Graphic Novelty²


July 2016

Manifest Destiny: Volume One

Lewis and Clark…Sacagawea…exploring new lands…meeting new people…the adventure of a lifetime- what could possibly go wrong???

As coincidence would have it, I was reading this book while my family was in St. Louis, where this adventure gets it’s start. It was a neat juxtaposition to compare the pictures of the Mississippi and the arch in the book, to what the city and surrounding area look like now. What starts out as what you imagine the expedition looked like in 1804, quickly takes a sharp left turn when the group encounters a living arch, Minotaur-type creatures who are half human/ half bison, and vegetation that take over people turning them into plant zombies. Sacagawea is introduced as a mysterious warrior along with her disgusting husband Charbonneau.

I had SO many problems with this book. I thought at first, cool, this story will be fun. It was not. What upset me the most was how Sacagawea was portrayed. It first must be noted that I don’t like when historical women are misrepresented to the public. The Disney movie about Pocahontas and the Fox movie about Anastasia drive me wild with how inaccurate they are and my worry that youth will watch them and think they are historically factual.  While I understand that no one is reading this graphic novel for its accuracy, I was pissed at how she was portrayed. She was sexualized and crude comments were made about her by some of the men. This then leads to my next complaint- the mature content. This was some of my own doing for I failed to notice the small notice on the back that it was rated M. It’s not that I’m a prude, I read and enjoy The Walking Dead and Locke & Key that incorporate sexuality into their stories, but in this story is seemed gratuitous. I think younger boys might gravitate towards this book that is labeled action/adventure and then be introduced to some wildly inappropriate remarks and pictures while reading the novel.

So Image Comics takes history, government conspiracies, and re-images (get my pun?) the events by shaking it all together into what I consider a convoluted mess. There are future volumes, as this first volume only covers the beginning of the journey. I am vaguely interested in the Sacagawea plot line and what subterfuge Lewis and Clark hinted at regarding her and her future infant and how it will play out, plus I know the expedition will be eventually encountering Big Foot/Sasquatch, so I might skim future volumes just so I can get upset again 😉


Manifest pic
Heeeellp…you are about to be taken on a convoluted ride!!!

Let’s Talk About SDCC


So if you’re broke, like me, and also stranded in the Midwest, like me, you can only watch San Diego Comic Con from afar each and every year. It’s like it’s own particular torture. There are so many things happening and they are all good so you’re happy but you’re not there experiencing it so it makes you sad. Like watching expensive candy being made through the storefront glass, knowing it would be delicious if only you were able to afford any.

Moving on…

For those of you who aren’t familiar, San Diego Comic Con is a massive convention held annually in San Diego, California. This is where a lot of big news is revealed in the world of comics and graphic novels, such as upcoming arcs, reveals for figurines and other merchandise, movie trailer releases, some video game trailer releases, and so much more. One of the big draws is all the celebrity panels, from comic book artists and writers to voice actors to movie and TV stars. It’s always fun to follow and check up on who’s doing what. They also have panels like you would normally see at a convention, such as panels dedicated to one character or series, how to motivate yourself to get in superhero shape, how to write your own graphic novel, and much more!

Because this is a huge convention, and there has been so much news, I’m going to go over some DC highlights that I found super exciting! Feel free to talk about anything I might have missed, including news from Marvel or Disney, in the comments!

First of all. ALL THOSE MOVIE TRAILERS THOUGH!!! We got a new Suicide Squad one featuring different music from the upcoming soundtrack, driving hype for that movie even higher. I am sTILL WAITING for advance tickets to go on sale for after the 11th… I’m seeing it with my boyfriend for my birthday the weekend of the 12th. I JUST NEED 2 MORE DAYS COME ONNNN

I have mixed feelings about the Justice League trailer. On one hand, I am so totally pumped for a JL movie!!! I was such a huge fan of the cartoon when I was little and I’m excited to see it on the big screen!!! BUT. I am so totally NOT sold on Ezra Miller as Flash. Grant Gustin has my heart 5ever and I am NOT ready for another actor to play Barry. Would it really have been too much trouble to cast him as Wally??? Maybe Jay wouldn’t have worked so well, but STILL THO. Not enough Cyborg either! I feel like it was poorly edited, just in the way that the colors and scenes were so dark and grim, like the whole of Batman v. Superman was, but much of the dialogue and the music tried to be funny and get you pumped up. To me, it felt like they tried to make it like a Suicide Squad trailer, when the movie probably won’t end up being anything like it. My feelings are so conflicted DX

