Saturday, September 2, 2017

Template Change- Photobucket warning

Well... I'm bummed.  As I am sure a lot of you book bloggers know Photobucket came in and screwed up Blogger Blogs that were using 3rd party Photobucket images.  So there was a big warning on my page.  The blogger who created my blog no longer blogs or supports templates.  I went back and forth about what to do and finally just decided on a boring Blogger template.  Apparently it's $400 a year to be able to use photobucket images on sites other then their own so I'm pretty sure my blog designer isn't going to do that, nor go in and recode my template for free.  I don't blog as much as I used too so I don't really want to pay for a fancy look either.  Did any of you run into this?  What did you end up doing to fix it?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Comic Adventures Issue #56

read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I'm going to talk about Justice League Vol 1 Rebirth, Teen Titans Vol. 4 New 52, Batman: Night of the Monster Men Rebirth, and The Walking Dead Vol. 25.

I was really excited to read Justice League in Rebirth.  I really enjoyed the story line in New 52. I'm in the middle of the road on this book (I've been middle of the road with most Rebirth so far). The most interesting character is the new Superman. Spoiler from New 52:  That Superman dies and there is a new Superman that has been hiding on our planet for a long time. I would like to know more about this mysterious Superman and hope to find out more in later issues. The plot is the normal plot, aliens coming to take over the world and the Justice League has to team up and stop them. It's interesting that the writer also was the illustrator of the comic. You could tell that the art matched up with the words perfectly. Really though it's no surprise that this is averaging 2 stars on goodreads. You could put any superhero in this story and it would've worked. There were too many questions and not enough answers.  The aliens kept yelling at Wonder Woman who are you... and we never found out.  I'm still dying to know who they think she is?
3 out of 5

I have really enjoyed the Teen Titans run for the New 52.  This is the last volume in that series.  It seems like not a lot of people were keeping up with this series. This was filled with one issue adventures which was really fun.  Almost like reading short stories. At the very end of the comic it has an issue that doesn't fit with all the rest.  It's with the group mourning the death of Red Robin. The issue with the death of Red Robin is included in another comic though and they didn't include that one so I have no idea what happened.  It's pretty important though because it leads into Rebirth.  Red Robin Tim Drake not the head of the Teen Titans, but Damian Wayne is. Also... in a Batman comic for Rebirth he keeps mentioning that Red Robin died.  So that's a pretty big story to cut. The art in the book was great and really kept the book fresh.  I look forward to Teen Titans in Rebirth.  Hoping it's as good as New 52. 

4 out of 5

Awful.  Avoid this comic at all costs.  Boring.. sloppy story.  This may be the worst comic I've ever read.  Apparently this is a crossover but I thought it was just a comic with all Batman's sidekicks.  You do need to be aware of all the Robin's that exist now too since there are a few in this comic.  I'm not talking the four we all know so well either. The artwork isn't great to me either.  I really couldn't tell what was going on with some of the monsters.  Just scattered lines around what looked like a monster. Batman doesn't want anyone on his team doing anything.  He's always yelling at everyone to stay back so they don't end up like Tim Drake (he dies in New 52 see review above) but I've read that story before in New 52 when Damien dies. Why is there a crossover already when only volume 1 has been released for most comics in Rebirth?  Slow it down DC.  Rebirth is already pretty much disappointing me and this was the worst. 
0 out of 5 

I'm finally almost caught up to all the comics in the Walking Dead series!  It's going to be awful once I'm all caught up too.  I'm going to have to wait to find out what happens to Rick and his crew. So zombies aren't really the main villains anymore.  It's people.  Crazy people. I suppose this would happen at the end of the world.  Normal people would team up while crazies would team up.  This comic includes the "whisperers".  Who really are scary as hell.  Zombies who can talk??  WHA???  I'm sure eventually we will see these in the TV series. I like how Negan is still an excellent villain. Kirkman does such a good job of writing this villain.. who is still scary despite being locked up.  I've grown to really not like Carl.  Ughhh he's such a teenager. This is the first time I've read The Walking Dead in a volume instead of a compendium and it's driving me nuts.  It was like a small little tease instead of a long novel. There are several story lines going on at once and this really keeps me interested.  I don't get bored with Rick because BOOM here comes the next person's story.
5 out of 5
This counts for 34 comics towards my 2017 Graphic Novel Reading Challenge

