Friday, July 29, 2016

The Big Picture: Brendan and Erc in Exile, Volume 2 by Amadeus

The Big Picture: Brendan and Erc in Exile, Volume 2 by Amadeus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 175 pages
Published May 25th 2016 by Catholic Answers Press
Source: Received a print review copy from the publisher

Brendan and Erc in Exile (Vol. 2)

This is an intense book! Not as entertaining as the first volume but practically exploding with information. It is a lot to take in and not a book to be read all at once. I ended up reading a chapter, of this graphic novel, at a time to fully process all the information. Brendan has decided to become a Catholic and is taking his RCIA classes from the Father while he and Erc travel around space on their job. Sometimes they meet the Father in person, other times it's over the screen. Erc is the sceptic, he is a lapsed believer and sceptical of everything that his taught. This volume covers the entire Bible from creation to Judgement Day with the focus being on the prophecies of the coming of the Messiah and then how and why Jesus was that Messiah. How he brought salvation and redemption to mankind. The conversation goes through a teaching mode with Father then Erc being the sceptic asking the usual questions and bringing up the usual answers non-Christians (esp. atheists) bring to the table. Father refutes them all with reason, logic or turning the question back to Erc. Brendan is a questioning mind, as is encouraged of the Catholic student, and sometimes he finds Eric's comments/questions reasonable and discusses them with Father in a more seeking-the-answers manner. As an up-and-coming convert, Brendan also has his own intelligent questions. Father's teaching and answers are always true to scripture and the magisterium. Very well researched book on the mystery of God's plan for our salvation written by a contemplative monk. The book makes excellent reading for recent converts, those participating in RCIA and older teens. Even long-time Catholics will find it useful for logical answers to questions or confrontations we are often subjected to. It most certainly is recommended for use in a teaching environment.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Geis: A Matter of Life and Death by Alexis Deacon

Geis: A Matter of Life and Death by Alexis Deacon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 96 pages
Published July 26th 2016 by Nobrow Press
Source: egalley via edelweiss

This is obviously a volume one as it ends so abruptly in the middle of the action that it left me rather annoyed actually. There are a lot of characters and it jumps around back and forth between them; it takes a bit in the beginning to understand and get used to this. A sorceress is choosing the new chief amongst the best and brightest who were yanked from their beds to her in the middle of the night. She will be testing them and, though they don't know it, the winner will be the only survivor. This volume deals with the first test. They are all sent to some far distant place and each must make their way back to the castle before dawn. The two main characters are really intense, the girl to save everyone and the young man to win, and yet we don't know anything about them yet to understand their persistence. It's an interesting fantasy, though, with potential, we'll see what happens next volume.

Tokyo Ghoul, Vol. 7 by Sui Ishida

Tokyo Ghoul, Vol. 7 by Sui Ishida
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 200 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: Purchased print copy

Tokyo Ghoul (7)

Actually, a lot of stuff goes on in this volume. It's incredibly heavy with fighting and violence. Things are going on with the ghouls and the "cops" are after them. But the main plot as described on the back cover is Kaneki who goes through a gruelling torture session he comes out of it alive only he is forever changed, inside and out!

Tokyo ESP Volume 5: Old Allies, New Enemies by Hajime Segawa

Tokyo ESP Volume 5: Old Allies, New Enemies by Hajime Segawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by Vertical Comics
Source: Purchased print copy

Tokyo ESP (5)

The first half has an awful lot of stuff happening which I found myself getting kind of confused with. Lots of fighting, etc but political intrigue coming at you as well. The whole purpose is to establish there is a secret underground world that has kidnapped someone we thought was dead. The second half is much better! Rinka accepts an assignment from the CIA to infiltrate the organisation, bring it down and rescue the person. The setting now moves from Tokyo to Hong Kong. Lots of violence here, she trains then is sent in where superheroes are traded through human trafficking and ends up in a battle rich people play to have their superheroes battle each other. Rinka gets in really, really deep!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Demon Knights (New 52), Vol. 1: Seven Against the Dark by Paul Cornell

