Review: Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1

KELLY SUE DeCONNICK (Avengers Assemble, Captain Marvel) and EMMA RÍOS (Dr. Strange, Osborn) present the collected opening arc of their surprise-hit series that marries the magical realism of Sandman with the western brutality of Preacher. Death’s daughter rides the wind on a horse made of smoke and her face bears the skull marks of her father. Her origin story is a tale of retribution as beautifully lush as it is unflinchingly savage.

I don’t always read our Adult Booklr graphic novel pick, but when I do, it’s because it has kick ass female authors. Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios both have big names under their belt, so it’s pretty much no question that their work is always going to be worth reading.

The story here is fantastic, and with DeConnick behind it, that’s really no surprise. I wasn’t a huge fan of Bitch Planet‘s plot, but the writing was great, and this old school western legend is way more my style.

First thing you have to understand–the narrator here is a bunny-skeleton to a butterfly. Weird, I know–but this IS a book about the underworld. The whole thing is about Death, his daughter, and the people in His grasp. There’s a lot to take in–so much that I may read it again this weekend just because.

But even more than the creative storyline is the ART. There is so much going on at times that I almost forgot to even read the story because I just wanted to stare at every intricate detail. The pages aren’t laid out in normal comic panels. A page might be one full page drawing, with a few squares of smaller detail. Sometimes you would get a few long panels stacked on top of each other, when there was a lot of dialogue in a scene. The art overall is dark, sometimes bloody (but excepting the very first couple of pages, not exceedingly gory), and just exceptionally varied. Everything is striking. EVERYTHING.

HOW IS ANYONE ON EARTH THIS TALENTED I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

I should probably tell you that there is full on nudity, both male and female. This is definitely an adult comic, and for more than just that reason.

But you guys. YOU GUYS. It’s so beautiful.

bookdragonbookdragonbookdragonbookdragonbookdragon

BUY HERE:

This post contains affiliate links.

#FridayReads: Young Terrorists FCBD 2016

I participated in my very first Free Comic Book Day this year, since we did a Paws in the City event at a Dallas Comic Book store. I picked up some great titles, but still haven’t had a chance to read them. I’m going to be parsing them out in the coming weeks. The reviews will be short, but I figured I’d at least do a write up on them in case you want to check out the full versions.

Young Terrorists probably had the coolest cover of all the books I picked up on FCBD. Two obviously badass chicks grimacing and preparing for a fight–not much color besides olive green and black, with a splash of light blue and fire red. There was no mistaking the audience, and it was me.

You only get two brief pieces of A and B stories here, not full plots, so it’s a little hard to really know what is happening. It’s definitely meant to grab your attention with the art and say HEY LOOK AT ME YOU KNOW YOU WANT MORE OF THIS. The A section, yes, I definitely did, but the B one…not so much. A had much more to it–people doing what people do. B was just a whole lot of blood and gore, and that’s just not my thing. The color palatte was a lot more varied in A too, much more appealing to me.

I’m interested in searching out “We Can Never Go Home” — Section A…I probably won’t look for “Young Terrorists” at all. A solid pick though/

bookdragonbookdragonbookdragon

BUY HERE:

This post contains affiliate links.

Review: Doctor Who #FCBD2016

Jump on board the TARDIS with FOUR all-new short tales of the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors! Whether you’re a whizz with a Sonic Screwdriver or completely new to Who, this is the perfect Free Comic Book Day adventure for SF fans of all ages! Written and illustrated by the creative teams of the regular comics, this is the ideal place to start reading!

30130592

I participated in my very first Free Comic Book Day this year, since we did a Paws in the City event at a Dallas Comic Book store. I picked up some great titles, but still haven’t had a chance to read them. I’m going to be parsing them out in the coming weeks. The reviews will be short, but I figured I’d at least do a write up on them in case you want to check out the full versions.

Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of Doctor Who. I’ve only watched a few episodes from #9, and I didn’t really get into it. I like the concept, but I don’t think that was the best Doctor to start with. It was more than a little campy. That episode with Rose’s boyfriend turning to plastic? And the “moisturize me” skin…erm…lady? What even? I know the fandom has taken off since that season, and I really like David Tennant and Peter Capaldi, so I’ve thought about catching up on their versions–just haven’t had time to do so.

Still, I found the FCBD collection to be hysterical, and really exactly what I expected. Each Doctor was precisely how I came to know them through watching the fandom on Tumblr (because it is unavoidable, really). I’m sure there is a solid storyline going through these all, for the diehard fans who read the books and watch the show and know what is actually going on. But for me, it was just fun to catch the references I knew about, and giggle when the Doctor’s butt glowed.

