Lying Cat + Soviet Superman; Comics I Read Recently

My comic to be read pile is ginormous! Last weekend I went to a convention where I bought numerous comics and graphic novels and today I went shopping and picked up¬†DC’s Rebirth: Red Hood & the Outlaws Vol. 1 because I’m considering a female Red Hood cosplay in the future. In recent days I have finished a couple of series and I wanted to share one gigantic post with all the comics I read because I’m too lazy to write reviews on each series.

Also I won’t be going over the synopsis of each series or comic I write about. These are just my first reactions. If you head over to my goodreads page, it shows what I read and that’s where you can read about each of these series in detail. Otherwise google is a good source as well ūüôā

Saga Volume #1:¬†Saga¬†was the comic book series that everyone couldn’t stop talking about. I felt like I was out of the loop so I purchased the first volume and overall it was decent. Lying cat is a majestic pet and I want one of my own because wouldn’t that make life easier? Having a creature by your side that detects dishonesty. . . ¬†I think so. The relationship of the two main characters is told extremely well along and I like how each separate story line intertwines all the characters together.¬†I will practically buy anything¬†Image Comics puts out including this, too bad I was late to the party. (4 stars on goodreads).

Nailbiter Volume #2:¬†¬†Nailbiter Volume #1¬†was my favorite series I read last year so I had extremely high hopes. Sadly, I felt a little let down. I felt like I read the trade paperback and nothing really happened. It seemed a lot of the stories were more filler information about the town than anything else. However, the ending did leave me wanting to keep reading on to the third volume so I’m hoping this is just a slump in the series. (3 stars on goodreads).

Superman Red Son:¬†This graphic novel presents an interesting dilemma; what if Superman crash landed in Russia versus the United States? Obviously Superman would still fight for his country and his people, but now it’s on the side of communism versus capitalism. I liked how each of the DC characters were brought into the story including Batman as an anarchist to Superman’s reign. This was an interesting read, but not my favorite title I read this year, but if you’re a DC fan particularly of Superman, this is for you. My boyfriend loves Superman and probably enjoyed this more than I did. (3 stars on goodreads).

Moon Girl 2Moon Girl

Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur Volume #1.¬†Three quick words to sum up Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur would be: adorable, heartwarming and charming. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur establish this strong relationship right off the bat and seeing Devil Dinosaur’s facial expressions makes me laugh and feel sorry for him at times.. I promise nothing happens to the dinosaur, but you shall see when you buy this because you need to purchase this ASAP. Moon Girl is also a great comic to introduce to younger girls so I seriously want to save this for my future daughter I may/may not have. (5 stars on goodreads, go buy this right now.)

Finally. . . last, but not least.

Snotgirl #1:¬†I was unsure of this series so I only purchased the first comic. This comic like¬†Saga,¬†had really good reviews so when I was browsing my comic book store on Free Comic Book Day, I bought it for a dollar so I could try the series out. I thought it was okay, but it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. I eventually will read the first trade paperback, but not for a while.

Phew, now I don’t have to write 6-7 separate posts since I crammed this into one. Let me know in the comments what comics you have been obsessing over lately and if you don’t follow me on goodreads, you should >>>>¬†Bizarre Brunette’s Bookshelves!

 

Daring and Whimsical; Marked for the Hunt

*Trigger Warning: attempted sexual assault in the book and graphic violence.*

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Image from Leah’s writing blog:¬†Leah Corrine Writes

I first met Leah Chiasson on the Geek Girl Bloggers Facebook page. Leah is passionate about creating a world for readers to be immersed in. That sparked her into writing Marked for the Hunt; an urban fantasy novel about a werewolf clan fighting for the right to be the clan Alpha. Marked for the Hunt was the first book I ever read on the Kindle. To be honest I hate using the kindle to read books, but I still adored Marked for the Hunt. 

Diana Warren is called back to her forestry hometown of Maine when her grandfather passes. A civil war is brewing in the clan over the fight of the Clan Alpha position. Jonathon is a monstrous werewolf that believes wolves should embrace their evil nature while his son Darren wants to protect the clan and not savagely destroy humans nearby. Diana joins forces with Darren since Diana has a deep hatred of Jonathon though I won’t name why. Violence escalates as Diana will do nothing but to stop Jonathon and his ¬†followers.

