Friday, August 31, 2012

Comic Book Review: Cash & Carry

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"There's a lot David Diangelo doesn't know about his latest Odd Job. He doesn't know how many people are trying to intercept him and the case he carries. He doesn't know the case he's been hired to deliver to a law firm in Las Vegas is an empty decoy. And he doesn't know that the road ahead holds only pain, heartache...and murder."

Everyone loves a noir style murder mystery type book, right? Maybe? Well, if not, you really don't know what you're missing. You ought to check out the genre and let me give you a good place to start.

The Good: The story. Honestly, I let this one sit in the magic review bag for a while since I wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy it. That was my mistake. I picked up this book to waste some time while waiting for football practice to start. Don't tell my youngest, but I missed some of his practice because I didn't put it down until I was done.

The Bad: The first panels show our characters already in a situation. This could throw or put some people off.

The Summary: If you're looking for an old fashioned, black and white, what's going to happen next type story, this is one that you're going to want to look into getting your fingers on. It's gritty. It's paranoia blended with panic to take you on a trip that you hope you survive until the end.

To find out more about the author, you can check out his website. To purchase the book, head on over to Amazon where you can even score free shipping!

I honestly can't remember if I was convinced to purchase this book or if the author graciously gave me a copy for the purpose of this review. I will, however, state that the fact that a box of cheezy bread got left on this book, causing it to smell delicious, had nothing to do with anything positive in this review. All comments, thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

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Last week was our 2nd annual camping trip. I have to say that it was yet another fantastic time. With my life being so up in the air sometimes, it's just plain wonderful to have something that you just know is going to be amazing. Honestly, I'm already looking forward to next year's trip and that time spent with my family. Those that I consider family are a rather small group but I cannot imagine my life without them and any time that I get to take my boys and share new places with them is the highlight of any period of time.  Here are a few of the pictures that I took while we were gone:


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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Comic Book Reviews: Angel & Faith

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Volume 1 – 1st printing. "Live Through This!" Collects Angel and Faith (2011 Dark Horse) #1-5. Written by Christos N. Gage. Art by Rebekah Isaacs and Phil Noto. Cover Art by Dan Jackson and Steve Morris. 

"Angel has made bad choices in his life. Most recently? While possessed, he killed Giles. However, he believes he's found a way to make amends, by bringing the Watcher back from the grave! Cue Faith-rebel Slayer, and Angel's only ally-who only supports this harebrained scheme in order to keep her friend from catatonia. New threats emerge as this unlikely duo struggles against real and personal demons alike, while hitting the dark streets of London!" Softcover, full color, 136 pages

The Good
            Easily, the 1st thing that stood out to me was the beautiful piece by Joe Chen in the front of the book. Just breathe taking.
            The humor. From the start, you can see that the book will be filled with pretty great humor. Both blatant and dry. Honestly, that is something I wasn’t expecting. The humor just added so much to the story. It helped just keep the story flowing very smoothly. And within the 2nd story, the Doctor Who joke made me smirk.
            The “real life” aspect. I am new to the Buffy world, so the idea of a world with demons and magic bound by rules was greatly entertaining.  So many daily ideas are bound within the 1st story. A class system amongst demons, what happens when violence no longer bothers you, having great skills and talents but not having an outlet for them, sanity. I was surprised to find all these ideas within this book. Even minor characters having “real” problems was very interesting to see.

The Bad.
            Story 1-“Live Through This”. Once the main plot came to a close, the story just seemed to go on a little too long. It went on for four pages longer than I expected. The story was good, just could have ended sooner.
            Back story- I am brand new to these characters. A quick summary of who people are would have been nice for the readers. I didn’t know who everyone was and I didn’t know who was supposed to be alive at the beginning of the story.
Most of story 2. The entire book just seemed so out of place. Where the 1st story made me want to read, the second just irritated me. In my notes, I wrote the word “fluff”.  Maybe it is just that I do not know the Buffy world, but the story just seemed too silly to follow the “Live through this”. I rolled my eyes at the zombie vampires.
            The art in story 2. The characters did not really resemble Angel and Faith. I know that it is difficult to make to resemble real people but some of the pictures were not even close.

            On my own, I probably wouldn’t have ever picked up this book, just because it wasn’t my style. However, after reading it, I am wondering if the still open plot lines will come to an epic conclusion. The potential of the villains is pretty great and I’m still not sure if I’m supposed to like Angel or not- and I find that a good thing.
            Overall, it was a good read with great art for the most part. I am a fan of Christos Gage’s work and he continued to keep me as a fan. I’m sure this book fits well with the Whedon vampire universe. I found it interesting and I’m sure the fans would like it even more.

