Friday, September 13, 2019

Witchy (graphic novel) by Ariel Slamet Ries - Paul's REVIEW

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

WitchyAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Witchy
Creator: Ariel Slamet Ries
Upcoming Release Date: September 17, 2019


Synopsis: In the witch kingdom Hyalin, the strength of your magic is determined by the length of your hair. Those that are strong enough are conscripted by the Witch Guard, who enforce the law in peacetime and protect the land during war. However, those with hair judged too long are pronounced enemies of the kingdom, and annihilated. This is called a witch burning.

Witchy is a comic about the young witch Nyneve, who is haunted by the death of her father and the threat the Witch Guard poses to her own life. When conscription rolls around, Nyneve has a choice to make; join the institution complicit in her father's death, or stand up for her ideals?

Witchy was nominated for the 2015 Ignatz for Outstanding Online Comic, the 2016 DINKy for Outstanding Web Comic, and the Danish "Pingprisen" for Best Online Series in 2017 and 2018.



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Review: In a world where your magical ability is representative by the length of your hair, one young witch hides her true appearance while at her school for magic. There's a big test approaching that can determine each student's future. I really enjoyed the Hogwarts feel to this comic, but unlike Hogwarts there is diversity among the characters! I loved seeing a trans character featured. 


The artwork in this book is beautiful. Really great imagery. It's a fantasy world full of history. The world is so much bigger than just this story, which is always great to see in a fantasy story. It's reminiscent of Avatar: The Last Airbender, too. 

This is a really fun, interesting story. There are some cliches and tropes, but those come with most fantasy stories. There is a bit of info dumping too, which is also pretty common in a fantasy story. 

I give this book a 4.5/5. This is a rich fantasy world full of interesting characters doing interesting things.  


--PAUL

Monday, September 2, 2019

Grease Bats by Archie Bongiovanni (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

43121848. sx318 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Grease Bats
Author: Archie Bongiovanni
Upcoming Release Date: September 3, 2019


Synopsis: So, no one told you life was gonna be this gay! Grease Bats stars Andy, a trans genderqueer individual who is both tough and loving, and their BFF Scout, an all-feelings-all-the-time mistake-maker. 

Andy and Scout are best buds, roommates, and gay disasters. Along with their friends and plenty of beer, they’re just trying to make it through their 20s, survive late capitalism, and navigate the dating world. Tough and loving Andy is a genderqueer trans individual, who dates like there’s no tomorrow, while Scout, an all-feelings-all-the-time mistake-maker, is still languishing over her ex-girlfriend…from like two years ago.

Created by Archie Bongiovanni (The Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns) and originally published on Autostraddle, this edition collects all the best misadventures, internet dates, and bad decisions in one place! 



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Review: This graphic novel is a beautifully queer collection of comic strip stories. There's so many different topics covered. The stories showcase the challenges and struggles of queer people. But, there are also some pretty hilarious parts. I give this collection a 4/5



--PAUL

Friday, August 30, 2019

Stage Dreams by Melanie Gillman (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Stage DreamsAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Stage Dreams
Creator: Melanie Gillman
Upcoming Release Date: September 3, 2019


Synopsis: In this rollicking queer western adventure, acclaimed cartoonist Melanie Gillman (Stonewall Award Honor Book As the Crow Flies) puts readers in the saddle alongside Flor and Grace, a Latinx outlaw and a trans runaway, as they team up to thwart a Confederate plot in the New Mexico Territory. When Flor--also known as the notorious Ghost Hawk--robs the stagecoach that Grace has used to escape her Georgia home, the first thing on her mind is ransom. But when the two get to talking about Flor's plan to crash a Confederate gala and steal some crucial documents, Grace convinces Flor to let her join the heist. 



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Review: This Old West story is wonderfully queer and diverse. Trans and indigenous characters. Outlaws on an adventure. There's even a fancy ball scene. This graphic novel is very cute and I absolutely love all the intentions behind this story, but it did not keep my attention. I found myself bored while reading this book. It is simple and cute. I think i Just wanted more. I give this book a 3/5. There need to be more books like this, but this particular book just did not keep my attention.



