• Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Venneh

  1. Harrow County vols 6 and 7: The threads are finally all coming together, and Crook does amazing art work over these two volumes. Can’t wait to see how it ends. Astonisher v1: Part of Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime line, and a hell of a comic about mental health and also superheroes and also Tony Stark IRL. Arts pretty solid. The Priest oneshot in the back has me interested in some of the other stuff from the line. Black History In Its Own Words: Ron Wimberly’s illustrated quote collection about black history. Good quick read, includes lots of lesser known individuals. Afar: Graphic novel from Del Duca and Seaton - this feels like it was planned as a mini but got released as a graphic novel, and might be continued? Gorgeous art, intriguing story. Puerto Rico Strong: Anthology comic that sold out and will be benefiting Puerto Rico recovery. There’s a lot of repeating of some of the history (which probably could’ve been cut down on a bit/condensed after the first instances), but still an a solid anthology. Crossplay: A bunch of kids at an anime con use sex and cosplay to figure out their genders and sexuality. It’s a nice short comic, and there’s some pretty hot stuff in there too. Definitely worth a read through if you find it. Dept H vol 3: Yeah, uh, I need to reread this because I’m trying to figure out where the giant ass turtle and squid came from. Still fucking gorgeous and incredibly well crafted. The Spire: BOOM FINALLY FUCKING REPRINTED THIS, HALLEFUCKINGLUJAH. Still my favorite mini from 2015/16. Miyazaki meets Perdido Street was one of the blurbs I believe, and that continues to be a very accurate distillation of this mini. Previews: 2 Single Issues: 57 Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 33 Omnibuses: 1
  2. The Ancient Magus’ Bride vol 1-8: They had a manga library at C2E2. I decided to get acquainted with the manga version of one of my favorite recent series. A bit more expanded out than the recent show, but still pretty 1:1 in terms of content. Some gorgeous double page spreads too. Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card Arc 2: CLAMP is getting back to form, the mystery deepens, it’s great to have it back. Dead Rabbit 0: Ashcan/intro to the new Duggan/McCrea series. It’s not anything new, but it’s done well so far. The Highest House 1: Carey and Gross come back for some good old European comics with a hint of magic and lots of feudal intrigue. 30ish pages, bigger size, Yuko Shimizu cover. On a Sunbeam Preview: The First Second folks put together a preview of this for the con, looking forward to seeing it collected. Previews: 2 Single Issues: 57 Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 24 Omnibuses: 1
  3. 34. The Story of My Teeth, Valeria Luiselli (translated by Christina MacSweeney): This is a hell of a book. The book was written in collaboration with workers at a juice factory in Mexico as a way of bridging an art gallery and the workers at the juice company that funded the art collections at the gallery. The result is an amazing story about an auctioneer that you think is one thing, turns out to be entirely another, and has a chapbook added on to it by the translator, all in just over 150 pages. I need to find more of Luiselli’s work if it exists in translation, I think. In my top five for the year so far. 35. The Descent of Monsters, JY Yang: Like the last book, I ended up mainlining this over the space of one night. This novella is done entirely in epistolary format - reports, diaries, correspondence, transcripts - to tell a story that deftly weaves together threads from the last two books, stands on its own, and lays out threads should they be allowed to continue with the novellas. The story is fast paced and incredibly well done, bringing together characters we already know and introducing new ones, and unfolds with slowly dawning horror at the scale of what’s happened. Plus, a Yuko Shimizu cover never hurts. This comes out in July. Get this. You won’t regret it. 36. All Systems Red, Martha Wells: This got nominated for a Hugo. I read the sequel first and wasn’t impressed. They offered this for free as part of Tor’s ebook program. I got through it in a few hours? Like, I see why the internet likes this. It’s Bender with the serial numbers filed off and guns, he’d rather watch space Netflix than do his job, and the fact that he calls himself Murderbot is mildly amusing. And the fact that he has no sex drive as part of his build (no genitalia) can be interpreted as ace representation. And it got an Ann Leckie blurb. But this feels pretty mediocre besides that, and I am really stunned this got nominated for a Hugo AND a Nebula. But it was a super quick read at least?
