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review 2018-04-01 16:01
Lady Mechanika - La Dama de la Muerte
Lady Mechanika: La Dama de la Muerte - Joe Benitez,M. M. Chen,Joe Benitez,Martin Montiel,Peter Steigerwald

[I received a copy of this book through Netgalley.]

Not sure where chronologically this volume is set, among the other ‘Lady Mechanika’ ones. In this story, Mechanika travels to Mexico without a goal, grieving for her friend Dallas, and finds herself taking a room in a village whose inhabitants are about to celebrate the dead.

The characters she meets throughout the pages were in general endearing and friendly, passing along their traditions and encouraging Mechanika to have fun for the sake of fun itself, and teaching her of a different way to celebrate her departed ones. To be fair, I don’t know that much about this specific tradition, but from what I know, the comics seemed to respect it and try to delve into it deeper than just ‘oh hey let’s paint skull faces’—a welcome addition.

Less steampunk-oriented than the previous volumes, the story follows some typical western codes: a village terrorised by bandits, and a lone vigilante stepping up to defend them. Not an unwelcome change, although in terms of scenario and plot twists, it was easy to guess where this was going, and that made the story unexceptional in that regard.

The art and style remain very good in this volume, too, mixing Victorian and steampunkish aesthetics with more traditional ‘Día de Muertos’ ones, including costumes and face paint. The latter somehow contributed to keeping the ‘outlandish costuming’ toned down, in that apart from one short corset, Mechanika appears in clothing that looks more tribal, but also easier to move in (much as I like the style, the ‘tiny corset + narrow sleeves’ combo is an awful one for fighting, so I’m all for graphically striking options that are also convenient). If just for the art, this series is definitely worth reading.

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review 2017-09-05 09:08
Honey Moon Dog Daze by Sofi Benitez
Dog Daze (Honey Moon) - Sofi Benitez

A fun, cute book. It is fast paced and has a unique writing style. I found the names of the Moon characters to be a little silly, but in a good way. I have to wonder if the author knew about the Harvest Moon game franchise when they named a character that. Also the three dogs named Manny, Moe and Jack made me laugh out loud. Did the author see a Pep Boys commercial and get inspired or was the names a 100% coincidence? Funny, none the less.

 



I like how Honey is inspired to start a dog walking service after recusing Stormy. Honey seems to be a likeable character and I did enjoy how she got along with her family. I liked the hints that her Turtle backpack might be magical, or is it her imagination? I love the friendship between the three main girls and also how it ended with a possible 4th friend.

One thing that I wish would be different is more description. There seemed to be a lot of telling instead of showing, which could make some of the story a little lackluster. However, I will admit there were several times where I find myself smiling. There is something going for it, and I hope the author continues to write stories for children and adults alike.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.

Disclaimer: I received this from Netgally in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the chance to read this!

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review 2017-08-20 00:00
Lady Mechanika La Dama de la Muerte TP
Lady Mechanika La Dama de la Muerte TP -... Lady Mechanika La Dama de la Muerte TP - Joe Benitez,M. M. Chen The artwork in this comic is amazing. The amount of detail on the cover is what drew my attention, and the inside is even better. Every scene could be featured as wall art. This is the first comic I've read featuring Lady Mechanika. I didn't feel lost, but there was a touch of mention from a previous installment. It made me want to read the others out of interest, not because I was confused with this storyline. The female lead is a sort of vigilante hero after a group of villains torturing citizens. It has a bit of a dark vibe and less of a superhero feel than some comics. I liked it and plan to check out more of the series.


***Copy given in exchange for an honest review***

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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review 2017-08-19 21:36
Lady Mechanika - Vol. 1
Lady Mechanika, Volume 1: The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse - Joe Benitez

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

Set in an alternate Victorian (circa 1879) England, this comics deals with Lady Mechanika, a private investigator/adventuress whose limbs are actually mechanical, and who’d like nothing more than to find out who made her like that and where she comes from; all the while being pitted against the sinister Blackpool Armaments Co. and both its shady employer and soldiers. In this arc, Mechanika investigates the death of a mysterious young woman with mechanical arms similar to her own, only to realise that a lot more players are involved, including Commander Winter and a circus full of characters each with their own secrets.

The drawing style itself is, in general, well-balanced and elegant, and the colours match the mood of the various panels and situations. It’s probably a little overkill on the steampunk aesthetics (in that at some point, there’s going to be a lot of leather and corsets and goggles on top hats etc.), so depending on one’s mood about that, it may not be a selling point. On the other hand, there’s a lot of attention to details, which makes it a joy to look for those in panels, and even if they’re of the, well, aesthetic persuasion in spite of usefulness, there’s plenty to keep your eyes busy. (I usually tends to like steampunk aesthetics, so count me in the second category, even though I tend to criticise lightly. ^^)

Not bonus points on the boobs, though, and some of the extreme ‘female body poses’ that I see in a lot of comics. Eye candy and all that, I get it. It’s just... it detracts from the overall badassness of the characters. (And large boobs are seriously not convenient, especially since they easily hurt during stunts. Whatever.)

The characters as a lot were likeable enough: from Mechanika herself, with her doubts but also her resourcefulness and her desire to do what’s right, to Lewis the inventor whose bottle problems hint at dark events in his past. And the little Alexandra, with her gimmick ‘you’re an impostor’atttitude, which made her quibs with Mechanika quite funny—apparently some authors in the comics write stories about M, and the kid thinks these are the truth. There seems to be a current of underlying relationships that beg to be developed in later issues, creating a sense of an over-plot that will be gradually revealed (which I sure hope will happen in later issues because if it doesn’t, I’ll be disappointed). So far I’m not too happy with the two enemy women apparently becoming enemies because of a man (as it’s a pretty boring reason), but it may still turn out to be something slightly different, so we’ll see. I could do with a little less wordiness, though—it doesn’t fare too well in some panels, making pages difficult to focus on—yet I’m also torn about that because some of that dialogue was of the banter kind, and I think this fits well with Victorian/steampunk themes in general.

Conclusion: 3.5 stars, going on 4.Quite an enjoyable comics in spite of the (typical?) eye-candy. I still liked the artwork and additional covers no matter what, as well as the story and its slight cliffhanger/ominous tones at the end.

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review 2017-04-14 08:00
The Tablet Of Destinies
Lady Mechanika Volume 2: The Tablet of Destinies - Mike Garcia,Ben M. Chen

This second volume was even better than the first! The artwork, as I'd come to expect after the first volume, was still great. It is amazing and really one of the best things about this comic. I liked this story better than the first, even though it is not that original (typical ancient treasure kind of thing). Still it was a pleasure to read. There is still a lot of text on some pages, but I had the feeling it was slightly less this time. Lady Mechanika makes a really nice lead in this steampunk comic.

Looking forward to more!

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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