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June 2017

I Hate Fairyland: Fluff My Life (Volume 2)

Gert is back! And she is still the foul-mouthed violent sociopath that you remember fondly from volume one- Madly Ever After.

At the conclusion of the previous book, Gert has been crowned the Queen of Fairyland, and as you can expect her tenure as queen does not go well. She is unsuited for queenly duties, and as such her kingdom falls into chaos, albeit in a funny candy coated gory way. But author Skottie Young never intends for Gert to remain static, so she manages to get terminated from her job so she can move onto her next adventure.

As always Gert wants to get the fluff out of Fairyland, so she embarks on a quest with her trusty sidekick Larry the Fly. Never to think of anyone but herself, Gert leaves a wake of destruction across the kingdom as she follows different clues that could perhaps send her home. There is a very brief poignant moment, as Gert and Larry speculate what awaits her back home if she should actually leave. But the moment passes, and Gert is back to her destructive ways.  A showdown with a Manga-inspired purty princess leads her to abandon a vulnerable new character,  who will come back for revenge later.

Each book, or even issue, contains stories that are stand alone in nature. This series is geared to be a lighthearted romp, with dark humor and satire interwoven into it. The illustrations continue to be a treat, with a lot of pop culture references drawn in for laughs. Young recently drew a hilarious spoof of the series, I Hate Image for Free Comic Book Day and had Gert encountering other Image Comics series characters.  Young and his creative team continue to have fun with the series, although I must admit, too much of a good thing can start to get old. I will continue to look through future volumes, but am leery of falling into a candy-induced coma if I read too much of this series.

-Nancy

( I will be taking a brief break from writing for the blog, as my family is heading to Florida for a vacation. But never fear- Kathleen and I rearranged our Wednesday posts so she will be writing next week, and Michael from My Comic Relief wrote us an awesome guest post about Deadpool for next Friday. I hope to get some good reading done, plus I’ll still be peeking in at the comments and checking Twitter while I am soaking in the rays. Stay geeky my friends!)

Young, Skottie, Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Nate Piekos. I Hate Fairyland: Fluff My Life. 2016.
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Wonder Woman

***THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD***

Are y’all ready for this?

ARE Y’ALL READY FOR THIS???

STRAP YOURSELVES IN, FRIENDS

There is an island called Themyscira, hidden from the eyes of the world by the gods. There live the Amazons, the race created by the gods to serve them, keep to their ways, and defend the world from Ares should he rise again. The youngest of them, Diana, was eager to become a warrior, but her mother, the queen Hippolyta, has forbid it. The general of the Amazon army, Diana’s aunt Antiope, starts to train her. She knows the great power within her niece.

One day, the sky opens. A plane crashes in the sea, and Diana rescues the pilot. Unfortunately, he brought the navy chasing him to Theymisciran shores. A great battle ensues, with victory to the Amazons, but at great cost. With her dying breath, Antiope urges Diana simply to “Go.”

In questioning the pilot plucked from the sea, a man named Steve Trevor, the Amazons learn of the Great War, of the atrocities committed, of the millions of soldiers and civilians dead, and of the secret German laboratory where a new and devastating poison gas is being developed. A chemist named Dr. Maru and German General Erich Ludendorff are behind it. An Armistice is in the works, but Steve believes the Germans will deploy the gas no matter what. If Steve can get Dr. Maru’s notes back to London to present to the war council, he could save more lives from being lost.

All the Amazons believe it’s none of their business – save one.

Diana is sure that Ares has returned and is behind the Great War. She feels a calling deep within to fulfill the Amazonian mission and stop him. She arms herself with her shield, her armor, and the Godkiller sword saved for the occasion when he would arise again. Together, Diana and Steve escape Theymiscira and journey to London and into the heart of the war itself, to kill the god of war and bring peace to mankind.

I’m gonna be honest: I was in tears the entire first half of the movie.

It wasn’t necessarily because it’s a sad movie. It certainly does have heart-wrenching moments. We see the atrocities of World War I as we have seen in photographs and in other movies, but this time, through Diana’s innocent eyes… war truly is evil. We see soldiers wounded, dying, dead, and then we see Diana’s face: shocked, horrified, eyes filled with tears. It hits you hard. You wonder as she does how something like this can happen, could ever be allowed to happen.

My tears were mostly those of joy. And the no-man’s land scene (believe me, you’ll know it when it starts)… oh man. Niagara Falls.

Up until that point, we see Diana as Diana of Themyscira and Diana Prince. But that scene… that was Wonder Woman. In all of her beautiful, compassionate, get-shit-done glory. That was Wonder Woman’s first cinematic debut (not counting BvS as it was a cameo, even if she was the best part) in seventy-five years of comic book history.

I cried for joy. I cried because it was a victory for her. I cried because it was a victory for her women fans, all women everywhere really, to finally see her on the big screen. I cried because that scene is so perfect, so true to the essence of Wonder Woman’s character.

I cried because Gal Gadot IS Wonder Woman. There is no one that could have done it better. Her performance completely blew me away. She was at turns wide-eyed and innocent, horrified at her first glimpse of man’s world, yet loving and compassionate. She embodied everything Wonder Woman stands for, and for that I am overjoyed and eternally grateful.

All other casting was spot-on. Chris Pine as Steve Trevor was brilliant. He and Gal had real chemistry, and their dialogue ranges from light and silly to deeply profound. He was the perfect jaded counterpart to Diana’s naivete. Their romance was not at all forced, and was perfectly placed within (read as: THANKFULLY TOOK A BACKSEAT TO) the larger story. I liked that you see Amazons of all ages, not just young women like Diana. Connie Nielson and Robin Wright were as loving to Diana as they were fierce in battle.

