Holiday Comic Book Haul!

The latter half of 2014 revealed itself to be the season of comic books. This has been coming on for quite some time and I’m just sad I never gave comics their due before now!! The Tuesday I left for NC for Christmas, I had a whole to-do list. Sandwiched in between the liquor store (it was the holidays after all!) and grabbing lunch was a stop by Criminal Records to pick up Saga Volume 4, the latest issue of Lumberjanes #9 and to investigate some other potential comic purchases I’d seen recommended on the interwebs.

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Saga and Lumberjanes are already in my subscription rotation, as well as Ms. Marvel. The newcomers are Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and the new (lady) Thor by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman. Y: The Last Man was recommended on an episode of the Panels podcast. Panels is a comic book spin-off of the bookish website Book Riot. Y: The Last Man is about the last man (duh) on Earth after a mysterious illness (??) kills all the men on Earth except him. The first issue is very introductory and I look forward to getting more in depth with the story. Prior to my current foray into comics, I hadn’t read any Thor but you can’t deny that the (lady) Thor cover is amazing. So far, I’ve only read 2 issues and it looks like they are up to 3 based on comixology.com. Without any backstory (I haven’t even seen the Hemsworth movies!), I found the comics to be enjoyable and the artwork great. At first I thought (lady) Thor was old Thor’s mum but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Damn cartoon white blonde women all looking alike!

So that was my pre-Christmas comic book haul. Underneath the Christmas tree, Santa left me some comic book money, well just regular money that I turned into comic book money (alchemy anyone?). I am very excited about these four comics:

Locke and Key Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by: Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez,

Seconds: A Graphic Novel by: Bryan Lee O’Malley,

Sex Criminals Volume 1 by: Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

Courtney Crumrin Volume 1: The Night Things Special Edition by: Ted Naifeh

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I have already devoured Locke and Key and Sex Criminals: both of them are great in essentially polar opposite ways, like seriously 180 degrees, could not be further apart. Sex Criminals was laugh out loud funny as Jon and Suzie discover they can stop time when they orgasm. When they hook-up one night at a party, hilarity ensues. The artwork in particular when time stops is beautiful – Sex Criminals Volume 2 is slated to be released 3/10/15. Locke and Key is just…. I’m still processing – I read it in one sitting right before bed, not the smartest decision of my life. After the horrific murder of their father, the Locke children move across the country to live with their Uncle Duncan in a mansion called the Keyhouse on an island called Lovecraft. This comic is haunting, gruesome, and an intense page turner. I’m already plotting my trip to Criminal Records to buy Volume 2 to keep up with the precarious fate of the Locke children.

I will be diving into Seconds and Courtney Crumrin as soon as I can! Seconds is a full-length graphic novel about a young chef named Katie with a never-ending supply of second chances. Courtney Crumrin is just your average girl dragged from the suburbs to live with her eccentric Uncle in a creepy old house cue shenanigans.

This is just the beginning of what I hope to be a wonderful relationship with comic books. Here’s to 2015!!

Bookish Christmas

Have yourself a very bookish Christmas

Let your library be full

Next year all your books will be off your TBR

Judy Garland may be rolling over in her grave at that butchering of syllables but what she doesn’t know can’t hurt her!

This Christmas I received 2 books and 3 bookish gifts <3. I also treated myself to a number of comic books and graphic novels which will appear in a future post! When it comes to asking for books as gifts, I tend to ask for books off my TBR list which are out in paperback. New hardcover books, especially adult books (versus YA) can be very expensive. Underneath the Christmas tree were The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd and Unsouled by Neal Shusterman. Both books were courtesy of MIL and SIL.

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I have been wanting to read The Madman’s Daughter for quite some time now which is a retelling of the Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. Unsouled is the third book in the Unwind Dystology from Neal Shusterman, there are a total of 4 books in the series (Undivided is the last one). The TBR has been growing for some time especially in light of my recent comic book binge however I am very excited to read both of these books.