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Comic Adventures Issue #55

read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I discuss Green Arrow Vol. 1 Rebirth, Wonder Woman Vol. 1 Rebirth,  Vader Down, and Harley Quinn Vol. 5

Well... I couldn't get into Green Lantern in New 52 and this Rebirth Green Lantern wasn't great either. The artwork was messy to me, I couldn't tell but maybe the artist switched during the series? Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) loses everything  His company is in trouble and run by people who want to use it and it's money (Batman movies anyone?). Black Window shows up and there are these cheesy references to her being a rockstar (from the New 52) why was that even mentioned?? And why is Green Arrow in Seattle and not Star City?  There are masked villains which at first I though was The Court of Owls but then realized it wasn't them (but technically let's be honest they are totally Court of Owls in Seattle). Maybe the book is off to a slow start so I will try vol.2 when it's published.  I think I made it to vol. 3 in the Green Arrow series in New 52 but just couldn't get past that. I do like seeing Green Arrow with his beard and hair the way it always looks in the comics and wish the CW show would make Oliver Queen have this same classic look. 
2 out of 5

This was only a middle of the road Wonder Woman comic for me. I didn't like the whole story plot of Wonder Woman trying to figure out what her origin story is. Is she an Olympian?  Was she born from clay?  The only child in Themyscira or one of many children?  I don't really care which origin but just pick one.  She can't remember.  I'm guessing this is because Rebirth wants to move on with Diana's story line. I was quite excited when Diana goes to Cheetah for help (though why Cheetah knows where Diana's homeland is doesn't really make sense). I always thought Cheetah was a cool pretty villain in Wonder Woman's world since I was a little girl.  The readers even got a back story on Cheetah though I was disappointed in the outcome of Cheetah's story at the end.  The comic also kind of awkwardly slipped Steve Trevor into the story so I'm not sure if he's going to be in the rest of Wonder Woman's Rebirth stories.  They talk about her relationship with Superman (New 52) but I was pretty sure they broke up in those comics.  Plus Steve starts talking about what I think is his wife and child and then Wonder Woman says she's going to kiss him and he let's her?  NOOOO... Not OK.    
3 out of 5
PS.  I recently read in Entertainment Weekly that this issue is supposed to present Wonder Woman as bisexual?  I totally missed that when reading.  I guess it implies she and Cheetah had a relationship?  

So I didn't even know this comic existed until I was about to start Vader Vol. 3 and noticed some reviews talking about this comic. It seems odd to me that this comic had to happen.  It's because Vader and the characters in Star Wars comics have to cross at one point or another I suppose. It's just too bad it had to happen so early on in the comics.  Already a crossover?  Ughhh.  The comic itself was good.  So from the Vader comic story line Vader is still following leads from Dr. Arpha on where Luke Skywalker is. Luke is with Leia, Chewy, the droids and Han. After reading this comic, it's almost like Marvel should just merge Vader and the Star Wars comics together.  What I have liked about Vader in modern writing/movies is that we are just now getting to see and read just how vicious and powerful he is. I didn't find that with the older films/books. In this comic he takes on so many rebel forces all alone.  We get to see the rebels floating dead in space.  Epic. Dr Arpha is still just a so so character.  I'm hoping there's more to her in Vader vol. 3
3 out of 5

I still love the Harley New 52 series. I enjoy them because they aren't really meant to be taken serious and are funny at times.  Unlike most of the DC comics which have pretty serious stories, Harley's books consist of several stories mixed into one comic that help us get to know her character.  In this volume Harley does run into the Joker again which is the first time she does in the New 52. I didn't love that part.  It shows Harley finally standing up to him but I could've done without that. This comic is for an adult audience.  It has a lot of sexuality in it and other references are certainly for an older group of readers.  I love that Power Girl makes an appearance... if you didn't read the Quinn comic where she becomes a sidekick for Power Girl go and pick it up.   The art in this book is really good too (the artist who did the cover isn't the artist for the inside of the book). Before the New 52 run of Harley Quinn ends I'm hoping to see her actually be evil and not just some goofy fun girl. I want to know why Harley is known as a villain.  Batwoman seems more evil then Quinn in the New 52. 

