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review 2017-10-16 02:43
Hatsune Miku Graphics: Vocaloid Art & Comic, Vol. 1, English translation by Jocelyne Allen
Hatsune Miku Graphics: Vocaloid Comic & Art Volume 1 - Comptiq,Various

Meh. I considered buying this and related Vocaloid titles a while back, and I’m now glad I didn’t. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t have anything in it that I think I’d want to pore over again at a later date. For those who are wondering (because I wondered, back when I was considering getting it), it’s primarily an artbook. There are only a few comics.

Artwork:

There were a bunch of Vocaloid illustrations from various artists. Hatsune Miku was the most common subject, but there were also lots of works featuring Len and Rin and a few featuring Luka, Meiko, and (very occasionally) Kaito. Each artist got a line or two to introduce themselves, and some of them included commentary for the individual illustrations. Unfortunately, each artist only got one or two pages, so the more illustrations and commentary they included the smaller the illustrations were.

There were a couple pages total of Character Vocal Series official visuals for Miku, Rin, Len, and Luka. They included descriptions of the defining features of their outfits and, for some reason, age, height, weight, and music specialty information for everyone but Luka.

There were six pages of Project Diva artwork - mostly character models. It was almost entirely focused on Miku, but there were a few character models for Meiko, Kaito, Luka, Rin, Len, Yowane Haku, and Akita Neru.

There were six pages of information on various popular (?) Vocaloid PVs. In most cases it was “one page, one PV,” with video stills, a short description, and information about the video’s popularity. I hadn’t heard of a single one of them before, but then I tend to focus on a few tuners I really like and that’s it. I don't have any favorite producers.

There were a couple pages of artwork by Nishimata Aoi, after which there were six pages of Vocaloid CD and DVD artwork. I recognized the Supercell and “Magnet” artwork.

Comics:

There are six pages of 4-koma comics created by Ontama and Torikara-P. While Torikara-P’s artwork was adorable, I thought Ontama’s comics were more amusing. That said, neither sets of comics were very memorable.

There was a page of story information about something called “Torabotic World,” which I gather is a Vocaloid PV (yet another one I haven’t heard of). It was followed by an 18-page wordless “Torabotic World” comic by Nagimiso. It was cute, but occasionally a little hard to follow.

The volume ended with two more comics: “May Be Family” by Nagian and “Good Morning, Emma Sympson” by Batako. “May Be Family” featured Meiko and a grown-up Rin and Len (and maybe Kaito? Was the guy Kaito?) suddenly finding an adorable child Miku. This was my favorite comic in the volume - a bit over-sweet, but nice enough. “Good Morning, Emma Sympson” featured a Vocaloid producer hoping to reconnect with a childhood friend via Miku’s music. It was okay, but the emotional flow was a bit choppy.

Again: meh. If I read any of the other Hatsune Miku Graphics books, it’ll continue to be via library checkouts. I don’t feel the need to get them for my personal collection.

 

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

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review 2017-07-29 13:11
Review: "The Fifth Son" by Blaine D. Arden
The Fifth Son - Blaine D. Arden

 

~ 3.5 stars ~

 

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url 2017-07-24 19:24
"More Dinosaur Lords Art from Richard Anderson"

I'm now 384 pages into the book. It's not giving me nearly as much dinosaur time as I expected, although there are some nice moments here and there.

 

Richard Anderson's interior dinosaur art is probably the best dinosaur stuff in the book. Tor.com has some examples - there's one of these at the start of every chapter.

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review 2017-04-29 04:55
A New Literary Classic
The Story of Diva and Flea - Mo Willems,Tony DiTerlizzi

Two unlikely friends embark on a life altering journey in The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi.  Diva is a small dog who lives in an apartment complex at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France.  She takes her job of guarding the courtyard very seriously.

Flea is a streetwise cat who loves exploring the city of lights.  One day, his travels take him past 11 avenue Le Play...and Diva.  He finds the petite pooch to be quite interesting.  Flea cannot understand why Diva runs away every time that someone enters the courtyard.  A miscommunication soon turns into a budding friendship.

Diva loves listening to Flea's stories about the wondrous sights of Paris.  She admires his bravery and courage and decides to become an explorer too.  Does this curious canine have what it takes to make it on the streets of Paris?  Can Flea conquer his fear of brooms and the humans that come with them?  Most importantly, will Diva and Flea's friendship survive despite their vastly different backgrounds?

I absolutely love this book!  The story reminds me of a mixture of Disney's Oliver and Company with a dash of Madeline.  While I have not been to Paris, I can definitely relate to the bond that Diva and Flea share.  My husband and I rescued a two week old kitten from the middle of main street in our town and our three-legged dog, Penny, immediately bonded with the kitten and began raising her.  

This story has so many fantastic themes woven intricately within the chapters.  I also love how the story is told from both Diva and Flea's perspective.  It is truly magical to see how their individual lives come together to create a relationship that each hadn't thought possible.

Tony DiTerlizzi's illustrations are enchanting.  Readers of all ages will fall in love with the adorable Diva and Flea.  I am also blown away by the detail that DiTerlizzi puts into each image.  His buildings are simply incredible!  I almost felt as if I was in Paris, smelling the scent of coffee and freshly baked bread.

I would highly recommend this book to readers ages 8 to 108!  This classic story of friendship, courage and discovery will surely be treasured for years to come.  I think it would also make for a fantastic movie or television series.

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review 2017-04-27 02:31
A Fun Read
How Dachshunds Came to Be: A Tall Tale About a Short Long Dog (Volume 1) - Kizzie Elizabeth Jones,Scott Ward

How Dachshunds Came to Be:  A Tall Tale about a Short Long Dog by Kizzie Elizabeth Jones is a mythical story about how Dachshunds were created.  The reader is introduced to a little girl who loves to play with her sea creature friends.  One day, the girl becomes sad because her friends are preparing to migrate to warmer waters for the winter. 

 

The girl’s sea creature friends decide that since they cannot stay with her, they will create an animal that can.  Each friend contributes a personal characteristic to the creature.  What magical beast do they create?  Dachshunds!

 

Will the little girl like the Dachshunds?  More importantly, will the Dachshunds like her?

I thought this book was a fun read.  I do wish that the story would have been a bit longer.  I feel that it ended quite abruptly after the girl is gifted the Dachshunds.  I would have liked to see more interaction between the girl and her newfound friends.

 

Additionally, I would have liked to have a little more background information about the little girl.  Is she living alone on the beach?  What happened to her family?  If she has a family, what do they think of the Dachshunds?

 

Scott Ward’s illustrations are simply delightful!  I love his use of vibrant colors.  Ward’s depiction of Dachshunds is spot on and I love the characters that he has created.  My favorite illustration is the blueprint of the sea creatures.  The detail of the illustration blew me away.

 

Overall, this book will delight animal lovers of all ages.

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