And that Wonder Woman trailer??? I AM IN LOVE ❤ ❤ ❤ So TOTALLY IN LOVE!!! The music is PHENOMENAL. Her costume is soooooo beautiful I really hope they keep it brighter than the rest of the scenes in post-production. It’s a really nice visual and I can’t get enough of it. I wish we got to see more of Etta Candy but hopefully in a future trailer. After Diana was the literal best part of BvS I am so incredibly pumped for her movie!!! She’s gonna be great!!! I am going to die waiting thoooo

For games, we got another Injustice 2 trailer where Diana is BRUTAL and Blue Beetle is revealed as a playable character! I’m really excited to see how the RPG elements will play out. We also got one for the Batman Telltale Game. I’m getting back into games with the Telltale series; they’re nice because they’re mostly dialogue options but there are some instances where you can move around and interact with things. The Batman one might obviously be more action-oriented, just by nature of the character, but should still be great!

Honorable mentions from me include the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them trailer, the DC figurine reveals, and all the trailers for my TV shows that I can’t watch because I’m not caught up. It’s on my to-do list XD Here is also the program schedule for this year in case you want to look up a video for a particular panel or presentation, they usually post them on Youtube =D

What was your favorite part of SDCC this year?

– Kathleen

Dragon Age (Vol. 3): Until We Sleep

Gaider, David, Alexander Freed, and Chad Hardin. Dragon Age (Vol. 3): Until We Sleep. 2013.

The final installment of the Dragon Age series shows Alistair, Isabela, Varric, and now Sten finally on their way to confront the blood mage Aurelian Titus, who has kidnapped Alistair’s father. Varric sneaks into the fortress as the Qunari forces stage a full-frontal assault. There, he finds Mae, an old friend of his, being held prisoner, as well as King Maric. He is hooked up to some sort of device. Varric shoots it, and… wakes up in bed? Was he dreaming, or is he dreaming now? Can he find his friends in time to stop Titus once and for all? And what will become of King Maric?

This one was told from Varric’s point of view, like the first was from Alistair’s and the second from Isabela’s. That made this one my favorite XD There are a lot more supernatural and magical elements in this one as opposed to the other two, and they are handled well. The end wasn’t exactly satisfying from a reader’s point of view, but everything wrapped up and there were no loose ends. A wonderful fantasy trilogy for those who aren’t familiar with the game series, and a really fun add-on to those who are. These are on my to-buy list for sure =P

– Kathleen

The Walking Dead: Compendium One (Volumes 1-8)

Kirkman, Robert, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore & Cliff Rathburn. The Walking Dead. 2009.

I have read almost all of this series, so this post is a bit of a cheat: I took my previous Goodreads reviews and put them all together into this post.  Warning- lots of SPOILERS!

Volume 1- Days Gone By: Good stuff…I know I’m going to enjoy this series. No explanation of how this zombie apocalypse started and just the briefest mention of the government lets you concentrate on the survivors and how they cope. In the end, a few likable characters die, reminding me not to get attached to anyone. I actually had compassion for Shane, but why he was longing for Lori escapes me. I like the black and white art with precise lines by Tony Moore. 

Volume 2- Miles Behind Us:  I will just state my impressions and thoughts on the many books ahead of me: There are a lot of hook-ups in this zombie apocalyptic world. I find this unlikely, mostly due to the poor hygiene everyone would be dealing with, plus the minor fact that zombies are trying to eat you. Poor Hershel. I actually thought his (flawed) logic of keeping zombies in the barn until more was known, understandable. He gives food and shelter to Rick and his band and then he loses several of his children and then has to deal with shrill horrible Lori afterward. I flippin’ hate Lori. The artist changed to Charlie Adlard in this volume and his work was much sketchier. While it was a good match to the rough world they are in now, the change was abrupt and it took me awhile to get used to it. 

