Playing Catch Up

Why hello there, long time, no see!  It has been quite awhile since I updated – over three months actually – eek!

My husband and I are expecting a baby boy in May so as you can imagine, our world is in the process of being turned upside down.  We’ve decided on a Harry Potter nursery, is anyone actually surprised??

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Our baby announcement!

We’ve gotten some of the major furniture items, done the baby registry, my friends are planning my NC baby shower and my next item of business is researching daycare for after I go back to work. The whole things still seems surreal!

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Harry Potter flying key mobile

My best friend from college was in Atlanta for a conference so we went a bit baby crazy.  We made this gorgeous Harry Potter mobile using this YouTube video as a reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wyvv5eVOLao.  I am absolutely in love with it!

Amidst all the baby preparations, I did keep up with my reading.  Yes it is February but I would still like to share a few of my favorites from 2015:

Favorite Comics – The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Nimona, Locke and Key, Rat Queens, Trillium, Descender, Wytches, Saga, Ms. Marvel

Favorite Books – Carry On, The Revenge Playbook, An Ember in the Ashes, Speak, I’ll Give You the Sun, Rose Under Fire, Legend

Favorite TV Shows – Orphan Black, Supergirl

Favorite Movies – Star Wars, Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part Two.

I hope you all have been doing well these path few months, reading some great books, and nerding out with some wonderful fandoms!

 

Sunday Comics cue Drooling

This latest round at the comic book shop brings four comics I am so excited about that I am drooling.

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Lumberjanes #12

Thor #6

Giant Days #1 from Boom! Box by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Whitney Cogar

Locke and Key Vol.6 Alpha & Omega

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Most of my fangirling is centered around Giant Days, a new comic from Boom! Box, and Locke and Key Vol. 6, the final chapter in the series.  I want to devour all of these comics right now but I am having a slight first world nerd problem.  In anticipation of the premiere of Season 5 of Game of Thrones, HBO has a GOT marathon on and I can’t look away.  Yes, I have seen all these episodes before (more than once) and yes, I have HBOGo and can watch them whenever I want.  HOWEVER, it’s like when ABCFamily does a Harry Potter marathon.  I own all the movies and have seen them a million times but I still watch them anyway, on TV with commercials.  Why??  I just can’t look away.

First world nerd problems for sure.

What are you reading/watching this weekend?

Saturday Comics

It’s been a great day for comics, here’s what I’m reading:

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Thor #5 – Each issue is better than the one before it – there’s a great fight sequence calling out all the haters of a female Thor.  Thor is my first real introduction to the hardcore superhero universe but it’s been pretty easy to follow along and pick up the terminology (Midgard, for instance).  I can’t wait to see how Thor will overcome the scheming of Odin and his brother as they try to bring her down.

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Ms. Marvel #6 (and #7) were hilarious as Kamala Khan completely fangirls out after teaming up with Wolverine to try to figure out the Inventor’s sinister plot in Jersey City.  A teenage superhero through and through.

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Locke and Key Vol. 5 – oh my god, I need Vol. 6 immediately.

What comic books are you excited about?

Locke and Key Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom

Best volume yet!!!! Like seriously, best volume to date! So intense, suspenseful, and that surprising end!

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The first chapter is drawn as a tribute to Bill Watterson, the author of Calvin and Hobbes. Bode resembles one of Calvin’s cohorts – as an avid fan of Calvin and Hobbes, I enjoyed this mix up of artwork. Bode finds a key allowing him to turn into his spirit animal. Much to Bode’s surprise he is turned into a little sparrow. You wouldn’t think a sparrow chapter would elicit some tears but damn if the ending didn’t.

Chapter two is an investigation into the past as Kinsey tries to uncover what happened to her father when he was a teenager. Chapter three is a catalogue of all the adventures the Locke children have during the month of February – quick one page scenes featuring crazy keys and full of near-death experiences. I want more details! Chapter four is all about Rufus – yay Rufus returns!!  Rufus tries to alert the Locke children to Zach’s nefarious actions, that Zach isn’t the friend they think he is. Rufus is also the only person who can see and speak with Sam Lesser’s ghost which as you can imagine leads to a pretty interesting conversation. Lastly, Chapter five follows Zach as his facade starts to crumble and shit starts to hit the fan leading to a crazy, unexpected ending. Locke and Key just gets better and better and I can’t wait to read volumes 5 and 6!!

Other comics I’m looking forward to reading are Trees Volume 1 by Jason Howard and Warren Ellis out February 24th, the Orphan Black comic book adaptation due out sometime in February – a collaboration between Jody Houser, John Fawcett, Graeme Manson, and Szymon Kudranski, and lastly I’ve also borrowed the Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins from my co-worker.

What are you reading?

Star Wars: A Gateway Drug (I hope)

Ahead of the new Star Wars film being released later this year (don’t mess this up JJ Abrams!), Marvel is releasing a new comic book series by Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, and Laura Martin which takes place after Star Wars IV: A New Hope. There are 2 issues out right now. Now Star Wars is beloved in my household – we love the original trilogy and loath the updated CGI, we are pro-ewok – we own the Caravan of Courage and Ewoks the Battle of Endor, we quote ‘It’s a trap’ constantly and our dog was almost named Chewbacca (we went with Indiana Jones, one Harrison Ford for another).

