January’s Comic Haul

Tumblr_lkq35y7wBP1qji1r2o1_500

Holy Comic Haul, Batman! Between December and January’s comic hauls, there is just sooo much comic-related goodness in my life. ❀ Since I already went over the lovely new reads I got forΒ Christmas, I thought I’d share with you guys the ones I got for my birthday at the end of January, too. πŸ™‚

paper girls 1

Paper Girls, Vol. 1

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

huntress1

Huntress: Year One

As the last survivor of a crime family eliminated by bloody rivalries among the mobs of Gotham City, the orphaned Helena Bertinelli grew into the mysterious vigilante known as the Huntress.
New writer Ivory Madison shines a light on the dark underbelly of the mob world spanning from Gotham to Sicily, exploring exactly what led Helena away from a life in the Cosa Nostra criminal society and set her on a path of vigilantism. Also, find out more about Batman’s first meeting with the fledgling female crime-fighter and why, to this day, they struggle to see eye-to-eye.

dc1

DC Comics: Bombshells, Vol. 5

Based on the hit DC Collectibles product line! As World War II rages across Europe, the Bombshells battle new enemies showing up out of the woodwork… The incredibly popular DC Collectibles line is brought to life in these stories that re-imagine the course of history!

lumberjanes1

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy

FRIENDSHIP TO THE MAX! At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.

So, yeah, between Christmas and my birthday, I’d say it’s safe to say I made out like a bandit with 15 new additions to my collection. πŸ˜› I’m looking forward to reading all of them. In fact, I’m planning on reading the fourth volume of Giant Days later tonight after I catch up on reading everyone’s blogs. How about you? Did you get any recent books/comics? What are you reading this weekend?

Advertisements

A Look at Low, Volumes 1 through 4

low-t1-2

Sebastian the Crab was dead wrong when he said everything was better under the sea. It’s not a bunch of dancing fish and singing crustaceans like Disney would like for you to believe.

Be-happy-TLM-Sebastian-under-the-sea.gif

No, it’s nothing quite so nice as all that. It’s more like hordes of deep sea pirates out for your blood, aquatic abominations that want to eat your face, and corrupt leaders who want to keep hope and morale, well, “low”. (You just knew that pun was gonna be used somewhere in this review. May as well get it out of the way now.) πŸ˜‰

low-end

So, for something a wee bit different, I’ve decided to go ahead and review the first 4 volumes of Low in this one post, rather than review them each separately. The main reason for this, is that I experienced very mixed feelings while reading this series. As I’ve mentioned before, Low wasn’t one of those reads that I was head-over-heels in love with upon finishing the first volume. In fact, if my boyfriend hadn’t already bought the three other volumes, I probably would have ceased reading this series altogether. I hate to say that because I had really been looking forward to reading it and I enjoyed the overall concept, just not the execution, I suppose. It’s always a bummer when you feel like you wanted to like something so much more than you actually did, and that’s exactly how I was left feeling. Fortunately, this series improved dramatically as I continued reading it. Volume 1 may have been a rough start, and definitely my least favorite of the four volumes, but I’m glad I carried on and continued reading the story.

1819_LOW03_COLORS.jpg

Low, Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope introduces us to a grim future for humankind where, due to the sun’s lethal radiation, humans have been forced to live in the dark abyss of the world’s oceans. It’s been a very long time since humans left the surface behind, and resources are dwindling to the point of no return as we meet our central characters, the Caine family. This is a very busy volume with a LOT going on, and also the longest of the four installments. So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of it and talk pros and cons regarding this particular volume.

Low_Vol_1_1

PROS:

  • A really cool concept. The whole post-apocalyptic science fiction set in the deep, dark vastness of our oceans had me completely psyched to read this.
  • The artwork and colors are lovely. Greg Tocchini (the artist) and Dave McCaig (the colorist) do a good job bringing to life the beauty and oftentimes horror of the world and characters that Rick Remender (the writer) has created.