For more information about this book, check out its page on Dark Horse!

Life With Katie received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions belong to the author and not the site or publisher.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Comic Book Review: Death to Dinksville

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 "Ten years ago, the town of Dinksville was horrified when Dylan Haddenfield walked into the local high school armed with a shotgun and a machete. In a bloody rampage, he shot and killed give students and decapitated a teacher. He was apprehended and sent to prison. Now he's escaped, but he's not the only threat to this once peaceful town...."

Let me start out by saying that this book is adult only. If you can't read it, that's what the tiny white box on the picture says. These books are violent, sexual and have all sorts of language. Now, don't go saying you weren't warned.

The Good : I love the art in these books. It has a very round shape to it which I know sounds like a load of nonsense but somehow that's what I think when I look at it. I like that they're bold. The covers all read like social commentary with topics of a big bad corporation and school massacres, but that's really just the tip of the iceberg. You start reading and before you know it's you're on the last page going wow..what just happened there?

The Bad : These are adult so I have to hide these from the 11 year old who is going to see these covers and want to pick them up. In all seriousness, I don't really have any complaints when it comes to these books.

The Summary : If you're an adult, like zombies, whodunits, whatjusthappenedtheres or just a really cool comic book, I'm going to suggest you go track this series down. I've read the first 3 in what I believe will be a series of 12 books and with any luck, I'll be bringing you future updates. However, I will warn you that if sex, violence or profanity is not your thing, you're not going to like these books. They will probably be offensive and we don't want anyone offended. That's bad. These books are good. Books=Good, Offended=Bad. Got it? Good. ;)

If you'd like to get your own set of Death to Dinksville books, might I suggest that you check out the website. If you just want to get your fanboy/girl on, I suggest the Facebook page.

I received a copy of these books in exchange for this review. The fact that the artist/author is from Michigan had no bearing on how awesome I said these books were. However, being from Michigan is awesome in this reviewers opinion. As always, all thoughts, comments, typos and dramatic sayings are 100% mine.

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Comic Review: Jungle Book

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A pirate ship carrying four children crashes on the shore of a mysterious and merciless jungle. Each child is taken by a separate tribe of animals as a means to keep the peace between the species. It is a peace that will not last...

Fifteen years later the children have now become young adults and each will have to face the destiny that awaits them in the unforgiving jungle. A place where only the strong will survive. Zenescope brings you their newest reinvention of a classic tale that is going to blow you away!

The Good : 
                The art. Jungles are these beautiful places filled with such details and color. And the team visually creating this series does a great job and recreating the classic jungle. The amount of detail and the vividness of the colors are so eye catching. You can tell that people who actually cared about the project created this.
                The overall story. It takes a while to start but once it did, I found myself wanting to know what happens next. Even though most of the characters are animals, they have this form of dominance versus coexistence that most nations have. There is little backstory, it is just, one group hates the others and you just read to see how the others respond.
                The characters. They are being developed well so far. Mowglii as a female doesn’t really change anything. Baloo is always a fan favorite. The vulture, however, is great comic relief. I just love how he pesters and doesn’t quit. If a vulture could taunt in English, he’d probably be this guy. 

The Bad : 
                The 1st issue had a few red flags go off as I read it. The opening pages seemed like it could be Wendy’s room from Peter Pan.  There is an explosion that I really didn’t get. I understand that they needed a way to get the boat to the island, but lightning hitting wood doesn’t make a huge boom.
                There is a huge fight and you don’t really know why everyone is killing each other. They have the ability to speak and show diplomacy, but for some reason, they all want each other dead but are able to stop so quickly. That just bothered me.
                Small details. The animals speak but they still say “grrr” in the speaking bubbles. That just bothered me. People don’t say “grrr’ as a word**. One character is wearing the claws of a tiger that died at least 15 years earlier. The claws are still very clean without any sign of mold. That irked me too.

Summary : 
                Give it more than the 1st issue. This story develops well after issue 1. I found myself wishing they had sent issue 4 when I was done reading. The characters are good. The art, namely the colors, are great. Everyone knows Mowglii, so to have her in the same setting but in a different story, is intriguing. There are still more characters to be introduced and a big show down is inevitable. The story and art are good enough to make me care to see how it all ends.

For more information regarding this or any other Zenescope titles, check out their website and Facebook pages.

** Note from Katie : I totally say grrr as a word!

Life With Katie received copies of these books for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and comments belong 100% to Walter who wrote this review, except for the commentary by Katrina at the end.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Comic Book Review: Ursa Minor #2

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It's been a while since I've brought you a Big Dog Ink title and I am super excited to finally share Ursa Minor #2 with all of you! Do y'all remember the premise in this series?

