Friday, October 31, 2014

The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb, 376 pages



Title: Batman: The Long Halloween
Author: Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale, Gregory Wright, Richard Starkings
Pages: 376 pages
Date: October 31st
Found: While shelving.
Motive: Batman.
Summary: Taking place during Batman's early days of crime fighting, this new edition of the classic mystery tells the story of a mysterious killer who murders his prey only on holidays. Working with District Attorney Harvey Dent and Lieutenant James Gordon, Batman races against the calendar as he tries to discover who Holiday is before he claims his next victim each month.
Verdict: This was awesome. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale make an excellent team, as I've already read and own Superman for All Seasons and it is my favorite. This is what I want to see.

Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge, 192 pages



Title: Page by Paige
Author: Laura Lee Gulledge
Pages: 192
Date: October 29th
Found: Found as an ebook in the library system.
Motive: Already read the library's hard copy, just wanted to experience the novelty of reading it on my Kindle.
Summary: Paige Turner has just moved to New York with her family, and she's having some trouble adjusting to the big city. In the pages of her sketchbook, she tries to make sense of her new life, including trying out her secret identity: artist. As she makes friends and starts to explore the city, she slowly brings her secret identity out into the open, a process that is equal parts terrifying and rewarding.
Verdict: I forgot how much I like this book, just personally as an artist, and as an introvert with anxiety. Highly recommended.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, 509 pages



Title: Cloud Atlas
Author: David Mitchell
Pages: 509
Date: October 28th
Found: In the Library ebook database, read on my Kindle.
Motive: Just watched the movie, also wanted to try my Kindle.
Summary: A sextet of stories, told across time, rising and falling.
Verdict: I couldn't stop reading this, I was really surprised. Cleverly orchestrated. I was really disappointed with the lack of cohesion, though.

Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi, 160 pages



Title: Kenny and the Dragon
Author: Tony DiTerlizzi
Pages: 160
Date: October 25th
Found: While shelving in children's.
Motive: There's a dragon. Dragons are my favorite.
Summary: Kenny Rabbit finds a dragon in the field by his house and befriends it. Unfortunately, the rest of his village believe that the dragon is going to destroy everything and decide to exterminate it.
Verdict: Pretty cute. Also an openly blatant retelling of the Reluctant Dragon.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, 495 pages



Title: The Mysterious Benedict Society
Author: Trenton Lee Stewart, Carson Ellis
Pages: 495
Date: October 25th
Found: As an EBOOK on my KINDLE from the LIBRARY.
Motive: Recommended by a friend.
Summary: Many children are gathered to take a series of tests. A handful are picked for a special and dangerous mission.
Verdict: This was pretty awesome. I enjoyed it, and thought it was clever.

Watchmen by Alan Moore, 416 pages



Title: Watchmen
Author: Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, John Higgins
Pages: 416
Date: October 23rd
Found: Requested to be ordered.
Motive: Required reading for comics class.
Summary: Someone is killing retired super heroes. 
Verdict: Wow. I am without adequate words. This was a piece of art. This was excellently crafted. This was unspeakably depressing. It was like poetry, though.

The Fantastic Four by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, 272 pages



Title: Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four Volume 1
Author: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Pages: 272
Date: October 22nd
Found: While shelving.
Motive: Trying to read more classic comics.
Summary: The first ten issues of the Fantastic Four.
Verdict: Sooooper cheesy and terrible, but adorable too.

Super Team by Bill Willingham, 160 pages



Title: Fables, Vol. 16: Super Team 
Author: Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Eric Shanower, Terry Moore
Pages: 160
Date: October 22nd
Found: Had on hold.
Motive: Continuing Fables.
Summary: Spoilers and all that.
Verdict: Well, there were humorous/clever moments but not very cohesive.

Rose Red by Bill Willingham, 256 pages



Title: Fables, Vol. 15: Rose Red 
Author: Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Iñaki Miranda, Andrew Pepoy, Dan Green
Pages: 256
Date: October 21st
Found: Had on hold.
Motive: Continuing Fables.
Summary: Spoilers and all that.
Verdict: Okay, getting better again for sure.