Demon Knights (New 52), Vol. 1: Seven Against the Dark by Paul Cornell
Illus by Diogenes Neves et al.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by DC Comics
Source: Inter-Library Loan

New 52

I wasn't sure I'd like this since it takes place in the Dark Ages but I ended up really liking it. The story is pretty basic fantasy. The Questing Queen's Horde is on its way to ravage a city but in its path is a small village within a narrow passage. Conveniently seven immortal (or virtually) warriors have gathered here unknownst to each other. The book is very battle oriented full of violence, action-packed. Because the story is simplistic much time is spent on character. This is a team, come to be called the "Demon Knights" by the end. I always like superhero teams and here we meet a lot of paranormal, dark, magic using DC characters. I really liked them considering they were all new to me except Madame Xanadu who I've met a few times now, outside the Justice League Dark titles. I had also heard of the demon Etrigan and Vandal Savage and was pleased to find a pre-cursor to Wonder Woman: an exiled Amazonian warrior from Paradise Island. A lot of fun and I'll definitely be reading the following volumes.

Grifter (New 52), Vol. 1: Most Wanted by Nathan Edmondson

Grifter (New 52), Vol. 1: Most Wanted by Nathan Edmondson
illus. by CAFU et al.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by DC Comics
Source: Inter-Library Loan

New 52

Most interesting! I've never heard of Grifter and it took a bit for me to get into it. Then it got exciting and a bunch of connections were made. Green Arrow shows up and it seems his company , not him, is up to something with these aliens. Then later on Midnighter from Stormwatch comes to kill Grifter and save the alien secret. Finally, at the end, these aliens talk of the Kryptonian who they plan on turning to their mission against the humans since he is alien too. Those are just the connections; the rest of the book is Grifter vs. the aliens with lots of action. I'd certainly read the next volume.

Friday, July 22, 2016

QQ Sweeper, Vol. 3 by Kyousuke Motomi

QQ Sweeper, Vol. 3 by Kyousuke Motomi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: Received a print review copy from the publisher

QQ Sweeper (Vol. 3)

So this is the final volume of a trilogy, though the series does continue with a new title and a new volume 1 but I don't know if it's being translated into English or not. Anyway ... this is a wonderful final volume. It is very intense with its paranormal content, the romance between the main characters, and there is also a theme of friendship and forgiveness. What I really liked about the romance aspect of this series is that the two main characters do like each other and while it's intense there is none of that reading 15 volumes before the characters kiss business that keeps me away from most shojo. The paranormal aspect is a little silly, bugs infecting people, but again it's intense and a villain is centre stage in this volume. The cleaning aspect is actually fun and adds humour to the other dark overtones. The ending isn't finite as the mangaka had to wrap things up quickly but she did a good job of leaving you to imagine the future. But of course, the series does continue under the title "Queens Quality".

Everyone's Getting Married, Vol. 1 by Izumi Miyazono

Everyone's Getting Married, Vol. 1 by Izumi Miyazono
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: received a print review copy from the publisher

Either I'm starting to like romance or this is just a well-written manga. I'll go with the latter. This is a grown-up book; the audience is josei and the rating is "M". Nothing mature happened yet but this is the first josei I've read that I've liked. It is pure romance and has the typical hating each other to start off with but by the end of vol. 1 they are dating, so that is not the issue. The issue is that she is looking for marriage and wants to be a homemaker, while he would "rather die than get married" and has been used to having affairs only. But they fall in love and they decide to love the person instead of their ideals and see what happens. I have to admit I liked the interaction. The guy acts like a jerk but isn't one and I really like the pro-woman and -femaleness of the topic. Being a homemaker is defended and while she meets resistance all the time, so far, the book is portraying those types of womanly yearnings as positive. I really liked that. I'd definitely read the next volume!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Shinji Ikari Raising Project Vol. 1 by Osamu Takahashi

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Shinji Ikari Raising Project Vol. 1 by Osamu Takahashi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 21st 2009 by Dark Horse Manga
Source: Comixology Unlimited

Neon Genesis Evangelion Universe

Dark Horse is coming out with omnibus editions of this series this summer and I wanted to try it before I pre-ordered. I was aware this was going to be shojo but I am a lot more pleased with it than I thought I would be. Of course, the story is set before the original series and takes many liberties with continuity to present itself as a possible alternate reality to the one that happened. I'm not sure I'd call it shojo at this point as it is a strange mix of shojo and shonen slice of life school stories. Lots of romantic comedy as expected, but lots of teen boy sex talk and hi-jinx too. What really surprised me and won me over was that the science fiction theme is very much there. All the kids' parents work for Eva, Rei is working for them and by the end of this volume everyone has visited the lab. I really enjoyed the characters as I already knew them quite well and even though their history has been changed their personalities are true to form. I must say I look forward to continuing on with this series through the upcoming omnibus editions.

Your Lie in April 8: Interrupted Time by Naoshi Arakawa

Your Lie in April 8: Interrupted Time by Naoshi Arakawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Review copy via Penguin Random House Canada

Your Lie in April (#8)

The story is really taking centre stage now instead of the music. Everything still revolves around music but we are dealing with emotions mostly in this volume. It has left me feeling sad. The last page is a shocker. Otherwise, everyone is dealing with not being accepted by/loved by the person they love. A new character is introduced and she has designs on Kosei but I'm not sure if she hates him or loves him. As always I love the art, the music is shown with line that makes you feel the sounds being made. Some light moments of humour to temper the mostly sombre atmosphere. A lovely manga, I'm really enjoying.

The Seven Deadly Sins 15: The Holy War Begins by Nakaba Suzuki

The Seven Deadly Sins 15: The Holy War Begins by Nakaba Suzuki
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Received a review copy from Penguin Random House Canada

The Seven Deadly Sins (#15)

This is an action volume with lots of battle. It is also the start of a new arc. Giants like mountains are attacking and we learn of the return of the evil Ten Commandments and meet the first one: Truth. The story switches narrative between Fairy King and Ban, and the rest of them at Camelot. These new villains look pretty cool and things get pretty violent in the battles. Good start to a new arc.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu
Illustrated by Sana Takeda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Image Comics
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Monstress (Vol. 1)

Absolutely awesome! First, the art is just gorgeous! Right from page one the intricate and sublime paintings make you gasp. This story is high fantasy of the greatest quality. Several races are involved and the character development is superb. So much happens in this one book that it was a heart-pounding page-turning read. The world building is magnificent and I was spellbound by this intelligent story where good battles evil and yet there are many grey areas where both are present and certain characters who straddle each side. I'm always a sucker for sidekicks so my favourite character ended up being the little half-breed fox girl who shows much more spunk and bravery than her cute looks show. Wonderful book!

Last Man #5: The Order by Bastien Vivès

Last Man: The Order by Bastien Vivès
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 208 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by First Second
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Last Man (#5)

Things have really heated up in this volume. All sorts of politics going on with both sides of the Eternal whatever-it's-called. The modern world has brought vicious killer fighters back from the dead and are going all out to capture Marianne and Adrian. The ancient world has seen a prophecy and the King is reinstating the Guardians. This is all real serious stuff and very intense. But won't make sense unless you've read the other volumes in order. Great book! Can't wait for the next volume!

Fantasy Sports 2: The Bandit of Barbel Bay by Sam Bosma

Fantasy Sports 2: The Bandit of Barbel Bay by Sam Bosma
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 56 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Nobrow Press
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Fantasy Sports (#2)

No, this series just isn't doing anything for me. This time, Mug and Whiz show up on an amphibian/fish people inhabited island. Their treasure is stolen and added to the Big Clam. Only way to get it back is to win the tournament. Volleyball this time. All the volleyball action scenes are just plain boring for me who has no interests in sports. I do like the art, though; there are two new characters who look very similar to Dragon Ball-style people. I won't read any more of this series as it isn't for me.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Disney Pixar Finding Nemo - Special Collector's Manga by Ryuichi Hoshino

Disney Pixar Finding Nemo - Special Collector's Manga by Ryuichi Hoshino
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 176 pages
Published June 8th 2016 by TokyoPop
Source: egalley via netgalley

This is practically a scene by scene exact retelling of the movie of the same name. Some of the emotional or philosophical "talks" that happen have been skipped over but all the action and plot is present. Kids who love the movie will enjoy being able to read this on their own. The humour is present and mostly works. My favourite parts of the movie are the whale talk and the "mine, mine!" scenes. Dory talking whale-ish just didn't come across the same in the text, even when you are applying the voice in your head, on the other hand, they played up the "mine,mine!" bit and it worked very well especially with my mind applying the voice. That turned out to be the best part of the book for me. Definitely recommended for kids about ten and younger.

Alice in Wonderland: Special Collector's Manga by Jun Abe

Alice in Wonderland: Special Collector's Manga by Jun Abe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 25th 2016 by TokyoPop
Source: egalley via netgalley

I have not seen the Tim Burton movie because I do not fancy Johnny Depp, but I thought reading a manga interpretation of it would be entertaining. There was good and bad. The good: the art. It is much more traditionally Japanese manga than the Finding Nemo book. Characters have been styled after the movie ones with a definite manga touch while Alice is any typical young girl found in a manga. The bad: the story. I had no idea what this was going to be about but was thinking it would be a retelling of the classic Alice. I was wrong. This takes place after the original and now as a teenage Alice who only remembers her adventures as a dream, but of course she ends up there again. Except its real name in Underland. If you loved the movie then this will probably be for you. If, like me, you haven't seen it, find a manga/graphic novel of the proper Alice in Wonderland.

I.D. by Emma Ríos

I.D. by Emma Ríos
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Paperback, 80 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Image Comics
Source: egalley via netgalley

This sounds a whole lot better than it actually is. A dystopia where people can have whole body transplants sounds pretty cool. However, this book is just a bunch of talking about it and looking at the psyches of three people who are undergoing the change. I didn't like the art either, Red and white? It's just plain uncomfortable to read.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Salmon Doubts by Adam Sacks

Salmon Doubts by Adam Sacks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 128 pages
Published July 20th 2004 by Alternative Comics
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Wow. Extremely simplistic yet incredibly philosophical. Starts with a fish hatching from the egg and ends with the same fish dying after spawning. This is the story of the friendship of Henry and Geoff. Henry follows the other salmon and has the same urges while Geoff is different, curious and wants to see the world. Simplistic discussions on the purpose and meaning of life and why bother living when you are going to die anyway. Through naive discussion they make salient observations. The art is really cute too!

Fantastic Butterflies by James Kochalka

Fantastic Butterflies by James Kochalka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 168 pages
Published November 10th 2002 by Alternative Comics
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Honestly, I haven't a clue what to say about this. It is very weird. I certainly enjoyed it but the whole time I'm like, "What am I reading?". It's not really a story but all the little episodes are connected so it makes sense. I'd recommend it, but not to anyone I know. LOL. If you're a little warped and like things such as: time warp telephones, talking dogs who used to be robots, cancer robots who come and get your cancer, a burst testicle preserved under the kitchen sink and girls who fight like manga ninjas calling out their moves (Gosh, I loved that part!) ... then this one's for you.

Grimm Fairy Tales Adult Coloring Book by Zenescope

Grimm Fairy Tales Adult Coloring Book by Zenescope
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 96 pages
Published December 15th 2015 by Zenescope
Source: Purchased print copy

Grimm Fairy Tales Universe

I'm an adult colourer and a huge fan of Zenescope's comic books so when I saw this book I just had to have it! I love it as it is just gorgeous. Almost all the pictures are of Zenescope's sexy female characters but there are about a handful of pages that are graphic design instead for a bit of variety. The pictures are printed on one side of the page, are not perforated, and of medium weight. I love that the paper has a small amount of tooth which was perfect for working with pencil crayons. This picture I'm showing was done with a mixture of Prismacolors, sharpie and gel pen, and nothing bled through the page. 100% in love with this colouring book!



Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Wolves of Currumpaw by William Grill

The Wolves of Currumpaw by William Grill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 80 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Flying Eye Books
Source: egalley via edelweiss

This is a lovely book which is sure to win many hearts. It's a re-telling of Canadian naturalist Ernest Seton Thompson's 1898 story "Lobo, the King of Currumpaw". It's both a sad and heartwarming tale as it tells of Seton hunting down a wolf who was the scourge of New Mexico. It also tells how Lobo taught him respect for the wolf and he gave up hunting them thereafter. Incorporated into the story are the biographical account of Thompson's later life and the legacy he left behind to conservation. I really enjoyed this book and had looked forward to reading it as soon as I'd heard it was coming out. As a child I used to read Seton Thompson's stories, getting them out of the school library over and over again.

Ogres Awake! by James Sturm

Ogres Awake! by James Sturm
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by First Second
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Adventures in Cartooning

This is the third storybook in this series. Rather than teaching drawing throughout the book, it tells a story but the end pages have drawing instructions. At the front, as usual, are diagrams on drawing the knight and Edward (the horse). At the back are diagrams for drawing new characters to this book: gnomes and ogres. The story is cute. The ogres are waking up and headed for the castle. The knight frantically calls everyone to arms but the King and his kitchen have a plan already in place that will take care of the ogres in a more friendly manner.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Ariol: Where's Petula? & Ariol #7: Top Dog by Emmanuel Guibert

Ariol: Where's Petula? by Emmanuel Guibert
Illustrated by Marc Boutavant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 72 pages
Published May 26th 2015 by Papercutz
Source: Received a review copy from the publisher

Ariol: (#6.5)

I love Ariol. The characters and stories are so cute! This book is different from all the others as it is one long story rather than a collection of short stories. It was published between books 6 & 7. Ariol goes to visit the little girl cow he's in love with but her bull dad and 16yo brother monopolise all his time. I really enjoyed this and any fan of the books will also. You also don't have to have read any of the others to get this one.





Ariol: Top Dog by Emmanuel Guibert
Illustrated by Marc Boutavant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 128 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Papercutz
Source: egalley from publisher

Ariol: (#7)

Another Ariol! Yeah! Always a pure delight. Just good, clean, elementary school fun. A lot of the usual, Ariol in love with Petula, Bizbillah in love with Ariol, and Thunderhorse antics. The book ends with a longer connected story though as they go to a fair, have fun on the river and Ariol gets sick for Petula's party. Kids of all ages will love Ariol.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Grimm Fairy Tales: Inferno #1 - #5 by Ralph Tedesco

Series: Grimm Fairy Tales Universe by Zenescope


Grimm Fairy Tales: Inferno #1 by Ralph Tedesco
Illustrated by Gabriel Rearte
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Comic Book, 24 pages
Published May 5th 2010 by Zenescope
Source: Comixology Unlimited

Fantastic start! We meet the characters and are given background. Something sinister is going on and we are only given small clues. Grace must stop taking the drugs from her shrink and meet Selma in three days.








Grimm Fairy Tales: Inferno #2 by Ralph Tedesco
Illustrated by Gabriel Rearte
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Comic Book, 26 pages
Published August 4th 2010 by Zenescope
Source: Comixology Unlimited

Everything we learned in issue #1 is turned head over heels and Mercy is given a chance to redeem herself by finding a man lost in the circles of Hell. Exciting and gorgeous art.









Grimm Fairy Tales: Inferno #3 by Ralph Tedesco
Illustrated by Gabriel Rearte
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Comic Book, 23 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Zenescope
Source: Comixology Unlimited

Pretty much just an action issue. Mercy goes to the church she was instructed to go to and kicks ass with demons all the way through.










Grimm Fairy Tales: Inferno #4 by Ralph Tedesco
Illustrated by Gabriel Rearte
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Comic Book, 23 pages
Published October 6th 2010 by Zenescope
Source: Comixology Unlimited

Bloody and violent. On her journey Mercy meets up with Grace.











Grimm Fairy Tales: Inferno #5 by Ralph Tedesco
Illustrated by Gabriel Rearte
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Comic Book, 23 pages
Published October 6th 2010 by Zenescope
Source: Comixology Unlimited

Again bloody and violent. Things work out for some of the characters and Mercy's adventures are supposedly continued later. Satan is a cool lady!