Werewolves kill the president. Vampires step forward to help. Ringing any bells? If not, well then you should have been paying better attention. Heck, y'all should own issue 1 by now. I'm going to leave that up to you though and tell you all about issue 2.

The Good : Tom Hutchinson doesn't disappoint in his storytelling. In this issue, he gives us hints as to Naomi's background and fills us in more on the relationships between the different characters. Tom has taken what has been done before (the battles between Supernatural creatures) and spins it in such a way that I'm almost thankful this was a digital copy or I'd have surely ripped it trying to turn the pages faster.

Not to be left out, Ian Snyder (pencils), Sony Merbitt (inks) and Luis Guerrero (colors) knock the art out of the park. Too often, supernatural beings have a tendency to look fake and flipping (ok, scrolling) through this book, I was very impressed with how natural they have made the supernatural look.

The Bad : This book has already been out for two weeks and from my understanding is selling better than cheese at a mouse convention. Why is this bad? Only because if you don't hurry up and snag it, you may be out of luck. Which reminds me to email my comic book guy tonight. I want this to go with my issue 1.

The Summary : If you're into the supernatural, kick ass girls with mysterious pasts, really good storytelling or fantastic art, really you don't need me to tell you to get thee to a comic book store. You've already gone and been reading and re-reading this book, wishing September were here so that you could have issue 3 in your hands.

Not sure where to pick up this book? Well, I'm sure that Tom and the crew over at Big Dog Ink would more than happily help you find a local comic book store or an online retailer to help you out. If Facebook is more your thing, go check out their page and give them a like.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts, comments and drool over this book are totally and 100% mine. Nobody else had better be drooling on my keyboard. ;)

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Comic Book Review: The Ultimate 7 Trilogy Vol. 1

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I feel as if it's been forever since I've posted a comic book review and I am thrilled to say that I have a fantastic one to share with you today!

"A Tale of Epic Proportions launches this modern SCI-FI Adventure.
From the far reaches of space, a diverse group of warriors, headed by the Terran; Jenny Rocket, band together to stop an Armada of intergalactic, time traveling murderers, under the control of the Evil OverLord, who is determined on enslaving all life in the universe. "

Yep! Sci-Fi, not zombies or vampires or even super hot bikini clad girls! Not that I dislike any of those, but I was just super excited to read something different from everything else I've been seeing lately.

The Good:
The story line. This first book in the trilogy covers quite a bit of back story and once I started reading it, I honestly found it hard to put down. Learning what really happened to the dinosaurs and how humans came to exist from this writer's point of view caught my attention in the first part and kept me going right up until Jenny...well, I'm not going to spoil it for you.

The Bad :
Ok, I don't know if this is bad or just different, but the publisher on this book chose to quite literally take the first four issues and put them into a new cover. I know what you're thinking. This is a trade. Trades do that. You're right, except the interior covers don't usually still have their bar codes and individual issue pricing on them. I'll be honest and say it seemed a bit lazy to me. It wouldn't have taken much effort to remove those. My only other complaint is that the front cover of the trade is exactly the same as issue 1's cover which you immediately notice because opening the front cover, you're faced with issue 1's cover. I would have liked to have seen an original cover done for the trade.

The Summary :
If you're into Sci-Fi and the age old story of good vs evil, an evil bad guy against a band of misfits or a brand new story of creation, this book is one you're going to want to add to your collection. It's one that when I first picked it up, I wasn't sure and then I started turning pages and it just pulled me in. From the story to the art, there wasn't anything to disrupt the flow and before I knew it, I had found the end and possibly whimpered out loud that I don't have volumes 2 or 3 so I can find out what happens next. Maybe if I'm a very lucky girl, I'll have a chance to review those for you as well. Keep your fingers crossed!

For more information regarding this book, check out the website or the Facebook page.


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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Book Review: Making Sense When Life Doesn't

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 "Beloved author Cecil Murphey empowers readers to discover the good in every situation and to make life better because of adversities.

Sometimes life gets messy. It’s cluttered with too many demands. Companies downsize. Love relationships end. Trauma hits. When chaos erupts, every person has a choice to make—to decide whether it’s the worst time of life, to find comfort in the way things used to be, to move on because change is forced, and then resent everything that happens, or to say, “This can be the best time of my life. I can try the things I wanted to do but never did.”

In Making Sense When Life Doesn’t, Cecil Murphey’s compelling stories, hope-filled insights, and gentle encouragement move readers with messy lives to the stunning realization that life won’t ever be perfect, but it can be good…even exciting!"

