Venneh

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About Venneh

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    Glad we're all on the same murderous page.
  • Birthday 11/20/1988

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  1. I finally finished my first proper playthrough of this, two years later. And by playthrough, I have played through all three routes and achieved the five major endings (and a few joke endings too). I also got the end credits, and gifted my save to someone else, which means I’m now starting from square one again. Theres a reason this game has managed to hold its own, even being released in the same month as fucking Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I can’t believe I waited this long to seriously tackle it. It’s goddamn amazing. The controls can be a bit janky at times, and there are times that jumps don’t function correctly. Having to deal with one of our three characters not having proper non ripped clothing for part of her playthrough (PETITION TO PLEASE GET A2 SOME FUCKING PANTS OR MAYBE A GODDAMN SKIRT). But as rough as these things can be, they’re still pretty minor in the overall scheme of things. There are two moments that define my playthrough. The first was during a moment when I was playing as A2, when she’s getting to know Pascal’s village. I hadn’t saved in a hot moment, and I was in the process of getting the kids a slide. I accidentally triggered the events that led to Bad Things happening at the village. I closed the game, knowing I was about to lose a chunk of progress, because fuck this, I was going to get those kids their slide. And then everything that happens with that village happens, and I actually had to stop playing the game for a half hour because I was crying so hard. The second was the ending credits, or ending E. I suck, period, at shooters of that nature. I started crying at the encouraging messages, and when I accepted help, and the background chorus swelled up on the ending song, I was out and out bawling. And of course I gave up my save data. How could I not after that? go play this game. There’s a game of the year edition out now. Enjoy the dlc where you can fight Squenix’s CEO. Fucking do it.
  2. Super Smash Bros Ultimate: Just finished my first round through Adventure Mode, which was a fun way to turn off my brain. As far as I can tell there’s a new game +, so I’ll probably do that too. Haven’t tried fighting online yet, should probably do that. Cadence of Hyrule: Yeah, this is Good Shit. Rhythm game plus Zelda plus rogue like elements (but what feels like way more player friendly from what I know of Crypt of the Necrodancer = fun times, for actual real. I generally use rhythm games to relax, but this was just straight up fun to do, especially as you got a hang of things and got better weapons. Did I play this through mostly as Zelda? Absolutely yes. Though I want to try this in 2P mode.
  3. Land of the Lustrous v8: This feels like it’s building towards a conclusion, or at least escalating even more. This is becoming full existential horror on a level I was not expecting, and Ichikawa just continues to do an amazing job on the art work. Looking forward to seeing what happens in v9. Trades/Tankobon: 24Single Issues: 34
  4. More catch up, going to try to write these up soon: Astro City 50: Support group for the aftermath of another major event in Astro City. A solid one shot, I don’t feel compelled to read more tbh, but still a good read The Amazing Spider-Man 801: A sweet one shot about a man growing up and how his life intersects with Spider Man’s. But also brings up a bunch of questions unintentionally about how/if Peter ages. War of the Realms War Scrolls 2: A Dr Strange and Daredevil/Fisk story that are solid but that I honestly don’t give a shit about. I’m here for the Loki and Wiccan at a drag brunch and reckoning with Wiccan’s future and Loki’s past, and their intersection. Would love to see an ongoing with Billy and Teddy. Shipwreck (tpb): Warren Ellis weirdness as a miniseries, with Phil Hester providing amazing art even as he was dealing with macular degeneration. Good solid read, I will probably not remember this towards the end of the year tbh. By Chance or Providence (original b+w edition): Becky Cloonan does amazing gothic vaguely fantasy stories, and I continue to boggle at how fucking good she is. What Is Left: One: Shortbox is probably one of the best publishers for short zine type comics today. Two: Rosemary Valero-O’Connell is a talent I really need to pay attention to. Short sci fi comic about the survivor of a spaceship explosion experiencing the memories of the donor that provided the energy to keep the ship going. Gorgeous pastel color palette and amazing art, and just an atmospheric plot. Keeping this in my purse to lend out to people bc it’s that good. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me: First fucking Second is doing publishing work that no one else seems to be thinking of (possibly bc it has Macmillan money behind it), but is right in the area that needs to be targeted - YA, queers, lesbians. This is a YA book about dealing with your first fuckboi (boi here being gender neutral bc it’s a lesbian, either way it’s someone who’s bad for you), and figuring out how to deal with that as a person. It captures that feeling absolutely gorgeously with Tamaki’s writing and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell’s art. The way the entire book is colored (black, white, or pastel pink) and the atmosphere that Rosemary does with the art here is astounding. This is one of those “I need to lend this out to everyone I know” books. Are You Listening: This comes out this fall, and I will need to get this when it comes out, bc the ARC we got at this point does not have full color work, and that is only going to add to this book’s impact. I was frustrated with the marketing person who invoked Ghibli, but the magic it invokes, both on the road trip and the ever so slight fantasy element to the larger plot, absolutely fit that description. It’s about two young women facing loss of a parent and confronting the truth about the abuse she’s been through, and the unintentional and life changing road trip they end up taking together. Tillie Walden continues to be a voice to watch, and First Second continues to be one of my favorite publishers. Trades/Tankobon: 23Single Issues: 34
  5. Again, to catch up on writing at some point: Livewire vol 1: Vita Ayala basically gets her shot at writing Not The X-Men that also relies on knowledge of recent Valiant material that I honestly have not followed. But hey, it’s Valiant’s first book following one of their black female heroes, and they got a very good black female writer to do it. Good on them, tbh. Allèn and Martìn do gorgeous art, unsurprisingly. Xena 1: Another Ayala book, good one shot about children paying for the sins of their parents, also something with Discord and Xena and Gabrielle being gay as hell. That’s honestly all I remember. About Betty’s Boob: The artist deserves most of the credit here, tbh - this is largely a silent story, and there are times where it feels like it goes a bit too over the top in what’s going on (which I attribute mostly to the writer), but god if it isn’t gorgeous to look at. FCBD -Dear Justice League: Gustavo Duarte doing the Justice League answering kids’ questions is an incredible thing that I’m surprised hasn’t been done as a general concept sooner. Definitely getting this when it comes out. -Kodansha: Good range in this sampler; a library manga that I’ve honestly forgotten at the time that I’m writing this, classic Cardcaptor Sakura in time for the collectors edition release, and Little Witch Atelier, which is gorgeous and intriguing. Apparently the artist has done cover work for DC and Marvel, which is the only thing they think is worth mentioning about her. Also the next person to describe something as Ghibli-esque as lazy shorthand gets the back of mine. --Vertical: Kino’s Journey, oh my. Trades/Tankobon: 19Single Issues: 30
  6. (Writing these down now, will expand later) When I Came to the Castle: Emily fuckin’ Carroll. Gothic horror woven through with sensuality. It’s been amazing to watch her grow as an artist as she’s moved from online comics to print comics, and she’s using what she learned in one medium to do new boundary pushing things with the other. Yes, yes, and yes. WicDiv 43: Third to last issue, and jfc, the things the boys do here. Excellent deconstruction. Wonder Woman Earth One Vol 2: At the time I’m finally writing this up, the main things I can remember about this is: Paquette does gorgeous art, and Dr Psycho is a MRA/PUA. Also lots of Nazis? My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies: Brubaker and Phillips do another astoundingly effective one off about Bad People Making Even Worse Decisions, but it’s a song and dance they do well. Dept H v4: Everything finally comes around again in the end, and this makes me want to reread the whole thing one more time. The Kindts are an amazing team, and they don’t feel tempted to extend things out; they gave themselves 24 issues to tell this story, and they don’t push beyond it. Trades/Tankobon: 17Single Issues: 26