  4. I’m hearing that Simons just jumped ship after getting promoted to EIC. It’s pretty yikes.
  5. Bride’s Story v9: I love that they go out of the way to focus on the side characters of the story in these later volumes. Still gorgeous, still low key adorable. Single Issues: 56 Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 15 Omnibuses: 1
  6. Land of the Lustrous v5: More revelations, more wonderful ruminations on depression. This is the first volume where I felt Ichikawa might’ve been a bit rushed, but there are pages that more than make up for it. These are coming slower now that they’re catching up to the Japanese, which sucks bc it means longer between fixes, but it’s still pretty. Jessica Jones 18: Well that was... a thing. WicDiv 35: McKelvie and Wilson continue to go god mode on the art. More revelations on the story front that I think I’m starting to get the shape of the story on. [REDACTED XXX]: I’m just gonna quote Jim on this: “The real reason you should hire me is because I feel visceral second hand shame at comics with easy to fix editorial mistakes in them!!” “I just read an issue of [REDACTED], written by [AN AUTHOR WHO IS A WRITER/ARTIST WITH DECADES OF INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE] who decided he needed to narrate what's clearly happening on the page when the artist is [AN ARTIST WHOSE WORK I PARTICULARLY ENJOY]. Twice.” Me: “Honey, do you think [redacted] gives a shit about anything other than the words they masturbate onto the page?” Single Issues: 56 Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 14 Omnibuses: 1
  7. 33. Empty Chairs, Liu Xia (translated by Ming Di and Jennifer Stern): Learning that I can count on Graywolf Press for good fucking poetry collections. Liu Xia has now been missing, or at minimum not appearing in public, since her husband’s death last summer. And frankly, that adds a new dimension to an already pretty heartbreaking collection. You can see the years wear down on her as the dates on the poetry get closer and closer to the present. Liu Xiaobo has always said that she’s the more talented poet between them, and this collection proves that’s true. I’m not sure if more of her work exists in translation at all, but if it does I need to find more.
  8. Pacific Rim Uprising: Man I am conflicted about this. When it gets the tone right, it gets it fucking right. But the first hour or so is real rough, and it doesn't really kick off for me until The cameraman has a dutch angle fetish which is frustrating, and the color and score felt super muted compared to the last one.
  9. 31. The Lathe of Heaven, Ursula K. LeGuin: I honestly haven't read a lot of LeGuin, and when this deal came through for $2 through Kindle, I thought I should take advantage of it, and I was right. The premise is what if a man had the power to change the world through his dreaming, and what happens when a psychiatrist with a mild god complex gets his hands on it. It's also low key a horror novel with everything that ends up happening, and has some absolutely gorgeous lines in it. It's under 200 pages, and a fast paced read besides. Definitely worth your time. 32. Iron Council, China Miéville: This took me a while to get into, but once the narratives start connecting instead of seeming like their own separate stories, it really takes off. It was pitched to me by Jim as “the Russian Revolution meets New Crobuzon”, and having read October, that’s accurate, and I would also add the history of the railroads in America to that list of influences. This is his fourth novel, and you can tell he’s starting to come into himself craft wise, but he’s not quite there yet. The ending seems a bit like he ran into a wall and didn’t quite know what to do to end it and unite it all. Still compelling, but not my favorite of what I’ve read of his. Also: his inability to characterize women except as things that make the plot happen or as sacrifices to the plot/development of others continues here and it’s frustrating.
  10. 29. Hunger Makes the Wolf, Alex Wells: Picked this up at Emerald City. It’s a combination of a dystopia by way of miner’s union (what if the company controlled a planet?) and what Firefly could’ve been if Joss cut the bullshit and had fully committed to the concept, with a heavy dose of weird. The narrative voice is excellent, and it’s a solid dose of genre scifi with a bit of union anger and Sons of Anarchy. If Angry Robot comes to your con, and does its multiple books for cheap deal, definitely pick this up with Under the Pendulum Sun. I’ll be picking up the sequel for this if I see them at any future cons with this deal. 30. The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror, Daniel Mallory Ortberg: If you weren't lucky enough to read some of these back when they were on the Toast as Children's Stories Made Horrific, you now get to have them all and some more besides in this collection. He's made significant changes; the stories already written have undergone reworks that include allusions to theology and Aquinas and the Old Testament, and there's new stories besides that are even more the terrifying. There's also some interesting things done with pronouns, and given that he was in the process of transitioning while he edited/wrote these, I'm not that surprised by it. I tore through this in the space of a few commutes, and I can't recommend it enough.
