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Graphic Novelty²

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April 2018

Northlanders: Sven The Returned

Who knew Vikings were so emo?

As a huge fan of Brian Wood’s Brigg’s Land and Rebels series, I wanted to check out his earlier work and picked up this Viking saga set in a A.D. 980 on the Orkney Islands of Scotland. Norseman Sven, who has been banished from his ancestral home, returns home after his father’s death to claim his inheritance.  Continue reading “Northlanders: Sven The Returned”

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Drama

Last Friday, I skipped writing a book review and instead wrote the definitive answer to who is the best cinematic Chris (Chris Pine of course), so this week my reading public has the pleasure of two book reviews from me!

As a teen librarian, I am in charge of leading two graphic novel book clubs- one for middle school youth, and the other for high school and early college teens. This month we read Drama by Raina Telgemeier, who is a favorite of the middle school set, and this particular story was requested after we read Ghosts a few months back. As coincidence would have it, the 2017 Top 10 Challenged Book list came out the week before we read it, and Drama is on it again! Continue reading “Drama”

The Prince and the Dressmaker

Frances is a tailor in a dressmaker’s shop, but she dreams of more. She wants to design her own dresses one day, and become famous. They’re in Paris after all, and anything can happen. Through a series of (un)fortunate events, she ends up at the royal palace, making clothes for the royal family! She works closest with Prince Sebastian, who is guarding a secret. Frances makes dresses for him, because he loves to dress in them and go out at night as the Lady Crystallia, the famed beauty and fashion icon. Sebastian is less interested in the hunt for a bride and more interested in helping Frances with her designs. Frances is fond of Sebastian, but keeping his secret means keeping herself a secret, too. She’ll never be able to make a name for herself, because if she does, Sebastian’s secret will be revealed. Will she find contentment in anonymity, or will she find a way to reach her dreams without revealing Sebastian’s secret?

After all the publisher’s glowing reviews, I found this one less charming than it was made out to be. Everything happened too neatly, and the happy ending was less than believable. It is for middle-grade readers though, who will absolutely adore it. It’s easy to read, with wider spaces between panels and easily digestible chapters. The art is also easy to move through: the characters are rounded, the backgrounds uncluttered, and emphasis is on expression and, of course, movement of dresses. I can definitely see how it can be used to explain to kids the idea of gender-fluidity – Sebastian is male, yet is interested in feminine things, and young readers may see this quality in themselves or their friends. As a jumping point for this discussion, it’s wonderful; on it’s own literary quality, I was left wanting.

– Kathleen

Wang, Jen. The Prince and the Dressmaker. 2018.

The Great Chris Debate of 2018

We thought The Great Chris Debate was over…but no! The Green Onion and Rob of My Side of the Laundry Room chimed in with their opinions on our choices. Read on to find who they would choose to win The Great Chris Debate of 2018!

The Green Onion Blog

image.jpegThis is a joint release from Green Onion of The Green Onion Blog and Rob Wantz of My Side of the Laundry Room.

Recently, Rob and I have been sitting on the sidelines as our blogging family has been debating over which Chris is the greatest Chris in Hollywood.  With four individual posts and a heated Twitter argument it has been the biggest crossover event of our little blogging group since the Great Twitter Dance-Off of 2017, or Just Dread-full’s What Scares Us series.  Rob and I were left out of this massive event, but we’re not hurt, not really.

Over the following week, we have been enjoying each of our friend’s arguments for each of their favourite Chrises.  Part one involved Michael J. Miller of My Comic Reliefdefending Chris Pratt’s newly found status as an A-list Chris.  Kathleen of Graphic Novelty2 answered back with her own…

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The Great Chris Debate! Part 4: Chris Pine

This week, Michael of My Comic Relief, Kalie of Just Dread-full, Kathleen, and I went head to head – trying to decide which cinematic superhero Chris is best! Michael supported Chris Pratt, Kalie choose Chris Hemsworth and Kathleen went with Chris Evans. All three shared heartfelt but misguided treatises as to the superiority of their Chris. While all three are excellent writers, they all fell short (and they secretly know it). Clearly the best was saved for last, which quite obviously is Chris Pine.

To say that the public is blessed with such four outstanding Chrises is an understatement. People come in with their own preconceived notions of what they find attractive, sexy and funny. All of the Chrises fit into those categories, but it takes a truly superior Chris to rise above the rest. So let’s wrap this up for once and for all, as I prove my Chris is best.