  7. Black Beetle in “No Way Out”: Francavilla gets to do some gorgeous pulp style art, and I’m 90% sure there’s a sequence where one of the mob goons who gets beat up is based on Warren Ellis. A fun, quick read. Skyward 11: Decided to peek my head back in here. Garbett’s art continues to be dynamic, no clue what’s happening plot wise. Snotgirl 13: Continues to be a fun pretty book with what looks like some minorly crazy subplots going on. Maneaters 7: ....yeah, peeked my head in on this, has kind of reinforced that I’ve been right about not putting the effort in to follow this. Isola 7: Pretty fantasy, probably something I’ll try to follow on the trade. Monstress 21: Malika’s asshole dad comes into the picture, more political intrigue, and Jesus fucking Christ Sana Takeda is insanely good at what she does. Criminal 3: Actually a continuation of last issue’s story, and a hell of a bitter conclusion. I’m here for this shit. Die 5: And now the shape of things is revealed. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiit. Hans continues to do gorgeous work. I’m in. Mirror 10: Yeah, I decided to read the last issue of a series I hadn’t picked up at all, but damn if it isn’t gorgeous. Redlands 12: Combination origin issue and villain monologue to set up the next arc. I’m here for this. Ascender 1: Interesting continuation of Descender, now leaning into “technology so advanced it seems like magic” side of things. Let’s see where this goes. Trades/Tankobon: 13Single Issues: 25
  8. Spinning: Tillie Walden’s autobiographical comic about her middle and high school skating career and her queer awakening, alongside her first real dealing with depression and anxiety. This is primarily in black and white with occasional amazing highlights on gold, which I love. Nice read during an evening soak. Bad Girls: Is this the best title in the world? Hell no. Is it a great heist story about three women stealing 6 mil and trying to get out of Cuba on the evening of the Cuban revolution, and a girl trying to find Marlon Brando who ends up getting swept along in the actual revolution happening? Yes. Victor Santos does a mostly solid job on the art, but his women look a bit weird at times. Definitely fun though. Trades/Tankobon: 12Single Issues: 15
  9. 14. Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson: Wilson’s first novel, and one I’m genuinely surprised I haven’t gotten to before now. It’s a combination of cyberpunk and Middle Eastern myth with the Arab Spring percolating in the background. The combination of these myths with a significant discussion of the idea of faith and how it affects both these mythological peoples and the people living in the world. There are some wonderful characters, good explanations of computing for those who don’t entirely get it, and a wonderfully compelling plot that unfolds, especially for a first foray into fiction. As much as I love her comics writing, I’d love to see more of her in novels. Also: fuck yeah Vikram. 15. We All Should Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche: A chapbook transcription of her TED Talk on feminism, and a fantastic talk at that. Also I needed a quick read and this was definitely it. 16. Lost Children Archives, Valeria Luiselli: Luiselli’s first full length novel written in English. This is about partners whose relationship is falling apart, the kids caught in the middle of it, and an intersection with the migration crisis on the road trip they take. The best way I can describe this is “very interesting”. It’s a combination of illustrations, POV narration, and a narrative within a narrative that’s a response/allusion to various works about journeys/migrations, according to the author. After a certain point it just feels like she’s trying to do too much. The introduction of the ten year old boy’s voice part of the way through doesn’t entirely land for me, nor does the chapter that’s a single run on sentence with various things that there’s no way he could have known at that age. (The end chapter where he records something to his stepsister did hit, though.) Still definitely worth a read, just didn’t entirely land for me. 17. Men We Reaped, Jesmyn Ward: A memoir about Ward’s life growing up in the South, her parents’ divorce, how that affected her emotional state growing up, tied together by five deaths among her family and friends that happened in as many years and how her experiences growing up were reflected in their deaths. It’s a rough, harrowing, but gorgeous read. 18. Savage Feast: Three Generations, Two Continents, and a Dinner Table, Boris Fishman: The parts of this memoir that focus on anyone except the author (his parents and grandparents, their lives before and after immigrating to America, his grandfather’s home nurse, the recipes), are all amazing. The parts that specifically focus on the author make me want to punch him in the face. Repeatedly. Still a solid read. 19. The Cruel Prince, Holly Black: Pure YA faerie junk food, and some days, that’s just what you need. Solid plotting, complicated family dynamics, that good good enemies to lovers trope. Will this win any awards, or will I remember this towards the end of the year? Lol no. Is it something nice and light to read for now, with characters from the books I read as a teen cameoing? Oh yes. 20. Xenofeminism, Helen Hester: I came into this book hoping for an expansion on the Xenofeminist Manifesto, and for one brief shining 36 page chapter, I got it. Then most of the rest of the book was a case study of a specific technology from the 70s, and that case study barely remembered to focus on women of color and transwomen (less than a quarter of the case study chapter). The way this tended to careen from topic to topic and some very rote “I am going to cover x in this next section/chapter” make this feel like this was someone’s tenure paper or maaaaaaybe their senior thesis that got published, and less the further dive that I was hoping to get. I’ve been struggling with this one for a while, and I managed to finally finish it waiting in this DHS office today, and I’m mildly frustrated with it. That the author appears to be a white female associate professor makes all of the former even more frustrating. But hey, I got to read the word Cthulucene.
  10. Delicious in Dungeon v 5 + 6: I wondered how they were going to keep this going, but man, this got. Uh. Real dark all of a sudden. Let’s see how fucked up this gets! Bloom: Kevin Panetta and Savannah Ganucheau do a super sweet graphic novel about a budding romance between two boys and them growing up and figuring out how not to suck at things like communicating and what they want from life. The art style is wonderful, the stakes aren’t stupidly high story wise, and the baking (and recipes!) are lovingly depicted. A very sweet (no pun intended) story. (Also, First Second continues to be the only publisher I’ve seen that includes things like flowcharts to suggest other books readers might like from them. Publishers should really do things like this more often.) 10 Dance v2: We get to see a competition, and we learn the crazy ass history between the competitors. The slow burn continues to build, and it’s fun to see them on an international stage. My Solo Exchange Diary v2: Well this took a hell of a turn. She writes honestly about her breakdown and issues with alcohol, and how recovery from mental illness isn’t exactly a linear process. This is all there is for now, but I do hope she updates. Buffy 2-3: Again, Dan Mora does great work on the art, Jordie Bellaire does wonderful twists on the characters we know and building the first “episode” as it were here. Xander seems to be going in a very interesting direction in particular. (Also yay for establishing Willow in a non straight relationship right off the bat!) Trades/Tankobon: 10Single Issues: 15
  11. 11. Pachinko, Min Jin Lee: This was nominated for the National Book Award, is apparently getting a drama series based on it on a streaming service, and is probably the first work of fiction aimed at the English reading audience that I’ve seen that focuses on Koreans in Japan. The way that Koreans are treated in Japan is probably one of the most blatant examples of racism in a non Western society. The novel focuses on four generations of a Korean family who immigrated to Japan, starting in the late 1800s, with a wide, her husband, and their daughter, and ending around 1990, with the daughter’s full grown grandchildren. The themes that repeat themselves through the generations are the discrimination that the family experiences, how they manage to get through, ideas of power, family loyalty, ideas of integrity, and how things keep coming back to the game of Pachinko (and how you keep playing even though it may be rigged against you). The story mostly focuses on Sunja, though it may shuffle between her sister and brother in law, her parents, her children, and grandchildren (usually right about when you might start to lose interest in her thread), but always comes back to her in the end. It’s fascinating to watch their story unfold over the years but how certain experiences always seem to repeat over the generations. This is in the upper middle of what I’ve read so far this year, and will probably stay solidly in the middle of what I read overall. 