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review 2020-07-01 14:30
Wonder Woman: Warbringer the Graphic Novel by Leigh Bardugo, Louise Simonson, and Kit Seaton
Wonder Woman: Warbringer the Graphic Novel - Leigh Bardugo,Louise Simonson,George Seaton

Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer the Graphic Novel

Series: DC Icons #1

Authors: Leigh Bardugo, Louise Simonson, Kit Seaton

Published Date: January 7, 2020

Publisher: DC Comics

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 208 pages

Source: Library

Date Read: June 26, 2020



I was gifted the audiobook (CDs) a few years ago, but wasn't interested in listening to this version. I picked up the ebook when it was on sale a while ago, and never felt in the mood to start it. So when I saw this version in my library I decided to go for it and have it fill a prompt on the SRP. I'm so glad I did - it was a great story but also streamlined for my attention span. 

The story opens with Diana preparing for an important race to help her improve her standing with some of her Amazon sisters, especially her mother's right hand woman/#1 general who has an unfounded hate towards Diana because she was created differently than the rest of the island's inhabitants. On her way to winning the race, Diana notices a ship that 1)broke through the barrier separating the island from the World of Man and 2) the ship was on fire and going down quickly. She leaves the race and jumps into the water in the hopes of saving those onboard. There was only one survivor, an older teen named Alia. Alia is the descendent of Helen of Troy and as such, she is a Warbringer. 

Diana and Alia work to find out how to stop the people who are hunting Alia as well as help Alia redeem her ancestors/stop the Warbringer bloodline. There are others on the team: Jason (Alia's brother), Theo (friend of the family), and Nim (Alia's BFF who deserves her own series!). This is a coming of age story nestled in a journey to Greece and the resting place of Helen. On the way there is romance, really great one-liners, and some deep topics brought up (race, sexism, capitalism, etc). 

Overall, it was fun and adventurous story that added to my love of Wonder Woman. 


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review 2020-05-13 13:58
Romantic, funny, amazing
Psychic Princess (Tong Ling Fei) - Tencent Animation & Comics

If you love an easygoing, full of humour, historical but also with some supernatural elements and a romance to die for manga/manhwa/manhua then this is the right one to pick up.

Short summary in my own words:

The female protagonist, Qian Yunxi, was raised on a Mt. Lin Yun because she has the ability to see the supernatural which is deemed bad and that it brings bad luck. She is the prime minister's daughter and although she is the older sister she is a concubine's daughter so she is not held up to such high standards as the second sister who is the legitimate wife's child. Prime minister wants more power so he is not on great terms with the royal family so when the order comes that his daughter must marry one of the princes he sends the daughter he doesn't care about. Qian Yunxi accepts this proposal because she wants to get off the mountain. Marriage goes through and on the first night the prince tells her she is not wanted and there is one other he considers to be good enough to be his wife. Qian is sent to the worst rundown part of the palace. But for Qian, this is not so bad. She, as a wife, has enough freedom and yet, she doesn't need to do her marital duties. She takes this situation as a positive and with a positive attitude and extreme bravery slowly changes the lives of everyone around here, as well as the cold prince's heart.


My thoughts:

In my opinion, this is almost as good as it gets in this genre of manga or if you will, manhua or manhwa (manga not produced in Japan). It is on point of everything it presents itself to be. It is very funny (I laughed my heart out in the scene where she throws a chicken she purchased at the market, just trust me on this one, go read please), it is very romantic, it is serious when it needs to be, the supernatural element enriches the whole plot, it doesn't shy away from the political discussions and we come to the most important part perhaps - the heroine - she is amazing.

The heroine is truly a heroine. She is independent, she is extremely intelligent and capable, she knows how to handle herself in most situations, she is not a damsel in distress, she is the one who often saves those around her, she kicks as% and she has a pure heart. I have not come across such a capable and well written heroine in a very long time.
The prince starts off as an unlikable tyrant-like-bastard who is cold, ruthless and cunning but unwilling to deal with anything that doesn't personally benefit him. As the story develops we actually see that that is just a front. He has much more layers and a lot of the things he has done can be interpreted differently with the right context. He grows significantly when around our capable heroine. He has a great aura about him and the way he handles situations makes me giggle and blush like a little girl. But he has his vulnerable side too and later on we learn that he is actually much more innocent than we could ever have imagined. Now that is great character writing, totally takes you by surprise.
There are many more other characters who are more or less important, and more or less developed but I believe it is better left for the actual reading experience now that the basics have been laid out.

The romance is the type that makes your heart skip a beat, you blush and you also wish you were the heroine. Prince is the possessive type and I really honestly love that. I know some people don't and that is okay. We are all different. I respect people who say they don't like even a little jealousy or possessiveness but for me that is absolutely amazing. The prince takes care of our heroine and he would go to the depths of hell for her. Since this is a fictional story I think it is safe to enjoy it and savour it. Boy, is this romance delightful.

The Chinese setting and the animation style is absolutely beautiful. I enjoyed every single page, every single image. It is different, it is unique and it is definitely worthy of reading and admiring.

For the final note. The anime that was made based on this manga is pretty much faithful to the manga, although there are differences. As always, manga has much more details, much more characters, a lot of the special moments between our hero and heroine that anime just cannot condense the same in a dozen episodes. If you are interested in this story I would definitely say go first with the manga and then enjoy the anime rendition.

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review 2020-03-25 21:13
Mooncakes - Suzanne Walker,Wendy Xu

[I got a copy of this book through Edelweiss.]

Thoroughly enjoyable story, featuring witches, a teenage werewolf trying to kill a demon, protagonists who're in general not the average white protagonist, and LGBTQ relationships.

