An Adventure into Comic Books!

After the most recent Booktube-A-Thon I have been interested in broadening my reading horizons to include comic books and graphic novels. This is completely uncharted territory for me. Lies! Actually, I did briefly read the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics but that fell by the wayside because I was so set in my ways of devouring Buffy via television I couldn’t connect well with the comics.

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ANYWAY!! After I saw videos from Amandapearl2books, Little Book Owl, and The Readables, comic books and graphic novels seemed to calling to me. What sealed the deal for me for was a video by The Readables titled Free Comic Book Day ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMEQ9HEJvrE&feature=youtu.be&list=UUWAtADn9MGtTmace0M4nT2g ) in which she talked a comic book series called Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis, illustrated by Brooke Allen. Noelle Stevenson is also the illustrator of the cover of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Now if you’ve read any of my previous postings, you know I am head over heels for all things Rainbow. I knew I needed to look into Lumberjanes ASAP especially since this triggered some unconscious memories of seeing Lumberjanes related postings on tumblr and not having a clue what they were about.

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I bought the first 3 comics in the series from Criminal Records in Atlanta, GA. The guy in the comic book section exercised some serious patience while answering my questions. Like I said uncharted territory. Comics come out monthly, well Lumberjanes does and once their gone, they’re gone unless they do another printing for instance my first issue is a second printing. It was a whole learning experience.

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As of now I have only read the first issue but I liked it – it was unexpectedly random, kind of ridiculous and definitely entertaining. Lumberjanes are kind of like girl scouts and the comic book takes place at summer camp with five friends – Jo, April, Mai, Molly, and Ripley, there’s also the camp counselor Jen and the slightly mentally unbalanced camp director Rosie – that’s not even counting the old bearwoman, the creepy foxes with three eyes or the ill omen of ‘Beware the Kitten Holy’. The illustrations are wonderful, the colors vivid, the facial expressions priceless. I look forward to possibly becoming a comic book nerd.

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Next up I’m thinking of reading the Saga series written by Brian Vaughan with the artistic talents of Fiona Staples.

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Live Chat with Rainbow Rowell

Two weeks ago (ish) Rainbow Rowell did a live chat with Riot Read about her newest novel Landline.

Riot Read, a division of Book Riot, is a monthly mail service in which you have a surprise book delivered to your house followed by online discussions, interviews, and podcasts. They have currently have a main read as well as a young adult read and a nonfiction selection in the works. Pretty sweet right? I’m already hooked since they picked Landline as their July read! You must subscribe by August 15th to receive their September selection.

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Along with the live chat with Ms. Rowell other Riot content included:

Why Read Landline?

Books to Read if you Loved Landline

Rock Out with Your Sock Out: A Landline Playlist

The Landline Pop Culture Reference Guide

And more!!

I would hyperlink these but I’m pretty pathetic at computer operations… whoops.  Any who moving on – now they weren’t the most serious of questions but Rainbow answered both of my live chat questions!!  Though I have met her once before at a book signing, I definitely had a virtual fangirl moment which might have resulted in me taking screenshots of both of her answers #sorrynotsorry !!

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As if I needed any further proof on what a wonderful person Rainbow Rowell is 🙂 That’s all for now – happy reading!  And check out Riot Read!!

Book Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

And so continues my love affair with all things Rainbow! Rowell’s second adult novel, published earlier this summer, is the story of Georgie McCool and yes that’s her real name. Georgie is a television writer on the verge of her big break with longtime comedy partner Seth.  Right before Christmas Georgie has to cancel her trip to Omaha with her husband Neal and their two daughters Alice and Noomi to work on scripts with Seth.  Georgie’s marriage has been in trouble for some time but this seems to be the last straw.  Unsure if Neal has just left LA or if he has left Georgie completely, she camps out at her mother’s house and unearths her old rotary phone.  The phone turns out to be a portal to the past, a chance to talk to Neal in the beginning of their relationship and relive how they fell in love but is love enough to save her marriage in the present?

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At first Georgie thinks she is going mad but she just kind of rolls with it because what else can you do?  Once you eliminate all other possibilities the last one standing must be true, in essence, a magic fucking phone!  I love how Neal and Georgie fall in love, it was paced beautifully, it felt authentic every step of the way.  Rainbow Rowell has incredible talent, she makes me fall in love with each of her love stories.  Landline has a wonderful cast of supporting characters – I loved Georgie’s way younger sister Heather, her mom’s pregnant pug, and Noomi’s constant meowing.  And I absolutely love Neal, he just might be my new fictional character crush.

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When I was a teenager my house was in flux from landlines to cordless phones just as cellphones were becoming a mainstream commodity for the rest of the world – my parents were always a little late on the technology train.  But I still remember what it was like to stretch the cord as far as it would go (I could still reach the refrigerator for a snack) and how it felt to twirl the cord in my fingers.  Rowell’s interview on NPR last month describes the visceral feeling of talking on a landline: http://www.npr.org/2014/07/07/328144084/rainbow-rowell-does-romance-with-a-subversive-read-realistic-twist

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Rowell tweeted (and confirmed in a Goodreads question/answer session) that two of her characters from a previous novel would make a subtle appearance. Two of my previous characters make a cameo in Landline, but it’s sort of sneaky. They’re not named. If I hadn’t know this little tidbit I might have missed it, instead I did a double take and squealed with excitement! I might have even had a fangirl moment, one might phrase it as such.  Rowell will be a participating author at YALL fest in Charleston, SC this November.  I met the lovely Ms. Rowell once at Little Shop of Stories and I would love to meet her again!

The Magician King Revisited

Well that took long enough! Last month I started re-reading The Magician King by Lev Grossman to refresh myself with the finer details of this magical adventure novel before the release of The Magician’s Land this Tuesday, August 5th. One of the things that slowed me down a bit was Quentin Coldwater, isn’t it always Quentin’s fault?

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At the end of The Magicians we left off with Quentin returning to Fillory with Janet, Eliot and *gasp* Julia. Just when we thought there was the possibility that he had become a mature adult in the face of Alice’s death and his own near-death experience, he gets sucked back into his own immature, whiney psuedo-depression – “I’m a king of Fillory and have everything I could possibly want but my life is unfulfilling wahhhhhhhhhh.” For the love of god(s) Quentin, shut up!

The best part of this novel by far is Julia’s tale. The Magician King alternates between the present day adventures of Quentin as he attempts to prove himself to himself (again) and the story of how Julia became a magician. Back in the first novel we learn that Julia also sat in on the Brakebills exam but unlike Quentin she failed the exam and she was transported back to her normal life with fabricated memories. Over time Julia starts to remember what really happened dun dun dun…… How do you cope with the fact that you could have studied magic at a prestigious magical institution but you were deemed unworthy and forced to return to the ‘real world’, to act normal, go to university even though you remember everything? The answer? You don’t cope, you free fall into a deep dark depression and even go a little mad searching for a way to claw back to your rightful destiny.

Julia’s journey is undoubtedly dark and at times very hard to read. Her story doesn’t so much remind the reader of the incredibly dark side to Grossman’s magic, it smacks the reader in the teeth with a sledgehammer. There are a lot of great essays/articles/etc on the interwebs about the price Julia has to pay for power and how that influences Quentin’s narrative. I am eager to see where The Magician’s Land takes Quentin. Will we see any more of Julia or perchance Alice?? There seems to be a pattern of my preference of Grossman’s female characters over dear Quentin. Will Quentin ever grow up? Maybe we need a Peter Pan crossover. We shall find out soon enough!!

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A colorized version of the map within the covers of The Magician King