I may have done some screen shots on my Instagram Stories feed, because I was having such a good time with it. (Which, if you’re not following my book commentary on a daily basis, WHY NOT?!) I’m so glad I picked this up when I had a chance for a free copy. If you’re a DW fan, I’d totally recommend the full book.

bookdragonbookdragonbookdragon

BUY HERE:

Doctor Who 2015 Event: The Four Doctors #1 (Doctor Who: 2015 Event: Four Doctors) by [Cornell, Paul]

This post includes affiliate links.

HOWARD LOVECRAFT FCBD 2016 EDITION

I participated in my very first Free Comic Book Day this year, since we did a Paws in the City event at a Dallas Comic Book store. I picked up some great titles, but still haven’t had a chance to read them. I’m going to be parsing them out in the coming weeks. The reviews will be short, but I figured I’d at least do a write up on them in case you want to check out the full versions.

First up on the list was Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom. I’m always interested in books that break down classic fiction or authors into something kids can grasp onto, and this is no exception. Kid HP Lovecraft and his pet Cthulhu (named Spot) have a spooky snowball fight and end up chasing a  “squishy” snow monster into a cave.

It’s not a book I would pick up myself, but totally one I would give to my husband’s nephew. He would LOVE this.

bookdragonbookdragonbookdragon

BUY THE FULL GRAPHIC NOVEL HERE:

This post contains affiliate links.

Injection

A few years ago, a public/private partnership between the British Government and a multinational company saw five clever people placed in university-owned offices and allowed to do whatever they liked. It was called the Cultural Cross-Contamination Unit, and the idea was that it would hothouse new thinking and new patents. Five actual geniuses, all probably crazy, very eccentric, put in one place and given carte blanche to think about ways to approach and change the future. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

They did A Crazy Thing, which was referred to as The Injection. A mysterious Thing that they did in order to make the 21st Century better and stranger. It got out. It got loose into the fabric of the 21st Century, whatever it was, and now things are getting weird and ugly, faster and faster.

So a few years have passed. They’ve all gone their separate ways, into separate “jobs” that allow them to follow and sometimes deal with the repercussions of The Injection. We are in the period where the toxic load of The Injection is at such a level that events that are essentially paranormal in nature are coming faster and faster, headed towards a point where humanity won’t easily be able to live on the planet any more. Not a Singularity of glory, but an irretrievable constant blare of horror coming too thick and fast for anything to deal with.

It’s been awhile since I have read any comics, and I still have a few left from that Humble Bundle. I figured it was time to work through them. I’ve been flying through books lately, so it was nice to take a short break and check out some awesome art.

And the art IS awesome in InjectionDark cool colors mix with flashes of yellow and red lights, heavy ink and light ink alternate to depict real time versus flashback.

I wasn’t sure about the story at first–you know how I feel about sci-fi. I’m always slow to pick up on it. But I couldn’t pull myself away, and as the plot began to lay down, I was drawn more and more into it. So much that I am adding Injection to my list of books to keep up with…if I ever keep up with comics. (I still need to finish W+D.) It’s a mix of sci-fi and old British folklore. Like if Peter Cline and Neil Gaiman had a baby. Oh man. Wouldn’t that be something?

bookdragonbookdragonbookdragonbookdragon

BUY HERE:

Outcast

Kyle Barnes has been plagued by demonic possession all his life and now he needs answers. Unfortunately, what he uncovers along the way could bring about the end of life on Earth as we know it.

23043731

Outcast was another download from that big Humble Bundle from a few months ago. Robert Kirkman wrote the original The Walking Dead series, and this one follows his same creepy horror theme.

As far as the story goes, I wasn’t a huge fan. It’s a highly masculine cast, for the few characters there are–and the dialogue just isn’t that interesting. Possession, exorcism, possession, exorcism, etc. But the art in this book is pretty fantastic–dark and shadowy. Think Sin City, with the blacks and bright, bloody reds.

I won’t continue with the rest of the series, but I am sure this will appeal to Kirkman’s other fans. Just not for me.

bookdragonbookdragon

BUY HERE:

23043731

Persepolis

Coincidentally, the same day I started Until We are Free by Shirin Ebadi, I also started Persepolis, another book about Iran women. It always makes me smile to find parallels in my reading, and this unintentional match helped to further bridge the gap in my understanding of the struggle the authors went through.