--PAUL

Thursday, August 29, 2019

No Ivy League (graphic novel) by Hazel Newlevant - Paul's REVIEW

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

No Ivy LeagueAmazon | Goodreads

Title: 
No Ivy League
Creator: Hazel Newlevant 
Upcoming Release Date: September 3, 2019


Synopsis: When 17-year-old Hazel Newlevant takes a summer job clearing ivy from the forest in her home town of Portland, Oregon, her only expectation is to earn a little money. Homeschooled, affluent, and sheltered, Hazel soon finds her job working side by side with at-risk teens to be an initiation into a new world that she has no skill in navigating. This uncomfortable and compelling memoir is an important story of a girl's awakening to the racial insularity of her life, the power of white privilege, and the hidden story of segregation in Portland.



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Review: This graphic novel is a great memoir style introspection about an important summer that changed a young person's perspective on the world during an important age of development. Privilege is at the heart of this story. Understanding it, realizing the unfair benefits, and understanding your own. Race, class, gender, and teen hormones. 


I give this book a 4/5. It's a great look into the early 2000s Pacific Northwest. Class differences, homeschool, race, and so many other topics are brought up. This book gives you plenty to think about.


--PAUL

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Meal (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

MealAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Meal
Creators: Blue Delliquanti & Soleil Ho
Release Date: January 4, 2019


Synopsis: Yarrow is a young chef determined to make her mark on the cutting edge of cookery with her insect-based creations. Though her enthusiasm is infectious, it rubs some of her fellow cooks the wrong way, especially Chanda Flores, Yarrow's personal hero and executive chef of an exciting new restaurant. Her people have been eating bugs for centuries, and she's deeply suspicious of this newbie's attempt to turn her traditions into the next foodie trend. While Chanda and her scrappy team of talented devotees struggle to open on time, Yarrow must win over Chanda -- and Milani, the neighbor she's been crushing on for weeks -- or lose this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve her dreams.



Co-written with chef and food writer Soleil Ho (Edible Manhattan, Bitch), Blue Delliquanti's sweet coming-of-age story takes us deep into a world of art, mystery, and memory on the culinary frontier.



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Review: This graphic novel is both a story and an informative narrative. It almost serves as a recipe for entomophagy cooking (or bug eating). This book provides great arguments for the use of insects in cooking as a protein. The story follows a restaurant with a certain special protein as its main attraction. 


I really liked the concept of this book, but the story just did not draw me in quick enough. It was slow and not exciting enough, for me. I give this book a 3/5. If you're interested in eating insects, you should definitely check this book out for some info and background. It is the future. 


--PAUL

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Wrong Earth, Vol. 1 (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

The Wrong Earth, Vol. 1Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
The Wrong Earth, Vol. 1
Authors: Tom Peyer & Paul Constant, 
Artists: Jamal Igle, Juan Castro, Frank Cammuso, Gary Erskine, & Tom Feister
Release Date: May 14, 2019


Synopsis: Collecting the smash-hit miniseries that launched Ahoy Comics! On dark, gritty Earth-Omega, masked vigilante Dragonfly punishes evil maniacs and evades corrupt authorities. On sun-splashed Earth-Alpha, costumed crook-catcher Dragonflyman upholds the letter of the law. Now they're trapped on each other's worlds, where even the good guys don't share their values! 

This volume also collects The Wrong Earth 1-6, including all the original Stinger and Dragonflyman backup stories, plus extra behind-the-scenes features.



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Review: Two different worlds. Two different superheroes: The Dragonfly and Dragonflyman. I love multiverse stories. Alternative possibilities. I could hear Adam West's and Christian Bale's voices in these characters. The two worlds and their characters are so different. I like the changes in vocabulary. There's one world where guns are the answer to everything. In the other, ridiculous over the top things happen. And there's also a lot of sexism, racism, and misogyny. The story calls out hypocrisy and biases. Privileges.  


This story is essentially Adam West Batman and Christian Bale Batman, but with enough new character traits to make them unique individuals playing with the established tropes. Deuce is a "Harley Quinn"-like character and she is pretty damn awesome. There's a great last page reveal. I am excited for volume two!

I give this graphic novel a 4.5/5. It's an original concept playing with classic tropes in a well executed way. I love multiverse stories, especially when they provoke ethical thinking. There's a lot of great questions that are brought up. I hope the next volume continues these moral quandaries. 


