things i loved this week (12/11/16)

A bit late in the day, but here it is.

1. This story about a beaver, a tree, and a dollar store.

2. The Chicken Connoisseur YouTube channel. Just incredible.

3. Motor Crush #1. I’ll talk more about this next Wednesday, but it’s like a mix of Forza, Fast and the Furious, and Sons of Anarchy I guess (I’ve never seen it, but you get the idea)? Plus a queer black lady as the protagonist. I’m totally hooked.

4. My new computer background!

5. Kyo No Oto ink, which is in the header photo. My mom discovered this product and promptly ordered it (from Amazon, but I’ve linked Appelboom). The design on the box, the shape of the bottle, the colors…I’m in.

6. I’m literally listening to Lana Del Rey as I write this, so.

7. …Hearthstone. I remember playing this a bit on my iPad when it first came out on the App Store, but I really had no clue it was a PC game. Until, of course, I watched the Polygon Gameplay Overview (I’m a little obsessed), and thought, huh, maybe this is a game I could be competent at. I’m not super great (or super good, or good) at it yet, but I think I’m getting there? Anyway, Hearthstone is a “fast-paced strategy card game” from Blizzard, who made World of Warcraft. It’s fun and kind of quirky—really, it should have the Othello slogan: “a minute to learn, a lifetime to master.” (Though hopefully not a lifetime; a couple months and a ton of internet aid.) I’ve been watching Polygon’s #StonerzNation playlist, which shows the basics along with actual play (the play is the most helpful, at least for me). Anyway, I’m very much into it.

Okay! I promise actual posts next week—comics on Wednesday, video roundup on Friday, one of these next Sunday. For those of you who have tons of schoolwork and/or finals, you’ll be fine! It won’t matter in the end anyway. Play Hearthstone for a good fun break or something!

(This is from one of the matches I played yesterday…yeah. Unfortunately, he beat me by a hair.)

things I loved this week (12/04/16)

Hey, a new line of posts! This is literally just things I loved this week. Enjoy!

1. Swet Shop Boys‘ album Cashmere. This is a hip-hop album, but it’s also a patently Desi album, with sitar and tabla in there with the Outkast references. Every track is bumpable, and the raps are just brilliant. My good pal and Global Favorite Tristan B. put it best:

Stopping refugees is just silly blud

Well you know about Aeneas in the Iliad

Fled Turkey and he just founded Rome

What if he had drowned in a boat?

riz spits this

Like? The rest of the album is also this good, I mean, how? My personal favorite track is “Aaja,” because the hook is incredible.

2. Wonder Pens’ new ink instagram. It’s just them posting a picture of an ink swab in a Hobonichi every day, but it’s cool to see inks I normally wouldn’t, I guess? They’re running through the new Sailor Jentle Four Seasons line right now, and I want every color.

3. Quantico’s midseason finale. Obviously I’ll talk in detail about this later, but for now let me say that twist at the end was crazy, and this mystery is so tangly and complicated and I just want to know what happens!

4. These tweets. 1, 2, 3. (For that last one, all related Anushka Sharma, Shahrukh Khan, and Salman Khan tweets were loved as well.)

5. These two pieces of news: one about an Adventure Zone graphic novel, one about Patrick Rothfuss working on an adaptation of The Kingkiller Chronicles with Lin-Manuel Miranda.

6. The new trailers for Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Hideo Kojima’s Death StrandingThe new Zelda looks wildly beautiful and almost like…maybe it just…might be as good as Twilight Princess? As for Kojima’s newest terror—I mean, look at those graphics. I watched it twice, once on my laptop and once on my friend’s phone, and I can’t even fathom how good this game is going to look on a hi-res television or monitor. And how scary! When it starts, all of those dead crabs look very real! And the skeleton-soldiers, the shadows, the BABY, and the weird tank, and, of course, Mads Mikkelsen at the end. When he disappears his helmet, how funky was that effect? And when the cable/tentacles burn in towards him…is Kojima using a new engine? ‘Cause this is crazy. The last couple shots of him at the end look like they just filmed him. Literally, just watch. It won’t make a lick of sense but it’ll get you pumped for this bizarre game. (While trying to find a link to the Stranding trailer I saw that someone has it in 4K. Which must basically mean when they zoom in on Mads’ character, he just steps out through your screen and ganks you.)

7. Noro Kochoran yarn. I’m making a scarf/wrap with this (colorway 53) right now, and it’s knitting up real quick. It’s very soft, too, and I have always loved watching the colors gradient in Noro projects. (This sheds everywhere though. If you so much as come near a skein of this stuff you’ll be covered in angora threads.)

And that’s that for the first installment! On Monday or Tuesday I’ll post about Koffee With Karan, and I’ll think of something for Thurday or Friday! Have a great Sunday!

biweekly comics review

Wait, who’s this? That’s right, it’s me, Indrani. It has been a veritable age due to the election and a bunch of essays and Thanksgiving and computer issues and WordPress issues and a whole, whole lot of Indrani-Style Laziness™.

Some changes: comic reviews will be biweekly, and I won’t review them all. There are so many, and at this point everyone knows that I’m going to like Lumberjanes, and I’m going to be ambivalent about Captain Marvel (today I realized how blessed we are that G. Willow Wilson is still writing Ms. Marvel), and Saga‘s gonna be crazy good, etc. So what sticks out to me will get into the review.

This should also force me to write other stuff, like a midseason TV wrap-up/review—although I really cannot find info on when Madam SecretaryBull, or a couple other shows close for the fall. Notorious is basically done, which I didn’t realize (and forever), and Conviction‘s approaching what’s assumed to be terminal velocity. Anyway, other stuff, like Koffee With Karan talk, more pen talk, and another video roundup, and a book review or two, should show up also. More future post talk at the bottom.

Let’s get in it!

Oh wait I realize I haven’t been doing the ice cream thing! Uh, I think I had apple streusel with hot fudge (and maybe also whip?) three-ish weeks ago (I was so excited about hot fudge, you have no idea), and next I had apple cider with fudge, and this week I had caramelized honey and cardamom with hot fudge and whipped cream, because I had spent an absolutely unholy amount of time in pouring rain on my bicycle (The Streetle).

BLACK PANTHER WORLD OF WAKANDA #1: Coates, Gay, Harvey, Martinez, Richardson, Rosenberg, Bonvillain

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This was Very Good. I’m enjoying this new wave of authors getting into comics, specifically authors of color (see: Saladin Ahmed?! How cool is Black Bolt gonna be, guys?!), and I love Roxane Gay’s work. This included! Strong stories with strong black ladies, right up my alley. Highlights for me: Afua Richardson’s art in the backup story; black gal love; super-very-good T’Challa on the cover. (8.7/10)

NAMESAKE #1: Orlando, Rebelka

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Yes! Very GOOD!

I will start by admitting that I took a glance at this comic mostly because it shares a title with Jhumpa Lahiri’s fantastic novel. However, this is a genre-smashing and -mashing sci-fi/western/fantasy with gay dads and last rites and world-hopping, so, just a bit different.

