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text 2018-07-10 22:59
2018 Hugo Ballot: Best Graphic Novel
Black Bolt (2017-) #1 - Leonard Bacon;Joseph Parrish Thompson;Richard Salter Storrs;Henry Ward Beecher;Joshua Leavitt;Henry Chandler Bowen;Theodore Tilton;William Hayes Ward;Hamilton Holt;Harold de Wolf Fuller;Fabian Franklin;Christian Archibald Herter,Saladin Ahmed
Bitch Planet Volume 2: President Bitch - Kelly Sue DeConnick
Monstress Volume 2: The Blood - Marjorie M. Liu
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters - Emil Ferris
Paper Girls Volume 3 - Brian K. Vaughan
Saga, Volume 7 - Fiona Staples,Brian K. Vaughan

This is part of a series of posts reviewing categories in this year's Hugo ballot. I'll be discussing the entries, the voter packet, and my ballot. I've nominated and voted most years since 2011, when I figured out that all I had to do was join Worldcon to get to do so.

 

I'd only read 2 of these in advance of the finalist announcement. Two more are properties I'm familiar with from earlier volumes.

 

  • Black Bolt, Volume 1: Hard Time, written by Saladin Ahmed, illustrated by Christian Ward, lettered by Clayton Cowles (Marvel) - 3.5 stars, loved the art and liked the writing. Still laughing that his name is Blackagar Boltagon. 

 

  • Bitch Planet, Volume 2: President Bitch, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro and Taki Soma, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, lettered by Clayton Cowles (Image Comics) 4.5 Stars, this one I adored to much to even put into words.

 

  • Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood, written by Marjorie M. Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image Comics) -  4 Stars, a stronger book than the first one in terms of pacing, and with the same gorgeous art.

 

  • My Favorite Thing is Monsters, written and illustrated by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics) - Interesting concept, but very slow. I didn't actually finish this book.

 

  • Paper Girls, Volume 3, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher (Image Comics) - 3.5 Stars, did not love.

 

  • Saga, Volume 7, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics) - 3 Stars, fine, but kind of a low point for the series so far.

 

So Bitch Planet is definitely at the top, followed by Monstress and Black Bolt. The other three could go in any order, but maybe I'll just leave them off because I don't really feel strongly about them at all. 

 

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text 2018-07-10 01:30
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
The Complete Aliens Omnibus: Volume Three (Rogue, Labyrinth) - Stephani Danelle Perry,Sandy Schofield

Only 10% into this volume and I count 3 missing periods, 1 missing comma and one misspelled name. I just do not get it with these Alien omnibus volumes. The next time I am at the book store I'm going to take a list of the pages missing periods with me and check it against a hardcopy and see if it is just an ebook thing. I paid $7.99 for this book, I expect better.

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review 2018-07-07 18:56
The Haunted Heist (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #3) by Angie Fox
The Haunted Heist (Southern Ghost Hunter) (Volume 3) - Angie Fox
Verity's life hasn't been the same since she accidentally trapped her gangster ghost buddy Frankie by dumping his ashes in her rose garden.  Verity seems to keep falling into trouble even though she's working really hard to get her personal business up and running and to figure out her relationship with Ellis.  Verity may love Sugarland, but Sugarland isn't exactly in love with her any longer thanks to the mother of her would be boyfriend Ellis.  Things look like they may finally be taking a turn for the better when Verity is invited to the bank to interview for a job. Unfortunately for Verity, the interview ends when the bank manger is found dead in the vault.  Verity was only trying to get a new client and instead she's now tasked with figuring out who murdered the bank manager with the help of Ellis and of course her faithful ghost friend Frankie. 
 
As you can tell form the cover, The Haunted Heist is paranormal chick lit. I''m a big believer in light fluffy reading during the summer.  It's the perfect book to take along on a picnic or to relax with at the beach. It is essential that you go into this book and this series with the understanding that it's simply meant to be a bit of entertainment to pass away a lazy afternoon.  
 
I couldn't help to giggle every time Frankie sought to get Verity to turn to a life of crime to end her money troubles. Even driving with Verity is enough for Frankie to suggest that she change her occupation to get away driver.  Their exchanges are the best in the book, even if at times Frankie becomes irritating when he interrupts Ellis and Verity when they are canoodling. Verity, Frankie and Ellis get into a lot of trouble together and it's hilarious. I particularly loved them entering a ghostly speakeasy and the night ending with a ghostly bar fight with ghostly bullets whizzing through the air. 
 
Despite the fact that The Haunted Heist is the literary equivalent of cotton candy, the one thing Angie Fox does really well is her interrogation of class. Verity has eighty dollars in her bank account and no job to speak of, so cash is constantly a problem for her.  Fox doesn't shy away from how difficult this makes life for her.  Fox goes into detail about how because of her poverty, Verity has an extremely limited wardrobe and must borrow clothing from her sister.  Even meals don't come easily and Verity's diet consists of cheap things like bananas and protein bars.  To hide her poverty, Verity even goes without a jacket because the only one she could afford in her size at the second hand shop is hideous.  Verity's life isn't about what she likes but what she can scrape together.  I will however say that I love the idea of Verity driving around Sugarland in 1978 avocado green Cadillac. 
 
 
 
 

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2018/06/the-haunted-heist-southern-ghost-hunter.html
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review 2018-07-06 13:14
Comic collection of short stories to support Bitch Planet
Bitch Planet: Triple Feature Volume 1 - ... Bitch Planet: Triple Feature Volume 1 - Cheryl Lynn Eaton,Conley Lyons,Andrew Aydin,Kelly Sue DeConnick

 

In this collection, there are a load of short stories by a variety of writers and artists to back up the Bitch Planet series. They show the fascistic dystopian world of often violent oppression of minorities and women. With such a collection, some stories will work better for the individual reader than others so it's a matter of personal preference.

Gruesome and reasonably entertaining, worth a look. Quite good.

 

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review 2018-07-06 12:12
Voting for this in the number four slot
Paper Girls Volume 3 - Brian K. Vaughan

I enjoyed this - I just enjoyed the other offerings more.   

 

Still a fun ride, but I missed enough without volume two that I felt a little bit lost.   Not sure how to talk about this without spoiling it, so I'll leave it here. 

 

 

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