Leah does a great job with creating imagery in her sentences. I have a clear description in my mind of Balefire which is a family owned woodsy restaurant, the town square and the characters.¬†Marked for the Hunt¬†is also realistic when describing how werewolves behave. Werewolves are vicious creatures and some of the fight scenes detailed in the book are gruesome hence the trigger warning at the top of this post. I personally enjoyed the fight scenes because war is terrible and shouldn’t be downplayed in books; however, that’s my personal opinion.

My biggest complaint is the grammatical errors in this book. Leah did self publish this book which I have a lot of respect for. Knowing that this book is self published explains the errors and I offer more forgiveness to the book. If I were to self publish, I know I would have had way more errors in my book. Leah is aware of the errors and is working on catching them all.

Leah is an author just starting out so the best way to support her is to buy her book! I believe I only paid $3-4 which is super cheap! Her book can be found on¬†amazon¬†and it’s available in paperback which I recommend versus the kindle, but that’s my preference. Go buy the book and make sure to write a review too.

Dietland & Discussions about Harmful Diet Culture

Dietland

Dietland Book Image from¬†Sarai Walker’s Home Page

Weight loss products are everywhere.¬†I googled how much we spend on diet products and an ABC article states around¬†20 billion dollars per year.¬†The way we market weight loss is destructive to mental health, physical health and financial wellness. I was convinced the key to happiness was being smaller,¬†but even though I have my insecurities, I generally like how I look. I live in a society that tries to tell me I could lose an extra 5 lbs. in 2 weeks.¬†Dietland¬†is an honest depiction of what it’s like to wander NYC and to be. . . fat. This book wasn’t what I had expected, but I still think it’s worth a read because it’s eye opening to how we treat people who aren’t skinny.

Dietland depicts the daily struggles of Plum Kettle. She hides her appearance behind baggy clothes and being quiet. She is dreaming of her weight loss surgery that will turn her into Alicia. Alicia is the skinny, beautiful woman who gets dates all the time and probably has a handsome boyfriend. Plum gets connected with feminist icons who teach her what beauty truly means and how to accept yourself.

That seems so corny, but I love how Plum develops throughout the book. She becomes such a bad ass in the end. She’s confident and proud of her body and I think a lot of women including myself struggle daily with this concept. Plum deals with negativity from men and being called a “cow”. It sickens me that as a culture we have become so mean. Many of us often assume someone’s health status based on their size when that’s frankly none of your business.

Steering this post back to harmful diet culture, the diet industry tries to make people (men are included in this discussion too) feel bad about themselves so they purchase these products that may not even be healthy anyway! Our bodies aren’t designed to lose weight quickly. Under my ACSM Certified Personal Training Certification, it’s healthy to lose 1-2 lbs. per week. So these products that are saying 5-10 lbs. in a week… it’s not reliable or safe.

To end this post, put¬†Dietland¬†on your book shelf and be kind to each other. Don’t assume someone’s health status and be proud of the natural beauty that we all radiate.

 

Throwback to the 80’s; Paper Girls Volume 1 & 2

Image Comics is captivating comic readers with intriguing novels.¬†The first word that comes to mind when discussing comics is superheroes.¬†Superhero comics are cool, but there are so many other glorious comics to read that don’t have the appearance of Batman. One such comic that I’m loving right now is¬†Papergirls.¬†Image as you may have noted published this series. The random references to the 80’s, pterodactyl like creatures flying around Cleveland¬†and female teenagers kicking ass makes Papergirls¬†a must-read for 2017.

 

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Image taken from Image Comics website

Papergirls starts the story of young Erin Tieng waking up in the early hours of the morning to deliver newspapers. After being harassed by some local boys, she is defended by Mackenzie, KJ and Tiffany. The quartet notices some pretty strange occurrences including locating an alien capsule, ninjas from outer space and flying pterodactyl like creatures. These four are the only hope that Cleveland has in preventing the destruction of planet Earth.

I will purchase any comic with mostly all female characters.¬†Zodiac Starforce,¬†Rat Queens¬†and now¬†Papergirls¬†have all starred female ensembles and they’re awesome comics.¬†I can’t choose a favorite character because they all add to the story and further the adventure. I have also heard that if you watched¬†Stranger Things¬†on Netflix you will love this story. I’m the opposite as I have never watched¬†Stranger Things,¬†but read¬†Papergirls¬†first.

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This first volume mostly takes place in the 80’s, so there are numerous references. On one panel is a Bush 88′ sign outside the window whereas the dialogue references the AIDS epidemic and another reference to E.T. Reading through this, I feel that I missed out by not being alive in the 80’s.

I cannot rave enough how much I liked both of these paperbacks. I’m anxiously awaiting the release of the third paperback. Image Comics is a force to be reckoned with in the comic universe and if you’re looking for a series that doesn’t include superheroes,¬†Papergirls¬†should be your next read.

This is Our Story aka. Best Book of 2017

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My bibliophile confession of the day is I am a leisurely reader. I prefer to read two or three chapters before bed versus finishing the book in one day. However, there are a couple books that I spent hours finishing because I simply cannot stop reading. Last weekend I power read through This is Our Story by Ashley Elston and without a doubt this book is my favorite book of 2017.

Five Boys Went Hunting . . . Four Came Back. 

Four privileged high school students surround the body of their dear, dead friend Grant. Henry, Logan, Shep and John Michael made a vow that day to not reveal the name of the boy who pulled the trigger. Kate Marino is the intern at the smaller district attorney’s office and gets assigned to the case. The River Point boys as they are called all tested positive for either drugs or alcohol in their system at the time of the shooting. This begs the question if Grant’s death is the result of a drunk kid accidentally firing a rifle or is there an ulterior motive behind the shooting?

Curiously, Ashley Elston gives each of the four boys a motive behind wanting Grant dead. I unfortunately cannot talk about these motives without spoiling the story. I never really knew who committed the crime until I skimmed the last twenty pages. I became too impatient so I read until I found out the truth.

Before I get into the spoilers I just want to make a note of the cover because the cover attracted me to the book in the first place. The white deer head is frightning especially because I’m not a hunger by any means. The shadows on the cover suggest secrecy which is a definite theme in this book.

I included spoilers at the bottom of this post so there can be a book discussion in the comments, but I highly recommend reading the book first. This is Our Story is daring, thought-provoking and riveting and should be bumped to the top of your book pile.

*SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT*

*Seriously spoilers. . .*

I’m not saying Grant deserved to die, but he did some really messed up shit in this book. Taking pictures of naked women who were drugged and sharing it on social media? The more I found out about Grant the more I truly despised him. Some of his contacts were even labeled “booty call #1” and “booty call #3”. He is not a good person and I find it challenging to feel sorry that he’s dead.

As I said above each of the four boys in the group had motive for wanting to kill Grant. Henry wanted to kill Grant for taking that awful picture, Shep wanted to kill Grant because of how he messed with Kate, Logan was involved with gambling with Grant and didn’t have the money to pay off the debt and John Michael wanted Grant dead for blackmailing his father. This was good character development and story telling on Elston’s part.

Also I 100% ship Kate and Shep together! They’re adorable together and it’s great to see that Shep is the exact opposite of Grant. He’s caring, intelligent and adorkable with the way he draws pictures and gives them to Kate. As of right now they are probably my favorite book couple of 2017.

*End of Spoilers*

 

Geeky Cinderella Re-Telling; Geekerella

 

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Last October I was chilling with friends while crafting thanks to this¬†book¬†that was sent to me. After writing my post,¬†I emailed the link off to the woman responsible for marketing the feminism crafting book. Exactly one month later she emailed me about the probability of reviewing a geek centered retelling of Cinderella and wondered if¬†I would like an advance reading copy. I gleefully typed my response saying that I was looking forward to receiving this book.¬†As I returned to my cozy college house I noticed the purple package on my bed and tore it open to find¬†Geekerella¬†within the purple paper. This¬†morning while sipping on coffee, I finished the book. Disappointment flooded my thoughts as I didn’t want the book to end. Easily this book is as relatable as¬†Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

Elle is the¬†Starfield¬†fangirl. She blogs, writes fanfiction, cosplays and her dad started a convention surrounding¬†Starfield.¬†It wouldn’t be a Cinderella-esque re-telling without Catherine the fake step-mom and Chloe the beauty vlogger stepsister. Darien fits as the prince charming who so happens to be the prince in the movie reboot of¬†Starfield.¬†Sage is the fairy godmother in the form of jarring green hair and multiple facial piercings.¬†I don’t want to say much more than that since the book hasn’t been released yet.