I just read an interview with Steve Orlando where he talks about the Final Fantasy game franchise influencing this work in terms of world-building, which bodes well for us readers. He talks about architecture and mechanics and magic, and this first issue is promising. I’m sensing a big hit for BOOM!, even if this is limited (to my greatest chagrin).

The dichotomy of Jordan, the protagonist, being a firefighter in what looks like the modern era versus the magical, anti-iron world of Ektae, is interesting to me. When this kind of book is done well, it is excellent. As this one seems to be! (9/10)

MOONSHINE #2: Azzarello, Eduardo Risso

Very seriously considering dropping this one. Neither the story nor the art is getting to me yet, and there’s some questionable rendering of black people here. Worrying. I’m either going to give it through next issue or through the end of the arc. Ah well. (4/10)

THE MIGHTY THOR #13: Aaron, Epting, Martin

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Page one: the juxtaposition (visually and textually) of Jane talking to another patient about cancer and Jane/Thor’s inner monologue about knowing all of the ten realms/war in general—so good. Knowing the ten realms as a metaphor for the ins and outs of cancer (although I just realized maybe she already knew that because she is a doctor, M.D.), becoming intimate with both types of war—so very fab.

Moving on. I’ve never seen the League of—I started typing League of Legends. Fire me. Okay, never heard of the League of Realms before, but what a kickass team! A dynamite dwarf?! That’s straight out of The Adventure Zone (yes in my head I said it in that funky intro voice)! And how nice it was to see Angela again! Also a very cool giant lady who has trees for arrows. (!!!!)

As for the last page, I had to hop on the Google Machine to figure out who this bag-head fancy-pants man is, but now I know that Kurse is a former dark elf who fell in some lava and subsequently got ‘roided up by the Beyonder. My question is, are the things on his bag-mask teeth, or a necklace, or neck-horns, or what? On the preview of the next issue’s cover they’re made to seem like teeth, but…are they? (9/10)

WONDER WOMAN #11: Rucka, Sharp, Martin

Okay, okay okay okay okay. Wonder Woman, it’s a trap! Good on Steve for noticing. When I read this at the ice cream shop, the word that popped into my head was funky. Like, this is a very funky mystery, in an inestimably bad way. I think I was wrong about the Silver Swan thing, but there was a robot lady, so I was on the right track. I would really like to reread all of these with the context I have now, but that’s going to have to wait a couple weeks. (Side note: please don’t kill the dogs, Etta.) (10/10)

MONSTRESS #8# Liu, Takeda

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I would have read this if it were a YA book, I would have watched it were it a movie, I probably would have eaten it if it were food. I unequivocally love Monstress, and this issue (like every issue) validates my love. Such a strong and compelling story! Sana’s art (honestly how did this happen. her art is incredible)! The pure worldbuilding of this series blows me away every time.

Plus, this issue introduces a very cool shark lady named Old Tooth. Also some scary things I don’t understand? I need a reread here as well. Please read Monstress—this goes for my non-comic pals (read: all of my pals) as well. (10/10)

THE GODDAMNED #5: Aaron, Guéra, Brusco

It has been one day less than six months since the last Goddamned came out. But it was worth the wait! We wrap up the Noah’s Ark…arc…here, and it seems that Aaron is stepping definitively outside the general Biblical canon, which is not something I expected.

Reading this is like playing a first-person shooter (most of which I hate, with very, very few—like maybe one—exceptions). It’s good to get your Over the Garden Walls and your Batmans and what-have-you in, but sometimes it’s nice to just sink your teeth into a complete and total gorefest. Which is precisely what this is, with a lot of morality talk and a sort of post-apocalyptic depression? Maybe pre-apocalyptic? I don’t know what that term would be exactly, because it’s really neither. Purgatorial, kind of. But very good. (9/10)

(I guess my rating system at this point is: Very Good, very good, good, fine, ambivalent, bad, Very Bad, no.)

SEVEN TO ETERNITY #3: Remender, Opeña

I don’t have anything to critique here, but this is not what I thought I was getting into. I thought this story was going to be Adam vs. Mud King, I.E., long journey getting to the castle, getting in the castle, beating up (?) the Mud King, getting beat up…I don’t know, but I was very surprised when the Lord of Whispers himself showed up in the flesh in the first issue. But this is more like…oh, what piece of media am I thinking of. Not Midnight Run, I think more fantastical, but in that vein…kind of like Blacklist, I suppose. Something with the criminal tied up and forced to tag along. I think it’s a book, however, but you get the gist. So very different than my initial expectations, but this story is so strong, and it’s going very well. (9/10)

Actually hold on. I think Adam literally just left his young son behind in a city on the cusp of anarchy/a human-killing spree. Dude, what? For someone whose whole deal is loyalty and doing the right thing and, oh yes, family, what are you even doing? Did he just forget his son in the adrenaline rush of it all? What?

ROMULUS #2: Hill, Blake II

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I can’t find a similar Luther Strode cover, but this is so Tradd Moore. When Blake II draws the Romulus agents, he is straight channeling.

This issue was as good as the first, and I enjoyed it a lot. It introduces some magic elements, and starts to build the supporting cast out. This comic has a good feminist agenda, as well. The main thing I want to talk about, though, is the appearance of another mystical spooky organization:

img_0494I lost my whole entire mind. When it’s first mentioned, I did a double take, then laughed out loud, then went a little wild in my head. It’s one thing to make a fictional pseudo- and psycho- Illuminati. To then introduce the REAL Illuminati…very bold, very audacious. And this, the last panel, I just…physically, I can’t handle this stuff. (Though I have never seen a more me panel in my life.) (8/10)

That’s it for this fortnight, folks. Midseason post should be after December 14th at the earliest—I can’t see CBS pushing anything long after that. I’m going to start doing “things I loved this week” posts, kind of like The Gentleman Stationer’s “Sunday Reading” posts. Expect lots of end-of-year wrap ups, books-, movies-, webcomics-, and maybe games-wise in mid- to late December. And I have to do a post on my analog setup for 2017, but due to Christmas items I may or may not receive that will probably be in the first week of 2017 itself. Some other things may crop up as well—I have a nascent book review and I might also talk about this year’s analog setup and its evolution if I get around to it.

Okay. Sleep tight! Spread the word re: me in your dreams.

fountain pen day!

Happy Fountain Pen Day, everyone! As most of you well know, I really love pens, and fountain pens especially. Today is a good day to start getting into them, readers—there are tons of deals and giveaways today, all of which you can find through the link above. I know a bunch of my friends think fountain pens are too expensive, but there are plenty (like, tons) of great pens for incredibly reasonable prices (yes, even for kids like us).

Anyway, these are my pens! From left to right: Lamy Safari with an F nib, Platinum Preppy (only $3! guys!), Kaweco Sport with an M nib, Lamy Vista with an F nib, TWSBI Mini with an EF nib, Lamy Safari with an M nib, ACME DOTS Standard with an M nib, Franklin-Christoph Model 20 with a CI Masuyama nib, Conklin Duragraph with an M nib, Karas Kustoms Ink with an F nib, and my most recent purchase, a Pilot Custom Heritage 92 with an FM nib.