4 out of 5

This counts for 30 comics towards my 2017 Graphic Novel Reading Challenge

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Audubon On the Wings of the World by Grolleau

Title: Audubon On the Wings of the World
Author:  (Illustrations)
Pages: 174
Published: April 4th 2017 by Nobrow PressSource: Library
Links: goodreads

At the start of the nineteenth century, John James Audubon embarked upon an epic ornithological quest across America with nothing but his artist’ s materials, an assistant, a gun and an all-consuming passion for birds... This beautiful volume tells the story of an incredible artist and adventurer: one who encapsulates the spirit of early America, when the wilderness felt limitless and was still greatly unexplored. Based on Audubon's own retellings, this embellished version of his travels captures the wild and adventurous spirit of a truly exceptional naturalist and painter. Fabien Grolleau has written and created several comics for Vide Cocagne (which he co-founded) as well as the graphic novel, Jaques a Dit. Jérémie Royer is an illustrator and designer. After studying art for two years in Nice, he specialized in comic book art and illustration in Brussels.

I love birds.  I really enjoying bird watching and discovered who John James Audubon is because of my love of birds. I have read a few books about Audubon and love reading about his obsession with birds.  It was a true obsession.  I discovered through (the website for birding not for the man) that there was a graphic novel out there all about James Audubon's life.  Honestly this comic book fell short of being great. The story could be confusing at times.  For example there was a time when Audubon was sick with a fever and he had these strangely illustrated hallucinations.  Then there was a strange section about slavery where Audubon runs into a man who took his family and ran. Then that part of the story was over.  I noticed a small footnote in the back explaining that this was a nod to the fact that Audubon had slaves at some point?  Confusing. Darwin is thrown in as well as Native Americans.  Just seemed random.

The art is great.  I enjoyed the pages that had birds.  I liked that the book emphasized that Audubon killed thousands of birds. This is how he drew them so well. I really loved that the end of the book includes about 5 of Audubon's art so that those who are unfamiliar with what they look like can see. This book would probably be great for a middle school kid who would have fun reading a graphic novel and learn about Audubon.  Perfect for a school library.  I did enjoy the book though the information on Audubon was lacking. 

This counts for 26 comics towards my 2017 Graphic Novel Reading Challenge

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Comic Adventures Issue #54

read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about Green Lantern Vol 1 Rebirth,  Wraith by Joe HillMs. Marvel, and The Vision Vol. 2.

This comic is amazing to me.  Green Lanterns is usually a good comic to me so I was excited to see where DC Rebirth was going to take it. I really enjoyed what Humphries wrote.  Two characters, Jessica and Simon are the main characters in this comic and their two different personalities had to learn to work together.  Maybe I really loved this comic because of Green Lantern Jessica.  She has an anxiety disorder and we get to read about her learning to over come it.  Simon and Jessica remind me of a normal person getting handed great power.  The other DC characters (Batman/Wonder Woman/Superman and so on) already have powers so we are just used to them knowing how to use them.  These Green Lanterns are new and making mistakes which makes them more relatable. I also REALLY enjoyed that the Red Lanterns were included in this book.  I like the Red Lanterns and read their whole series in the New 52.  We get to see more about Bleez and her back story.  I don't think the Red Lanterns are getting their own title in Rebirth so it's great to see them in this comic. 
5 out of 5

I was so excited to read this graphic novel.  It is based off one of the characters in Joe Hill's NOS4A2 novel. This is a dark comic.  Don't expect it to be uplifting or for kids.  I do think you need to read the novel before reading this comic.  I don't really think it's stand alone.  When I read people's reviews on this comic who haven't read the novel they are confused why the characters in the book are even doing what they are doing. This series isn't half as good as Hill's Locke and Key. The artwork is really good though and creepy.  There is a lot of dialog in this comic so get ready for a long read.  There is a section in the back that I skipped.  Yeah .. I admit it.  It was like a retelling of the comic but in more depth with no illustrations. I wasn't into rereading what I just read so that was odd. If you read it... let me know what it was even about.  I would love more graphic novel series from Hill. If you've read NOS4A2 this book will help launch your imagination and make that book even more creepy. 
4 out of 5

