Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Paul's TOP COMIC BOOKS/GRAPHIC NOVELS Read in 2020

 I read a lot of books in 2020, specifically comics and graphic novels. I read 77 of my 50 books for my 2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge. And only 5 of them didn't have pictures and text. Out of those 72 books, I've selected my favorites. Below you will find the TOP comic books and graphic novels that I read in 2018. Click on the titles or cover pictures for links to my reviews!  





 MY TOP COMIC BOOKS/GRAPHIC NOVELS OF 2020


















 









 



What were your favorite books of 2020? What books are you looking forward to in 2021?




--PAUL

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Paul's TOP FIVE CHILDREN'S/PICTURE BOOKS Read in 2020

 I read a lot of books in 2020, specifically books with pictures. While most of those were comics and graphic novels, a few were picture books and other books for children. I read 77 of my 50 books for my 2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge. And only 4 of them didn't have pictures and text. Below you will find the TOP FIVE children's and picture books that I read in 2020. Click on the titles or cover pictures for links to my reviews!  





 MY TOP Children's/Picture Books OF 2020









What were your favorite books of 2020? What books are you looking forward to in 2021?




--PAUL

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Paul's TOP FIVE Books Read in 2020

I would say that 2020 was another reading slump year for me when it comes to non-graphic novels, but this has been a trend for years now so I need to just accept that I read novels slower than I used to. That doesn't mean I can't try to read more, though. I just won't be surprised when next year around this time I've only read a handful of non-comic, non-picture books.


I read 77 books in 2020, but most of them were comics, graphic novels, and picture books. I had set my 2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge to 50, which I accomplished and a few more. I'm going to set my 2021 Reading Challenge at 50 again, knowing I'll probably be reading a lot of graphic novels again. In this post, I'll list my top (non-graphic) books I read in 2020. I've made a separate post for my favorites comics and graphic novels I read as well as my favorite children's and picture books.

All of my top books this year are YA Fantasy books. And most of them feature queer protagonists. That's my favorite genre, so that's what I read and enjoy.

Below you will find the TOP FIVE books that I read in 2020. Click on the titles or cover pictures for links to my reviews! 



 MY TOP 5 BOOKS OF 2019


















What were your favorite books of 2020? What books are you looking forward to in 2021?




--PAUL

Friday, January 1, 2021

The Man Who F#&%ed Up Time (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Aftershock Comics via Edelweiss. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*



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Title: 
The Man Who F#&%ed Up Time
Author:  John Layman
Artists: Karl Mostert
Upcoming Release Date: January 5, 2021


Synopsis: TIME IS NOT ON HIS SIDE.

Sean Bennett is just your everyday, ordinary lab worker in a high-tech lab with a prototype time machine. And, yeah, he's got the same temptations any of us would have about going back in time, just a bit, to correct mistakes of the past and right old wrongs. So when he meets a version of himself from the future who encourages him to do just that, Sean takes the temporal plunge. Only ... can you guess what happens next? Did you read the book title? Yup. All of TIME is f#&%ed up now, and it's up to Sean to correct it - or else!



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Review: I am a fan of time travel stories, especially ridiculous ones like this one. This book was fun. The opening really sets the tone well. There's dinosaurs and a descendent of Abraham Lincoln is ruling. The time shenanigans than ensue are fun and adventurous.

The way time travel works in this book doesn't quite follow the rules I like the most, but if you don't get too bogged down on the details, it's quite the ride. There are also some humorous death sequences. The twist ending feels deserved and I liked it.

I give this book a 4/5. It was a quick, fun read. Great visuals. You just can't think about it too much and just enjoy it.


--PAUL

Thursday, December 31, 2020

"The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse" by Charlie Mackesy - Paul's REVIEW



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Title: 
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
Author: Charlie Mackesy
Release Date: October 10, 2019


Synopsis: The Sunday Times Bestseller and New York Times Bestseller.

'You will not be able to buy a more beautiful book for Christmas for somebody you love' Chris Evans

A book of hope for uncertain times.

Enter the world of Charlie's four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons.

The conversations of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared thousands of times online, recreated in school art classes, hung on hospital walls and turned into tattoos. In Charlie's first book, you will find his most-loved illustrations and some new ones too.

'A wonderful work of art and a wonderful window into the human heart' Richard Curtis



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Review: 
I received this book as a birthday gift from my parents for my 32nd birthday. I hadn't heard of it before then so I watched a few youtube videos about the author. What an inspiring story. This book is over a year old, but I'm glad I found it when I did.

I read this book in one sitting. And it didn't take very long. This book is made up of simple (yet exquisite) artwork and small phrases. Each page could stand alone, but together they all tell a story. A story of encouragement, hope, questioning, and finding meaning.

This is the kind of book you just want to leave out and hope others are curious enough to flip it open and get sucked inside. I can see myself keeping it close by my desk so that when I need some quick motivation or inspiration I can just flip through it.

I give this book a 5/5. This book makes a great gift for anyone, but especially creative people or those who need to find self worth.