I bought these from a variety of places (or nabbed them from Based Jen) including JetPens, Goods for the Study, Franklin-Christoph, Bromfield Pen Shop, Karas Kustoms, and Amazon. For my pals at Canadian university, Wonder Pens is fantastic, and for those in England (or other places in Europe), Appelboom and La Couronne de Comte are what I’d recommend. Blog-wise—that is, for reviews and other shop talk—Pen Addict, Wonder Pens, Gentleman Stationer, Well-Appointed Desk, and Ed Jelley are all good starts. Mr. Jelley in fact has a nice article up today about why you should write with a fountain pen (he has good articles on what beginner pen to get, too).

If you’re looking for advice on getting into this habit, or even just want to know what single pen you should get, drop me a line. Like, really, guys.

If you’re celebrating, enjoy the day. If you’re not…well, celebrate something else you love and enjoy the day as well!

weekly comics review

I’m inaugurating a new section this week. The comic book store is by an ice cream shop, which, for those of you who are from my neck of the woods, is kind of like a Rancatore’s or a Toscanini’s. Anyway, I go there every Wednesday and eat ice cream while I read the week’s haul. From here on out, therefore, I’ll be divulging my weekly flavors. Since they were out of hot fudge again today, I had a scoop of their fabulous Salted Caramel with some homemade whipped cream.

DC COMICS’ BOMBSHELLS #19: Bennett, Andolfo, Braga, Qualano, Jarrell, Lawson

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(I could not find a properly-sized full picture of this cover.)

For a second there I thought I’d missed an issue, because Harvey Dent appears? But it looks like I didn’t, and there seems to be a bit of plot missing, so? Besides that, this was a good issue and I hope it isn’t just a one-off. (7/10)

MOON KNIGHT #8: Lemire, Francavilla, Torres, Stokoe, Smallwood, Garland, Bellaire

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I’m not really sure what to say about this issue, except that I am very invested in seeing this story through to its conclusion. Is everything in Marc’s head? Is this some very complicated Khonshu-induced dissociative state? I don’t know, but I really really want to. (8/10)

BITCH PLANET #9: DeConnick, De Landro, Fitzpatrick, Cowles

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It’s back! I did a little dance when I checked my list for this week, I was so excited. Again, I don’t have a ton to say—if you read this, you’ll get it. This series is both very good and very, very important. (The back cover for this issue is one of my favorites.) (9.5/10)

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #23: Gillen, Wada, McKelvie, Wilson

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I received the variant cover (on the left) from my retailer this week, so I thought I’d throw it in there so you’d know what a splendid sight greeted me this evening. (Although now I’m going to have to hunt down the regular cover when I get to a Newbury Comics or something.)

I’m going to start with the art in this issue, both because it was fantastic and because it’s played a large part in how #23 has been promoted. Kevin Wada is a genius. I first saw his work, I think, when he did a series of X-Men “fashionizations” (here’s Quentin Quire). He does a lot of comic illustrations, I guess maybe for commissions or for fun. All of his work is very beautiful to me. His She-Hulk art is one of my favorite things, ever. Just look at Steve and Peggy and Bucky! He did a poster for Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows (which I need to read) earlier this year, which is just…he’s so good.

His work in this issue really shows off his fashion skills. Particularly with Baal and Woden, and there again specifically on pages 12-13 and page 20. Watercolor is such a fun medium, and it’s not one you see so often in comics.

Okay, onto the words. Team WicDiv rustled up a slew of cool reporter-types to write fake magazine interviews for this issue, namely Leigh Alexander, Dorian Lynskey, Laurie Penny, Mary HK Choi, and Ezekiel Kweku (who happens to have the best Twitter and best bio ever). At least to me, this issue read like a blend of the New York Times’ style magazine and their regular Sunday magazine. As Gillen writes, “the short high concept: the Issue is a magazine. A fashion magazine.” In this fictional world, the magazine is Pantheon Monthly, and the editor-in-chief is Gillen himself. The issue feels like a standalone, but I expect certain little things in there will be important in the coming arc, IMPERIAL PHASE I. Not that I wasn’t convinced before, but this magazine thing definitely makes the gods feel like pop stars.

Some things I dug: McKelvie’s ads at the beginning and end of the issue. Very well done. Sergio Serrano’s graphic design, which rocks (and appropriately rolls) here. The bios of the contributors at the back are fun, too. (10/10)

Okay! This was an early finish for me (probably because there were very few comics this week). Hopefully next week the ice cream store will have hot fudge, because they’ve been out the past two times I’ve gone. A gentle reminder: Friday is Fountain Pen Day! I can talk about pens for hours, so feel free to leave a comment or something (or, if you know me in the physical world, Snapchat Facebook Instagram email, etc.). Sleep well, and tell your study groups about this blog.

weekly comics review x2

I won’t/can’t put in the cover art for every single one in of these. Also, I will TRY HARD to make these blurbs short, which will be easy for a bunch of them. (I know this is quite late, but…ah well.)

A-FORCE #10: Thompson, Siqueira, Bennett, Rosenberg

This was the last A-Force for the foreseeable future, which I just didn’t know? It’s kind of a weird and sudden ending, no big arc ending or anything. I hope the next installment of this series has a better writer. (I hope that’s not too horrible to say.) (5/10)

LUCIFER #11: Black, Garbett, Fabela

I think I mentioned this when #10 came out, but I know approximately zero about Lucifer’s Vertigo canon (except what’s in Sandman), so I have no idea what the implications of the last page are. But I really enjoyed this issue. Black is a master of her craft, and was the perfect choice for this series.

STAR TREK BOLDLY GO #1: Johnson, Shasteen, Mastrolonardo

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loved this. It felt like watching a Star Trek movie, i.e., exciting, suspenseful, etc. One thing I’m not completely sold on is the art, though. The cover rocks, but something about it—maybe it’s because Shasteen has to render characters whose visages I am familiar with? He draws a good Kirk on page 13, though. But Uhura doesn’t look a whole lot like Uhura, and sometimes Sulu doesn’t either. My one story complaint: do we need another love interest for Kirk? Especially when they never last more than one film? I’m assuming (perhaps wrongly, I admit) that Commander Valas and Kirk are going to get flirty and that I am not going to enjoy it at all.

I lost it at the last page. If you’ve read this issue—and if you enjoy Star Trek in any of its iterations I’d say go grab it—you know what I mean. I totally lost it (I was in public, too, go figure). That sold me on this. (7/10)

THE BEAUTY #11: Haun, Hurley, Green, Rauch

Good stuff, all around. I don’t have anything else to say but keep up the good work, folks.

PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT! #11: Leth, Williams, Rosenberg

The name of this arc is “Don’t Stop Me-Ow.” HOW great is Hellcat, guys. We also meet a cool girl gang in this issue, so points all around. (8/10)

BATGIRL #4: Larson, Albuquerque, McCaig

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I left this one big on purpose. I will give Rafael Albuquerque all of my money, full stop. He knows how to do his job and then some.