I have really enjoyed the Ms. Marvel comics from Marvel.  I'm not really a Marvel reader but this comic has been fun and easy to keep up with.. until this issue.  I had no idea if this was vol. 6 or what because if you look at goodreads it says issue 4 and it would seem it's vol. 9 in the Civil War series going on.  Dang cross-overs!  So apparently Ms. Marvel has been working with the Avengers? I guess and Captain Marvel wants her to use some sort of technology that lets superheroes arrest people before they commit a crime.  If they just think about it they get arrested.  Eventually Ms. Marvel isn't into this.  There is a fun side story with the new Spiderman and I haven't read any of his new stuff so that was fun.  I heard Marvel is relaunching again and it will be called Legacy so I don't know if Ms. Marvel will be around anymore ( she is from the Marvel NOW). I have a difficult time keeping up with the series in Marvel so let's hope Ms. Marvel continues. 
3 out of 5

I always knew who the character Vision was by name and look but not much about his backstory.  So when Marvel put out a Vision comic I was excited.  The first comic wasn't what I expected but I still liked it.  It basically takes places after Avenger's 2nd movie where Vision goes and tries to have a normal life with a cyborg family.  Volume 4 goes more into why vision ended up with this family and how they were build. We get to see Vision's history with Scarlet Witch which was pretty sad to see why they broke up.  There is a scene in this comic where the family goes out to dinner and orders food but tells the waiter not to bring it but they still want to pay for it.  Trying so hard to be normal. What really surprised me was that this is the last comic in the series  It was only 2 volumes.  That was really odd to me.  So where does Vision's story continue? Over in the Avenger comics?  And what is the title of those comics?  Again, Marvel confuses me. 

3 out of 5

This counts for 25 comics towards my 2017 Graphic Novel Reading Challenge

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Title: NOS4A2
Author: Joe Hill
Pages: 704
Published: April 30th 2013 by William Morrow
Source: own
Links: goodreads,

NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns. Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country. Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.” Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.
I love Joe Hill so much! I had this book sitting on my shelf forever and I didn't decide to finally read it until the Stephen King Fans group on goodreads (which I moderate) decided to read it for the April book of the month.  I'm so glad I made the time to read it.  It was so good.  When I had finished reading the book I just wanted it to keep going and keep revisiting the characters.  Joe Hill reminds me a lot of his father, Stephen King, in the way they both do a good job on character development.  I just love how they can take an everyday person and make you either love them or hate them.  I noticed some reviews think that 200 pages could've been removed and I'm over here wishing there were more pages!

When you first start reading the book, the chapters will abruptly end out of no where. I really didn't catch on to what was going on with this till halfway through the book.  That is because I'm not a chapter title reader. So I never noticed that when the chapter ended in an incomplete sentence that the since completed itself in the title of the next chapter.  So... I may have missed a few things there.

I love when something fun like Christmas time can be turned in something scary and spooky.  I really wish I would've read this book in the winter.  It would've been perfect. One thing I will highly recommend is that if you do decide to read this book you should for sure pick up the graphic novel Wraith to read right after it.  Joe Hill writes a graphic novel that goes into the back story of the main villain Manx in NOS4A2. There are even neat illustrations of the evil amusement park Christmas Land and it really brings it to life.  It's too bad that picture isn't included in this novel for those who don't enjoy reading graphic novels.

The hard thing about this book is that I love Joe Hill even more and now I need to squeeze his books in to my huge TBR (to be read pile).  I still haven't read all Stephen King's books.  So much reading!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Comic Adventures Issue #53

read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about The Dark Knight ReturnsSuperman/Wonder Woman Vol. 5, Olympians: Artemis, and Harley Quinn Vol. 4.