CONS:

  • This series does have some decent character development overall, but I wasn’t feeling it whatsoever in this first volume. One character in particular has a complete moral shift in gears and character change over the course of a time hop so we’re given like no actual evidence of him growing or changing, he just does so between his last appearance and the next, and it’s honestly quite jarring.
  • Okay, I’m certainly no prude, I’ve generally got no issues with sex and nudity, but this was just . . . a bit much. Tons of female nudity and abuse, women being used for sex and then having extreme violence inflicted on them immediately after, orgies everywhere, etc. A lot of the outfits the female characters wear seem like they were designed that way simply because “tits” and “ass”. Again, this complaint is coming from someone who doesn’t typically shy away from mature content, but the male gaze was sooo prevalent in this one.
  • There’s an overall β€œalways have hope” message in Low, and it felt especially preachy in this volume. It left me feeling like I’d had it hammered in my face over and over and over again. I get that it’s a good message to put out there, but the sheer repetitiveness of it was maddening at times.

Low_Vol_1_5_001

Low, Vol. 2: Before the Dawn Burns Us is where the series begins to get get a little better, in my opinion. In this installment, we see some of the bigger complaints I had with the start of Low slowly begin to simmer down. I also began feeling more invested in the characters and what was going on. The stakes are getting higher, and we get to learn more about different characters and different places with their own big bads. I found myself going from not liking Low by the end of the first volume, to liking it by the end of this one. Was I in love with the series at this point? No, but I did like it.

Screen-Shot-2016-01-07-at-11.47.42-AM.png

Low, Vol. 3: Shore of the Dying Light is, without a doubt, the volume that I liked the most. Tensions are on the rise and there’s a lot at risk in this installment. Also, it is hands down the volume with the least blatant overuse of pointless female nudity which, I’m sorry, has been a real issue for me through this series. You can tell the intentions are for several of the characters to be represented as strong female characters, but I can’t help but feel that it is a little undermined when you randomly have one of those characters in a fight scene in volume 2 where she’s suddenly totally topless because reasons. I mean, come the hell on. Volume 3 was a nice reprieve from this sort of thing.

lowwww

Low, Vol. 4: Outer Aspects of Inner Attitudes takes us back to some of the events that went down in volume 1 and reveals something pretty interesting and story-changing events that unfolded. There’s plenty of action in this one and some trickery and surprises. It leaves off on a point that has me curious to see where the story will go when volume 5 comes out. It’s not going to kill me to wait for it like it does with some other stories from Image.

low comic

All in all, this series grew on me the more I read of it. I was curious to see what others were thinking of Low overall, so I looked up other reviews and they really varied. Some people loved volume 1 the most and felt it never really reached that high again, but I felt volume 1 was the worst of the lot and that it only improved from there. A lot of people felt the same way I did about all the gratuitous female nudity. Yes, there was some male nudity as well, but it was like a light breeze compared to a hurricane. Most people, like myself, were fans of the artwork, but some found it muddy and hard to follow at points. So, it seems this series is a real mixed bag for people. Have you read Low? Do you have plans to read the series? I’d absolutely love to see what you think of it. πŸ™‚

If I had to give a star rating for each volume of this series it would go as such:

Volume 1: The Delirium of Hope: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Volume 2: Before the Dawn Burns Us: 3 out of 5 stars

Volume 3: Shore of the Dying Light: 4 out of 5 stars

Volume 4: Outer Aspects of Inner Attitudes: 3 out of 5 stars

2017 Scrapbook Tag

One of the interesting things about the new year is always reflecting on the one we just left behind. I was tagged by the awesomeΒ Read Rant and Rock & Roll for this funΒ 2017 Scrapbook Tag. If you already aren’t acquainted with their spectacular blog, you should definitely stop on by and change that, because you’re missing out. πŸ˜‰ There’s always fun posts about books, movies, music, and other goodness.

TV Series:

Movies:

Albums:

I am so drawing a blank at this category for some reason. I listen to music all the time, but I got nothin’ right now. Sorry!

shrug1

Books:

Celebrities:

Like the “album” category, this was another tough section for me to answer, but I couldn’t drop the ball twice in one post, could I? πŸ˜› Some of these people may not be “celebrities” in the traditional sense of the word, but this is my blog and I do what I want! πŸ˜‰

I Tag:

I normally am lazy and don’t actually tag people, but what the hell? Let’s do this!

