Monstress, Vol. 3 (No Spoiler) Review

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Marjorie Lui and Sana Takeda’s gorgeously rendered epic Monstress is back with its third volume, Haven. If you’ve read and recall my reviews for Volume 1 and Volume 2, it will come as no surprise that this is something I’ve been eagerly awaiting all year.

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Throughout the story of Monstress, our main character Maika Halfwolf has seen some shit. Potty-mouthed poet cats, crazy-ass witch-nuns with a deadly agenda, ancient gods that hunger for flesh, and bipedal shark people to name just a small few. Really, that is only the smallest of tastes for the complex and layered world presented to readers throughout the series. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Monstress has the most detailed and fleshed out worldbuilding I’ve ever seen in comic form. The more you read of the series, the more things begin to come together and take shape, especially in volume 3.

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The kind of villain I can get behind: knows how to rock an all black outfit, loves a good book, and cuddler of dogs!

The artwork, as always, continues to shine in the third installment, and the characters are being forced even more out of their comfort zones (well, what little bit of comfort they were previously able to cling to in their war-torn world, anyway). Kippa is finding direction in her life and becoming stronger, Ren is forced to make a difficult decision, and Maika might even have to start playing nice(er) and make . . . dun dun dun . . . friends! GASP! πŸ˜› Even the ever-growing, ever-hungry god Maika constantly struggles with is taking shape, both literally and figuratively.

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Although we get more answers, there are still plenty more questions you’re left with by the end of Volume 3, but it only makes me look forward to Volume 4 that much more. Especially with such a doozy of a cliffhanger.

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WTF Happened to July???

Jeez, I can’t believe how FAST this month has been going by! I feel like it’s come and nearly gone so quickly already. It’s been a ridiculously busy month, but a mostly good (and extremely productive) one at least. I’ve been working on a lot of too-boring-to-bother-blogging-about-but-necessary-things in my life, so yay for that, but I’ve missed all my blogging buddies. ❀

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Sooooo, since it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been able to really post anything *COUGH COUGH it’s been over two whole weeks but who the hell is counting COUGH* let’s just go ahead and cover a few quick updates, shall we? πŸ™‚

BLAH #1: So far this month I was able to squeeze some reading time in despite how busy things have been. I got to read some other works by authors I’ve read and enjoyed previously, like George RR Martin’s The Ice Dragon, Emilie Autumn’s short story The Gown, and I FINALLY (after several years) read the third book in Laini Taylor’s The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series Dreams of Gods & Monsters. I also binge-read volumes 2, 3, and 4 ofΒ The Girl from the Other Side and finished reading the last ofΒ The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp. Some of the reads I liked more than others, some I found to be surprisingly not as enjoyable as I’d thought they’d be. We’ll save all that for other posts when I finally get my slacker ass around to reviewing some of the things I’ve been reading lately. πŸ˜›

BLAH #2: I’ve got a current series of shark illustrations I’ve been working on for some upcoming Shark Week posts, so expect an explosion of shark-related blog content from me starting this Sunday. I’ll also be babbling on about shark facts throughout the week because sharks are awesome and learning shit is rad.

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BLAH #3: Kind of random, but if you haven’t watched Jim Jefferies: This Is Me Now comedy special on Netflix you probably should rectify that. It’s hilarious. (Unless you are easily offended. Then maybe stay faaaar away from it.)

BLAH #4: Does anyone on here use Audible? I just wonder because I was offered a 2 month free subscription for it for a membership to something else I recently signed up for. I’m wondering what anyone out there that has tried it thinks of it. Is it worth the money? Listening to audio books can be really useful when your schedule is extremely busy. Multitask or bust, am I right? πŸ˜‰

Anywhooooo, that’s enough from me. It’s past 1 in the morning and I’m honestly stunned that I’m even still awake and functioning at this point. How are things in your corner of the world? Any exciting BLAHs of your own you’d like to share? Have a great weekend, everybody! ❀

 

I Kill Giants (No-Spoiler Graphic Novel Review)

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Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Niimura’s I Kill Giants is a graphic novel that tells the tale of a young girl with a chip on her shoulder named Barbara Thorson, who just so happens to be an accomplished killer of giants. Or so she claims. The eccentric loner of her town, Barbara does all that she can to keep giants at bay, reputation be damned.

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Barbara is a complicated character (as most humans are.) She’s got her points that will have you rooting for her, but she also has qualities and views that make her come across like an angsty little jerk-face at times. Given everything she has going on (real and/or imagined) she may just have her reasons, though. The more you read of her story the more it will come to make sense. Barbara makes mistakes and things get messy, which just makes her feel like a real human. She’s angry and jaded, but has her soft moments, too, where you just want to scoop her up like a little chipmunk (a chipmunk that will promptly bite the shit out of you the moment you let your guard down.)

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This is a coming-of-age story, complete with its emotionally heavy moments, but it also has a lot of silliness and fun to it as well. There’s more to this one than meets the eye, but I’m not gonna get all spoiler-y on you. πŸ™‚

As is often the case with graphic novels, this one makes for a quick read, but it packs an emotional punch within its pages. After reading this, it definitely made me want to check out the film adaptation that came out earlier this year. I could see this translating wonderfully on film if in the right hands.