The husband does not read comic books but I knew, I knew that Star Wars would open his eyes to the amazing world of comics. He listens to the audiobooks of essentially published fanfiction for Star Wars so getting him to read a Star Wars comic book would be a piece of cake. I picked up both issues yesterday from my local comic book shop. I generously let him read them first (I’m so nice) and they are fantastic!

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far way… – STAR WARS – oh god, how cool would it be if there was accompanying music?! If it was like a musical card and as you turned the pages there were different sound bites?? Aaron has captured the essence of Luke, Leia, Han, Threepio, and Vader himself. Their dialogue is spot on, I swear I can hear the actors voices reading the dialogue in my head. The characters are drawn to resemble their movie counterparts and it’s done well, artistic without being creepy. The storyline seems like a completely plausible adventure that would have taken place between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back and at this point, I don’t have any negative critiques. I did see from the ends of the issues there are upcoming comic books for Darth Vader and Princess Leia (different writers/artists). All the comics!! I really think this could be a gateway drug for my husband.

In addition to Star Wars, my latest comic book haul included Wytches #4, Ms. Marvel #11, Locke and Key Vol. 4, and mother effing Saga #26. Love love love Saga. Love Love love comic books.

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Locke and Key Volume 3: Crown of Shadows

Horror descends upon the Locke children not only with a key this time but with a crown in Volume 3 of the Locke and Key series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. Ty, Kinsey, and Bode are in serious trouble when Zack unleashes a shadow army inside the Keyhouse Mansion to find the key to the black door. The shadows take the shape of everything you were afraid of that went bump in the night. I was impressed at the artwork of the shadows, I had no idea you could create such imagery out of the color black and more black. Not only do the shadows materialize as frightful creatues but they also are endowed with mass and the subsequent ability to inflict pain *yikes*

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This time around I was really concerned for little Bode – the way Kinsey takes care of him, the way Bode clings to her for support and protection just made my heart ache. Now in hindsight, I am bummed that Ellie and Rufus (mostly Rufus) did not make an appearance in Volume 3 especially after that surprise ending to Head Games. The epilogue of Crown of Shadows was particularly depressing – titled ‘Beyond Repair’ Mrs. Locke continues to spiral downward in a haze of alcoholism and depression as she is unable to cope with the horrors of the past two volumes. Her children don’t know how to help her and I fear she hasn’t hit rock bottom quite yet 😦

I’m half way done with the series and it is one of my favorites since beginning my adventures in comic booking. It is really taking all my willpower to space out the remaining issues (not because I want to prolong the story but because at $20/volume my wallet requires it). The story is so creative and I find myself flipping back to previous issues to reexamine scenes or look at the detail of the artwork. I have no idea where the remaining half of the story will go but I know it can only get more intense. I am eager to learn how Zach came to be the ‘person’ he is presently – and WTF with that creature attached to his ghost/soul??? The story isn’t over with Sam Lesser yet either – I know all these characters have an important role to play in the next volumes and I CAN’T WAIT!

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Side note: this latest trip to the comic book store also yielded issues #2 and #3 of Wytches and the first volume of The Wicked and The Divine.

Locke & Key Volume 2: Head Games

If there was a way to unlock your mind, to remove all the bad memories and add in all the knowledge from all the textbooks in the world would you do it? This is the situation the Locke children face in Locke & Key Volume 2: Head Games by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.

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In Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft, the Locke children – Bode, Kinsey, and Tyler – are relocated across the country after their father is brutally murdered by one of his students, Sam. The young serial killer pursues the kids to Lovecraft Island in search of a magic key. Once the kids and mother move into the family mansion, Keyhouse, things start to get supernaturally weird. Bode finds a key and a corresponding door – when he walks through the open door, he appears to die and his ghost roams the grounds…

On the heels of finding the Ghost Key, Bode finds the Head Key in Volume 2. After trying all the keyholes in Keyhouse, Bode determines the key fits in the back of his head allowing the literal removal of the top half of his skull where he can poke around inside. Tyler and Kinsey are horrified but jump at the chance to unlock their own heads. The scenes in which the Head Key is inserted at the base of someone’s skull and opened up is the best artwork of the book, hands down. Each scene is a 2 page spread, so detailed in encompassing happy memories, sad/scary memories, the works (I was going to include an example, but I don’t want to ruin the experience for any future readers!).

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I was also excited to learn about Ellie’s past and how she knows Luke/Zack – more clues as to how this all began. And her son! Rufus was solidified as one of my favorite characters in this volume. Rufus is a young teenage boy who has trouble communicating without the use of military action figures. I did not see that ending coming at all! The only storyline I was not a fan of was Duncan’s. Uncle Duncan left Lovecraft after the Locke’s settled in to resume his teaching position in nearby Provincetown and to return to his boyfriend Brian. His boyfriend kind of sucked and the 2 homophobic redneck women seemed exaggerated and I became disinterested. Luckily these scenes weren’t too long and rest of the comic was phenomenal. I can’t wait to get my hands on Volume 3 – hopefully this weekend I can hit up the comic book store!

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