Cupcakes and Machetes

Imperial Rebel Ork

Reads and Reels

The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

The Maniacal Unicorn

Luna @ GamersUnitedGG Blog

Touch My Spine Reviews

 

Books + Winter = BLISS.

As much as I grumble about the bitter cold and snow and ice of winter, even I can admit that there is a special kind of coziness to winter reading. Being all bundled up with plenty of blankets and something warm to drink while you read makes for a pretty cozy bit of relaxation.

scrubs gif

I’m juggling a few different books/comics at the moment. One I’ve slowly been chiseling away at is Strange the Dreamer, and it is utterly amazing. I tend to read it before work every day (as long as I haven’t wasted too much time rebelling against adulting that particular morning by refusing to get out of bed.) It’s the kind of book that could easily be devoured quickly, but I’ve been enjoying picking at it here and there and savoring the experience. I love Laini Taylor’s writing and indulging in this beautifully imaginative story each day before work helps start my morning off on the right foot. ❀

Strange

Another thing I’ve been reading as of late is the comic series Low. It’s one I had been really excited to get into, and since my boyfriend is a fan of Rick Remender’s writing, he went ahead and bought the first 4 volumes for us to read. I’ll admit, I wasn’t really feeling this series upon finishing volume 1. In fact, if my boyfriend hadn’t already purchased volumes 2, 3, and 4, I probably would have stopped reading it. However, I decided to continue on and it is slowly getting better. Some of my major complaints have been resolved mostly (for now at least). We’ll see how it goes as I continue reading these first 4 volumes. Because of my conflicted feelings regarding the series so far, I’ve decided to wait and do a review of the first four volumes rather than doing them 1 at a time. I hope it continues to improve the further I get into the story because there are several elements to it that I do really enjoy.

The other story I’m currently reading is Gerald Brom’s book,Β The Plucker. First off, this book is a pretty one, so we have to talk about that. It’s a big lovely hardcover book filled to the brim with Brom’s dark and twisted artwork with a story to match. At first glance, one may take it for a “children’s book” since it is full of illustrations, but with the swearing, crass humor, and elements of horror throughout, it is certainly not intended for children. Unless the children involved are literal demons. Then maybe. The story is centered around a young boy and his toys and the dangerous predatory spirit now plaguing them. It’s sort of like if you mixed Toy Story or The Nutcracker with Evil Dead 2 and The Exorcist. πŸ˜› It’s a fun read so far.

the plucker

Other recent reads of the new year include Saga, volume 8 (which I just recently reviewed), and Lewis Carroll’s Phantasmagoria and Other Poems. This weekend I intend to start reading Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, which I am really excited about.

milk and honey

So, what recent books have you been enjoying? Have you read any of these stories yet? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them!

Saga, Vol. 8 (No-Spoiler) Review

saga1

Woo! First review (and post) of the New Year! I hope everyone had a fantastic New Year’s Eve and an amazing start to 2018 so far. ❀ My boyfriend helped assure that much for me by stopping by our local comic book store New Year’s Eve and picking up this delightful title that just came out at the end of December. Needless to say, I about screamed with joy when he pulled into the parking lot and revealed his master plan.

Funny-gif-Colbert-screaming.gif

Brian K. Vaughan (the writer) and Fiona Staples (the illustrator) continue to weave their outlandish space opera of epic proportions in this volume, but add in some of the fun of the Old Wild West along the way. I don’t want to get into any spoiler territory, so we’ll keep things fairly vague as I talk about my feelings on this volume. And trust me, I got plenty of the feels for this series. ❀

0684c7d23b5219cd9ddec7fe87083c86--true-meme-fitness-quotes

One thing I really like about the series as a whole is that it has a lot of heart, but not in a corny, mushy, or preachy sort of way. This volume is no exception. It continues to explore the theme of family, and what exactly family means when you really get down to it. It challenges convention at every turn and makes no apologies, and I utterly love it for that. ❀

saga2

We see old and new faces alike in this volume and are presented with some pretty interesting “what-if” moments. It confronts deep-rooted feelings of both tragedy and hope head-on and still continues to surprise the reader with just about every turn of the page. This is a series that can make you cry one moment and then laugh another.

i-dont-know-if-i-want-to-laugh-or-cry

Volume for volume, Saga makes for a quick, intense and often-times hilarious and utterly random emotional roller coaster. The characters are so well-written and full of their own troubles and flaws that it makes them feel completely human despite, ya know, the whole televisions for heads, and having horns and/or wings thing.