Volume 3- Safety Behind Bars: Safety behind bars? Yea…right. We discover that you no longer need a zombie bite to become a zombie-you die, you’re a zombie. This then leads to Rick unearthing Shane to kill him for good, a last show of compassion in the book. I was troubled when the “tax evader” killed innocent Rachel and Susie. That scene was just too much…not cool Kirkman. I’m still hatin’ on Lori.

Volume 4- The Heart’s Desire: Rick’s speech at the end about living now, making their current situation the best they can and not waiting and hoping to be rescued was spot on. Rules need to be changed…so what worked in the past needs to adapt to their current situation. Life will never ever be the same- Observations: Poor twins- being orphaned and although Andrea and Dale step up for them, it’s not the same. I felt for Andrew- he was so trusting and just couldn’t deal with it all when Dexter died.  Michonne- her being kick-ass is tempered by the fact that she deliberately went for Tyreese when she knew he and Carol were together. But believe me- most of the blame goes to Tyreese who throws away a good relationship for some easy gratification. A$$hole. That then leads to Carol going off the deep end. What she did was almost understandable, a cry for help- but NOT in front of her daughter.

Volume 5- The Best Defense: Worst book thus far. Why? The Governor. Rick’s group finds another band of survivors! Too bad they are bat shit crazy. I know I need to have a ‘suspension of disbelief’ in certain books and movies, but come on…the daughter? the arena? the heads?! Plus, what happens to Michonne is just too much- the brutality of the Governor to her is over the top and extreme.

Volume 6- This Sorrowful Life: The book obviously serves as a bridge book- we met the Governor in the last book and it’s all but certain the jail will be found soon by his followers in the next book. Michonne gets her revenge…boy, does she get her revenge! Lori’s nearing her due date, and Glenn and Maggie get engaged. Although I want to be happy for them, rooting for someone in these books means certain death.

Volume 7- The Calm Before: This book continues the lull of action since Woodbury, leading to some needed character development. Lori flashbacked to Shane (showing that he was not a bad guy- at least in the beginning), Glenn and Maggie got married, Judith was born, Dale had a significant injury and then was insecure regarding Andrea, and then what Carol does happens. I guess there were clues leading up to it, and she had a previous suicide attempt, but it still surprised me. Things seemed to be settling down for her, and she was still needy, but…poor little Sophia, no goodbye or parting sweet words said to her by her mother. Then at the end- who we all knew was coming sooner or later arrives.

Volume 8- Made To Suffer: The title of this volume is very truthful- how I suffered reading this book. The Governor is back. So many people die, including some main characters. But the worst is…well, I shouldn’t spoil too much! This book is so bleak, bleak, bleak. Thank God the tv series has kept some of the characters, dead in the comic books, alive on the show.

Morgan Special: A small vignette about Morgan and his son Duane surviving in Rick’s former neighborhood during the Christmas season. They are trying to find normalcy during a time that is anything but. Needed sweet story in the middle of depressing chaos.


Read up on the next volumes at: Compendium Two, Compendium Three, Compendium Four


Top 5 Wednesday: Most Recent Additions to Your Wishlist

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme from Goodreads, and this week’s topic is: Most Recent Additions to Your Wishlist!

locke-and-key-seriesI read the first volume of Locke & Key and loved it, thinking that it was one of the best graphic novels I have ever read. I wanted to savor the rest of the series, so I put off reading volumes 2-6 until I have time. My family vacation is around the corner and I have all the rest of the volumes packed away for me to enjoy then. (Edit- Volumes 2-6  So amazing! Go out and buy this series!)


I love Rainbow Rowell, as Kathleen can attest to, for I talked about RR’s book Eleanor & Park every chance I could get, at our Young Adult Literature class. RR released a novella for World Book Day in the UK and Ireland, and it is not available in US bookstores. I am patiently awaiting my order from overseas. (Edit- I got the book in the mail and loved it!)


I happened upon this article about the two authors working together when I was Googling RR, but I have not heard any news regarding the status of their collaboration. I loved the artwork of FEH in Friends With Boys, so I hope the graphic novel still happens.


I am a fan of short stories, so I really enjoyed the collection My True Love Gave To Me which included a story by RR. I recently bought Summer Days and Summer Nights for my library’s collection and featured it on my monthly teen newsletter.