--PAUL

Monday, August 12, 2019

Hotel Dare (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Hotel DareAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Hotel Dare
Author: Terry Blas
Illustrator: Claudia Aguirre
Upcoming Release Date: June 11, 2019


Synopsis: It’s not your typical family vacation when Olive, and her adopted siblings Darwin and Charlotte find themselves falling into other worlds as they explore Grandma LupĂ©’s strange hotel.

OPEN THE DOOR. ADVENTURE AWAITS. 

Olive and her adopted siblings Charlotte and Darwin are spending the summer with their estranged grandma at her creepy hotel and it’s all work and no play. They’re stuck inside doing boring chores but they soon stumble upon an incredible secret... Behind each room door of the hotel lies a portal to a different strange and mysterious place. The simple turn of a knob transports them to a distant magical world filled with space pirates. Behind the next door are bearded wizards. Down the hall is a doorway to a cotton-candied kingdom. But once the doors are opened, worlds start colliding, and only one family can save them before they tear themselves apart. 




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Review: Three kids are spending their summer with their eccentric grandmother in her unusual hotel in Mexico. What starts out as a contemporary family story quickly turns into an adventurous fantasy with portals that lead to many different worlds. The artwork is beautiful. The various worlds each have their own distinct style. There's a pretty epic battle panel.


This story showcases different types of families. It's full of acceptance and diverse characters. This book kept my attention the whole time. Full of excitement. I give this book a 5/5. There's so much great going on in this story! 


--PAUL

Friday, August 9, 2019

The Chancellor and the Citadel by Maria Capelle Frantz (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

The Chancellor and the CitadelAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
The Chancellor and the Citadel
Author/Illustrator: Maria Capelle Frantz
Release Date: January 29, 2019


Synopsis: The world is over. All that remains is the Citadel, and the Chancellor who protects it from the hostility beyond its walls. But what can she do when a fearful and angry mob is convinced she brought the world to ruin in the first place, and are determined to make her pay for it by destroying the one bastion of hope the world has left?

In her dramatic, richly imagined graphic novel debut, cartoonist Maria Frantz has created a brisk fantasy tale about the fears that lead to war, and the bonds that can keep a stronghold standing against the darkness.



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Review: This middle grade graphic novel deals with some pretty cool concepts and plays with interesting moral quandaries. Pretty deep topics of morality and death. Although I was intrigued by the subject matter, I was confused for a majority of the book. I didn't quite understand exactly what was going on. 


I give this book a 3/5. Cool art and interesting concepts, but I could not follow the story. 


--PAUL

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Midnight Radio by Iolanda Zanfardino (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Midnight RadioAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Midnight Radio
Author/Illustrator: Iolanda Zanfardino
Release Date: June 4, 2019


Synopsis: An intriguingly interwoven tale of four lives changed by a mysterious late-night radio broadcast that wakes them up from their mundane existences. Each tale speaks to different social issues without pandering to a political agenda: LGBT+ rights, racism, social network addiction, and the difficult decision between settling down versus following your dreams. Each tale is told in a vivid, polychromatic illustration style that flows from one character to another and back again in a uniquely identifiable fashion.



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Review: This graphic novel follows four different, interconnected stories. Each character only uses one color in their panels. I really liked the style. Each story has its own theme, but they all connect. This is a very modern story. Very Millennial. It's all about the modern social media age. This is a mature graphic novel that includes nudity. 


I give this book a 4/5. I really enjoyed the artistic style of the varying stories and the modern relevancy of each story. 


--PAUL

Monday, May 27, 2019

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Gender Queer: A MemoirAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Gender Queer: A Memoir
Author: Maia Kobabe
Upcoming Release Date: May 28, 2019

Synopsis: In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia's intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity--what it means and how to think about it--for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.



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Review: This memoir is excellent. The author takes us through eir life from childhood up to present day. The subjects of gender, sexuality, and identity are present in all parts of eir life. This could be described as a coming-out story, but a more accurate representation of coming-out. Throughout eir life, e had various identities that led to having to (or choosing to) come out. 


This memoir is so informative, but shows one person's personal experience. I learned a lot and I thought I already was pretty familiar with gender identities. I wasn't familiar with the e/em/eir pronouns.