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Barrier (Brian K. Vaughan’s New Mini-Series!)

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One of the comics I had been most excited to get my hot little hands on during Free Comic Book Day was the first issue to Brian K. Vaughan’s new miniseries, Barrier. I literally knew almost nothing about it other than that it is written by BKV, and that was good enough for me given how much I (along with the rest of the universe) have been loving Saga. ❀

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I started reading the first issue to Barrier this morning, assuming it would be a very quick read, and that I would soon be on my merry way doing other things with my day. Boy, was I wrong. This proved to be a much longer read, because I spent about half of it using Google’s translator so that I could understand all the parts in Spanish. Which is fine, I just wasn’t expecting it. And because I’m a Super Pal, I even wrote down the translations in case anyone else *cough cough Cupcakes and Machetes cough* or my boyfriend also wanted to read it, but didn’t feel like doing the leg work to translate it. πŸ˜›

(Or if any of you guys are planning on reading it and don’t want to go through and translate it yourself, let me know and I’ll hook you up!) πŸ˜‰

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ANYWAY, onto the story itself. Barrier follows two main characters from two very different walks of life. On one hand, we have Liddy, an American rancher who feels threatened after finding one of her horse’s decapitated heads, skinned and missing its eyes. Talk of “El Chupacabra” and even UFO-related cattle mutilations is quickly dismissed by Liddy who is confident that this is a warning from the cartel that plans on using her land to run their drugs. On edge, she begins exploring her options to protect her land, her animals, and herself. Our other main character, Oscar, is a Honduran young man who is attempting to make his way over the border into the United States. We don’t learn a whole lot about him in the first issue, but we do get a hint that he has something very important in his notebook, and that he may know more about what’s really going on than it originally seems.

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The two cross paths on Liddy’s property when Oscar is injured and she is armed and ready to shoot as their respective languages create a barrier (heh, I see what they did there) between them. Just then, SOMETHING pretty crazy happens, but we’ll leave that on a fairly vague note. Let’s just say, that I am definitely ready to check out the rest of this miniseries that will be released in single issues throughout the month of May in five total installments. πŸ™‚

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I look forward to seeing these two characters forced together by bizarre circumstances will interact with one another, how they will be able to communicate, and what is going to happen to them. I also want to learn more about what Oscar seems to know already. Brian K Vaughn is amazing at creating characters who you want to keep reading about, so I am really looking forward to seeing what he does with Liddy and Oscar the more we get to know them. Marcos Martin (the artist) and Munsta Vicente (the colorist) do a great job bringing the story to life with their illustrations and vivid colors, from the characters themselves to the rough landscapes. I can’t wait to see what they do in the next installments since I think things are really about to take a turn for the crazy.

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I know some people may be put off by not being able to understand part of the dialogue if they don’t speak Spanish or are unwilling to look up translations, but I think the language barrier actually adds to this story. BKV knows what he’s doing as a writer, so I trust what he has in mind for this project. Blending science fiction with the often-debated topic of immigration, I think we’re in for a really interesting story. Like Saga, this one is for mature readers only. I heard some parents getting pretty heated during Free Comic Book Day because there’s some adult content in this, so just something to keep in mind. This one is not intended for the kiddos! πŸ˜‰

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!! ❀

Found Some Old Drawings

I love finding old and forgotten drawings. πŸ™‚ I recently unearthed a couple old charcoal illustrations I did several years ago and figured I’d share them with you guys. It’s no secret that I love horror movies, and I’m pretty sure I did these as quick Halloween pieces, but I scanned them in together as a single image, so here we have Frankenstein’s Monster and the Bride of Frankenstein!

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Let’s Celebrate Women’s History Month!

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March is Women’s History Month, so it’s the perfect time to celebrate the awesomeness of women. Cupcakes and Machetes had the wonderful idea to host a blog event to do just that, so of course I had to participate! πŸ™‚

Her mission is pretty straight forward, so I’ll let it speak for itself with a quote from her post: “Let’s celebrate women. Every kind, in every way, in whatever way you see fit. For myself, I’m going to read only female authors for the entire month. My hope is that other blogs sign up to celebrate women in any way they would like to contribute and I’ll post weekly updates to these blogs and what they’ve worked on. Not only will this be great fun, I think it will be a helpful way to highlight your blog and meet other interesting people.”

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If you’re interested, head on over to C&M’s awesome blog and leave her a comment on her event post. I’m going to be joining in on the fun by illustrating different women who have left their marks on history in one way or another. I’ll try to squeeze as many as I can in throughout the month, along with short little bios explaining the things these bad ass ladies have accomplished and how they’ve helped to change the world and inspire others. I’ll also be posting reviews of comics that feature ladies as the protagonists. (My plans are to read and review Paper Girls, Lumberjanes, some more Giant Days, Bitch Planet and some more Rat Queens!) It’s gonna be a busy, lady-filled month of posts, and I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully some of you will decide to join in on the fun, too! πŸ˜€

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Susan from Giant Days, a comic filled with delightful female characters.