I wanted to love The Dark Knight Returns.  I've heard so much about how iconic this comic is and that it is THE must read Batman comic.  I just couldn't get into it.  I struggled through the whole book.  I never felt like there was ever really apart of the story that sucked me in.  The artwork is a mess.  The panels on the pages it just messy.  So many images stuffed onto one page. There are a few really good illustrations of Batman (including the iconic image of him with lightning in the background) but those are few.  I do understand the importance of this comic though.  I didn't read comics when this came out (1986). Before this comic came out Batman was all colorful and a goofy character.  Not a man to be scared of or an antihero.  Then Frank Miller wrote this comic.  It was the first time that Batman became the Batman we know today. The comic also has a lot to tell.  It's about war, government, loyalty, so much to think about when reading this comic. I think you could read it several times and learn something new each time. You should read this if you are a Batman fan.  It was powerful but just not for me.  
                                                       2 out of 5

What a Godawful comic. This comic lost all the fun the first volumes of Superman/Wonder Woman.  In fact, this comic isn't a comic that should've been published.  It's a collection of issues from other comics.  So at the beginning of each comic there is a blue page describing everything the reader missed by not reading the other comics.  I'm not even sure if the people reading those comics (Action Comics, Batman/Superman) have to go and pick up this comic to finish those comics.  It was so confusing.  It's no wonder I have really no idea how Superman dies in the New 52. Apparently he's been through so much in JLA and The end of this comic is left up in there air and I have no idea what comic series it ends in.  Then there are two random stories at the end that have nothing to do with anything so there is another blue page telling the reader that. This is why people don't like crossovers.  Books like this where DC just throws a bunch of stuff in and sells it to make money.  I didn't really read the Superman stories in New 52 but I thought Superman/Wonder Woman was supposed to be a story on it's own. 
                                                        1 out of 5

I have enjoyed the Olympians series since issue one (Artemis is issue 9). I read that there are supposed to be 12 issues in all but couldn't find any information on what is going to be the next Olympian O'Connor will write about. The art style in the book impresses me like always.  The perfect drawing style for an ancient Greek comic book.  If you decide to read these comics be sure to check the back of the book as you read along.  There is a section that explains a little more history with each page.  There was one part of the book that .. well took me by surprise.  There's this part where three Gods pee on a bear.  It's apart of a myth so bare with me. The author writes that they "micturated" on the bear.  In the picture I thought for a moment that they masturbated on the bear and was so shocked.  I google micturated and it means to urinate. I would've figured it out when I turned the page but STILL! WHAT!  That picture! This book tells some good myths about Artemis and I enjoyed it so much.
5 out of 5

I just can't get enough of Harley Quinn!  Prior to reading about her in the New 52 I had only seen her on ... well Batman cartoons I guess.  I like how the comics really brings her personality out.  She's become one of my favorite characters. This comic was continuing Harley's groupie story. There was this group of like 10-12 girls who are hardcore fans of Harley and wanted to join her.  So they go off on an adventure and then disband. It was fun to see them all because they each dressed like Harley's different phases through the comic books. There is a really fun story about Catwoman, Harley, and Poison Ivy.  To see these girls have a fun story together (even though they are supposed to be these bad girls).  This story was really funny and had me smiling. Even Deadshot makes a cameo in this comic!  I have volume 5&6 on hold at the library and can't wait to read it. 
5 out of 5

This counts for 21 comics towards my 2017 Graphic Novel Reading Challenge

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Listen, Love, Repeat by Karen Ehman

Title: Listen, Love, Repeat
Author: Karen Ehman
Pages: 256
Published: November 15th 2016 by Zondervan
Source: Library
Links: goodreads, Proverbs31, online bible study

Our culture is self-obsessed – in our schedules, relationships, and especially online. (Can you say selfie?) But in this near-narcissism, people are less content than in decades past. Why? Because we forgot the joy that comes from putting others first. Doing so requires us to live alert, listening for “heart drops,” hints from those in our lives who need a helping hand or a generous dose of encouragement. Living alert lifts our own spirits, showing us that blessing others blesses us even more. Listen, Love, Repeat offers biblical teaching and suggests doable actions that are simple, heart-tugging, sentimental, even sneaky and hilarious.
I recently discovered an online Bible study hosted by the website Proverbs31 Ministries.  I've been looking for a Bible study for a while now.  My in-laws used to host a study once a weekend and we would Facetime in and listen and join in the discussion.  My father-in-law is an amazing Bible study leader and would always leave me feeling inspired and closer to God.  They ending up stopping the Bible study in 2015 so I've been looking for one.  One of my absolute favorite studies that we did was when we all read a book together and then discussed the chapters together.  Similar to a book club Bible study.  The book we read was Twelve Extraordinary Women and I enjoyed it so much.  So when I found out that this online Bible study reads books and then discuses them together I really wanted to join.