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review 2020-02-22 19:42
Kevin Keller: Drive Me Crazy (graphic novel) by Dan Parent, pencils by Dan Parent and Bill Galvan
Kevin Keller Vol #2: Drive Me Crazy - Dan Parent

Kevin Keller: Drive Me Crazy is very episodic. In the first chapter, each of the characters has to present a report on an inspirational figure, and Kevin chooses George Takei. Takei finds out about his report and decides to pay Riverdale High a visit. In the second chapter, Kevin has some car problems that complicate a date at the drive-in movie theater. In the third chapter, Kevin is now dating his first ever boyfriend, Devon, but there's just one problem: Devon isn't out yet. In the fourth chapter, Kevin's secret admirer is back (his first appearance was in a previous volume I haven't read), and both he and Kevin are starring in Veronica's musical. Devon, meanwhile, struggles with jealousy.

This is apparently the second (?) Kevin Keller volume - I thought about getting the previous one through ILL first but instead decided to just jump in.

This read much more like the original Archie comics than the Archie and Jughead reboots did, despite being more in-your-face about its progressive aspects. I found the art style to be a bit creepy, with everyone smiling 90% of the time, the dialogue was stiff and not particularly well written, and the stories beat readers over the head with their messages.

Kevin Keller is the first openly gay character in the Archie Comics universe, and it's great that he exists. It's also nice that he's not the sole gay person in Riverdale, although he seems to be the only gay guy that anyone is dating. In this one volume, Kevin goes on dates with three different guys and meets a fourth guy who was his secret admirer in a past volume. I was somewhat confused when Kevin said that Devon was his first boyfriend ever, since I'd thought Todd (in Chapter 2) was Kevin's boyfriend, and it seemed like Brian (in Chapter 1) might have been a past boyfriend of Kevin's.

It was great that Kevin got a few stories that weren't solely focused on him being gay - his car borrowing troubles and date at the drive-in were a nice examples of this. Unfortunately, there were times when I felt like Kevin was more of a big gay after school special. The end of the George Takei chapter and the "oh no, my boyfriend is in the closet" chapters were particularly glaring examples. The George Takei stuff was corny, but the stuff in Chapter 3, with Devon, struck me as being potentially painful for some readers.

Kevin began dating Devon knowing that Devon was still in the closet because his parents were homophobic and wouldn't support him the way Kevin's parents did. However, Kevin hadn't even arrived at their first date before he started to have problems with their relationship. He hated that he had to drive out of his way to meet Devon and that they had to be secretive. When kids at school started to find out, Devon said some hurtful (and extremely dated - "I'm not fruity or light in the loafers, as they say!") things to try to reestablish himself as definitely not gay. (Okay, seriously, I had to google "light in the loafers." Does anyone who is not in their 70s even use that phrase anymore?)

Things between Kevin and Devon devolved to the point where Kevin said he couldn't date anyone who was still in the closet. And yeah, he has the right to decide what's best for himself when it comes to relationships, but I disliked that the "happy" resolution to their relationship woes involved

Devon coming out and becoming homeless after his parents kicked him out. Veronica gave him a place to stay, but still.

(spoiler show)

Oh, and one thing I noticed: although I'm pretty sure that even the original Archie comics allowed its characters to kiss on-page, the most Kevin did with anyone was hold hands or hug. After a bit of googling, I discovered that Kevin does get an on-page kiss later on in the series, so that's good. If two heterosexual characters can kiss on-page and still be considered sickeningly wholesome, two gay characters should be able to do the same. Although, from what I've read, Kevin's kiss results in him having to deal with a homophobic stranger's complaints.

I don't intend to read more of this series, although I do have a Kevin Keller novel in my collection that I plan on reading eventually.


Six pages of full-color illustrations of Kevin, Betty, and Veronica acting as fashion models.


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

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review 2020-02-09 01:34
Vertigo Visions: Artwork from the Cutting Edge of Comics by Alisa Kwitney
Vertigo Visions: Artwork from the Cutting Edge of Comics - Alisa Kwitney

This slim volume features a selection of cover, trading card, and gallery art from DC Comics' now discontinued Vertigo imprint. A few of the series featured are ones I've read, albeit a very long time ago: Sandman, The Books of Magic, Black Orchid, Swamp Thing, Sandman Mystery Theatre. Most are series I've never heard of before, or heard of but never looked into enough to find out what they were about. I've been meaning to try Animal Man for ages, for example, but it still hasn't happened.

When I was in high school, I'd occasionally use my lunch period to go to a nearby comics shop and buy a few things. The store was arranged by publisher, with imprints getting their own subsections, and an odd "miscellaneous" section to catch anything by smaller publishers. I spent most of my time in the Marvel and "miscellaneous" sections (yay, Elfquest!), but my love of Neil Gaiman's Sandman prompted me to spend time in the Vertigo section as well. Although I never bought many Vertigo titles - I didn't have much money and didn't know which series I might like, and the store owner was so unwelcoming that I didn't dare ask him for recommendations - I loved the covers. They looked so different from the Marvel and other DC stuff.

I spotted this book during a shopping trip years ago and bought it with the intention of using it as artistic inspiration. Nothing ever came of that, but it was still nice looking at all the artwork and huge variety of styles. Each section has a little bit of text, normally something about the history of a particular series. Most of the artwork just has captions with the title and issue number if applicable, date, and artist, but a few include tidbits of info about the artists' style and, very occasionally, something about their technique or the medium used.

All in all, this is a nice collection of artwork. I wish there had been more text focused on particular pieces, though, and interviews with some of the artists would have been great.


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

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