Who hasn't been in a place where their life just feels like it's one disaster after another? Let's face it. We've all been there and some of us are still there now. This book is broken down into short chapters that even the most brain weary of us can manage. His words make sense and I know that this is a book that's going to stay on my bookshelf and be referenced during those oh my gosh, what now moments. 

If you'd like to purchase your own copy of the book, head on over to Amazon. For $9.38 (and free shipping if your order is $25 or more), you really can't go wrong with this book. For more reviews and information regarding this book, check out the Litfuse Blog Hop!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts, comments and typos are 100% mine.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review: Wildflowers from Winter

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It feels like forever since I wrote a review that wasn't somehow comic book related. I'm pretty sure that's not the case but sometimes when you get wrapped up in one aspect, the others seem to fade into the background.

Since returning from Phoenix, I've been feeling a bit down and somehow this book found me at just the right time.

"Like the winter, grief has a season. Life returns with the spring.

A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built the life she dreamed of during her teen years in a trailer park.  An unexpected interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. 

Determined to pay her respects to her past while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of five hundred acres of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years.  When Bethany is left the land, Evan must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace that she’s not even sure exists?"

Y'all know that I don't usually veer towards Christian fiction, but this is one that I will not hesitate to tell you to pick up if you just want a good book to get lost in. Yes, there are Christian themes as Bethany struggles with her beliefs while struggling with a string of losses. However, there's more to this story than just that. Bethany is a very real character. For anyone who has gone through similar circumstances, you'll relate to her as she deals with one thing after another. It's one that is going onto my shelves and one that I suspect I'm going to read more than just this one time. 

If you'd like more information about the book, please head on over to the author's site or read the first chapter over at Waterbrook Multnomah

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and comments are 100% mine.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Comic Book Review: Fawkes

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Felicia Day and The Guild are back, along with costar Wil Wheaton, for a brand-new story spotlighting Fawkes, the dashing, debonair, and douchey leader of the evil guild Axis of Anarchy! His relationship with Codex threatened to tear the Knights of Good apart until he was thrown off a balcony for his treatment of her. Set after season 4 of the show, this issue reveals how Fawkes deals with his split from Codex and navigates the aggressive personalities of the Axis, and follows his journey to his surprising state when he returns in season 5!

*Cowritten by Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton!

* Art by Jamie McKelvie (Phonogram, X-Men, Secret Avengers)!

The Good :
                Felicia Day has an incredible talent for comedy and it continues with Fawkes. In its entirety, this book keeps the same hilarity as the show. Some of the jokes even caused me to chuckle out loud. As with the show, most of the comedy is on the intelligent side. Fawkes’ quotes are well timed.
                In its own separate form, the sarcasm is great for the Axis of Evil. Fawkes is a total douche. Again, keeping with the theme of the show. You just love to hate him.
                And Venom, my favorite character from the Axis, is finally given more play. It was good to see her and realize that she is just that mean to her own friends as she is to the Knights of Good. Her description of Fawkes having a “sad little boner” was so in tune with her character.

The Bad :
                The story should’ve been released a year ago. In this one shot, the story takes place between the 4th and 5th season. With season 6 in development, it took me a minute to remember what all happened and when to make this story fit. With such a beautifully crafted story and series, I didn’t really expect to an “oh yeah, that’s what happened” moment.
                Some of the character development. It has been over a year since we’ve seen the Axis and half of the characters only really have face time. There were a few times in the story where I wondered if that character would really say that or act in a certain way. Honestly, I’m a huge fan of the show, but there was 1 character I didn’t even identify until the very end. It didn’t change the story any but most of the Axis is “just there to be hated”, you don’t really know more than a couple of them.

Summary :
                Being a huge fan, I tried to read this as just a book. But you can’t. From all the people I’ve met that are fans of The Guild, they are big fans. From the 1st panel, seeing Fawkes, you remember the hatred you’re supposed to have for him. This book has a strong portrayal of the show’s main villains.  You get to see how they really are compared to their avatars. And it’s pretty much the same. You dislike them but that is the entertaining part. I like that they continue to be unlikable.
                This book fits right into the continuity of the series. Nothing is taken away or changed, just further explained. Fans of the show will understand the books style of humor and the characters do actually look like themselves.
                The only main negative would be for anyone who has not seen the show. They could probably enjoy the book, but they would miss so many quirks and Easter eggs from the show. As for me, I’m still laughing as I write this.

For more information on purchasing this book for your collection, head on over to the Dark Horse website!


This is Walter's first review for the site! Let's welcome him! Starting this month, you can expect to see  a new review from him once a week.


Walter received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and fanboyness are 100% his.
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