--PAUL

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Go Go Power Rangers, Vol. 8 (comic) - Paul's REVIEW



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Go Go Power Rangers Vol.1
Go Go Power Rangers Vol.2
Go Go Power Rangers Vol.3
Go Go Power Rangers Vol.4
Go Go Power Rangers Vol.5
Go Go Power Rangers: Back to School 
Go Go Power Rangers Vol.7


Title: 
Go Go Power Rangers, Vol. 8
Author: Ryan Parrott & Sina Grace
Illustrators: Eduardo Francisco, Francesco Mortarino, & Raul Angulo
Release Date: December 29, 2020


Synopsis: The Necessary Evil event continues as Tommy must prove he’s worthy of becoming the White Ranger, while Jason, Trini and Zack must decide if they will become the new OMEGA RANGERS - even if it means deceiving everyone they hold dear.

THE TRUE ORIGIN OF THE WHITE RANGER!

The critically-acclaimed Necessary Evil event continues, as the Power Rangers are left reeling from the events of their war with Lord Drakkon in Shattered Grid. But perhaps none is more affected than Tommy Oliver, formerly the Green Ranger, and now without purpose...until Zordon brings him a new opportunity. But what will take for Tommy to prove he’s worth of being the all-new WHITE RANGER?

Meanwhile, Jason, Trini and Zack must decide if they will become the new OMEGA RANGERS - even if it means deceiving everyone they hold dear.

The writing duo of New York Times bestseller Ryan Parrott (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and the GLAAD Award-nominated Sina Grace (Iceman) join artists Francesco Mortarino (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and  Eduardo Francisco (Adventures of Superman) to answer some of the biggest questions in Power Rangers history!

Collects Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers #25-28.


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Review: This ongoing series is coming to a close. There's only one more volume after this before the new series begins. This volume focuses on the origin of the White Ranger. These were some of my favorite episodes as a child. I absolutely loved when Tommy returned in a spiffy new outfit. One of my most cherished memories of childhood Christmas gifts involves me waking up way too early to find a stuffed White Ranger doll under the tree.

This book takes all of the implied emotions and underlying feelings that would make sense during this change in the team (but were not shown at all in the show) and make them at the forefront. Jason is dealing with knowing the events of Shattered Grid and potentially starting a new team of his own (which we know will become the Omega Rangers). Tommy is struggling with having lost his Green powers and figuring out how to move on. Zedd is the new big bad in town. There's even a reference to the actual episode in a footnote if you want to go watch these episodes that connect on Netflix. 

We get to see Tommy proving himself worthy of the new power. Saba! 

In addition to the White Ranger story, the final issue collected in this volume focuses on Rita and her minions during their time in the space dumpster. It is a standalone story. It is everything I love about these Power Rangers comics. It fills a big gap from the show with something that fleshes out characters and strengthens the worldbuilding. And, of course, I love that it's a story focusing on EMPATHY!

I give this book a 5/5. I absolutely love these books. They're my favorite thing to read. I've struggled with whether I should read the issues as they're released or continue waiting for the trade paperbacks, but I like reading (mostly) a whole story arc in one sitting. 


--PAUL

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from IDW Publishing via NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*



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Title: 
Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band
Author: Christian Staebler & Sonia Paoloni 
Illustrator: Thibault Balahy
Release Date: October 27, 2020


Synopsis: Experience the riveting, powerful story of the Native American civil rights movement and the resulting struggle for identity told through the high-flying career of west coast rock n' roll pioneers Redbone.

You've heard the hit song "Come and Get Your Love" in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, but the story of the band behind it is one of cultural, political, and social importance.

Brothers Pat and Lolly Vegas were talented Native American rock musicians that took the 1960s Sunset Strip by storm. They influenced The Doors and jammed with Jimmy Hendrix before he was "Jimi," and the idea of a band made up of all Native Americans soon followed. Determined to control their creative vision and maintain their cultural identity, they eventually signed a deal with Epic Records in 1969. But as the American Indian Movement gained momentum the band took a stand, choosing pride in their ancestry over continued commercial reward.

Created with the cooperation of the Vegas family, authors Christian Staebler and Sonia Paolini with artist Thibault Balahy take painstaking steps to ensure the historical accuracy of this important and often overlooked story of America's past. Part biography and part research journalism, Redbone provides a voice to a people long neglected in American history.



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Review: I was familiar with some Redbone songs, but I did not know the story of the band's origin. This is a biographical graphic novel that follows the members of the band starting in the late 1950s. There's also a paired story in the modern time within the book. These kind of stories deserve to be told. I just really wish this particular book was more captivating. 

I found the formatting of the book difficult to follow. I read a lot of graphic novel and I found myself unsure where on the page to read next. I ended up reading many sentences out of order, I think. There isn't a clear through-line to guide you through the historic events. It's awesome to see the cameos of other famous musicians during that time period, but they didn't blend well with the story. It seemed like the book followed the chain of events that happened in reality, but there wasn't a story to follow that really kept me gripped. I found myself casually flipping ahead while perusing the pages.

I give this book a 3/5. The content and historical facts were super interesting, but the artwork and the storytelling methods used did not compliment them well. I'm glad I read this book because it led to me researching more about the band and listening to their music on Spotify. 


--PAUL