  11. Runaways 4-7: Rowell really feels like she's got the voices of the kids down, and Anka and Wilson is a next level teamup on the art front. Single Issues: 53 Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 13 Omnibuses: 1
  12. Delicious in Dungeon v2 + 3: More forays deeper into the dungeon, party bonding, and flashbacks, along with weirdly delicious looking meals. Baking with Kafka: A collection of a bunch of those comics you’ve probably seen on Facebook. Pretty solid. Strangers in Paradise v10: The midpoint of the series, I believe, and just wonderfully done. I should really try to find the omnibus collections of these. Taproot: Keezy Young’s webcomic about gardening, ghosts, and being queer, collected in one volume by Lion Forge (and at a super affordable price, too). Definitely worth a read. Single Issues: 49 Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 13 Omnibuses: 1
  13. Wonder Woman/Shade the Changing Girl: Set in the middle of the Milk Wars crossover, so mostly I don't have a goddamn clue what's happening here. But it's Mirka Andolfo, and the weirdness of Shade combined with the creepiness of Retro Co. Fun one shot, if nothing else. Mister Miracle 1-7: So, Gerards does some great stuff with panel breakdown here, which I'm really impressed with. The story... we have something interesting going on for issues 1-6, with New Genesis and Orion and Granny and some genuinely interesting plot beats. Issue 7 slam cuts to the delivery of Scott and Barda's baby, the reveal of which was the last few pages of issue 6. King can't seem to think of Barda as her own person outside of her marriage with Scott, which is mildly frustrating. Monstress 13-15: Holy fucking wow this continues to be gorgeous, and Sana Takeda is pure god mode art. I kind of have an idea what's going on? But I'm okay with not really knowing for sure. Deadly Class 32: Wes Craig gets to do some genuinely awesome shit here with layouts. Remender gonna Remender. Though the line "Shit. This IS a Frank Miller comic" and the imitation that comes on internal narration thereafter is real fucking good. Sleepless 4: More court intrigue, Del Duca continues to do gorgeous work, more fantasy romance that goes at its own pace please. Descender 28: Nguyen's work is unbelievable, news at 11. And what appears to be the final part of the plot is now shaping up. Let's see how this goes. Rumble 4: David Fuckin' Rubin, man. Witchblade 4: Why yes, the person writing this was of the Buffy generation, how could you tell?? Isola 1: Kerschl art pretty. Fletcher story pretty mediocre. Let's see where this goes. Single Issues: 49 Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 8 Omnibuses: 1
  14. I should reread that, it’s been a few years since I have.
  15. 28. Jade City, Fonda Lee: This is a fun novel that you can totally tell was a world that Fonda’s been building for a while. Reductive way to describe it would be “Hong Kong fantasy mafia Godfather with jade magic”, but it’s a well paced, fun read with great world building. There’s only a few flaws - time jumps that don’t always make sense, minorly awkward info dumps. Also some of the ensemble members don’t get as much attention as the others, which doesn’t help how some of them take prominence later in the narrative with seemingly no motivation, but given that this book is marked Book One, I’d imagine that they get some more focus next book. This is nominated for the Nebula this year, and it’s definitely worth a read.
  16. 27. Under the Pendulum Sun, Jeanette Ng: So, I am of two minds on this. On the one hand: this is an expertly written gothic novel - amazing descriptions, heavy dose of salvation and damnation, creepiness, angst, repressed sexual desire, forbidden things, and wound with the creepiness of the Fae (and Queen Mab in particular), a dose of the Apocrypha, and two missionaries trying to bring the word of god to the Fae, and you have an amazing book. On the other hand: a discussion that will require SPOILERS, if you care. I’d love to read a follow up to this, but if it’s going to be as heavy on the incest, Id give it a pass. And also if incest is a major squick for you, know that you’re dealing with it for most of the back half of this book.
