Book Number 34: Next book: The Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

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Last of the year…

Next book: The Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

Next book: The Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

139 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Horror)
Wednesday 24th December – Friday 26th December (3 days)
2 afternoon, 1 evening.

Hot on the heels of the last volume, I picked up this one… we see the group move away from the farm after the disastrous events of the last volume, and stumble upon a prison. The group start to make their way through, clearing each block and securing, in the hope that this is the perfect place for them to settle, and Lori to have her baby.

However, as you would expect, things don’t go according to plan, and the group find some surviving prisoners who are not all as innocent as you would expect… things start going horribly wrong, and the group also discover that whether you die at the hands of a zombie or not, you still turn…

Again, another great instalment of the series, perfectly timed and tense, with a great look into human nature and how we act when faced with disaster. Artwork was amazing again as well!

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Book Number 23: The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore

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I’ve been looking forward to this…

The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore

The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore

144 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Horror)
Wednesday 11th June  (1 day)
1 morning.

Awesome. The artwork is fantastic, I could barely tear my eyes away. I was extremely impressed by the artwork in this book. And on top of that, the story was great.

I finished watching season 3 of the TV series a few days before I started this and I was feeling a little sad and bereft, so I decided to start this series to try and fill the hole. I was a little worried about how it would stand up to the TV series but I shouldn’t have done.

I devoured this in one sitting one morning over breakfast. The set up is fairly straight forward, Rick is a cop who gets shot, wakes up from a coma in an abandoned hospital and slowly discovers the world has been taken over by zombies. He eventually discovers a group of survivors outside Atlanta, who miraculously contains his wife and son, and best friend Shane.

There is the obvious story of the zombies, the issues of survival etc. but also the development of the characters and their relationships to each other. Very interesting, and by the end of this volume, very different from the first season… which I think is good! (I don’t want to read a carbon copy of what I’ve watched).

If you like zombies as a genre, then it’s likely you have heard, of read already or at least seen this but I still think it’s very good so far and would recommend it to anyone who likes this genre. Well written, amazing artwork, and kept me on the edge of my seat till the last page.

Next book:  Island of the Sequined Nun by Christopher Moore

Book Number 21: Fables Volume 7: Arabian Nights (and Days) by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Jim Fern, Jimmy Palmiotti and Andrew Pepoy

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Some fairy tale magic…

Fables Volume 7: Arabian Nights (and Days) by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Jim Fern, Jimmy Palmiotti and Andrew Pepoy

Fables Volume 7: Arabian Nights (and Days) by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Jim Fern, Jimmy Palmiotti and Andrew Pepoy

144 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Fantasy)
Monday 9th June – Tuesday 10th June (2 days)
1 morning, 1 afternoon, 1 evening.

Next in the series, following the story of Sinbad and the fables from Arabian Nights. Charming is struggling with his duties as Mayor and has to call King Cole in for help, Mowgli is still tracking Bigby, and Rose Red and Snow White are living on the farm raising Snow’s cub-children.

We also find out about two wooden soldiers who become human and move to our word, and the price they had to pay to become flesh…

I enjoyed this instalment, it was interesting meeting new fables and the Djinn, and seeing King Cole come back into the story. It is good to see Charming struggling – he is not the most likeable character… and seeing him get his comeuppance is good. But the best bit of this volume has to be the story of the wooden soldiers. Not only was it an interesting idea, the idea of wooden puppet soldiers fighting the war, and how they ‘live’ and what they do, but also seeing them evolve to have feelings, and what they end up doing to become real humans, the sacrifices they have to make.

I enjoyed this volume and I’m keen to get hold of the ned one to find out more about these two, and I want to see more about Bigby too! This series is improving again, I’m glad I didn’t give up on it.

Next book: Visual Aid by Draught Associates

Book Number 10: Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

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A birthday present…

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

80 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Comedy/Drama)
Sunday 6th April – Monday 7th April (2 days)
1 morning, 1 evening.

The graphic novel follows Enid and Becky in their normal day-to-day teenage lives. Having graduated from High School, they are both unsure of what happens next – one is hopeful to get into College (which causes a rift) and there is also a strange love triangle between the two of them and their friend Josh. There is also a little tension between the two of them and they both talk about whether they may be gay.

I really liked the look of this comic – two colour design and the style of illustration – which help create this atmosphere of a Ghost World. The girls are cynical and intelligent, and discuss pop-culture and people in general which I enjoyed.

An unusual graphic novel, with weird characters and social comment, definitely worth a read and I’m going to check the film out too.

Next book: Tell All by Chuck Palahniuk

Book Number 40: Fables Volume 5: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha and Craig Hamilton

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Last book of the year…

Fables Volume 5: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha and Craig Hamilton

Fables Volume 5: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha and Craig Hamilton

168 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Fantasy)
Friday 27th December – Monday 30th December (4 days)
1 morning, 2 afternoon.

My first dabble into Comixology and reading a comic book/graphic novel on my new iPad mini… and it was a good experience!

So this volume sees a very pregnant Snow White give birth… to not one baby but a litter of hybrid wolf children. This means a move to the Farm for her, coinciding with Prince Charming coming into office as the Mayor of Fabletown. Bigby goes off in a sulk, and we see a back story of his involvement with World War 2.