I loved this book. The artwork and flow of the story blends so well into a story you're going to read in one sitting. I think this book would be great for anyone unsure about their own gender or are curious about non-binary and gender queer experiences. I give this book a 5/5 and will be recommending it to everyone this summer!   


--PAUL

Sunday, May 26, 2019

How Do You Smoke a Weed? (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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


How Do You Smoke a Weed?Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
How Do You Smoke a Weed?
Author: Lauren Keller
Artists: Lin Visel & Joseph Bergin III 
Recent Release Date: April 23, 2019

Synopsis: Sprout, a wee babe of a Weeping Giant Sequoia, is psyched to smoke marijuana for the first time. But she stumbles on her first obstacle right away: she has no idea what she's doing! A trio of helpful (and more mature) sequoias give her a dried cannabis flower and send her on a delightful journey of discovery. The forest is alive with wizened old animals who know the laws and customs, the history and science, and all the ins and outs of America's increasingly legal pastime. HOW DO YOU SMOKE A WEED? is both a fun storybook quest and a practical how-to for the novice weed smoker!

With marijuana decriminalized or legalized in 26 states and Washington, DC, dispensaries popping up everywhere, and experienced users openly rejoicing, it can be hard for the marijuana newbie, cowed by years of Just-Say-No disinformation, to find your way. Written by experienced, conscientious users and presented in an easy-to-read comic book format, HOW DO YOU SMOKE A WEED? fills that gap. Perfect for the cannabis-curious, and with new insights for the veteran smoker. 



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Review: I'm a big fan of edutainment graphic novels. I've recently read quite a few on sex and gender, and now this book which gives an entertaining introduction to marijuana. Weed is becoming legal across the United States and many adults are trying it for the first time, whether it is to just get high or to help their anxiety, joint pain, or just to help them sleep. This graphic novel gives a brief run-down on marijuana.


First off, the book makes it very clear that this is for responsible, consenting adults and that you should follow the laws in whatever state you live in. The purpose of this graphic novel is to combat decades of misinformation and criminalization. 

There's a good mixture of science-y facts and step-by-step instructions. Joints and bongs are covered. Even how to properly clean out a bong. There's a great section on healthy munchies ideas. The science behind sativa, indica, & CBD is explained. All of these things are great introductions that can give you the vocabulary to be able to research yourself or be knowledgeable enough to talk to the cashiers at a local store about what may work best for you. 

I give this book a 4/5. It's full of great, responsible information. But I wanted more details. It's always difficult for edutainment material to balance the goofs and the facts. I wanted just a little less funny. This is a great beginner's guide, especially for someone who is not familiar with weed.



--PAUL

Friday, May 24, 2019

Middlewest Book One (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Middlewest Book OneAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Middlewest Book One
Author: Skottie Young 
Artists: Jorge Corona & Mike Huddleston
Upcoming Release Date: May 28, 2019


Synopsis: The lands between the coasts are vast, slow to change, and full of hidden magics. The town of Farmington has been destroyed sending an unwitting adventurer and his vulpine companion in search of answers to quell a coming storm that speaks his name. From author SKOTTIE YOUNG (I HATE FAIRYLAND, DEADPOOL) and artist JORGE CORONA (NO. 1 WITH A BULLET, FEATHERS, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA: OLD MAN JACK) comes the tale of Abel, a young boy who must navigate an old land in order to reconcile his family's history.

Collects MIDDLEWEST #1-6



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Review: This book starts out with a boy and his paper route, but there's more to this world than there seems. There's differences from the expected. Weird pink tanks attached to every building. A talking fox. There is no info-dumping in this story. I have no idea what this world is, and I love it. It's definitely giving me Wizard of Oz vibes (there's even a reference to The Wiz). The back and forth dialogue between Abel and his fox companion is great. 


There's a lot of interesting dynamics in this book. Abel has some daddy issues. This story tackles topics like heritable aggression, the fear of becoming your own father. I'm excited to see where this story will go.

I give this book a 4/5. The artwork is captivating. The characters have depth. I'm looking forward to where this story is going.  


