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review 2018-06-24 19:21
Damsels and Damsels Mermaids
Damsels Volume 1 Tp - Aneke,Leah Moore,John Reppion
Damsels Mermaids - Matt Sturges,Jean-Paul Deshong
Damsels Vol 2 - Leah Moore

The Damsels series, both the straight forward series by Leah Moore and the sequel series about the Littler Mermaid are at once good and leave you wanting more.  They are wonderful and frustrating.  It’s good but there is a sense that it can be much more.

 

                In part both series, in particular the first by Moore, explore the idea of storytelling as how it effects those in the story.   Are you living your life or simply a narrative?  In Moore’s Damsels this is carried though to the end of the series, but that ending feels rushed.

 

                Damsels Vol 1 and Vol2 follow the adventures of Rapa and her associates.  The story starts in meds rex.  You do not have a very strong sense of a what is going on, but that is because Rapa doesn’t, she is after all missing her memory.  It is then revealed that she is hunted; she is one of the missing princesses, for the witches have taken revenge.  Hence, we have a combination of Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, the Little Mermaid, and Red Riding Hood, among others. 

 

                The character design is wonderful and Moore keeps to the harsher, more extreme version.  So, the Beast is cursed because he doesn’t want to have sex with an older woman, Sleeping Beauty is named Talia.  Though the stories are not quite as dark – Rapa doesn’t seem to have given birth to twins in the desert, among other things.  Yet the small details are quite amazing.  Rapa’s hair, for instance, is wonderfully rendered, and the comment from Talia about always being the spotlight and forced to be perfect are a wonderfully rebuke to the media and its portrayal of princess.

 

                The combination of various stories works quite well.    But the ending is sudden.  It works for the ending tells into the idea of storytelling well as well as the power of belief, but it also hits too fast and too many plot points are either hastily tied up or forgotten.  Perhaps this because the series was canceled, but I’m not sure.

 

                The Mermaids series which runs five issues chronicles the adventures of the Little Mermaid, seemingly before the start of the Damsels series.  The pacing is better, though I give the original series an edge in terms of art (though this is a totally subjective view).  The story is also somewhat darker, though there is a wonderful conversation between the mermaid and a selkie that sets the story going.

 

                There is a bit more humor in the Mermaid series as well, in particular during the fight scenes.  Like the original series, it is also concerned with the idea of kingship, love, and ruling.  It is also more of a woman in a man’s world story as well.

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review 2018-06-24 14:23
Giant Days: Not On the Test Edition Vol.... Giant Days: Not On the Test Edition Vol. 1 - John Allison,Lissa Treiman,Max Sarin

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Great, just what I needed, a new graphic novel obsession.

This book is wonderful! I read a preview of the Giant Days series in one of the Lumberjanes books and was intrigued. I checked this book out from the library and now I'm already hunting Amazon for a copy. 

The characters are so amazing! Of course you fall in love with Esther right away. She's that interesting cool person I wish I could be if I was just 1000% more confident in my own skin. And Daisy is just so adorable and innocent (with surprise yogic powers!). Even Susan grows on you. I wasn't a big fan of her at the start of the collection, but by the end, I was all in. 

Sarcastic, hilarious, amazing book with interesting stories and fantastic artwork. Love, love, love!

The Not on the Test Edition includes eight chapters of humorous entertainment as well as Giant Days: Self-Published Part 1 (It is so crazy to see the early versions of the characters!), Boom! Box Mix Tape 2015 Short (hilarious!), a Cover Gallery, and a Sketch Gallery. This is a great collected edition for fans of Giant Days. And if you're not a fan of Giant Days (yet), you freakin' should be. 

Awesome book. I love it. You should definitely check it out. 

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review 2018-06-24 04:46
The Firm
The Firm - John Grisham

This was the first book I read by John Grisham, so very many years ago. I recently re-read the book (listening wherever I could) and I felt like I was reading another book by the same author. 

 

In this story, Mitch is getting ready to graduate from Law School and he is being recruited by a firm from Nashville, TN and they offer him a lot of money and many perks to come to their firm, but the problem is that after it is announced that he has passed the bar and works for the firm, he is hunted by the FBI to help them prove the wrongdoing of the firm. He finds out that what the FBI was telling him is true and he begins to get the stuff they want together, but he will only give them what they want when he gets what he wants, including his brother being released from jail. 

 

It was interesting the intrigue, but I did feel that I had seen some of it in other books. 

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review 2018-06-24 03:26
Review: The Collapsing Empire
The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi

OMG, I finally did it! I finally finished a Scalzi novel! The first chapter was a real chore to read, but then I swapped to the audiobook. Somehow the prose that seems so corny in print is a delightful lark to listen to. 

 

It still has some problems. The whole plot and world are built around the western building block du jour of imperialism, undercutting the attempt at counter narrative of having an emperor who is horrified by the concept. She isn't trying to change the situation until the nature of the universe makes the construct untenable. 

 

But I did get quite a few laughs out of this. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-23 00:00
Bushville Wins!: The Wild Saga of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and the Screwballs, Sluggers, and Beer Swiggers Who Canned the New York Yankees and Changed Baseball
Bushville Wins!: The Wild Saga of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and the Screwballs, Sluggers, and Beer Swiggers Who Canned the New York Yankees and Changed Baseball - John Klima I borrowed Bushville Wins!: The Wild Saga of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and the Screwballs, Sluggers, and Beer Swiggers Who Canned the New York Yankees and Changed Baseball by John Klima from my dad. My dad grew up in the 50's so he remembers the 1957 world series very well and since I now live in Milwaukee I was interested in learning more about this time in baseball history. This was a well researched book that gives an in-depth look at what I always thought of as the golden age of baseball.

1950's was a time in baseball where everything was changing and the city of New York was the baseball capitol of the world.  Bushville Wins! starts with 1953, the year the year the Braves moved to Milwaukee through the 1957 season. I loved how this book gets into how the whole state of Wisconsin fell in love with the Braves and how the Braves success led to the Giants and Dodgers moving out west. This book gets a little into how barn storming tours were becoming a thing of the past and the very end of the negro leagues. Television was changing a lot also and more people saw the 1957 world series from their homes than ever before.

My favorite part of this book was hearing about how different the players of the time were. There are stories on how Eddie Mathews loved to get drunk and get into fights, how the sports writers of the time use to protect the ball players if they were doing something along the lines of spending all their time in the bars and how the hero of every Braves win got a case of Miller high life from the Miller Brewery which is located near the stadium.The 1957 season gets described in great detail, I loved how it was pointed out how the 57 world series felt like a funeral to New York because both of their National League teams were leaving town and their fans were rooting for the Braves.

I thought it was interesting how when the World Series shifted to Milwaukee not only did the Braves get a warm welcome but the Yankees did too. The Yankees didn't know how to act in the face of Wisconsin hospitality which led to Casey Stengel  calling the city Bushville. Stengel became public enemy number 1. New York and Milwaukee couldn't have been more different but one thing New York found was that Milwaukee fans were much more passionate than New York fans at the time.

If there was anything I didn't like about this book it was that it gave a little too much detail on certain games in the season and how the fans were reacting to the teams and players. At times the descriptions seemed redundant and I found myself loosing interest at points. The book also made me a little sad it points out how important it was for when the Braves beat the Yankees yet we know the next season the Yankees got even and just a few years later Milwaukee's love affair with the Braves was over and the team was headed to Atlanta. This made me wonder why did a city that had a team who never had a losing season turn their backs on them? I guess that's a topic for another book. Since I live in Milwaukee I'm grateful that we have the Brewers to root for now.

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