This book captures what being a fangirl means and why I put so much of my heart and soul into a fictional series. I relate to Elle in the way she speaks of her relationship with her father and her passions for Starfield. Darien is a great character because he presents a new side of what it means to be in the public eye. He often feels alone and distrustful of those in his inner circle. Elle and Darien have this healthy geek relationship that often mirrors how I look at my own relationship.

Without a moment of hesitation I clicked the 5 stars on good reads. I wish I could erase my memory of this book so I could re-read it and be entranced with the story. Expect this book to appear on Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Quirk books by April 2017.

2016; A Geeky Review of the Year

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2016 was quite the year to say the least. A couple of my blog posts are going to be devoted to end of year wrap ups including this cute and clever tag created by Princess Deia. Here is my last hurrah to 2016.

Highlight – What’s one great thing that happened to you this year.

chicago-10

Visiting Chicago is one of my favorite experiences this year.¬†I have always driven by Chicago, but I have never been in the heart of the city. It reminded me of a smaller and mid western NYC. The deep dish pizza was to die for thanks to Gino’s East.¬†One of my old roommates lives in the Chicago area so I’m trying to plan another visit soon to hit up all the museums.

Surprise – Be it TV show, film, game etc. that impressed you the most.

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Mercy; my favorite healer. 

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Overwatch¬†is a game I wanted to play, but didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did. There is a steep learning curve for me because when I first played, I sucked. With more practice I got much better and actually was a vital role for my team. Mercy is my go to healer character though I also love D.VA and her gigantic pink robot along with Zarya. Zarya is a bad ass muscular chick that I aspire to be.

New Fandom – Did you gain a new obsession in 2016?

Pandemic Game 2

Table top gaming is a recent new fandom of mine. I played Pandemic for the first time this year and I also dipped my feet into a Star Wars D&D campaign. I hope to play more table top games and try another campaign sometime this year.

The Comeback Kid – Was one of your fandoms rebooted, re-released, or re-imagined this year.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them¬†was wonderful. The niffler is the cutest creature plus it’s always up to no good. The jewelry store scene in the movie is hilarious thanks to the appearance of the niffler.¬†I’m interested to see where the movie series goes because let’s face it, if it’s Harry Potter related, I’m going to see it or watch it.

Still going strong? – did one TV show have an amazing season. Or did a book series have a truly impressive addition this year.

Earlier this year I read¬†Firefight¬†the second book in the¬†Steelheart¬†trilogy. The second book was really good and I have¬†Calamity¬†on my to be read list. I love this series because it’s almost a dystopian X-Men novel about beings with superpowers, but end up taking over the world instead. It’s one of my favorite series I have ever read.

Biggest disappointment of the Year.

DC’s movie line up was discouraging.¬†Batman V. Superman¬†had a variety of¬†issues including Lex Luthor/Jessie Eisenberg’s Riddler Lex. This movie was a mess with too much crammed into one movie. Darkseid references and a weird Flash dream? I had expected¬†Suicide Squad¬†to be the movie to redeem DC, but nah.¬†Suicide Squad¬†was okay, but it was problematic on many levels. I’m hoping Wonder Woman will be the movie that saves DC.

Event of the year – be it a convention, viewing party, geek girl brunch etc.

Convergence 2016 was kick ass. I made my cosplay which was an interesting experience and I could unwind with friends. I also met up with my uncle and my aunt (they’re the coolest people who attend conventions too) and I went to the party rooms with them. Another highlight was MCBA Comic Con 2016. This con is entirely devoted to comic books and illustrators. It’s where I met Phil Juliano who I wrote about here: [insert Phil Juliano blog post] I wish I had brought more cash to spend.

What are you looking forward to next year.

Movies: Wonder Woman, Spiderman Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy, Justice League, Beauty and the Beast.¬†Besides movies, I’m going to try and read more books and comics because this wasn’t as good of a reading year for me.

Quick Fire Round:

TV Show of the Year: The Night Manager with Tom Hiddleston.

Movie of the Year: Fantastic Beasts 

Game of the Year: Overwatch 

Book of the Year: I’m going with¬†Naibiter.¬†It’s a horror graphic novel that I wrote a review about earlier in the year. It’s so good, I need to get my hands on the next couple volumes soon.