The book the group was going to read for April (and it looks like the study goes through May) is Listen, Love, Repeat.  I'm still a little confused how the study works.  I saw that there are live discussions going on certain days on Facebook. I don't really like that, I'd rather have a discussion board like on goodreads so I just have to get used to the different format. Looks like during the month there are videos to watch to listen and learn from also.

This particular book was really excellent. The writing style is as if you are just sitting around speaking to a friend. I read a chapter a night so I could take my time and really read and learn from the chapter. What I really took away from this book was a think called "heart drops".  This is when we really listen to others and what they are saying to us.  Little conversations with our family/friends/people in our life when they share a little something and we set it aside in our memory for later.  It's remembering when someone's dad passed away or remembering their favorite drink and doing something with that information later.  I have tried to already practice this in my life .  I hope that I hear the heart drops of people in my life and am able to remember those drops for later.

There was also a section in this book about remembering the people we deal with everyday.  The person who changes our oil in our cars, or the mailman, the doctor, the dentist.  Giving them a little something.  This can be hard in some situations, for example, I never see my mailman.  We have a community box down the street so I never even know who it is.  The book did make me think about the next time I go to the dentist to give my hygienist something.  I've been seeing her for like 8 years and never thought to bring her a little something.

One thing I couldn't tell with this book was whether or not the site Proverbs 31 was squeezing this book in to make some money?  I think the author is one of the people behind the website so I wasn't sure if the book was picked for the bookclub pick because of this. It was a good book but I don't want to only read books that are by authors who run the site.  So I look forward to check out what the next book pick is. For those looking for some inspiration in their lives, pick up this book.  You won't regret it. Love God, Love Others, Love Yourself.

“Sometimes the best strategy is to keep your mouth shut and your hands open.” (181) And, “The only way to go about loving the difficult is to expect nothing in return.” (182)

Anyone else studied through Proverbs 31 Ministries?  What do you think about it?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The year of Stephen King


So much King is coming to screens this year. THE MIST, MR. MERCEDES, 1922, GERALD'S GAME, THE DARK TOWER, and IT! This is the year of King.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Comic Adventures Issue #52

read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about Batman Vol 10New Suicide Squad Vol. 4, Wonder Woman: The True Amazon, and Aquaman vol. 1 Rebirth.

Epilogue finishes out Batman's New 52 run (well... at least this Batman there are quite a few Batman titles in New 52). There is a Future's End story at the beginning which I dislike.  A lot of New 52 comics squeezed in Future's End stories and I've never enjoyed those.  It did seem after reading this that perhaps Batman should've stopped in volume 9 since this one was kind of filler.  It has a couple of little stories that give nods to Batman.  In one of the stories there is a power outage in Gotham.  Batman runs around trying to find out what the source is and what bad guy is behind it.  He runs around the city looking everywhere but it turns out (spoiler)  it is just a power outage.  Then Batman says.. he will always be waiting for what is to come to Gotham. (end spoiler).  This was the end of the comic.  I like this closing.  Nothing big and fancy just that Batman will always be around.  There was a Rebirth vol. 1 for Batman but I didn't read it since I want to be surprised by the whole Rebirth Volume. 
3 out of 5

I swore I was done with Suicide Squad from the New 52.  But then I couldn't stop reading it.  The good news is that this was really good compared to the other ones.  I do think though that this lost it's following.  Looking at Goodreads there is one review on it.  It brings in a lot of the team from the movie which might have been to bring in more readers but I think it was too little too late. I this issue Harley thinks a group of people are out to help them get freed from Amanda Waller and so they all follow this new group only to find out it's a trap.  This crazy guy sets up an event similar to the Hunger Games. There were some new characters introduced that I hadn't heard of before and that was refreshing. Captain Boomerang and Deadshot have some great chemistry in this too.  It's just too bad the good issue came at the end of the run.  Again there was a Rebirth preview which I didn't read.  I was excited though to see that Suicide Squad is a Rebirth launch title.  I should get it from the library soon.
5 out 5 