--PAUL

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Midas by Ryan North (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Midas (The Midas Flesh)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Midas
Writer: Ryan North
Artists: Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb 
Recent Release Date: May 7, 2019


Synopsis: The acclaimed team behind the Eisner Award-winning Adventure Time comic books, New York Times best-selling author Ryan North (Squirrel Girl) and beloved illustrators Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb (One Day a Dot: The Story of You, The Universe, and Everything), combine forces once again for an original sci-fi space comedy unlike the universe has ever seen! Space captain Joey, navigator Fatima, and scientist (and dinosaur) Cooper are headed to Earth—a planet completely sectioned off, abandoned, and covered in gold—and are confronted by the most powerful weapon in the universe: some ancient dead guy's body?! Now they gotta keep King Midas’ body from being dropped on planets across the universe, and figure out exactly what to do with a gross dead dude with one truly ridiculous superpower.



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Review: I hadn't heard of this series before. When it was first released, it was titled Midas Flesh. This book compiles all of the issues from the series into a big, over 200 page collection. I read the whole story in just a few sittings. 


I love books that have high concepts that really play into their unique stories. The basic premise of this book is that when Midas was given the ability to make everything he touched turn to gold, the whole planet of Earth became gold and became stuck in that moment. Hundreds of years later, an interesting space crew is on a mission to defy the government and change the world using the power of Midas. 

The crew is great! There's only three crew members, but they each have such great personalities. And one of them is a dinosaur! 

There are wonderful moral quandaries brought up in this book. The morality of a super weapon. How to put the genie back in the bottle. This book, especially the ending, really made me think. And I LOVE that in sci-fi!

 At the end of the book there's a letter from the creator about the origins of the story as well as some concept art. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's such a great, complete story. It's long, but it kept my attention the whole time. The concept is great. The characters are excellent. There's excitement throughout the book. I could absolutely see a movie made from this book. I give this book a 5/5 and will be recommending it to many friends. 


--PAUL

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Star Wars: Age of Republic - Villains (comic) - Paul's REVIEW


Star Wars: Age of Republic - VillainsAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Star Wars: Age of Republic - Villains
Writer: Jody Houser
Artists: Luke Ross, Java Tartaglia, & Carlos Gomez
Recent Release Date: May 21, 2019


Synopsis: This is the Age of Star Wars - an epic series of adventures that unite your favorite characters from all three trilogies! And we're bringing on the bad guys - shining a light on the darkest figures of the Old Republic, starting with Darth Maul! A living weapon of rage and bloodthirst, Maul lurks in the shadows of Coruscant waiting for his chance to strike against the Jedi Order! But the Sith lord struggles to contain his desire for destruction, and questions the wishes of his methodically plotting master. Could Maul have had another path in life, or was he always fated to follow a dark road? Plus, delve deep into the dark side with Darth Sidious! Count Dooku! General Grievous! Jango Fett! And more! COLLECTING: STAR WARS: AGE OF REPUBLIC - COUNT DOOKU 1, STAR WARS: AGE OF REPUBLIC - DARTH MAUL 1, STAR WARS: AGE OF REPUBLIC - GENERAL GRIEVOUS 1, STAR WARS: AGE OF REPUBLIC - JANGO FETT 1, STAR WARS: AGE OF REPUBLIC SPECIAL 1



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Review: I'm really excited for this new comic series putting the focus on characters from all three trilogies. The first volume centers in on the villains from the prequels. I'm always up for new canon stories set in the prequel era. 


The first story follows Darth Maul prior to Episode I. I liked seeing Maul already sneaking around the dark underworld of Coruscant already forming shady connections. There's also references to Rebels and Malachor. 4/5.

Next up is Jango Fett and his young clone of a son, Boba Fett. This short story shows a great look into their relationship. Bounty Hunter stories are always fun. 4/5

Count Dooku is on a mission for his master, creating more disorder in the galaxy. I liked seeing a little into Dooku's past as a jedi. There's also a Tiger Jedi!?! 3/5

The General Grievous story is my favorite in this volume. I really enjoyed seeing Grievous's original form. It's a really unique looking into his psyche. I also like the Jedi mysticism. 5/5

The Special included in this volume focuses on Asajj Ventress. It's a pretty quick story and shows Ventress on the lower levels of Coruscant interacting with people on the streets. 3/5

I really like collections like this. it's a great opportunity to show a glimpse into a character's life that we haven't seen before. I'm looking forward to the rest of this series, especially the sequel trilogy volumes since we know so little about the characters outside of the movies. I give this volume of prequel villains a 4/5


--PAUL

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire, Part One (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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

The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire, Part One (Ruins of the Empire, #1)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title:
The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire, Part One
Author: Michael Dante DiMartino & Bryan Konietzko Illustrators: Michelle Wong & Vivian Ng 
Upcoming Release Date: May 21, 2019

Turf Wars, Part One
Turf Wars, Part Two
Turf Wars, Part Three

Synopsis: Korra must decide who to trust as the fate of the Earth Kingdom hangs in the balance!

