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review 2017-08-27 19:45
Dinosaurs having sex
Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians - Ricardo Delgado,Ricardo Delgado

Yep, dinosaurs are having sex in this graphic novel and eating baby dinosaurs.  Because you know what, that's what dinosaurs do.  

 

I am more of a fan of reading animal stories (I blame Watership Down for this) then Dinosaurs.  Mostly because my mother and brother were dinosaur nuts.  I got dragged to so much dinosaur shit.   Honesty, and it was always dinosaur shit.  Never anything else.  

 

But I like this rather real series about dinosaurs being dinosaurs.

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text 2017-07-26 16:10
Comic Round Up
World of Warcraft: Legion #1 - Matt Burns,Ludo Lullabi
Ms. Marvel, #1 - G. Willow Wilson,Adrian Alphona
Murena - tome 1 - La Pourpre et l'or (French Edition) - Dufaux,Delaby
Tellos #1 - Todd DeZago,Mike Wieringo,Nathan Massengill,Rich Case,Paul Mounts,Ken Wolak
Age of Reptiles Omnibus, Vol. 1 - Ricardo Delgado,Genndy Tartakovsky
FCBD 2015: Tales of Honor - Matt Hawkins,Linda Sejic

In my last comic round up, I started with a series of comics based on a video game, so I figure I will do the same here.  The four issue World of Warcraft Legion series is apparently a set up for the video game (or part of the video game).  The series isn’t as good as Overwatch, in part because it relies a bit more on reader familiarity, but it isn’t bad.  Part of the series focuses on the relationship between fathers and daughters, in one case, a father upset that his daughter isn’t a son.  Each issue is more of a character study with some action.  The first and last issues being the best.

 

                To be fair to World of Warcraft, the female characters are actually drawn in ways that make sense and not as objectified as many other comic books would have done them.  Take for instance, Tellos, which has had all good markings of a good fantasy story – exciting chases, a tiger man, magic, a female pirate with intelligence – until you realize that said female pirate with the triple DDD bust size constantly spans her own waist with one of her hands.  Every Time She Puts Said Hand On Her Hip.

 

                I’m done.

 

                There are exceptions to this trend.  Marvel’s Ms. Marvel being an example.  She is nicely geeky, she tries to be a good daughter, she is nice and insecure.  She’s a Muslim.  In other words, she is everything Donald Trump would hate.  The fact that she is a normal teen and minority is a huge step forward.  She isn’t perfect.  It’s good that Marvel is finally doing something like this.  I wish they would go back and rescue some of their less known woman heroes as well.  I really want Firestar done well. 

 

                Ms. Marvel, however, does give me hope.  Not only in terms of the future of comics, but also that hype can be correct.

 

                And she is drawn realistically, and the issue passes the Bechdel test.

 

                Tiny Titans doesn’t, at least not entirely.  There is jokes about who has a crush on Robin, and while this might be a reference to Nightwing’s butt, it is rather annoying.   Still, the comic is a little cute, though the DC Super Hero Girls was better.

 

                Tales of Honor (#1 and FCBD issue) is a series based on the Honor Harrington novels by David Weber.  #1 is basically a start of Honor’s story, starting around book 6 or 7.  The FCBD issue is a standalone story.  Both have the info dumps that do tend to populate Weber’s books.  Interesting, Nimitz, Honor’s treecat is drawn differently in each, at one point so large that he would not be a shoulder perching cat, which is what he is supposed to be.  Issue #1 sexualizes Honor a bit, though not as much as some comics would have.  I have to give the edge to FCBD issue, though, the story was complete and straight forward.  It showed Honor at her best.  However, if you like Honor, you might want to check out this series.

 

                Murena is a graphic novel series that in some ways is the sequel to Claudius the God.  The story focuses on Nero and the bastard son of Claudius, Murena, who are friend despite being, whether they know it or no, on opposite sides.  The art work is fine, the history good, and the storytelling well done.  If you want a I Claudius again, this is the one for you.  What is interesting is the use of Nero, in particular making him an almost sympathetic character.  The first volume seems to be an indication that part of what the series is going to look is the corruptive nature of power. 

 

                A few years ago, I was in DC and saw the Diaghilev and Ballet Russe exhibit at the National Gallery.  It included footage from a performance of Rite of Spring.  Now, I am of the generation who knows that music thanks to Disney’s Fantasia, which means I hear it and think dinosaurs. 

 

                There were no dinosaurs.

