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review 2020-06-27 14:30
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
The Prince and the Dressmaker - Jen Wang

Title: The Prince and the Dressmaker

Author: Jen Wang

Published Date: February 13, 2018

Publisher: First Second

Format: Print

Page Count: 277 pages

Source: Library

Date Read: June 16, 2020

 

Review

 

What I liked: Frances. She was awesome and accepting of others and opportunities to come her way. She also stands up for herself again and again. For the most part I really enjoyed the storyline; however, I thought this book felt more in line with end of the century France rather than the 1830s - the ideas employed in the storyline didn't read to me as early to mid 1800s but the more bawdier late 1800s Paris. I loved the fashion France comes up with for Lady Crystallia - the lines, the details were just beautiful. I really like how the Prince Seb is just - yeah, this is just a part of my self expression/partly to escape the duties of his position. There was no real label to what he was doing or who he was. 

 

What I didn't liked: the art was a bit too middle-grade for an older YA audience; also some of the art is very gendered - lots of pink. Prince Seb was so determined to keep his secret guarded that he would throw Frances under a bus, after pages and chapters of his budding friendship with the one person who accepted him from the moment the two met. Also, Prince Seb is the son of King Leo - that would be King Leopold, who was a brutal colonizer of parts of Africa (Congo I know for sure). King Leo seems at the end of the book to accept his son's gender fluidity and became a sort-of hero for gender expression. That is some historical revisionism there author. Because of his dad's acceptance, Prince Seb seems more comfortable taking on royal duties in support of his dad's reign at the end of the book. Ew.

 

Meh. I am glad I read this so I can see gender expression separate from sexuality. But the story could've used some work so that it wasn't harmful to other marginalized people.

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review 2020-06-14 21:24
Legion of Super Heroes, Vol. 11
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 11 - E. Nelson Bridwell,Cary Bates,Jim Shooter,Mike Grell

We're still getting some very wacky ideas from what should have been a straight-forward plot, such as the issues where the Legion teams up with a Science Police officer, or when Princess Projectra keeps getting sick. The women also keep getting weaker and weaker. The time will come when male writers will figure out how to tell a love story in a comic book without the woman becoming utterly hopeless. An exception creeps in with Night Girl's romance with Cosmic Boy, but her costume had to lose most of its fabric. I love Mike Grell's art, though, it's classic pop comic. He will make some questionable choices with costumes, too, but we'll get there when we get there. There is tension building in this series, and I can almost feel the Legion about to spring forward into the dark '80s. It's just waiting on the write author to pull all of the elements together.

 

Legion of Super-Heroes

 

Next: 'Volume 12'

 

Previous: 'Volume 10'

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text 2020-06-14 09:40
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review 2020-06-12 21:20
Legion of Super Heroes, Vol. 10
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 10 - Cary Bates,Dave Cockrum

This volume contains Dave Cockrum's landmark stint as the new illustrator for the series. The early 1970s was a tumultuous time in the industry and the many titles were being revamped and or canceled to make way for new creators and lines. Cockrum was fan of the series and made many costume decisions for the series, for better of for worse. He also made many character contributions. In the end, he committed fully to Marvel to work on the revived 'X-Men', creating Storm and Nightcrawler.

 

Despite other advancements, the stories here are still pretty shallow. The main writer is Cary Bates who doesn't seem to plan much for the long term in his storytelling. A lot of the new costumes were fan-service for the dudes that seem even more dated than the early '60s originals. In fact, there was a whole spread of costumes sent in by fans that thankfully were used only once or twice before settling into a slightly-less-cringey holey-jumpsuits and bikinis. Notably Phantom Girl gained pigtails and bell-bottoms and Princess Projectra's front bodice is only held together by two threads, for example. Chameleon Boy and Colossal Boy got thoughtful recreations of their costumes that complimented their characters. Huh. Funny.

 

Still, a whole lot of fun.

 

Legion of Super-Heroes

 

Next: 'Volume 11'

 

Previous: 'Volume 9'

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review 2020-06-07 13:31
The Xanth Novels, Books 38-40
The Xanth Novels: Books 38–40 - Piers Anthony

by Piers Anthony

I haven't read the previous Xanth Novels but had heard they were really good so thought I would dive in and see how it goes.

 

The first thing that struck me was that the writing seems directed at a very young audience, both in tone and word choices. Referring to a woman's genitals as her "whatever" was taking it a little far in my opinion.

 

The set up of the first story reminded me of many classic fairy tales. A woman makes a wish at a magic well and everything immediately goes spectacularly wrong. Check.

 

This of course leads to a question and off we go. Visit the mysterious local wizard, check.

 

This volume contains three separates stories; Board Stiff, Five Portraits and Isis Orb. Each story is self-contained, but I felt they were written to a younger audience and I felt as if I were reading children's fairytales. I think I would have enjoyed the stories more as a teenager. I would recommend them to someone who enjoys reading more YA, as the sense of humor is good but it just wasn't the sort of thing that could take me to deep pov.

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