I honestly feel that just about everyone can find SOMETHING they can relate to somewhere in this series. So, if you have yet to hop on the Saga bandwagon, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???! Do yourself a favor and GET. ON. THAT.

disgood

5/5 Stars.

 

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.

PopularFlashyAegeancat-size_restricted

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:

Xmas Gift from Chris1

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. ❀

Xmas Gift from Chris2

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.”

Xmas Gift from Chris3

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.

Xmas Gift from Chris6

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™‚

Xmas Gift from Chris5.JPG

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˜‰

Xmas Gift from Chris4.JPG

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˜›

Xmas Gift from Chris7

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™‚

Work Holiday Party Dec 2017 (2)

My Name in TBR Books Tag

This tag seemed so cute and fun when I saw thebookcorps do it. I haven’t done a book tag in a wee bit so I figured I’d take a stab at it! πŸ˜‰ I’ll be using my blogging name instead of my real name just as my own personal preference, but if this looks fun to you, do it whichever way you like. πŸ™‚ I’m also going by alphabetizing rules that would dictate you drop the first word in the title if it is something like “The” or “a”. πŸ˜› That said, let’s get this tag underway!

I – The Ice Dragon

booktag2

Although George RR Martin’s other stories featuring dragons (cough cough, you know, those books in that little series known as A Song of Ice and Fire) are full of violence, incest, foul language and other adult themes, The Ice Dragon is actually one intended for younger readers. I’ve heard it is enjoyable for all age groups, though, and would love to read it.

G – Gather the Daughters

booktag3

I’ve had several friends read this recently, including fellow blogger and my personal BFF Cupcakes & Machetes who posted aΒ review about this horrific dystopian read. I’ve heard it’s the sort of read that you won’t soon forget after reading it.

N – Night of Cake & Puppets

booktag4

A novella linked to Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. ‘Nuff said.

I – In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom

booktag5

After seeing Yeonmi Park’s moving speech regarding life in North Korea and what it took to escape it, I had to add her story to my TBR list.

T – Tin Stars (Descender, Vol. 1)

booktag6

I actually picked this one up recently from my local comic shop, but have yet to read it. I’ve heard marvelous things about it, though. It’s supposed to be a really good science fiction read.

E – An Ember in the Ashes

booktag7

Another book I’ve been hearing wonderful things about. I feel like this would wind up being one of those reads that winds up being devoured.

D – A Darker Shade of Magic

booktag1

I’ve heard this author specializes in good, dark reads. Sign. Me. UP.

M – A Monster Calls

booktag8

I suspect this book will make me cry my eyes out, but I hear it’s amazing. I hear the story itself and the illustrations blend this book into a memorable read that will definitely give you the feels.

O – Odd & True

booktag9

A blend of historical fiction and paranormal fantasy that I’ve seen several of you review favorably.

T – Traitor to the Throne

booktag12.jpg

Okay, I’m cheating with this one because I don’t have a whole lot of books starting with ‘T’ in my TBR list, and this is the second book in a series I really want to read as a whole, Rebel of the Sands. But, hey, it’s my blog and I can cheat if I want to! πŸ˜›

H – Hemlock Grove

booktag11

I (mostly) enjoyed the Netflix series of the same name, so I’ve been wanting to check out the book for a while now to see how they compare. πŸ™‚

So, there we have it, guys! This was actually pretty neat to do since it made me have to reexamine my TBR list. Some of these titles have been on there a long time. As for tagging, it’s no pressure here as per usual. If this looks fun to you, have at it! Hope everyone’s having a great weekend! ❀