Civil War II is coming out in issues now but won’t be collected into a graphic novel until the end of the year. I look forward to reading the whole story then, as I was a huge fan of the original story. (Edit- not a fan of this second profiling tale)

I always have many books I anticipate reading, but I contained myself to graphic novels and YA books for this post. So many books, so little time!


I’m a Pokémom

Little Shop of Magic image



I admit, I’m playing Pokémon GO. I would like to claim that as a Mom, I feel it is important to be involved in what my kids are interested in. In fact, my younger son called me a Pokémom, which gave me the idea for this blog post.  I also can make the case as a Teen Librarian, it is my professional duty to know what teens are doing and be knowledgeable about this new phenomenon. But the truth is…I like it.

My three helped me set up an account, and showed me what to do. Sometimes I hand them over my phone and tell them to help me capture a Pokémon or instruct me on how to evolve a creature. All of this was confusing to me at first, but now I’m actually speaking the lingo, so when a youth stops into the library (our library is a gym), I whip out my phone and we compare captures.

My husband, bless his heart, indulges me. We attended a block party with friends on Saturday, and as we walked there I looked for creatures and Pokéball stops. But I put it away at the outdoor concert, and acted like a respectable adult.  On Sunday we attended a fundraiser, held nearby, so as we walked home afterwards, I saw a Krabby. Stop everything! I had him walk on home alone, so I could chase after this animal like a fool.

I have a FitBit to keep track of my steps, and as my husband and I participate in the 52 Hike Challenge (only 8 more to go!) there are hike days were my steps are unusually high. But I noticed on Sunday that my steps were the second highest I’ve ever recorded because I kept on walking around my neighborhood for miles to incubate eggs. What kind of insanity is this, and what do my neighbors think of me right now?

Is it worth it? Well, I hatched three creatures and moved up a level! I’m getting exercise, connecting with my kids and the teens at the library. I don’t know how long I’m going to keep it up, but I am having fun for now.  So…gotta’ GO, I’m after the elusive Pikachu!



Pokemon GO screenshot
Notice my avatar’s name!!  I’m at Level 7 now!



Batgirl: The Greatest Stories Ever Told

O’Neil, Dennis, Gil Kane, and Terry Dodson. Batgirl: The Greatest Stories Ever Told. 2010.

A few weeks ago I went and snuck into a library I had an upcoming interview at. It’s a really big library so I was trying to get the lay of the land. I couldn’t resist checking out a couple items, and this was one of them. This is a collection of a couple different Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, stories. It includes:

  • The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl – Barbara Gordon’s first ever appearance in comic books. A young librarian, the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, wishes to aid Batman and Robin in their fight against crime. She gets her chance when Killer Moth attacks Bruce Wayne on his way to a charity event.
  • The Orchid-Crusher arc – Someone in Gotham is stalking and killing redheads – and Barbara and Batgirl are on the case!
  • The Unmasking of Batgirl arc – An old flame of Batbara’s is back in town. He attempts to steal something from under Batgirl’s nose and, discouraged at the thought that she isn’t helping the people of Gotham like she wants, decides to run for Congress.
  • The Invader from Hell – Batgirl and Robin take on Benedict Arnold, back from the dead, on the streets of Washington D.C.
  • Startling Secret of the Devilish Daughters – Lately, Batgirl and Robin seem to be running into a lot of familiar yet different faces: the daughters of their greatest enemies!
  • Photo Finish – A reimagining of Batgirl and Robin’s first meeting as they try to gather evidence of a break-in against Catwoman.
  • Folie a Deux Parts 1 and 2 – Commissioner Gordon drops Barbara off at college – and it’s not a warm goodbye. Babs continues to train as Batgirl against Batman and Gordon’s wishes. When her father is in trouble and needs a hero most, will Batgirl be able to overcome Barbara’s anger and help him out?

I loved this collection, especially the older comics. Librarian! Babs gives me life. The stories of Batgirl and Robin together were adorable; neither knew who the other was so it was fun to see if they would figure it out. I really hated the art of Photo Finish, though. Folie a Deux was, for a long stretch, wordless, which was different and allows you to construct the story yourself. I need more librarian Babs in my life though, need to get my hands on some of that older stuff =P

– Kathleen


Satrapi, Marjane. Embroideries. 2003.

