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Search tags: Humble-Bundle
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url 2018-06-19 13:00
Humble Manga bundle - 1 day and 6 hours left!

Nostalgia tempts me to get the full thing - Battle Angle Alita was one of the first manga series I ever read. However, my manga reading tastes have changed significantly since then, and I'm not actually sure I'd enjoy the series now. That leaves the lower tiers. I remember reading The Ghost in the Shell a while back and disliking the amount of text Masamune wanted readers to wade through. The first volume of Inuyashiki was unpleasant and, judging by reviews, it only gets worse from there. The first volume of The Seven Deadly Sins was generic fantasy and an enormous amount of boob grabbing.

 

That leaves the first tier, with Ajin: Demi-Human. I've seen a good chunk of the anime, and as long as it follows the manga fairly closely, I'd say Ajin would probably work reasonably well for me.

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review 2018-06-19 01:39
Cybertron comes back to Earth
Transformers: Robots In Disguise (2011-2016) Vol. 7 - John Barber,Sarah Stone,Livio Ramondelli,Andrew Griffith,Casey Coller

At least, Optimus Prime and a small group of Autobots do.  I wasn't a big fan at first read, but I'm coming to appreciate just how brilliant a move this was: the focus stays on the Cybertronians, not the humans, and even then?   Thundercracker adopting a dog and becoming the worst screenwriter ever is just hilarious. 

 

Somehow, even when he's mangling screenplays and writing in general, Thundercracker just wins me over.   Like completely over.   

 

Loved this, and read it early on in the month, right before the Hugo packet hit.   

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review 2018-05-25 22:00
Absolutely fantastic!
Transformers: IDW Collection Phase Two Volume 3 - Jimbo Salgado,Nick Roche,Alex Milne,John Barber,James Lamar Roberts

This is just splendid: a lot of storylines are coming together, and it's beautiful to watch it all in one go.  

 

I think I'm gonna reread all this next year, too, to be honest.

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review 2018-05-25 17:22
Loving phase two
Transformers: IDW Collection Phase Two Volume 2 - Livio Ramondelli,Chris Metzen,Flint Dille,John Barber,James Lamar Roberts

The spotlights were mixed, but I'm truly enjoying both More Than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise.   This is a fascinating and illuminating reread and I get more and more every time I read these comics again.   MTMtE is particularly nuanced, and I am continuing to enjoy that the most.

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review 2018-05-23 15:58
Excellent storylines with a couple bumps
Transformers: IDW Collection Phase Two Volume 1 - Andrew Griffith,Nick Roche,Alex Milne,John Barber,James Lamar Roberts

I find the switching between MTMtE and RiD, to be honest, distracting, mostly because it doesn't feel like you're reading one continuous story.   It feels like distracting POV jumps.   Still, this is such an excellent collection, I only knocked off one fourth of a star.   The other fourth is for two reasons.   One: because I always find The Death of Optimus Prime to be integral to his storyline, but a chore to read.   Also, while Barber is an excellent storyteller, I'm spoiled by knowing what's to come: RiD isn't bad - in fact, it's a lot of fun and volume two was my gateway into this continuity because Dinobots - so much as his work gets so much more refined and nuanced later on, that this feels like an excellent author finding his way in retrospect.   And this is, to be honest, not a knock-down in my opinion: some authors intuit what to write and how straight away, but most have to work at it.   And if you ask me, I'd prefer the second kind of author.   The struggle to reach that excellence can keep them from taking it for granted, or thinking that they don't have to or shouldn't hone their craft: they are the authors who, in my opinion, continue to excel.   (There are exceptions both ways, but in my experience, this is what tends to happen.)

 

I say this because I feel like I've been comparing early Barber to early Roberts, and then to later Roberts.  For me James Roberts has been one of those authors who's knocked it out of the park with a couple exceptions: some issues got too moribund for my taste and then he quickly injected the humor back into Lost Light in particular.   I feel like I've been unfair to Barber, and so I'm explaining how I think of his writing at the present.   The fact that I have changed my opinion about him as he grows means I may change my mind again: I may find him to slip, or to reach a point where he becomes, hands down, my favorite TF author.   

 

I also am taking this much time explaining this because I think the context matters: how I view his work, and how it's evolved, does go into the rating.  This works much better for me in the context of what is to come, from these storylines and from Barber himself.   Reading this, I keep wanting to get further along, to what he does to Prowl, to the Dinobots in The Redemptions of the Dinobots, to Optimus Prime.   I'm also eager to sit back and enjoy watching the evolution of his writing.   So in a way, this is so high because in retrospect, that evolution is well worth watching and reading and it elevates this reading experience for me.   Furthermore, I'm less sneer-y now that I've seen it once, and I'm just allowing myself to sit back and enjoy the ride. 

 

Anyway, this has the Death of Optimus Prime and the beginning issues of More Than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise.   A bunch of fun so far.   I'm knee deep in Autocracy which starts off the next volume.   

 

Note: "allowing myself" at one point autocorrected to "blowing myself".  Vin's just being naughty now.

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