Marjane Satrapi, the author and artist of Persepolis, tells her story in the form of a graphic novel, drawn in beatnik black and white. Satrapi was blessed with liberal parents who made sure she went to good schools, traveled, learned French. As an outspoken girl, teen, and woman, she had a rough go of it during the revolution–she was not going to bend nor break, and only just kept on learning.

Women’s History Month isn’t over yet. Grab this one soon if you can, and learn about a woman who is not so different than those of us here in America. Our government wants us to think the people of Iran are terrible, scary monsters–and we should read books like Persepolis, which tell a very different story.

bookdragonbookdragonbookdragonbookdragon

BUY HERE:

Nowhere Men

“SCIENCE IS THE NEW ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!”

So said Dade Ellis, Simon Grimshaw, Emerson Strange, and Thomas Walker at the dawn of a new age of enlightenment that ushered in a boom in scientific advancement. As the research supergroup World Corp., they became the most celebrated scientists of all time.

They changed the world – and we loved them for it.

But where did it all go wrong?

And when progress is made at any and all cost, who ultimately pays the price?

I purchased my first Humble Bumble a couple of months ago. I saw on Twitter that I could get a bunch of comics for not very much money while supporting charity–that sounded like a pretty good deal to me! I did misunderstand that they weren’t ACTUAL copies of the trades, just digital…but still–I got some great downloads that I hadn’t heard of before.

Nowhere Men Vol. 1 was one of the picks from that HB. I mostly liked it–sort of a superhero origin story. One of the aforementioned rock star scientists becomes addicted to acid and out of his tripping invents a mega virus and unleashes it upon an experimental group living on a space station.

The art mimics a 1970s rock mag, complete with interviews and editorials. The story did get a little wordy at times–I’ll admit to not reading every page. I also did get confused on the timeline some, as it flipped back and forth from past to present, and one character’s age was….complicated.

However, I am intrigued by this comic enough to add Vol. 2 to my TBR. I want to know what happens next–maybe not enough to pay full price for it, but I’ll see if my library has a copy. It was a good read, and one I wouldn’t have heard of most likely, without the bundle.

bookdragonbookdragonbookdragon

BUY HERE:

 

You Were Here

On the anniversary of her daredevil brother’s death, Jaycee attempts to break into Jake’s favorite hideout—the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum. Joined by four classmates, each with their own brand of dysfunction, Jaycee discovers a map detailing her brother’s exploration and the unfinished dares he left behind.

As a tribute to Jake, Jaycee vows to complete the dares, no matter how terrifying or dangerous. What she doesn’t bargain on is her eccentric band of friends who challenge her to do the unthinkable: reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

You Were Here is the classic tale of a manic pixie dream girl, torn to shreds and pasted back together in utter disarray. And I mean that as a terrific compliment. Imagine if Cara Delevingne’s character from Paper Towns was not just a figment of Q’s imagination, if we actually saw her human form instead of the paper version Q had envisioned. That is what Jaycee is, beautiful, sarcastic, and a tomboy–perfect MPDG material. She’s also terribly damaged.

The difference is, we actually see all of that damage right up front. We go through all of her healing, and much of the book is written from her perspective. There are other POV too, but really this is Jaycee’s story.

Another fantastic part of the book is the artwork. Cori McCarthy didn’t just write prose, she also included comic panels and gorgeous graffiti drawings to show action and character development. Can all books have this please? It almost adds a fanart-type quality to the book that we all flock to Tumblr for…right in the story! LOVE IT. YES PLEASE.

I couldn’t put this down, even so far that I downloaded it on my phone so I could read it on the train to and from the hockey game on date night–sorry Hubs. It comes out today, and if you like YA, this is a must read.

bookdragonbookdragonbookdragonbookdragonbookdragon

NetGalley provided this ARC for unbiased review. Releases March 1.

BUY HERE:

MARCH

February is Black History Month, so it is only fitting that for our AdultBooklr Graphic Novel pick we read MARCH by John Lewis.

Yes, that John Lewis. Congressman John Lewis.

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Congressman Lewis begins by sharing his childhood on a rural farm and his desire to go to school. That leads to his beginnings in the civil rights movement and his education in peaceful protest. Through the beautiful black and white illustrations, we see the how the first sit-ins were developed and conducted. So much prepwork and planning went into them!

This was just Book One, but it does look like there is a second in the series. I’ll for sure be going back for more! Pick this up before the end of the month (or any time during the rest of the year) to celebrate Black History Month. This is a piece of our American culture we should not miss.

bookdragonbookdragonbookdragonbookdragonbookdragon

BUY HERE: