Books

Book 549: No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics – Justin Hall (Ed.)

I randomly stumbled across the Kickstarter for the documentary version of this book. So of course I had to see if the library had it and it was in the one near me so I walked down and got it at lunch. It was a quick read and covered a wide variety of comics.

I mean 40 years in LGBT/Queer history covers so much from AIDS to decriminalization to marriage to adoption rights to the wonderful coming of age of trans* comics. (For more information on the asterisks check out this graphic (It’s Pronounced Metrosexual link). The anthology did a great job by dividing the comics into three era’s of queer comics:  1) Come Out: Gay Gag Strips, Underground Comix, and Lesbian Literati (1960s-1970s); 2) File Under Queer: Comix to Comics, Punk Zines, and Art During the Plague (1980s-1990s); 3) A New Millennium: Trans Creators, Webcomics, and Stepping Out of the Ghetto (2000s-today?). I listed all of the authors at the end of this post because they all deserve credit in this wonderful anthology.

Continue reading “Book 549: No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics – Justin Hall (Ed.)”

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Books

Book 366: The Adventures of Captain Underpants – Dav Pilkey

Pilkey, Dav - The Adventures of Captain UnderpantsWhat a charmingly cute chapter book! I read this book for Episode 7 of Come Read with Me and it was delightful! I’ve obviously heard of the story before, but have never had any impetus to read it as the book (Amazon link) came out after I was past this reading age/level.

I read this in one quick sitting while commuting home from work one day. It was definitely one of my more interesting choices for a commute read but hey no shame in my game right? I’m sure I could read the entire series, 12 “novels” and various spin offs, all in one day, and honestly they would probably be worth the read. It was engaging and there was enough humor, potty and otherwise, that I found myself smiling for most of the read.

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Book 296: Confessions from a Coffee Shop – T. B. Markinson

Markinson, T. B. - Confessions from a Coffee ShopAnd she’s back! Now don’t get me wrong, Markinson (TBM)’s last novel, Marionette, wasn’t bad and was excellently written, it just wasn’t for me. However, Confessions from a Coffee Shop harkens back to A Woman Lost in humor and fun! I flew through this and couldn’t help but smile the entire time I read this novel. I received a copy from the author and received no compensation for my response. If this review sounds at ALL interesting you should request a preview copy from her here.

I said above that TBM is back and the reason I say that is because she’s return to what she knows and what I can assume is a comfort zone for her. I don’t fault her one bit for stretching her writing muscles in her second novel, but I’m so glad she returned to her strengths!

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Books

Book 62: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters – Jane Austen and Ben Winters

This Quirk Classic was MUCH better than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I’m not sure whether it’s because this is their second ‘Mash Up’ (as Quirk calls it) and they were able to get some feedback after the first one, or if Ben Winters is that much better of an author than Seth Grahame-Smith.

There was a stronger maturity about this novel compared to Zombies. Although there were a few nods to impropriety in Sea Monsters as Austen herself vaguely alluded to in the original Sense and Sensibility, they were nowhere near as onerous or obtrusive as they were in Zombies. But what solidifies Sea Monsters as a better novel, is Winters removing it far enough from Austen, to create a cohesive (and believable) fantasy. There were no obviously disparate elements in this novel which stood out as much as the seemingly random zombies/Orient mash-up in the previous Quirk Classic .

Winter created a story which could stand on its own. There’s no need to have read Sense and Sensibility as most of the sea monster/nautical elements can stand on their own. I’m excited for the second ‘Mash Up’ Winter created, Android Karenina. Some one recently recommended Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter but I’m a bit wary as Seth Grahame-Smith, author of zombies wrote it.

Recommendation: Definitely read it!

Books

Book 57: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

This was a so-so read. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I remember when it first hit the shelves and everyone obsessed over it. I sort of put it in the back of my mind as a to-read book, but never thought I would as I love Austen’s novels on their own and really didn’t know what to expect with the introduction of Sci-Fi/Horror elements.

Overall this probably would’ve been a better novel if Grahame-Smith were a better writer, or a writer with better mimicry skills. The added parts stood out like sore thumbs (aside from the zombie material) and got very old very fast. It wasn’t just the zombie introduction that tried my patience with the novel, but the introduction of the Orient, from warrior training, to dojo and ninjas, it took a potentially brilliant idea and completely mangled it. Rather than just introducing the zombies and working with the time period and culture, he brought in a completely different culture and mutated the novel from a satirical social commentary to a rather ho-hum humorous horror novel. I also didn’t appreciate the crude humor, Grahame-Smith took the hinted impropriety a step to far, but I guess that’s what’s supposed to make it a comical novel rather than just a horror novel.

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