I’ve said it before, but I dig this arc, so it gets a good ol’ check from me.

OUTCAST #22: Kirkman, Azaceta

Nice and spooky for Hallowe’en. These two know how to play the long game. The letters section in this issue is particularly good for theories on what being an Outcast means and who Sydney’s kind are. (9/10)

THE PUNISHER ANNUAL: Conway, Ruiz, Loughridge

(I am sad about Steve Dillon. That’s all.) This issue did a great job of telling a relatively complex story in a one-shot, jumping from flashbacks to the present without losing me. Nice.

DKIII THE MASTER RACE: Miller, Azzarello, Kubert, Janson, Anderson

I didn’t even know this was coming out this (/last) week! Same with Star Trek, to be honest. But I always get excited when DKIIIs are in my pull. I guess it’s because The Dark Knight Returns and also Strikes Again are so seminal and important to comics history that to have the single issues and to just be present when this third story comes out is, well, cool. One thing: why is Clark’s, uh, power armor (I suppose?) so weird looking? He looks like a caricature of himself? Whatever. (9/10)

LUMBERJANES #31: Watters, Leyh, Pietsch, Laiho

Friendship is so great. Especially when it involves giant birds, snake hair, goddesses, and funky underground temples. And great art, and fantastic storytelling. (9/10)

WONDER WOMAN #9: Rucka, Sharp, Martin

2Here’s the deal: I smell a conspiracy. I thought it was just due to my lack of canonical Wonder Woman knowledge that I didn’t recognize the lady in Empire Enterprise on page 6, but I just used the Google machine real quick and it couldn’t tell me either. She has a scary logo (which is also on the cover) and—ah, never mind. I googled her name (Veronica Cale) and she appeared, silly me.

Okay! Judging from what I just learned about Ms. Cale, maybe Rucka’s going to bring back a villain called the Silver Swan? Cale turns the Silver Swan (formerly Diana’s pal Vanessa Kapatelis) into a cyborg lady in order to fight Wonder Woman. Look at the cover, guys. OBVIOUSLY.

This-issue-wise, I want to give Liam Sharp an award. Both he and Nicola Scott are doing some of the best work in comics today. (8/10)

THE MIGHTY THOR #12: Aaron, Irving, Dauterman, Wilson

The flashback art in this issue, rendered by Frazer Irving, is some weird 3D-style nonsense. However, I didn’t realize this until the last page of the flashback, which was shockingly—ugh, I don’t want to say bad, but—BAD! It’s also such a departure from Dauterman’s great inks and Wilson’s vibrant colors.

I quite enjoyed learning about Mjolnir, though. This kind of backstory is my deal.

ODY-C #12: Fraction, Ward

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Almost every illustration in this issue is splash-page-style. unnamed

Again, how wild is Christian Ward? I am absolutely enamored with the House of Atreus storyline, and it’s definitely getting me pumped to get back into the Odyssia tale as well. Matt and Christian are doing something so unique, something that will definitely be iconic, definitely a legacy kind of thing. (10/10)

DESCENDER #16: Lemire, Nguyen

this was so sad oh my god why (9/10) (point deducted for the sorrow)

BLACK PANTHER #7: Coates, Sprouse, Story, Martin

I am HERE for the crew. Especially after watching Luke Cage and seeing how absolutely awesome Misty Knight is.

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If you haven’t watched Luke Cage yet, please, just…just go do that now.

Black Panther is a fantastic and complex story. Morals, the ethics of kingship, race, family, class, black people magic…I love it. (10/10)

SEVEN TO ETERNITY #2: Remender, Opeña

(First panel page 4: total Clean Room vibes.)

I think they just switched everything up in this issue, unless the Mud King just total no-scope KOs everyone immediately in #3? I loved metal-jaw crocodile-man, first of all. This world is wild and crazy and very well fleshed out. Fantastic. (10/10)

OVER THE GARDEN WALL #7: McHale, Campbell, Burgos, Sjursen-Lien, McGee, Cogar, Montgomery, Choo

I happen to love birds, so the fact that Greg went to a chic bird city in this issue had me over the moon. (10/10)

JUGHEAD #10: North, Charm

How funny is it that the artist’s last name is Charm, huh? (Get it, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, charm, Charm?!)

This issue had me laughing out loud (again, in public). Besides North’s page notes, there’s a special cameo in this issue. (8/10)

SAGA #39: Staples, Vaughan

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God, I love Saga. (10/10)

Alright, guys, next week there are two (at least) incredibly exciting comics coming out. It also doesn’t look like there are that many on my pull list for tomorrow, so I will be quicker about it.

Friday is Fountain Pen Day—I don’t know exactly what I’ll do for it, but right now I’m thinking about a rundown of my pens, or something like that. I definitely want to talk more about pens moving forward, but I get new comics much more often than I get new pens. Anyway.

Sleep well! Tell your mail carrier about this blog, and tell yourself to leave comments.

 

sailot jentle four seasons kin-mokusei

Orange is my favorite color, so earlier this year I went on a hunt for the perfect orange ink. I looked at a bunch of different reviews for a bunch of different inks, but I could never find the right one. Then one day I was a-browsing Anderson Pens and I spotted it.

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Sailor Jentle Four Seasons Kin-Mokusei. Said to be a replacement Sailor Jentle Apricot, and my new favorite ink. Susan Pigott of the Pen Addict goes into more detail on its background here, but I’m just going to gush about it.

The color was just right—neither too dark or too light, nor too yellow or too red. But it wasn’t out yet, so I waited. I signed up to be notified of its release three times. It came out shortly before I went on break, so I had it sent to my real house. When it arrived, I immediately fell in love. The box has little emblems of the four seasons on it and is quite cute. The best part about the bottle for me is the cap. It just feels nice to the touch, very smooth. The bottle also comes with an ink miser inside, which was kind of helpful and kind of not—I feel like it’d be a drag with bigger nibs.

However, the miser worked just fine with my Franklin-Christoph Model 03. This pen has a big fat cursive italic nib, so I knew I wanted Kin-Mokusei in there for the shading possibilities. It looks fantastic.

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(I didn’t have any orange inks to compare it to—well, I had Lamy orange, but none of my pens are inked up with that.)

I also filled one of my Lamy Safaris up with this ink, and because of the smaller nib the color is much yellower. This orange is so rich, and just so spot-on for fall. The swab reminds me of nothing so much as a pumpkin, and the lighter spots look like the inside of a Blue Hubbard squash. Okay, that was quite the rural analogy. Bear with me.

The water that I dripped on the paper just would not dry, by the way. It refused to absorb and sat atop the notepad for the whole night.

There’s a bit of a chemical smell to Kin-Mokusei, but you don’t really notice it while writing. Plus, it’s nothing compared to Noodler’s Baystate Blue.

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Here it is, in a Lamy Safari with an M nib, upon the Tomoe River pages of my Midori Traveler’s Notebook.