“To speak behind other’s backs is the ventilator of the heart”

Written by Marjane Satrapi, the author of Persepolis, so begins a frank discussion by a group of women about their sex lives. Set in Tehran, Iran, in the 1990’s after the revolution, this book gives an uncensored glimpse into how women from a different culture cope in a patriarchal society.

Some of the stories shared…

A woman recounts how she was married off at age 13 to a 69 year old man and how she escaped this arranged marriage.

An impressionable young woman marries a rich émigré just to have him run off with the wedding gifts.

A woman marries for love just to have her husband leave her after their wedding night to immigrate, promising to send for her. When she finally rejoins him a year later, she discovers he has been lying to her and cheats often.

An older woman undergoes plastic surgery to keep her husband from straying.

A bride needs to fake her virginity on her wedding night with disastrous results. This relates to the title Embroideries, for this term is explained as a medical procedure to tighten a woman’s vagina, as some women feel they need to do so to fool (or keep) men.

At my first read through I thought this was a breezy book about women bonding together in solidarity, but as I thought on it and re-read it, it actually proved to be very depressing. Not a single woman shared a positive story. All the men were portrayed as tyrants or imbeciles. Marjane’s grandmother seemed to have a good marriage, but she then talked down to her husband; while the woman who had plastic surgery made sure to make jokes at her husband’s expense. The only woman in this group who choose not to share a story was Marjane’s mother, whose marriage in the book Persepolis was portrayed as loving.

This made me think of a group of friends I have had since college, and the talks we have with one another. All of us are married, with no divorces. For a group of ten women, statistically speaking, this is rare. What do we all have in common (besides being fabulous)? For starters, we all love our husbands, and do not trash talk them in front of others. Not to say we haven’t had our complaints over the years and we share our ups and downs with one another, but we respect our marriages and families we have created together, and act accordingly.  That Marjane’s mother didn’t share a negative story about her husband, was a good sign of a healthy marriage.

No matter if you look at this book lightly for the sex and secrets, or look at it more deeply for the commentary on relationships between men and women, it is an eye-opening book on friendships and how woman can support one another.


The Reading Habits Tag – Part 2!

RH tag

Nancy tagged me in her reading habits post =P

  • Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

Not really, though I tend to read either on an armchair in the living room or downstairs on the couch. As long as I have a puppy next to me, I’m good =P

  • Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Both! Mostly random paper rn, as all my bookmarks save my favorite one are still in boxes with my school stuff XD

  • Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?

I try to either stop at chapters or breaks, but I’m good stopping wherever.

  • Do you eat or drink while reading?

I read while eating lunch all the time! Dinner too if I’m eating alone, otherwise my family makes fun of me XD

  • Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

Occasionally. I’m more likely to listen to music while reading than watch TV.

  • One book at a time or several at once?

Several!!! I have too much to read to go one at a time.

  • Reading at home or everywhere?

Everywhere! I normally carry a book with me just in case I have a few spare moments~

  • Reading out loud or silently in your head?


  • Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

No way, man! I see enough spoilers on the internet!

  • Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

I try to keep a book new as long as possible, but it doesn’t bother me when the spine breaks either. It’s easier to lay on the table then and keep my place if I’m reading while eating something that requires both hands X,D

  • Do you write in your books?

No way! What kind of monster do you think I am???

Go nuts! Go ahead and copy and paste these questions onto your blog if this tag seems intriguing to you. What weird reading habits do you have??? We’re both dying to know ;D

  1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
  2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
  3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?
  4. Do you eat or drink while reading?
  5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?
  6. One book at a time or several at once?
  7. Reading at home or everywhere?
  8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?
  9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
  10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
  11. Do you write in your books?

And just a bit of personal news… I’m officially a librarian! I got hired part-time at two libraries near me!! And I start at both next week!!! I couldn’t possibly choose between them, they’re both great libraries and I’m sure I’ll be very happy. Not to worry, though, my handy dandy planner will be keeping me on task with two jobs, art making, boyfriend visiting, puppy watching, and, of course, this blog =P

– Kathleen

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