I'm sorry but I just don't get all the great reviews for this comic.  I think maybe if I was a 10 year old girl I would've liked this book.  It seems like that is who this book is written for, but then I was confused because there is one part where Wonder Woman uses the word Bitch so I'm not sure if this is a young adult book???  I'm not really into the artwork either. I appreciate the style but I like my comics to be more realistic art. The author Thompson wrote and illustrated this book. I did like the lessons the story taught, but Wonder Woman is portrayed not how I ever imagined her.  The story tells of Diana being a spoiled brat, a princess who gets everything.  The story retells everything you thought of Wonder Woman's origins and I had a hard time with that. Instead of Wonder Woman being good for the sake of being good, this comic tells a story of a mistake that Diana made and that she feels like she need redemption for it.  I like that Diana was always good because that was her spirit.  I don't think this was a terrible book, I just didn't feel there was a need for a retelling of Wonder Woman's origin story.
2 out of 5

Aquaman Vol. 1 for Rebirth was really good.  Though I will say it's the same story Aquaman always gets.  Trying to get the Atlanteans and the land dwellers to get along, poor Arthur always having to have to try to do this.  This time though he has built an embassy which was a good idea till it wasn't.  There is an attack on it which makes the Atlanteans look bad. I didn't realize that this comic was going to have anything to do with the New 52 but it is mentioned about Aquaman's brother Orm who flooded the coast of the USA.  Which is why the USA still has a hard time trusting the Atlanteans. The one part about the comic that did bother me was when Superman makes an appearance and basically threatens Aquaman telling him to get his people together and to watch out if he doesn't.  Are they not friends?  I haven't read the Justice League Rebirth yet so maybe there are tensions there. The book also points out that Aquaman is seen as a funny guy by the public mainly because he talks to fish.  That is kind of funny after I typed it but I don't think it makes him a strong character if this bothers him.  Strong characters to me don't care what people think of them.
                                                        4 out of 5

This counts for 17 comics towards my 2017 Graphic Novel Reading Challenge

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

Title: Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Pages: 352
Published: January 31st 2017 by Disney Press
Source: library

Smart, bookish Belle, a captive in the Beast’s castle, has become accustomed to her new home and has befriended its inhabitants. When she comes upon Nevermore, an enchanted book unlike anything else she has seen in the castle, Belle finds herself pulled into its pages and transported to a world of glamour and intrigue. The adventures Belle has always imagined, the dreams she was forced to give up when she became a prisoner, seem within reach again. The charming and mysterious characters Belle meets within the pages of Nevermore offer her glamorous conversation, a life of dazzling Parisian luxury, and even a reunion she never thought possible. Here Belle can have everything she has ever wished for. But what about her friends in the Beast’s castle? Can Belle trust her new companions inside the pages of Nevermore? Is Nevermore’s world even real? Belle must uncover the truth about the book, before she loses herself in it forever.
I read this book before the new movie came out because I was so excited for the film.  It's my first Beauty and the Beast retelling. I didn't realize that it was loosely based off the new movie. If you haven't seen the new movie and want everything in it to be a surprise skip this review.  It's not a spoiler but it will take away a surprising addition so I don't want to spoil that for you. There are a few things added to the new movie.  One of those things is an addition of a book in the library that Beast and Belle are able to enter.  In this book, Belle discovers this book by herself and enters it nightly. The book adds the characters Love and Death.  Love is technically the one who puts a spell on Beast. She is hopeful that Belle will be the one to break the spell.  Death on the other hand wants them to fail so she can collect money that she bet with Love.  Technically, neither Death nor Love are supposed to interfere with destiny but Death of course can't help herself.  Death sets this book in Beast's library for Belle to discover.

The chapters are super short.  I did find that odd.  Some were like 2-3 pages long. When the book begins it's basically a retelling of the animated Disney film.  At first I thought I was only going to re-read a book about that film. The world (Nevermore) inside the book that Belle finds is really neat.  I always enjoy reading about someone entering a magical world.  I guess what I didn't love is that the way Belle acts in this book is not how I would picture Belle acting.   Wanting to go to balls and meeting men. I just see her as enjoying things different then this.   I did love the side characters in the book and the relationship Belle has with them.  The book covers evenings that take place in between what happens in the movies so we get to read about the nights Belle spends with Ms. Potts, Chip, Cogsworth, and so on.  Chip and Belle become great friends and I like reading about that relationship develop.