  17. My take on it is that it was Taika Waiti being very aware that he was making a Kirby as fuck movie, and went full Silver Age with this shit.
  18. I'm so fucking in. Also - COUGH COUGH COUGH
  19. 26. In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez: Historical fiction based on the Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic. Emphasis on the fiction part apparently - the afterword emphasizes the fact that she took considerable liberties, and that the sisters are based more on the sisters in her head than the historical reality of the sisters. I read this back in middle school after seeing the movie that was made based on this (which had Edward James Olmos and Salma Hayek??), and vaguely remember this, but it’s nice to read it again.
  20. Girl in the Green Silk Dress: Midquel comic that serves as a good lore introduction to Seanan McGuire’s first book in the series and a refresher for the new sequel. Britt Sabo does great work here. The Fish Wife: One of Mel Gilman’s 24 hour comics that I picked up at ECCC. Queer mermaids with a horror undertone that turns sweet at the end. Sweet Rock: Another of Gilman’s 24 hour comics. Queer giantess romance, sweet and bitter and wonderful. East of West 36: Still not sure what’s happening overall here, but vaguely remember enough that I can follow what happens in the issue. More interesting advancements here, Dragotta continues to be real good at what he does. Also especially interesting bringing in the history of Native Americans into this. I Hate Fairyland 17: What seems like just an interesting side diversion at first appears to be building into an endgame plot. Oh my. The Fix 11: Decided to poke my head in here, haven’t followed for a while. Still reasonably funny but deeply uncomfortable knowing what we know now about Spencer in general. WicDiv 34: Oh hell. The shape of the game is being revealed in full, and things pick up from last time as well. McKelvie and Wilson do gorgeous work here, and Gillen is firing on all cylinders. Single Issues: 32 Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 8 Omnibuses: 1
  21. 25. The Wonder Engine, T. Kingfisher (aka Ursula Vernon): HOT DAMN. This was the perfect follow up, and doesn’t hesitate to ensure that there are consequences to EVERYTHING. Which I really appreciate. Also the real dark shit is balanced out by good laughs, and now may have me going back to read the first book to see if a slightly unexpected twist was actually hinted at in the first book or not. The cast is great, the descriptions are amazing, and you should really, really read this.
  22. The Terrifics 1: Read this on the plane. Art had some real stunning splashes, story was pretty solid. Low key boggling at them blatantly using more of Moore’s characters. Agents of the Realm v1: Got this on Thursday at the con, I’ve been following the welcomic for a while but hadn’t read it from the start yet. It’s neat to see Mildred’s style evolve as time goes on, and the story start to come together more. Looking forward to the next collection. Speak: The Graphic Novel: Counting this in my book count and my comic count, because Laurie did rewrite some of this to acknowledge shit like cell phones and instagram. Painful, gorgeous adaptation of the novel. Emily Carroll does some amazing work here, and this will likely (and should be) nominated for awards. Creepshow: Wrightson basically does a comic adaptation of the King horror anthology. It’s as goddamn gorgeous as you’d expect, given that. Single Issues: 25Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 8Omnibuses: 1
  23. 22. Crash Overdrive, Zoe Quinn: Half memoir of GamerGate, half “this is what to do if you are being screamed at by anime nazis”, half “oh god the internet is kinda terrible at this”. Not a happy read by any stretch of the imagination but Quinn interjects plenty of dark humor and a bit of hope to help. And admits the limitations of the perspective, which is good. 23: Star Wars: Canto Bight Anthology: Four novellas by names like Saladin Ahmed and Mira Grant. Each story is its own thing, but ties into each other with other characters showing up. It’s a good touch. Grant’s story was far and away my favorite, and Ahmed and Carson’s were also good. The fourth one was the only one not really to my tastes, but 3/4 is still a pretty good ratio, and now everyone gets that dank dank Star Wars $$$. 24: Speak: The Graphic Novel, Emily Carroll and Laurie Holse Anderson: Counting this in my book count and my comic count, because Laurie did rewrite some of this to acknowledge shit like cell phones and instagram. Painful, gorgeous adaptation of the novel.