And below, the front and back of a page of copy paper.

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(Ignore my shirt and hand peeking out at the bottom.) Very little showthrough, and this is with my M nib.

In short, I love this ink. It’s all kinds of fantastic. I expect it’ll be the stock color in my Franklin-Christoph for a while, and probably in this M Lamy as well.

And just an ending note: this is my first ink review, so my methods may change over time? I’ll try to get more photos in natural light next time (I’m in the college library).

Okay! Tomorrow I’ll do my comic roundup, and there are a TON this week. Just so many. I don’t think I’m putting pictures for all of them, that’s how many.

Sleep well, my dudes. Also, um, you should throw some comments out there. I know you’re visiting the site, so, just do it. Gracias.

various vids: trailers and songs

Okay, I know I said I would write a bunch of posts over break, but…once I got home I fell into the trap of laziness (and of Griffin McElroy’s hilarious Polygon videos). So here’s my rundowns of and thoughts on some recent videos. There’s something for everyone here.

ROGUE ONE TRAILER #2

This one really got me messed up. Like, so, so, so super excited. First off: I did not realize it was my man, Mads Mikkelsen, speaking at the beginning until he said “…I do it to protect you.” (Probably because he said something like that to Will Graham while on Hannibal.) So when he appeared I freaked out a little.

Besides that, this seems to set the tone for the movie more than the first trailer did. Rogue One is going to be a super-serious movie, but this peek established a sort of soaring feeling. It’s about the spirit of revolution, it seems. There also might be some mythbuilding here—check out this WIRED breakdown. I’m hopeful for good comedy moments also.

Plus, this is the most diverse Star Wars…yet? Most of the main characters are not white, and, as in Episode VII, many extras/background characters are of color also. I like this new universe we’re stepping into. I’m not rating these, but maybe I’ll give a general feeling as a kind of rating? Well, I’m super-excited, like I said, but I also got such a heart-bursting feeling, which I usually get for Avengers trailers or the other epic, very-meaningful-to-the-Marvel-Universe-movies (read: Captain America: Civil War).

 

BEFIKRE TRAILER

I thought I was doing these in chronological order, but it seems I misinterpreted time, as this came out three days prior to Rogue One‘s trailer.

I ALSO thought I would 100% not be interested in this absolutely bizarre film. I was wrong again, I’m seeing this opening day and no one can stop me. I don’t know who Vaani Kapoor is, but she’s doing a good job! (I was, upon this movie’s announcement, very skeptical of her. Sorry ji.) Ranveer Singh is my sweet prince as always, and his hair is alternately either completely on point or wholly off, as always.

Basically it seems like this is a movie about two youngsters who decide that they won’t fall in love and will instead have a casually intimate relationship. I feel like this occurred in another Bollywood film, but I can’t recall which one exactly. Here, though, they’re constantly daring each other to do some weird and wild things. Trailer examples: slapping cop, public sex, dancing, scantily-clad dancing, etc.

SPEAKING of scantily clad dancing: Ranveer at 1:14 and 1:38 in what looks like…Playboy Bunny underwear? Best costume department choice ever or what? I was trying to find a word or phrase (preferably suffixed by -boy) to describe his look in this video. I settled on Peak Skinny Boy, but while I was listening to some tunes on Saavn I picked a better one (no -boy though). This takes a little explaining, be patient with me. On the Mirzya soundtrack there are a bunch of—I guess interlude songs? They would be interludes on a regular album. Essentially they’re all Daler Mehndi shouting/singing a neat phrase (plus some more words on some), which is also the title of the song. The one that popped out at me was “Mera Mirza Sher Jawan,” which translates to “My Mirza, Young Lion.”

THAT’S IT! Basically there’s no English appellation + boy I can say to wholly encompass Ranveer’s skinny-muscle look in this movie, but “Mera Ranveer Sher Jawan” is PERFECT, if you tack Skinny Boy on there somewhere.

The music for this film sounds awesome, too. I love the way they incorporated the French, and just the way the song sounds, in the track that starts at 0:49. The first song, “Nashe Si Chadh Gayi,” is out, and it’s very popping. Can I say that? Can I type popping with the and not sound like a complete and utter nerd/fool? It’s too late. That’s the adjective I picked. It’s very danceable? I’ll get into it in my rundown below.

Feelings review: I’m in. I’m so in. (but what is with the hashtags?)

 

NINTENDO SWITCH

I don’t have a ton to say about the video itself, except that a bunch of those folks are kind of strange (bringing your portable console to parties? hmmm). I’ve been pretty pumped since Nintendo announced the console formerly known as the NX, so this got my blood going. I’m going to gloss over the portability feature and the strange little controllers, because I am going to be playing these games firmly, very incredibly firmly, ensconced in blankets on my couch with a regular-size, normal layout controller, thank you.

And those games, though. Obviously I was born to play this next Legend of Zelda game, Breath of the Wild. It’s a Zelda game, but it’s open-world. There is voice acting. It’s a little sci-fi. It’s a Zelda game, but there’s a whole lot more game. For someone who loves the Zelda franchise, specifically Twilight Princess (aka the best form of any media ever created, ever, don’t test me on this, you’re wrong), the opportunity to have about 1000% more story and gametime is fantastic. Main draw for me (though I think it’s also on the Wii U; whatever).

Watching this video, I spotted, at 1:06 and then again at 1:25 a game that I did not recognize. At first, I just thought that it was another Nintendo game I didn’t know. But then I saw the dragon, and a crazy thought began to coalesce. It couldn’t be Skyrim, could it? That’s a Bethesda game. That would be ridiculous and impossible.

Guys, it’s Skyrim.

Guys, how crazy is this?! You’re telling me I can play a Bethesda game on a damn NINTENDO?! If you click through on the tweet it’ll lead you to an image that a bunch of logos for a “sampling of Nintendo Switch partners.” In 9VOLT’s tweet above, you can see that FromSoftware is one of these said partners.

Why is this so exciting, you may ask? Well, FromSoftware makes many a game, among them the Bloodborne franchise and, oh yeah, Dark SoulsDARK SOULS! I got a PS4 for my birthday this year, and I was namely after it for the purpose of playing Dark Souls III (which I still don’t have, pals, take note). But now I’m free! Give me all of your blackened spirits.

Feelings rating: I was scammed into a PS4 give me this thing p le ase

 

DANGAL TRAILER

This is my second go at this review (see below), but I’ll try to just recreate it.

At first, I was not pumped at all for this. Aamir Khan’s giving us another wrestling movie? So soon after this Eid’s Sultan starring Salman Khan? And Aamir is old and patently Not Cute in it? Bye.

When the poster and synopsis came out I was more excited. Girls wrestling? Aamir’s first movie in two years? Sign me the heck up. Female empowerment? I’m already in line.

At the beginning of the trailer though, I was skeptical again. Another movie about Olympic dreams dashed, ugh, just like Sultan? Another movie with the dad-wants-a-son theme, ugh? Perpetuating this useless trope, bye?