The movie was also BEAUTIFUL. The cinematography and editing were PHENOMENAL. I felt a lot of the time I was looking at a moving painting. The music was fabulous. It’s obvious this film was crafted with much care and a whole lot of love on all fronts.

My only nitpick? How Ares was handled. But I’ll wait until some more of you have seen it to go into details 😉

I loved it. It was beautiful, funny, at times devastating but overall hopeful and inspiring – all things the DCEU as a whole has not been able to accomplish. And best of all, it was true to the heroine we all know and love. I am planning on seeing it again in theaters, and I’ve only done that with one other movie in my entire life. I’m planning on bringing my mother, my sisters, my friends, my boyfriend again (he loved it just as much as I did, btw =P ), anyone and anyone who will come with me. I and many others have waited for Wonder Woman for a long time. Let’s show them we want more.

– Kathleen

P.S. My very favorite trope managed to sneak in: Amazons and ice cream!!! ;D

Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus, Vol. 1

I’ve been teasing this review for way too long, and in honor of the movie coming out (review of that coming on Wednesday!), thought it was time =P

Long ago, the Amazons were created by the gods to worship them and keep to their ways. Heracles sought to conquer them, and the gods were angry when the Amazons took their revenge. They were banished to the island of Themyscira, to stand guard over the evil there, and they were to keep their chains of bondage in order to remind them never to err again from the ways of the gods. Their queen, Hippolyle, wished for nothing but a daughter, and the gods granted her one last miracle – Diana. She is raised as the daughter of all the Amazons. When Ares rises and starts to wreck Man’s World, the Amazons hold a tournament to decide their champion, who will leave their home and slay the evil. None other than Diana wins the tournament, and what kind of heroine will she be to Man’s World?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This is my favorite incarnation of Wonder Woman. The origins of the Amazons and Diana herself are steeped strongly in Greek mythology, and we get multiple scenes of the Greek pantheon. Quite a while is spent on the origins stories, but once Diana gets off the island, the action ratchets up, with appearances by Cheetah and Silver Swan. Diana is strong and beautiful, dedicated to her mission, but never forgets where she comes from. I absolutely love all the ’80s cheesiness in the dialogue! The art is GORGEOUS. The palette is mostly pastel, with light shading, but stronger colors and starker shading are used as appropriate. Each illustration is filled with light, as befitting the Amazon princess. I highly recommend it to anyone – especially those who want to start reading Wonder Woman.

Kathleen

Perez, George. Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus, Vol. 1. 2015.

Huck: All-American

Millar, Mark, Rafael Albuquerque & DaveMcCaig. Huck: All-American. 2016.

There are a few library’s graphic novel collections that I scope out, to see what titles they have, and compare my work library’s collection against it as to help me make purchasing decisions. When I spotted this title at my home library, written by Mark Millar who is famous for Civil War, Red Son and Old Man Logan, I snatched it up to read it. Why hadn’t I heard about it? Well…it turns out it is because it is “the feel-good comic of the year”, aka it is saccharine, light and completely forgettable.

Huck is a behemoth of a guy, but a literal gentle giant. We find out he is an orphan who was left on the doorstep of an orphanage, and now works at a gas station. He has secret powers and uses them to do good deeds around his community, whose residents keep his secret. A woman who has recently moved to town spills the beans to the news, and suddenly the world knows about his abilities. A local politician tries to harness Huck’s powers for his own benefit, and to use him as a conduit to the president. However, Huck’s outing has garnered more attention across the world in Russia. Huck, an earnest and trusting man, is contacted by a bearded man who says he is his twin and that they should try to find their mother. Without spoiling anything, it’s pretty obvious this man is not who he says he is, and Huck’s origin story is explained in the last third of the book.

There are obvious parallels to the Superman story, and I did appreciate the uncomplicated nature of Huck, with him being a true superhero without all the brooding and infighting with other heroes, but the story was too predictable. The artwork is attractive with a warm color palette of yellows, reds and oranges, but is fairly standard in layout. There were a lot of close ups of Huck’s face, with him looking confused and/or simple minded, and too much mocking dialogue about how he was only a gas station attendant.

At the end of the story we get a two page “Meet The Creators” spread, which was actually nice, to see the people beside Millar and Albuquerque get shout-outs. But in Millar’s bio it lists his works that have or are in production to be turned into feature films, and Huck is listed as one of them in development. What?? There is not enough plot, for it is paper thin, and seemed rather resolved to me at the end. While this wasn’t a bad graphic novel per se, it just didn’t seem like a Mark Millar story, which are typically more epic in scope. This book will not be making the cut for me to purchase for my library’s collection.

-Nancy

Guest Post on My Side of the Laundry Room

As a child of the 80’s , one of my favorite blogs to read is My Side of the Laundry Room, a site dedicated to posts about pop and nerd culture. As I once stated about Rob, he “takes us back to the 80’s with his great posts about games, movies, cartoons and memorabilia of that era. He highlights forgotten gems, and his fond reminiscing make for a epic site.  He could give Parzival in Ready Player One a run for his money!”

He has written several posts about toys from the 80’s he nostalgically remembers, and when the Green Onion contributed an additional post about toys from the era, I noticed they were very boy-centric. Thus, I volunteered up a post about 10 Totally Awesome Toys For Girls Of The 80’s from the viewpoint of a totally rad female (me!).

-Nancy

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