The Amazing Transformations of Jimmy Olsen, 192 pages



Title: Superman: The Amazing Transformations of Jimmy Olsen
Author: Otto Binder, Alvin Schwartz, Robert Bernstein, Jerry Siegel, Leo Dorfman, E. Nelson Bridwell, Cary Bates, Curt Swan, John Forte, Pete Costanza, Kurt Schaffenberger
Pages: 192
Date: October 16th
Found: While shelving.
Motive: Trying to expose myself to more older comics.
Summary: A collection of comics from the 50s and 60s, gathering most of the times that Jimmy Olsen has been transformed.
Verdict: Jimmy is an idiot. The continually bad storytelling started making my head hurt. I know, it's old-timey, it's corny, it's adorable, but this makes me even more determined to focus on the potential for real excellence in this medium.

Maus II by Art Spiegelman, 136 pages



Title: Maus, II: And Here My Troubles Began
Author: Art Spiegelman
Pages: 136
Date: October 15th
Found: In the teen graphic novels.
Motive: Re-reading, also required reading for comics class.
Summary: A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's story and history itself.
Verdict: Creatively excellent, emotionally powerful.

Maus I by Art Spiegelman, 160 pages



Title: Maus, I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History
Author: Art Spiegelman
Pages: 160
Date: October 14th
Found: In the teen graphic novels.
Motive: Re-reading, also required reading for comics class.
Summary: A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's story and history itself.
Verdict: Creatively excellent, emotionally powerful.

Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch, 128 pages



Title: Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery
Author: Kurtis J. Wiebe, Roc Upchurch
Pages: 128
Date: October 14th
Found: Borrowed from a friend.
Motive: Recommended by friend.
Summary: "They're a pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they're in the business of killing all god's creatures for profit."
Verdict: Uh. Well.....uh. I didn't actually like this. At all. I kind of have a feeling Danya might, though.

A Contract With God by Will Eisner, 182 pages



Title: A Contract With God
Author: Will Eisner
Pages: 182
Date: October 13th
Found: While shelving new nonfiction.
Motive: Will Eisner is supposed to be a legend.
Summary: Four stories about life on Dropsie Avenue.
Verdict: I suppose this was revolutionary as far as pioneering true graphic novels, but I really didn't enjoy reading this, it was mostly depressing and kind of sickening.

DC Universe: Secret Origins, 328 pages



Title: DC Universe: Secret Origins
Author: DC
Pages: 328
Date: October 13th
Found: While shelving
Motive: Want to round out my exposure to actual DC comics.
Summary: Origin stories from the 50s and 60s.
Verdict: Wooooow I don't know what to say. Unbelievably corny in places, but it was interesting to see some of the original origin stories. 

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence, by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez with Monique Tilford, 303 pages

A good book on gaining financial independence, with great ideas, practical advice, and easy to understand.

The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told by Bill Finger, 352 pages



Title: The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told
Author: Bill Finger, Dennis O'Neil, Bob Kane, Neal Adams, Frank Miller, Steve Englehart
Pages: 352
Date: October 11th
Found: While shelving
Motive: Want to round out my exposure to actual Batman comics.
Summary: A smattering of 60 years worth of Batman comics.
Verdict: Not as good as I was hoping but It was really interesting to see the development over the years, and what kind of stories they did decades ago.

Superman: A Celebration of 75 Years edited by Robin Wildman, 382 pages



Title: Superman: A Celebration of 75 Years
Author: Robin Wildman (editor) + tons of writers/illustrators
Pages: 382
Date: October 9th
Found: While shelving new books.
Motive: Want to round out my exposure to actual Superman comics.
Summary: A smattering of 75 years worth of Superman comics.
Verdict: I actually enjoyed this. It was really interesting to see the development over the years, and what kind of stories they did decades ago.

Brother Crow, Sister Corn: Traditional American Indian Gardening, by Carol Buchanan, 119 pages

A great book on Native American culture and gardening.

Witches by Bill Willingham, 192 pages



Title: Fables, Vol. 14: Witches
Author:   Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, David Lapham, Jim Fern, Andrew Pepoy, Craig Hamilton
Pages: 192
Date: October 6th
Found: Had on hold.
Motive: Continuing Fables.
Summary: Spoilers.
Verdict: Yeah, okay, this is better.