I also received 3 bookish gifts 🙂 🙂 – library card socks!! and Fangirl themed earrings! and this notepad from the Library of Congress with a quote from Thomas Jefferson – I cannot live without books ❤

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Currently I’m reading The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley, the sixth book in the Flavia de Luce mystery series. If you have never read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, I highly recommend it. Flavia de Luce is a spunky girl in the 1950’s English countryside solving crimes, she’s one helluva chemist! See my next post for my current comic book reads!

Comics Go Dark(er)

Here is a list of my comic book progression:

Saga

Lumberjanes

Ms. Marvel

Rat Queens

Nailbiter

It looked like there was a trend that went badly wrong…

I received I think it was 99 free comics from http://www.comiXology.com in September as part of a promotion. Among the 99 comics was Nailbiter by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson. Most of the comics didn’t catch my eye but damn the cover of Nailbiter #1! Nailbiter is about a town called Buckaroo, Oregon – the birthplace of sixteen serial killers, the most recent of which targets people who bite their nails and then proceeds to eat their fingers, among other body parts… The premise creeped me out to my core. Confession – I bite my nails, I have for years…

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After the first free issue, I bought issues 2 thru 5 digitally via comiXology. It’s a different comic book reading experience, a digital comic versus a paper comic. I prefer paper copies but comiXology has a lot sales and promotions to introduce you to new comics (including one for the 12 days of Christmas!). I think for Nailbiter at least, I will stick to digital copies but Saga, definitely need a paper copy (single issues because I need to know what happens NOW and then the trade volumes for bookshelf consistency, seriously I’m obsessed) whereas Rat Queens, I will purchase just the trade volumes as they are released. Maybe it’s a little weird that I am so not consistent across comic books but I can’t really explain it. How do you prefer to read your comic books?

Nailbiter has some incredible, gory, awesome artwork.  If you’re a little twisted (like I apparently am), definitely check out this comic.

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After Nailbiter who knows where this comic train will go! Any recommendations?

Book Review: Jackaby by William Ritter

‘Doctor Who meets Sherlock’ – that is how William Ritter’s debut novel Jackaby is marketed. With a gorgeous cover and legions of fans of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock and the BBC’s Doctor Who, how could this novel not be a hit? Personally, I would call it a combination between Sherlock and Supernatural. The unexplainable phenomenon element is more fantastical than timey whimey. However, our main detective Mr. Jackaby does possess the arrogant intelligence of Sherlock Holmes and the Doctor (Doctor dependent) – keep reading though!

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At the beginning of the novel we meet Abigail Rook, only 19 and already disillusioned about her place in the world as a want-to-be adventurer in the late 1800s. Not willing to settle for the life of a common housewife, she leaves her home and family in England to seek out adventures in the new world. Abigail meets Mr. Jackaby (no idea his age) while inquiring about his assistantship posting and is thrown into his fast paced world of solving impossible crimes.

Science and magic, beauty and bedlam, things that ought to be at odds – they just don’t follow the same rules when Jackaby’s involved.

In the beginning I was turned off because while I am an avid fan of Sherlock, Doctor Who and Supernatural, I have little patience for asshole holier than thou because I’m smarter than thou bullshit – which does occasionally leave me irritated at the aforementioned shows. However after about a third of the way into the novel, we see some actual feelings from Jackaby as he describes the origins of a banshee and we get more information about his ability to see past the mundane. The supernatural element sets this novel apart from the above shows which I’m sure was Ritter’s intention. Jackaby’s alternating aloofness and superiority complex comes from the fact that while he may in fact be smarter, he is also incredibly alone. This isolation makes Jackaby endearing in the same way the Doctor is as the last Time Lord.

For a man who professes to be entirely rational and scientific, he can’t seem to steer clear of the impossible and magical.

The Case of the Silent Scream was intriguing but I am much more interested in the dynamics of Abigail and Jackaby’s friendship, not to mention the relationships with Jenny, Douglas (quack), and Charlie. I do hope Ritter has more adventures planned for this dynamic duo (and wtf Chapter 13??).

Ok – I just actually read my book jacket and Jackaby is totally the first in a series – yay!