comics you’ve read lately or anything special you’ve got on your radar. Have a great weekend, everyone!! ❀

Book/Comic-Related Christmas Haul

Brrr! All of the people wishing for a “White Christmas” certainly got their wish here in Michigan. (What were you lunatics thinking?!) πŸ˜› I just got in from shoveling a bunch of snow and am chilled to the bone. Thankfully, hot chocolate with butterscotch schnapps mixed in is a thing. πŸ˜‰ It’s soooo good and soooo warm. I’m in a state of total bliss now as I thaw out.

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I hope all of you enjoyed the holidays with your loved ones and had a wonderful time. ❀ (And maybe even gave and got some awesome prezzies!) πŸ˜› Christmas certainly is NOT all about the presents, but this post sure as heck is gonna be. πŸ˜‰ I was too excited about some of the fantastic gifts I got this Christmas not to want to share them.Β  and Let’s start this post off by talking about my favorite gift I unwrapped this year:

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I have been coveting these particular Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland vintage artwork ornaments for YEARS. Seriously, years. My dream is to one day decorate my Christmas tree in all literature-themed ornaments and decorations, and these fit the theme so perfectly. Needless to say, I was beyond elated to get them as one of my gifts from my boyfriend. He ended up spoiling me rotten, but these were my favorite of the gifts he got me for sentimental reasons. ❀

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Okay, enough being mushy, let’s move on and talk about COMICS! πŸ˜€ I got some graphic novels I am very excited to read. First, we have the first three volumes of the manga series The Girl from the Other Side. I’d been seeing artwork for this series floating around and absolutely loved what I saw, but I had no idea it was an actual manga series until I read a review on volume 1 from the Random Melon Reads blog. I can’t wait to learn more about this story. Here’s a tidbit about it from Goodreads:

“In a land far away, there were two kingdoms: the Outside, where twisted beasts roamed that could curse with a touch, and the Inside, where humans lived in safety and peace. The girl and the beast should never have met, but when they do, a quiet fairytale begins. This is a story of two people–one human, one inhuman–who linger in the hazy twilight that separates night from day.”

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Next, we have some more mainstream goodies starring some of my fave DC leading ladies! πŸ˜€ I’ve heard really good things about Batwoman: Rebirth, and I’m looking forward to continuing the Bombshells series with volumes 3 and 4. Volume 2 had a definite lack of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy so I’m pumped to see them right on the cover in the thick of the action for volume 3.

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Speaking of continuing series I’ve already started, I’m looking forward to seeing what shenanigans the girls from Giant Days get up to in volumes 4 and 5. I’m also thrilled to report that Cupcakes and Machetes has gotten into this comic recently as well. It’s always fun getting to talk to friends about comics and books and whatnot. πŸ™‚

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And on the topic of awesome female-centered comics I like to enjoy with my friends, I also now get to enjoy volumes 2, 3, and 4 of Rat Queens! I didn’t shy away from expressing my love for this series when I reviewed volume 1 back in March, so you can imagine how giddy I was to receive more of this series. It isn’t every comic I give a rating of “Five out of five flaming orc skulls.” πŸ˜‰

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I got some other awesome non-comic or book related gifties, but the last I want to share with you guys is this awesome shark mug and shark snack bowl duo. It’s no secret that I love me some sharks, so I was pretty pumped about these. Especially because I’m also a fan of coffee mugs. And snacks. πŸ˜›

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Did you have a lovely Christmas this year? What was your favorite present you gave and/or received? Are you glad the holiday chaos is finally over?? πŸ˜›

Oh! And because a couple of you asked to see it, here’s a pic of my R2-D2 Christmas sweater I got this year. πŸ™‚

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The Language of Thorns (No-Spoiler) Review

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“Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.”

I don’t even know where to begin with this dark and enchanting little book. ❀ Collecting six different tales taking place in the mysterious world of the Grisha, it’s a great read for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology and/or her original Grisha Trilogy. Even if you haven’t read Bardugo’s other works and simply enjoy dark fairy tales and folklore, this book is for you.

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I swear, Bardugo’s books just keep getting prettier and prettier. Each page of this book features an ever-expanding illustrated border with lovely artwork relating to the story at hand. As the tale progresses, the border reveals more and more clues relating to it, and each tale is followed with a beautiful two-page illustration to wrap things up. So no peeking at those pictures before you read the actual story, guys! πŸ˜‰

If you’ve read your fair share of folklore, myth and fairytales, you’ll no doubt pick up on the many inspirations for the stories contained in this book. With several nods toward Greek myth, fairy tales of the Grimm, Anderson, and Perrault variety, along with a hint of Aesop’s fables, you’re bound to feel some sort of nostalgia while reading. I know I sure did. πŸ™‚

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Another nice point in this collection of stories is the diversity, along with the many strong female characters. Bardugo manages to create a variety of characters and tell compelling stories with each of her tales, despite some of them only being about 50 pages, give or take.

Fun Fact: For those of you who have read Bardugo’s other works, you mayyyy just pick up on a certain character in one of the stories that we’ve seen before. I’m not gonna say anything specific here because spoilers, but I see what you did there, Leigh Bardugo. πŸ˜‰

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The six tales included in The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic are as follows:

Ayama and the Thorn Wood

The Too-Clever Fox

The Witch of Duva

Little Knife

The Soldier Prince

When Water Sang Fire

I really enjoyed reading each of the tales along with their accompanying artwork. Bardugo’s writing shines as she lends her voice to such a classic form of story telling all while putting her own fresh spin on things.