Hook's Revenge by Heidi Schulz 290 pages

Jocelyn Hook is an orphan who never knew her parents. However, when her father, Captain Hook (yes, THE Captain Hook) is killed by Neverland's beastly crocodile, she must travel there to avenge his death. I thought this was a great book and I'd recommend it to readers seeking adventure and to anyone who loves Peter Pan stories; although the cocky boy is merely an annoyance in this book, and not a big part of Jocelyn's adventures at all. Great characters and fun writing.

Batman: No Man's Land, Vol. 1 by Bob Gale, 200 pages



Title: Batman: No Man's Land, Vol. 1
Author: Bob Gale, Devin Grayson, Alex Maleev, Dale Eaglesham
Pages: 200
Date: October 6th
Found: in the graphic novel section
Motive: Decided to read for comics class.
Summary: Gotham has been ravaged by a huge earthquake. They are entirely abandoned by outsiders, leaving the gangs and villains to fight over the scraps. Has Batman also abandoned them?
Verdict: Not bad, not my favorite, the most interesting aspect is how heavily it influenced The Dark Knight Rises.

Batman: Year One by Frank Miller, 144 pages



Title: Batman: Year One
Author: Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli, Richmond Lewis, Dennis O'Neil
Pages: 144
Date: October 5th
Found: in the graphic novel section
Motive: Decided to read for comics class.
Summary: Lieutenant James Gordon takes up a new post in the crime-ridden and corrupt city of Gotham, while billionaire Bruce Wayne returns to the scene of his parents' deaths, intent on punishing the criminal element.
Verdict: Now THIS is what I'm talking about. This is the kind of superhero comic I want to read. This is excellent. Well done.

The Great Fables Crossover by Bill Willingham, 224 pages



Title: Fables, Vol. 13: The Great Fables Crossover
Author:  Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, Russ Braun, José Marzán Jr., Mark Buckingham , Andrew Pepoy
Pages: 224
Date: October 4th
Found: Had on hold.
Motive: Continuing Fables.
Summary: Spoilers, I guess.
Verdict: This is the worst. Officially the worst. I can't believe I made it past this one.

The Dark Ages by Bill Willingham, 173 pages


Title: Fables, Vol. 12: The Dark Ages
Author:  Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Peter Gross, Andrew Pepoy, Mike Allred, David Hahn
Pages: 173
Date: October 3rd
Found: Had on hold.
Motive: Continuing Fables.
Summary: Spoilers.
Verdict: Ugh. Uuugghhhhhhhhh. No.

War and Pieces by Bill Willingham, 192 pages



Title: Fables, Vol. 11: War and Pieces
Author:  Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Niko Henrichon, Andrew Pepoy
Pages: 192
Date: October 2nd
Found: Had on hold.
Motive: Continuing Fables.
Summary: Spoilers.
Verdict: aaaand we're heading back down the hill. I mean, still interesting, but the magic is leaving.

The Good Prince by Bill Willingham, 238 pages



Title: Fables, Vol. 10: The Good Prince
Author:  Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Aaron Alexovich, Andrew Pepoy
Pages: 238
Date: October 2nd
Found: Had on hold.
Motive: Continuing Fables.
Summary: S0. Many. Spoilers.
Verdict: This is, by far, my favorite installment. This is the pinnacle of all my hopes with this series. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

SVU: Running For Her Life by Laurie John, 277 pages

I have to admit, no matter how repetitive or formulaic the books are, they're still a guilty pleasure.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sons of Empire by Bill Willingham, 200 pages



Title: Fables, Vol. 9: Sons of Empire
Author:  Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Andrew Pepoy, Gene Ha, Joshua Middleton, Iñaki Miranda, Mike Allred
Pages: 200
Date: September 28th
Found: Had on hold.
Motive: Continuing Fables.
Summary: Spoilers, man.
Verdict: Definitely interesting.

Batman: Hush, Vol 2 by Jeph Loeb, 192 pages



Title: Batman: Hush, Vol 2
Author:  Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee, Scott A. Williams
Pages: 192
Date: September 26th
Found: Had on hold.
Motive: Part two of comic mentioned in lecture.
Summary: Who is this mastermind controlling Batman's enemies, and friends?
Verdict: Not my favorite, but at least I read it.