I can’t get on with the Snow White character, she winds me up a bit, so I found it difficult to care much about her, or her weird little brood of children. I miss Bigby though, and I like his character development so far, and look forward to reading more about him, and seeing something good happen to him! I was pleased with the ending, where his father shows up… and the bizarre behaviour and appearance of the children starts to make more and more sense.

Prince Charming is obviously and predictably not doing a great job as Mayor and I really felt for Old King Cole when he was ousted out of office… it’s interesting to see where this storyline will lead with most of the Fabletown inhabitants on the verge of an uprising, very disheartened by the lies of Prince Charming.

I am enjoying this series as a bit of light-hearted entertainment, but it’s not the best graphic novel I have read. This volume kept me interested and I want to find out more, it’s well written for the most part, I just find Snow white a bit much and keeping up with so many characters – something I think is a flaw in the writing as I don’t have this problem with other books, such as Game of Thrones.

A nice finish to the year!

40 books in 2013. Happy New Year!

Book Number 23: Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Craig Hamilton and Steve Leialoha

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Next in the Fables series…

Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Craig Hamilton and Steve Leialoha

Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Craig Hamilton and Steve Leialoha

232 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Fantasy)
Sunday 23rd June – Wednesday 3rd July  (11 days)
3 morning.

Due to a very busy few weeks, it has taken me a while to read this… However, I managed to read it all very quickly, over 3 sessions before work. I wish I had saved this for when I had the time to sit and read it all in one go, but such is life…

These books seem to be getting better with each instalment, I feel like I am getting to know the characters more, and the stuff from the homelands made it a more interesting story to me. Again, we meet new characters, Red Riding Hood, Robin Hood, Baba Yaga, but I was able to keep on top of most of them.

The back story about Boy Blue and the Fables last stand – The Last Castle, was brilliant, perfect – battles, magic, heroics, monsters… really drew me in! I am really starting to like Boy Blue’s character. Him and Bigby are fast becoming my favourite characters. I loved the story between him and Red Riding Hood, and his confusion and hurt when she comes back. However, it seemed very obvious to me very early on that she was not all she seemed. Absolutely brilliant, Blue, is a great character, and I can’t wait to read more about him.

I had to look up Baba Yaga – I had not heard of her before… but I liked the fight at the end, and the inclusion of some of the magic from the fairytales. Something I feel this has been missing.

The wooden soldiers were pretty menacing, and reminiscent of the Matrix agents to me. I enjoyed the battle scenes, and a bit of excitement which really was quite a contrast to the last book (Storybook Love) – and a welcome one at that. Gepetto being held prisoner, and Pinnochio’s mixed feelings is very interesting – I’m not sure it’s as straightforward as this, and I’m looking forward to finding out more about the Adversary.

The other storylines – Bigby and Snow, and the pregnancy, Prince Charming running for Mayor, all seem to be ticking along nicely, and I imagine there is going to be a whole lot more happening with Snow and her baby(ies) very soon… her declaration of love for Bigby at the end was fairly predictable – I am certain they will get together at some point – I am looking forward to the next instalment.

Next book: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Book Number 21: Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie

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A little extravagance…

Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie

Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie

320 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Fantasy)
Wednesday 19th June – Friday 21st June (3 days)
2 morning.

This has been on my to-read list for a while, but the book itself wasn’t cheap. I found it in my local comic book shop (I say local… it’s 30 miles away from my house…) and thought I’d treat myself. The ideas of fantasy meeting sex, the magic of the original stories combined and enhanced by the girls and their sexual awakening, Moore’s idea of elevating porn to something more akin to art… I was looking forward to reading this.

The book itself is beautiful. The artwork is gorgeous, and the Victorian styling is lovely. Melinda Gebbie is a great artist. The book follows Alice (from Alice in Wonderland), Wendy (from Peter Pan) and Dorothy (from Wizard of Oz) in 1913, as adults. They meet up in a hotel and discuss their lives and sexual awakenings/adventures from childhood whilst having sex with each other throughout the hotel. Interspersed between the stories are excerpts from other pornographic publications that had been left around the hotel.

I felt like the book was supposed to shock me, the idea of taking these original stories, and emphasising the sexual side of them, and re-writing the stories as porn. And it really is pornography. It’s very explicit, but after a while, I got bored of the endless sex scenes, and saddened at the magic being taken away from these stories and replaced by sex. I felt disappointed by this book – it had been recommended to me, but I just felt like I was being bombarded with explicit content just for the sake of it.

It wasn’t what I was expecting or what I wanted. I was hoping for something fun, with the sex weaved into the story in a less blatant way. Instead, I got something really quite dark, and overly explicit. I don’t consider myself a prude, but I felt inundated with endless images of nudity and sexual acts. Maybe this book just isn’t for me, maybe I just found the abuse elements a little too dark. Maybe I was supposed to find it dark and perhaps I went into this book with the wrong idea and expectations (I think this is pretty accurate – I had no idea about what this book was about except that it involved erotica, fairytale characters, fantasy and was written by Alan Moore). I read reviews on goodreads that summed it up pretty well, too much porn that wasn’t to my taste, and all the magic and mystery of the original stories wasn’t enhanced by the sexual element, but instead, they all sort of lost their appeal. A few of the little twists and ideas were quite clever, I did like the Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow analogy, but I just finished the book feeling a bit sad.

Next book:Know Your Onions by Drew de Soto