  24. 19. The Odyssey, Homer (translated by Emily Wilson): You’ve probably heard hype about this translation by now. It lives up to the hype. Amazing work by Wilson, gorgeous turns of phrase, and some casual gut punch lines. Skip the (eighty page, Christ) intro, but do read the translator’s notes. 20. The Only Harmless Great Thing, Brooke Bolander: Goddamn, I’m looking at likely one of the novella nominees for the big sci-fi awards next year. AU of events that happened to the radium girls and to Topsy the elephant (look it up), interwoven with a future narrative that doesn’t quite resolve and an ur-pov that is just so incredibly well done. You’ll go through it quickly. The turns of phrase are amazing (I have several quotes in a note on my phone), and Warren Ellis’s description of this as speculative fiction is perfect. Come to it clean, and enjoy the ride. 21. Artificial Condition, Martha Wells: Ehhh? This is a second book in a series, and I didn’t read the first, so maybe I’m missing something there. This feels like a reskinned “sarcastic murderous robot tries to keep the fleshsacks alive”, with side of Shadowrun cyberpunk lite intrigue. There’s not much in terms of characterization, the humor doesn’t always hit, the plot tries to build but resolves super quickly. It doesn’t feel like anything particularly amazing to me, or like something that would make me want to read the other books. Quick read given how short it is though.
  25. Delicious in Dungeon v1: Manga about a band of D+D adventurers trying to save a party member's sister from being digested by a dragon, are broke as fuck after a reset, and trying to save money by cooking what they find in the dungeon. A crazy dwarf who's been living in the dungeon for at least a decade joins them and shows them how to survive. I bet I could figure out equivalent real world ingredients to use for the fictional ingredients here. First volume has me interested, will probably borrow the rest from our DM. Dry County 1: Upcoming Rich Tommaso comic about a cartoonist who is clearly going to get in over his head with a dame in it deep. Lou Rossi's art is a very direct riff on newspaper comics. I'll follow it for an issue or two more because I'm on Image's press list, but not that interested otherwise. The Beef 1: Take on Hulk in a podunk racist town as a result of eating a bunch of GMO food and living with racist sexist shitholes and finally breaking. Mehhhh. Descender 27: 4000 year flashback. Okay. Still gorgeous, will likely end up playing into the larger ongoing story (how, I'm not exactly sure). Sex Crims 22: I haven't read this in several volumes now. It's weird to check in here and see what's going on. Probably going to try to catch up, but this issue is a really interesting riff on grieving on so many levels. Also plot stuff is happening? And the usual wonderful gags by Chip. It feels like Fraction is starting to get his writing groove back. Monstress 14: This comic continues to be absolutely fucking gorgeous, and low key hilarious, and I can kind of tell what's happening plot wise now? I'm in and continue to be in, put it that way. Days of Hate 2: Not really sure how I feel about this. Feels less like a low key Kot jerk off than other stuff I've read of his, but the whole "but what if the alt right and far left ACTUALLY went to civil war" premise feels a bit eye rolly. This issue seems to zoom in on the individual characters, though, which I like. We'll see. Motor Crush 10: I missed a few issues, have no clue what's happening, and there seem to be some internal logic jumps that means that no one else knows what's happening either. Babs seems to have been a bit rushed on this - there's someone else credited for breakdowns, it mentions it being late, and there's three separate colorists. Neat palettes though. Crosswinds 6: The art got worse! I didn't think it was possible! But it did! Ending of the arc feels like a copout. Christ. This is a tire fire. Redlands 5-6: Again: the raw fucking anger in this and the way it's curled into a new case is wonderful. One of my underrated favorites from last year. Twisted Romance 3-4: It's fun seeing Carla Speed McNeil do a charcoal/pencil only gay space romance in 3, to say the least. Not so big on the backup in that issue, but it's still a fun read. The backup in issue 4 is a riff on a core aspect of the Sailor Moon/other magical girl mythos, and fuck, it is good. Trung's story, the centerpiece of issue 4, gets its own paragraph, because holy fucking hell. This is a fucking gut punch of a story If you get no other issue in this, get issue 4. It's beautiful, and heartbreaking, and fucking perfect. Single Issues: 24Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 5Omnibuses: 1