But then! At 1:42 Aamir’s character, Mahavir Singh Phogat, says, “Woh baat meri samajh main na aayi woh gold toh gold hota hai. Chora la ve o chori.” The translation’s in the video, but I like mine more: “The thing that didn’t come to my understanding/I didn’t comprehend is that gold is gold. Whether a boy takes it or a girl.”

Could this be a feminist movie? Oh, yep, it is, okay, I’m here, I’m listening.

The breakdown:

The song that starts at 2:02. Also, go and get it, Babita. Go on with your strong self.

At 2:13, after Geeta beats about 1000 men into the dirt, she walks out swaggering, with her whole crew behind her, which is just goals.

The song that starts at 2:29 will obviously be on repeat (dangal, dangal!). Plus, it’s Daler Mehndi.

At 2:55 when they just break out PEAK MUSCLE ELF BOY Aamir?! Here for it.

Feelings rating: DANGAL, DANGAL!

CUTIEPIE (AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL)

Short but absolutely savage.

(They tacked a whole 50 seconds onto this video just to give us snippets of three other ADHM songs. As if they aren’t on repeat already, please, don’t scam me.)

I have to start by saying that I am not the biggest Ranbir Kapoor fan by far (so very far). It’s something to do with his melancholy long-face looks, perhaps, or maybe because he cheated on my beloved Deepika Padukone with Katrina Kaif, of all people? Not that I’m bitter or whatever. But I love him here.

I was on a plane when I watched this, taxiing, and here are some things that made me laugh out loud (sorry, whoever was in 5B) (I was also dancing a bit, NOT sorry):

What is he doing at 0:22? I don’t know, but I definitely feel the same way.

His noise at 0:26, I lost it.

The little thing between him and Anushka Sharma at 0:56 was funny to me. This whole thing with him putting on all that mehndi is hilarious.

What is his dance at 1:24? My dude, what?!

Ranbir is also just so good at looking so sad. He does shades of sad like other actors do shades of all expressions. He can, incredibly convincingly, be funny-sad, fake-sad, sad-sad, dramatically-sad…you get the picture. And his comedic timing is great. I’m pumped to see him alongside Anushka.

I love getting more and more glimpses of this movie. I haven’t seen Student of the Year yet (I know, I know), so maybe that has something to do with it, but a “modern” Karan Johar film feels so strange and exciting to me. I grew up with his movies, and they are, at this point, part of my base identity, so to have one come out while I am a functioning human being capable of seeing it on the big screen is crazy and exciting to me. (Side note: if anyone in the Cleveland, Ohio area knows of a theater that is showing ADHM, please, please, please, please tell me. I have to see this.)

I love the bits where Ranbir and Anushka are in the mountains, dressed in a 90s style, saris blowing, satirizing Karan’s own films. I’m very excited to see this. It’s probably the movie I’ve been looking forward to the most this year. (Except for maybe Jason Bourne?)

Feelings rating: I will be incredibly devastated if I can’t see this in theaters. On a happier note, I cannot wait to see these ANTICS on the big screen.

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(I could not find a gif of this, but here it is anyway.)

NASHE SE CHADH GAYI (BEFIKRE)

So catchy, so slick. I always forget Ranveer can dance, and then…he just jumps out and does the damn thing! Vaani is also an incredible dancer, which I didn’t expect (or didn’t know to expect, I suppose). This whole thing is great. Nothing in particular stuck out (except certain dancing moments), but that’s not a bad thing. The French at the beginning was nice.

Best line: “Lagti current jaise, nikla warrant jaise,” which means “she feels like an [electric] current, like a freshly-issued warrant.” How absolutely fantastic is that, readers. I would like to be a woman who is like an arrest warrant.

Arijit Singh sings this number. He’s usually used for sadder songs (see: “Agar Tum Saath Ho,” “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,” “Tum Hi Ho,” etc.), but I really like hearing him on such an upbeat tune. He has a certain quality to his voice—not laid-back, but rather at ease, confident, a little drawl and stretch on his vowels.

Feelings rating: Well, I downloaded it on Saavn, so.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2: OBVIOUSLY

Look, I know “Obviously” isn’t actually the title of the movie, but it is now!

I love the slightly altered version of “Hooked on a Feeling” that’s used at the start. Also how they try to trick you into thinking this is going to be a serious movie, but actually, no, we’re back at it, got ya good, sad superhero movies are for fools. I was banging my head to the theme, laughing out loud, and generally enjoying myself during this trailer. I’m glad Michael Rooker’s Yondu is a main now, because he’s great.

I am very excited for this film, and I will go see it when it comes out. One issue: I’ve seen this trailer twice, and each time it suggests that I go see the Doctor Strange trailer. Nope, bye, thank you, never, bye.

Feelings rating: do I dare say I am hooked upon this feeling? That’s dumb even for me. I am very happy this film franchise exists and I will thoroughly enjoy this, the next installment.

This took so much longer than I thought it would. This took two hours, hold on, what? How bad is that! I need to go to bed, folks. Tomorrow I’ll do some kind of stationery review, I swear, then on Thursday I’ll talk/write at you about comics.

Sleep well. Tell your dreams about me, I guess?

(Also when I went to check over this post I saw that part of my Nintendo Switch review had been deleted and then when I went to fix it it deleted all of my Dangal lowdown. I am so mad I can’t find the revisions menu oh my goddddd)

weekly comics review

Hello! I would have done this fifteen minutes ago, but WordPress was down for maintenance.

Also I promised so many posts that just haven’t appeared. I’ll do better—tomorrow I’ve planned a quick one, with two trailers and a song.

There were a lot of comics this week, so let’s dig in.

POWER MAN & IRON FIST #9: Walker, Greene, Flaviano, Rauch

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I am so, so done with this storyline. Also I hate this cover. I wish that Marvel could have kept Luke and Danny out of this Civil War II mess like they kept Howard the Duck out of it, but…ugh. Anyway, hopefully since Luke Cage was such a fantastic TV show there’ll be a new, fantastic comic series? Maybe? With Misty and Claire, etc. (we don’t need Danny)? (5/10)

GOTHAM ACADEMY SECOND SEMESTER #2: Fletcher, Kerschl, Cloonan, Archer, Msassyk, Hope, LaPointe

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Witches! Detectives! Mystery! Terrible roommates! I just love Gotham Academy. Look at all of these pals posing. Just great. (9/10)

BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY #3: Benson, Benson, Roe, Antonio, Passalaqua

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The snake-people looked super-cool. One of them is named Cottonmouth, so while reading this issue I thought, hey, what if that is the Cottonmouth from the aforementioned Luke Cage? Then just now, flipping through to reacquaint myself with this installment’s events, I recalled that this is a DC comic. Also surprise Black Canary backstory in this issue. (7.7/10 for the comic 5/10 for my intellect)

DARTH VADER #25: Gillen, Larroca, Fiumara, Delgado, Steward

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Kieron Gillen must have been a natural pick for Darth Vader because both of them are so none more goth. That aside, this was an awesome end to an awesome series. This felt the most Star-Wars-y to me than any other issue. I couldn’t tell you why, but it did. With a funky Tusken raiders story and a good twist, this was a fitting end to a good ride. (9.5/10)