On the eve of its first elections, the Earth Kingdom finds its future endangered by its past. Even as Kuvira stands trial for her crimes, vestiges of her imperial ambitions threaten to undermine the nation's democratic hopes. But when Korra, Asami, Mako, and Bolin don't all see eye-to-eye as to the solution, drastic measures will be taken to halt a new march to war!



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Review: The second story arc post-tv series is here in Ruins of the Empire! Team Avatar is at it again. This time, it's democracy time for the Earth Kingdom! But, there are some Earth Empire Holdouts. How better to relate to them, then with Kuvira herself? President Zhu Li is such a wonderful character. I love that that is her role now.


I give this first part of Ruins of the Empire a 5/5. I really enjoy how much modernizing is happening to the world of Avatar/Korra. There are new technologies. There are democratic elections. The story has a modern element to it that i really like.  


--PAUL

Monday, May 13, 2019

Avatar: The Last Airbender: Imbalance, Part Two (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Dark Horse Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

Avatar: The Last Airbender: Imbalance, Part Two (Imbalance, #2)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Avatar: The Last Airbender: Imbalance, Part One
Writers: Faith Erin Hicks, Michael Dante DiMartino, & Bryan Konietzko  
Illustrator: Peter Wartman 
Upcoming Release Date: May 14, 2019

Imbalance, Part One

Synopsis: Aang and Team Avatar race to resolve rising tensions between benders and non-benders before a town is torn apart!

There's something fishy going on in Cranefish Town, and it's up to Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph to find out what, before the simmering conflict between benders and non-benders boils over into all-out war. But danger lurks where they least expect it, and uncovering the truth will reveal a threat unlike any they've ever faced--and a fateful choice for Aang he can never unmake!



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Review: This second part in the Imbalance story finds Team Avatar dealing with a conflict in Cranefish Town between the benders and non-benders. Non-bender owned businesses have been attacked and Toph has some ideas about who was involved. 


I love the dynamic of Team Avatar. That classic humor is present. It's also cool to see the designs beginning to grow up, showing the youngsters aging. Suki is back in this volume! And Toph is an awesome badass.

I give this comic volume a 4/5. I always love stories continuing Team Avatar's adventures post-tv series. The animosity in this volume parallels well with modern politics and discussions about privileges. 


--PAUL

Friday, May 10, 2019

Blackbird, Vol. 1 (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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


Blackbird, Vol. 1Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Blackbird, Vol. 1
Author: Sam Humphries  
Artist: Jen Bartel 
Upcoming Release Date: May 14, 2019


Synopsis: Nina Rodriguez knows a hidden magical world run by ruthless cabals is hiding in Los Angeles. When a giant magic beast kidnaps her sister, Nina must confront her past (and her demons) to get her sister back and reclaim her life. Don't miss the first collection of the smash-hit neo-noir fantasy series from fan-favorite writer SAM HUMPHRIES (Harley Quinn, Nightwing) and red-hot artist JEN BARTEL (Mighty Thor)!

Collects BLACKBIRD #1-6 



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Review: This first volume of the comic series Blackbird is full of great visuals. Magic is real in this world, but it isn't known by the general populace. Nina knows it's real, but people don't believe her. She discovers her connection to this world over the course of this book. Attractive magic users known as paragons start appearing in her life. 


I absolutely loved the aesthetic of this book. The magic is portrayed in stunning colors and details. There's a giant blue monster early on that really hooked me in on the visuals. But, the story didn't grab my attention. I wasn't pulled in by the characters or the plot. I give this book a 3/5. Beautiful artwork, but I probably won't read the second volume based on the story.


--PAUL