12. Black Leopard Red Wolf, Marlon James: This is... I probably am not going to know how I feel about this book until the next book in the trilogy comes out. James has point blank said that Rashomon is a core influence here, and that the next book in the series is going to open with “Everything you read before is not true.” So part of me is reading this with the framing idea of the narrator being unreliable. I’m sincerely hoping that the next book is going to have the point of view of one of the few women in the party who doesn’t get dead or raped over the course of this book. The book is gorgeously written, in the style of oral storytelling, and the POV of a black gay man is not one you typically see in fantasy. That said, this book’s POV character is kind of the epitome of toxic masculinity, and there are points where it is deeply uncomfortable to read this book. Tons of rape of men women and children, and mutilation and violation of the same. If there is a woman, she is either a whore, a witch, a schemer, or some combination of the three, and there’s a few points where the author seems to be calling him out in the book, but it doesn’t get through to him. Marlon James has never been one for this kind of POV, so it strikes me as an oddity. Lots of violence. There’s an entire section where we get to see a gay man with a husband and children happy and alive, but they end up violently dead. There’s certain threads in this that make me understand the comparisons to Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, but lord whichever marketing person chose that comparison missed the damn mark. Either way it’s a hell of a read, but one that will take a lot out of you. 13. The True Queen, Zen Cho: This is a straight up fun romp of a sequel to Sorcerer to the Crown. It’s the kind of sequel where main characters from the last book show up in minor roles, new characters are centered, and the world is expanded, which is the kind of sequel I love. We get more of Mak Genggang here, and Malaysian systems of magic, and their spirits’ response to the western system of magic (a particularly notable line has a character saying that someone is asking for favors like the Dutch ask for land), and more of a post colonial response to definite colonial goings on. We also get a lesbian couple (and they spend most of the book being clueless around each other which is one of my favorite trope of all time) front and center in the book. It’s just a fun, good read, and some days, that’s what you need above all else. You can read this even if you didn’t read the original (though I will recommend doing so, because it’s also pretty fantastic.) Fun, funny, and an overall great read. Pick this up when it comes out in March, you won’t regret it.
  12. Finished it all in two days. Fantastic riff on the original two volumes that get a deeper dive due to the length of the show, and just a real good time. Trust me Mike, you're gonna want to stick to it. It's worth it.
  13. Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite and Dallas: Reread in light of the Netflix adaptation. Still good, fun shit with wonderful art. Trades/Tankobon: 5Single Issues: 13
  14. Die 3: o hai fantasy masterclass and deconstruction, I am here for this. Still skeptical that Hans can keep up on a monthly schedule, but the art continues to be amazing. Unnatural 7: Mirka Andolfo does supernatural furry comics, it pretty Vindication 1: I know Image really prides itself on not having editors but uh maybe they should. Just saying. Yiiiiiiikes. Criminal 2: Brubaker and Phillips do a very thinly veiled take on Steve Ditko But A Dirtbag, and apparently the issues aren’t all going to be the same story chronologically, which should be interesting. Blackbird 5: I haven’t picked this up in a few issues, but they make it easy to follow, and it’s so neat to watch Jen Bartel leveling up art wise. East of West 41: Combination flashback and setup issue for what’s to come. I’m interested to see what’s to come. Seven to Eternity 13: Well, it looks like Remender is attempting to wrap this up? Maybe? I mean, it’s been so sporadically released I wouldn’t be surprised. But damn dat Opena tho. Monstress 20: SANA TAKEDA PRETTY, also some stuff going on in the background plot wise that I’m still trying to figure out. Trades/Tankobon: 3Single Issues: 13
  15. Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku v3: Continues to be a funny and sappy as hell romance manga focusing on (three now!) nerdy couples. This is finally past what the anime has adapted so far, so it’s all new material, and I continue to like the two volumes in one approach to translation. 10 Dance v1: An old school boy’s love manga - slow burn, rivals turned dance partners turned ???, polar opposites, the whole nine yards. I’ll definitely read more when it comes out. Trades/Tankobon: 3 Single Issues: 5