SOUTHERN CROSS #8: Cloonan, Belanger, Loughridge

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I was thinking about Belanger’s art this past week—I must’ve seen something on Twitter—and the word I’d pick to describe it is anxious. It conveys a certain sense of smallness and something imminent. Anyway. This was a good issue. A ghost makes their comeback in this issue. I really need to reread this series when I get home (so soon! aaaaa). I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I love the ads for ZEMI items and other space things in the back of each issue. (8.7/10)

THE PUNISHER #6: Cloonan, Dillon, Martin

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Two solid Becky Cloonan titles this week. This one features a Shalvey/Bellaire cover I love. Remember when I said last month that I thought that was maybe the end of the arc? I was wrong. Nothing major happened in this issue, but we got some Frank/Olaf backstory, and at the end it said END. So this is the end of the arc, in case you all were as ignorant as I was. (8/10)

ODY-C #11: Fraction, Ward

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Man, what did we do to deserve Christian Ward? He’s the real deal.

Okay, after a literal millennium ODY-C has decided to grace us with its presence again. And get this—it’s all written in rap. At least, that’s how I read it. In the Odyssey & Oracle section at the back, Fraction says that he “eschew[ed] the dummy hexameter of the previous volumes for limericks.” Wild, huh? Literally THE WHOLE THING.

This is another series I have to reread, and carefully. This arc is on the House of Atreus and their curse. This page from University of Pennsylvania is a good, quick, and easy brush-up on the facts for those of you who either know nothing about this or who, like me, have been sideswiped by this knowledge but have neither retained nor obtained any deeper facts.

I really loved this issue. (10/10)

WONDER WOMAN #8: Rucka, Evely, Fajardo Jr. 

ww_cv8_57f7f2e2f02247-30851258I had never read a Wonder Woman comic before Rebirth, so (well, I read Gail Simone’s The Circle, but) I know next to nothing about her canon. Basically, I have no clue who Barbara Ann Minerva/Cheetah is. But since they’re giving her a new origin, a veritable rebirth, one might say, I am free and clear. Also, Minerva is a badass! So cool! Indiana-Jones-esque! Big fan. Would read the solo series. Evely did a lovely job of rendering the ruins this month (week? biweek? fortnight?) and I dig the cover. (neutral)

MOON KNIGHT #7: Lemire, Stokoe, Francavilla

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James Stokoe’s art reminds me of a mashup between Chris Burnham’s (Nameless, E is for Extinction) and Katsuhiro Otomo’s (if you don’t know, uh, remedy that now) styles. And someone else a little more, I suppose, cartoony, but I can’t place them. It’s in General Lupinar’s eyes. Maybe Sam Bosma (Fantasy Sports)? Good stuff. And good stuff overall, too. (neutral)

LUMBERJANES GOTHAM ACADEMY #5: Clugston-Flores, Matthews, Matthews, Ayoub, Cogar

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So happy. So sweet. Plus a cool bone-conglomerate monster and Olive setting things aflame! All part of my Hallowe’en aesthetic. (10/10)

ALL-STAR BATMAN #3: Snyder, Romita Jr., Shalvey, Miki, White, Bellaire

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This was a lot of fun. KGBeast is such a funny name. And why is he talking about sea-steading? I laughed at that. This week was backstory-heavy—here we get some childhood dirt on Bruce and Harvey. Good issue.

Oh, wait. Obviously I’m supposed to review the content, but I just wanted to say I love the feel of these issues. The solid, glossy cover really does it for me. (neutral)

DOOM PATROL #2: Way, Derington, Bonvillain

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I still don’t know what is going on, and I still like it! More general weirdness in this issue, plus some alien existentialism. And the introduction of Negative Man, whom I feel would not be that out of place in Nowhere Men. (neutral)

MONSTRESS #7: Liu, Takeda

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Sana Takeda, man, another artist we just don’t deserve. Honestly, I missed Monstress much more than I thought I would. It’s just so intriguing, and such a solid series. I love a mystical mystery, and this is one of the best I’ve read. (10/10)

JUPITER’S LEGACY 2 #4: Millar, Quitely

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I love Quitely’s art so much. I haven’t read all of the Jupiter’s series, but I’m getting there. All I will say about this issue is that it was HEARTBREAKING and I am MAD. (9/10)

HOWARD THE DUCK #11: Zdarsky, Quinones, Rivera, Gibson

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How Zdarsky managed to satirize comics, while actually making a hilarious comic book, while writing an absolutely touching good story is beyond me. I’m so sad that Howard is ending its run, but I’m really happy that Chip and Joe got to do it in their way, which was the best way. (10/10)

Okay! Look for those various video reviews tomorrow. On Saturday I might post something, but I’m not quite sure what (the long-promised book reviews? who knows?). On Sunday I am seeing Mirzya (!!!!!!!) with Based Jen, so look for that verdict. I’ve also started watching Supergirl, which I like 100% more than I thought I would, so I’m thinking of doing one review halfway through the first season then another at the end of it. Oh! On Saturday I’ll probably write up my thoughts on Conviction and Madam Secretary and maybe update you on the other new shows? (read: tell you that Notorious still sucks?)

Closing message: spread the word about my blog, thank you. Also good night.

 

 

weekly comics review (x2)

I was just really tired last week? Or just really lazy? This is two posts for the price of one, have fun. Short blurbs (well, I’ll try).

09/28/16

CAPTAIN MARVEL #9: Gage, Gage, Silas, Wilson

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I 👏🏾 AM 👏🏾 TIRED 👏🏾 OF 👏🏾 THIS. Captain Marvel is unfortunately much less interesting now that Kelly Sue DeConnick isn’t writing it, and this blasted Civil War II nonsense just makes everything worse. (6/10)

DESCENDER #15: Lemire, Nguyen

descender_15-1I deeply enjoy Dustin Nguyen’s art. And the fact that he watercolors every comic, by hand…every comic! Just gorgeous. This was a good issue. We got some much-needed backstory on Andy and Effie/Queen Between (mostly on Effie). That said, I’m ready for the action to pick up again. (9.1/10)

LUMBERJANES #30: Watters, Leyh, Pietsch, Laiho

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Lumberjanes never ceases to please. I’ve loved every issue. Whoever the artist is, they always make their art appropriately bright and alive without losing their personal style. Here, it’s Carey Pietsch, who draws very cute snake-hair. Art aside, I dig this gorgon storyline. (9.5/10)

BATGIRL #3: Larson, Albuquerque, McCaig

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I am loving this plotline. The second I saw Fruit Bat I knew this was going to be fun, and it has been. Plus, Rafael Albuquerque is one of my favorite comic artists ever, so this is a joy to look at and to read. (9/10)

OVER THE GARDEN WALL #6: McHale, Campbell, Burgos, Sjursen-Lien, McGee, Cogar, Montgomery

I couldn’t find an image of the cover for this issue, so take this lil’ Greg instead:

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ROROP.