 

                Thankfully, there is Age of Reptiles, which is about dinosaurs.  In fact, it is nothing but dinosaurs.  There is no dialogue, just dinosaurs being dinosaurs.  It is absolutely cool and enthralling.  Be warned, there is blood so if you are a parent, you might want to check it out before kiddo reads it.

 

                Closing note- American McGee’s Grimm #1 is a hilarious take down of the super hero comic book.

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review 2016-10-09 23:08
Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
Dragonbreath - Ursula Vernon

Dragonbreath stars Danny Dragonbreath, a young dragon who hasn't yet learned how to breathe fire, and his best friend Wendell, a green iguana. Whereas Wendell studies, does his homework, and would probably never get into trouble on his own, Danny has waited until the morning bus ride to write his science paper. He was going to ask Wendell for help, but his topic was the ocean and Wendell's was bats. Danny's science teacher isn't particularly interested in Danny's paper on “the rare and elusive snorklebat” and tells him to turn in a better paper tomorrow. Library research isn't really Danny's style, so, at his mother's suggestion, Danny visits his cousin Edward, a sea serpent. Danny drags Wendell along with him.

When my local entertainment store announced that it was closing for good, I spotted this on the shelves during the ensuing “going out of business” sales and decided to buy it. I had my oldest niece in mind, but I'm pretty sure it's above her current reading level. I still plan to leave it with my sister next time I visit – the kids might at least enjoy the pictures. Like Vernon's Harriet the Invincible, the book is a mixture of plain text and graphic novel-style pages with illustrations and speech bubbles.

Dragonbreath was a little more focused than Harriet the Invincible, although Danny didn't work quite as well for me as Harriet did. Harriet was fearless, smart, and brave. Danny was fearless but didn't always think before he threw himself into potentially dangerous situations. Wendell had to be the voice of caution, and even then he rarely managed to rein Danny in.

Wendell was basically me. I couldn't help but laugh at this bit: “It was one thing to bring Cousin Edward along – Edward was mythological, after all, and used to this sort of thing – but Wendell was an iguana. Epic tales of heroism and disaster were notably lacking in iguanas. His best friend just wasn't cut out for high drama.” (121) If Wendell had been the star of the story, the whole thing would have taken place in a library.

The story itself was a bit of adventure plus some fairly straightforward edutainment. Danny and Wendell learned about the bends, sea cucumber defense mechanisms (gross), jellyfish, anglerfish (one of which was correctly referred to as female), and more. Mixed in with the real-world stuff was the lost city of Atlantis and a Kraken.

In addition to their underwater adventure, Danny and Wendell also dealt with a bully. Like the rest of the book, these parts were pretty light-hearted. The fierce potato salad was great, and I really liked that it was technically Wendell who got rid of the bully the second time around.

All in all, this was pretty good. I may try the next book in the series.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2015-11-19 08:11
Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians by Ricardo Delgado
Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians - Ricardo Delgado,Ricardo Delgado

 

As much as I like dinosaurs this graphic novel just didn't work completely for me.

 

I did like the art, the story just never really got to me that much. I felt detached from it. There were some moments when the story moved me, like the one in the pic below and some sad "Survival of the fittest" moments when some poor dinosaur got killed. 

 

 

 

Like this poor chap. 

 

 

But all and all, not a favorite graphic novel of mine. Thankfully the art was good, but I kept on forgetting to read this story so it took my way longer than usual to finish it and that's just not a good sign for a good book. In the end, I just had to sit down and finish it so that I could move on to something else to read.

 

Thanks to Dark Horse Books and Edelweiss for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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text 2015-10-22 18:37
Thank you Dark Horse for adding these graphic novels! :)
Harrow County Volume 1 - Tyler Crook,Cullen Bunn
Frankenstein Underground - Mike Mignola,Ben Stenbeck
The Hero: Book Two - David Rubin,David Rubin
Archie vs Predator - Fernando Ruiz,Alex de Campi
Sherlock Holmes and the Necronomicon - Laci Paige,Sylvain CorduriƩ
Jack the Ripper - Francois Debois,Jean-Charles Poupard
Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians - Ricardo Delgado,Ricardo Delgado
Girl Crazy - Gilbert Hernandez
Prometheus: The Complete Fire and Stone - Paul Tobin,Kelly Sue DeConnick

I was going to take a shower, then I happened to visit Edelweiss and look what I found that you could request. 

 

Personally I'm quite interesting in Harrow County Volume 1Sherlock Holmes and the NecronomiconJack the Ripper and Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians. :)

 

Edit: They added Prometheus: The Complete Fire and Stone. I want that one quite a lot! 

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