I did enjoy this book although I didn't expect it to be more for middle school readers. I would really like to read more about Love and Death and enjoyed those characters so much I wish they had a place in the movies. Perhaps Donnelly will write another book with these characters in it.  I would recommend this book for those that love Beauty and the Beast and want more from that world.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Comic Adventures Issue #51

read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about Justice League Vol. 8,  Wonder Woman vol. 9, The Flash vol. 9, and Catwoman Vol. 8.

So this is the end of the New 52's Justice League. I really did enjoy the run of this comic.  It's fun to me when a group teams up... for example my favorite book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is the first one because the whole team of characters are traveling together. The end of the Justice League comics has us reading a part one and part two of the Darkseid War.  The problem I had with this comic is the whole Crime Syndicate part. That was the big story in the New 52 and I never found the comics to read all of that story.  So here in this comic the Crime Syndicate is back and the Justice League has to team up with them. There are quite a few surprised in this book which made the war fun to read.  The art I really enjoyed too. The author Geoff Johns has moved on from comic books and now works on the DC movies.  Hopefully that means that he is trying really hard to make the Justice League movie be amazing.  The trailer just came out and I'm looking forward to the film.  I'm glad that the Justice League will get a new story arc in Rebirth. 
4 out of 5

I also read the end to the New 52 Wonder Woman series.  I really enjoyed the start of this comic.  Vol. 9 continues the story of Zeke, who is technically Zeus reincarnated as a baby.  Wonder Woman has been trying to protect Zeke all through this series. I liked that this comic goes back to the Greek story.  We get to read about even a new character Hecate who was really a great villain. The artwork is great.  In the story Wonder Woman has to go and find a few items to give to Hecate to help save Zeke so we get to see London, Tartarus, and some spots in Olympus.  I miss the writing of Azzarello but Finch did a good job trying to finish off the Wonder Woman New 52. I enjoyed seeing Wonder Woman making tough decisions on where she needs to keep her loyalties in this book.  Wonder Woman Rebirth #1 is featured at the end of this volume but I didn't read it because I want it to be a surprise when I read Rebith vol. 1. 

4 out of 5

Finishing out Flash New 52 is Full Stop. So the last comic pretty much finished up the whole Zoom story line so I'm not sure we really needed another comic in the Flash's new 52. So Barry's father/captain wants Flash off the streets since he thinks he's a menace to society.  But what he doesn't know is Flash is Barry. The Rogues get brought in to help capture the Flash.  I do like the Rogues!  Captain Cold, Mirror Man, and some I didn't know.  There is a great villain behind all of the trouble.. urging the police force on to hunt Flash.  I'm not going to give spoilers but the person behind it all was a big surprise to me!! Flash New 52 was really my introduction into the world of Flash.  I loved the artwork especially in the earlier issues. I thought the stories were usually pretty funny.  I'm actually sitting here writing now writing this while watching the Flash on CW.  I've grown to just love that character. There is a Flash #1 Rebirth issue in the back but again I waited to read it. 
3 out of 5

This is the Catwoman I've been wanting to read about for a long long time.  Selena went off into some dumb story lines about the Crime Syndicate and then became the boss of gangs or whatever... and now she is finally just a thief. She's hunting down a diamond, getting revenge on other villains, fighting with Black Mask and White Mask!  It's just great.  And the artwork.. I loved it so much.  Great detail.  I loved that the art showed a lot of detailed backgrounds which I don't think most comics utilize.  I even enjoyed the two side stories at the end of the comic that are about Black Mask.  I typically hate side stories that have nothing to do with the main story.  I'm not sure what is going to happen with Catwoman in Rebirth.  I'm not sure if she'll have her own title but she's such a popular character that I'm pretty sure she will though it's not a launch title.  If you didn't read Catwoman read the fist ones in the New 52, skip the middle of the series and just jump to the end. 

5 out of 5

This counts for 13 comics towards my 2017 Graphic Novel Reading Challenge