This is one of my favorite comics of all time. It’s sweet, funny, and beautifully illustrated. As a long-time lover of picture books, this comic warms my heart. Jim Campbell does a fantastic job evoking the cute and chaotic Greg-ian aesthetic, and Cara McGee evokes Wirt’s angsty imaginings with expert inks. (I choose to think that Greg sees reality and Wirt is seeing an illusion, but it’s up to the individual reader.) Story great throughout. (10/10)

SAGA #38: Staples, Vaughan

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HEARTBREAKING. (10/10)

MS. MARVEL #11: Wilson, Miyazawa, Alphona, Herring

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I’m liking Ms. Marvel‘s Civil War II storyline much more than Captain Marvel‘s. Perhaps because I’m actually rooting for Kamala. (I just really really disagree with Carol and that makes me mad.) Miyazawa and Alphona’s art is gorgeous, as one comes to expect. The first scene in this issue features Bruno and Ammi having a chat, and the detail with which Miyazawa and Alphona render their hair and the care in the expressions is laudable. (8/10)

OUTCAST #21: Kirkman, Azaceta

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I have never really thought about it before, but I like Outcast‘s covers a whole lot. They’re always very…I’m not quite sure how to articulate it, but strong. Not exactly evocative, and not shocking, but active, I suppose? And I always love their color schemes. Outcast is a bit of a slow burn for me, but it always pays off. (8/10)

WONDER WOMAN #7: Rucka, Sharp, Martin

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Look at the sheer detail on this cover! What the heck, Mr. Sharp! Sharp also draws Urzkartaga beautifully on page 8. This is a good mystery, and I love the female friendships in this comic. (8.7/10)

Okay, on to this week.

18 DAYS #16: Chadda, Devarajan, Biagini

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I will be honest: I hate the art in this comic. It was good up until Jeevan Kang moved to only covers. I also could not find an image of this week’s #16, so here’s #1. Look at this fabulous promise! Only of course to be abandoned by Morrison abruptly, and for the art and the story to suffer (one much more than the other). I really only get this comic to support my fellow Desis, and because I believe we need more Desi stories (by Desis) in comics. (5.7/10)

DC COMICS’ BOMBSHELLS #18: Bennett, Braga, Andolfo, Nanjan

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Whenever I see Laura Braga’s last name all I can think of is Rat Queens. What happened to Rat Queens, anyway?

Breaking: after a quick Wikipedia jaunt, I have discovered that Rat Queens was put on hiatus in April 2016 and is to be continued as a webcomic. I don’t know, maybe Image should have put that in the comic itself so I (and presumably other fans) actually knew that six months ago? Ugh, and there’s controversy and nonsense. Now I’m going to have to follow Kurtis Wiebe on Twitter to keep up. Ay yai yai.

But Bombshells! Good issue. I don’t actually have anything to say about it. New plotline? I’m pumped? That’s it. (8/10)

DC COMICS’ BOMBSHELLS ANNUAL: Bennett, Charretier, Hi-Fi

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HOW great of a name is Hi-Fi, guys. I really liked this issue. It was a fun supernatural funky tale. Also, is the Professor Jones Commander Waller mentions at the beginning like, um, Indiana Jones? Is Indiana Jones a DC property? Does this mean I could essentially eventually WRITE an Indiana Jones comic for DC?

But that’s a little beside the point. I enjoyed this more than the regular monthly Bombshells. It was just more fun. And Charretier’s art gave me some Darwyn Cooke-y vibes. The reveal at the end—it may not have been a reveal for everyone, but it was for me—had me grinning. (8/10)

PAPER GIRLS #10: Vaughan, Chiang, Wilson

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Nice Hallowe’eny cover with all the Erins. I dig. This issue was a lot of fun, and set up what promises to be an exciting next arc. For some reason, my copy smells like raw potatoes right now. An irrelevant but interesting aspect of the issue, so I’ll include it in my review and score. For those who’ve read it (and for those who haven’t this isn’t much of a spoiler): when the girls jump through the portal into future-land, I got serious The Cat Returns-vibes. The color scheme, the landscape, everything. And BKV is taking the Cult of Apple to the next level. (9.7/10)

MOONSHINE #1: Azzarello, Risso

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This sounded more interesting in the solicit than it was. Maybe it is also a slow burn? I’m intrigued, but not hooked. I liked Risso’s art though, and I couldn’t figure out why until right now—it looks just a bit like Tim Sale’s. Particularly on page 4, where Risso’s drawing of Joe “The Boss” Masseria (very creative nickname, Azzarello) recalls Sale’s inks of Carmine Falcone in The Long Halloween. It’s something about the looseness of the lines. Anyway, so far it’s fine, with some mysteries I’m interested in solving. So I’ll stick with it, for the time being, if only because it is set in West “By God” Virginia. (I have never been to WV, and I’m kind of scared to as a queer kid of color, but I have a deep abiding love for it. My best friend’s parents are from their originally, and on their basement whiteboard is a—well, here it is:

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It’s been there for at least 10 years now. I love it. End aside.)

Also, there are three silhouetted men on the cover, but only one protagonist so far. Something to look forward to? (7/10)

ROMULUS #1: Hill, Blake II

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In contrast to MoonshineRomulus‘s first issue exceeded my expectations. I had heard good rumblings on Twitter, but I sense that this series will be another big one for Image (knock on wood). The concept is strong, the art is good, and I am hooked hooked hooked.

First of all, the main enemy in this story is basically Illuminati #confirmed. In fact, the “next issue” blurb is “ENTER THE ILLUMINATI!” So essentially this was made for me. Couple that with a matriarchal assassin’s guild, a cool new lupine religion, and a strong heroine (maybe of color)? Here for this.

Neither Hill nor Blake II have much on their records, but this is a strong start. Blake’s art makes me think of that of my favorite comic artist of all time, Tradd Moore (Luther Strode series). In particular page 9, panel 2, and the preview for the cover of issue #2. There’s also something about the colors that put me in the Moore state of mind, but I’m not enough of an artist to actually put that into words. Something about the flatness? Is that right? I don’t know, but good job, bud. I also liked Blake’s use of light in this issue, his chiaroscuro.

All in all a super, super #1. Pick this one up, folks. (9.5/10)

CLEAN ROOM #12: Simone, Davis-Hunt, Winter

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Guys, Clean Room is not for the faint of heart or stomach. This issue was a doozy, too. I’m not a horror fan, but Clean Room is just so great. I don’t know what it is about it, but it’s got me good. Probably Simone’s fabulous writing. This series just doesn’t let up, and that’s fine with me. (9.7/10)

I know, what a slog. Also I’ve reneged on like, all of my promised posts from last week. I just received Garth Nix’s newest Abhorsen book, Goldenhand (thank you Based Mom Jen), and I will review that when I’m done. (I am so excited.) I’ll pull it together, I swear. Plus, I’m going home on the 15th, so I’ll have more time. Advertise this blog, kids. Goodnight.