As if we needed an introduction to the best of the Chrises, but here it is, announcing it himself:

Continue reading “The Great Chris Debate! Part 4: Chris Pine”

The Great Chris Debate! Part 3: Chris Hemsworth

Guest Post by Kalie Zamierowski of Just Dread-full

I will be the first to admit: there are a lot of great Chrises in Hollywood right now – a lot of talented, attractive, funny men who warrant our attention. If you’ve been following the series so far, you’ve read two arguments: one explaining why Chris Pratt is the best Chris in the business, and one explaining why Chris Evans is. Well, I have no particular vendetta against Chris Pratt or Chris Evans or (the yet-to-come) Chris Pine – all of whom are brilliant, funny, incredibly good-looking men. Indeed, I might even assert that Chris Pratt or Evans or Pine were the best Chris in Hollywood, if….if….if Chris Hemsworth didn’t exist! But let’s face it, Chris Hemsworth does exist. Oh, he exists, and his wit, charm, and brazen sex appeal make him, undoubtedly, the best Chris. Let’s delve into, with a little more specificity, why Chris Hemsworth is the best Chris there is. Continue reading “The Great Chris Debate! Part 3: Chris Hemsworth”

The Great Chris Debate! Part 2: Chris Evans

This week, Michael of My Comic Relief, Kalie of Just Dread-full, Nancy, and I are going head to head – trying to decide which cinematic superhero Chris is best!!! Yesterday, Michael posted a pretty good case for Chris Pratt. However, read on to see my case for the obvious choice, Chris Evans ;D

Wow. Just wow. I hardly have the words to start this post! I guess I just have to start out and say that they certainly cast well for Captain America.

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He just has that 1940’s look, doesn’t he? The classic blond-haired, green-eyed, chiseled cheekbones, strong chin, all-American look. Anyone could fall in love with him on looks alone. Personally, his lips and jawline are my weakness. I think very bad thoughts when I see his perfect jawline and those big, pouty lips! And as you can see from the picture above, they had to choose an actor who looks great in a uniform! Do you see any other of the Chrises looking as good in a uniform as they do in their superhero gear? Or any of the other Chrises STILL looking THIS good when they wake up from being asleep in the Arctic for 70 years???

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Didn’t think so! (He even looks adorable when he’s confused!)

As Steve Rogers/Captain America, Chris Evans is spot-on. He hates bullies and stands up for what he believes in. He’s persistent: he was recruited into the Super Soldier program after being rejected from the Armed Forces, but he kept going until he was in a place where he could make a difference! Of course, he’s also chivalrous. When he does wake up in the scene pictured above, his first worry is that he missed his date with Peggy Carter. If that’s not enough to break your heart!!!

giphy

Adding to the ice cream sobfest (thanks, Emma Stone!) is, of course, Steve’s best friend Bucky disappearing and reappearing as the Winter Soldier. Steve is incredibly loyal to his friends – I mean, the Civil War started in part because Steve still saw the good in Bucky and wanted to protect him from the other superheroes who were hunting the Winter Soldier to bring him to justice. Steve knew the man behind the Winter Soldier was still there, too scared to come out. That’s powerful stuff.

Outside of acting, Chris Evans… well, he’s just adorable. Who hasn’t seen a picture of him laughing and started laughing in turn???

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I mean, who can resist that??? The way he crosses his hands over his chest and leans back really far – it’s too much! I’m cracking up as I write this X,D And if that wasn’t enough, here is video footage of him laughing too hard to continue an interview:

As you can see, Chris Hemsworth is also in this interview, but don’t pay attention to him. You can’t anyway. Go ahead and try! All your focus is on our boy Chris Evans totally losing it. He’s like a big ol’ golden retriever puppy whose happiness and joy is totally contagious. Your day is brightened in spite of yourself. Now, did you notice Chris Hemsworth at all during this video???

Don’t worry, I’ll wait =P

None of the other Chrises have this combination of seriousness and playfulness. Chris Pratt? He’s all fun and games! Pine? Dude! TOO serious!!! Hemsworth? I guess he would come the closest, but there really is no contest, as the video above shows. Chris Evans is your classic all-American man with the acting chops, great looks, and heart of gold. You can’t get much better than that! Who else is feeling the Chris Evans love???

– Kathleen

The Chris fun continues!  Check out the other compelling arguments in this series:

Michael’s post:  Chris Pratt

Kalie’s post: Chris Hemsworth

Nancy’s post: Chris Pine

The Great Chris Debate! Part 1: Chris Pratt

This week, Michael of My Comic Relief, Kalie of Just Dread-full, Nancy, and I are going head to head – trying to decide which cinematic superhero Chris is best!!! Read on to see Michael’s case for Chris Pratt of Guardians of the Galaxy:

Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller of My Comic Relief

As superhero movies have become a larger and larger part of our popular culture, a question has vexed fans and scholars alike.  Which of the cinematic superhero Chrises is the greatest Chris of all??  Now, three incredible blogs and four intrepid bloggers have banded together to try and definitively answer this daunting question.  Nancy and Kathleen of Graphic Novelty2, Kalie of Just Dread-full, and yours truly are going to get to the bottom of this.  So fasten your seatbelts as we spend the next few days exploring all things Chris…although, sadly for my collaborators, I don’t know if we’ll need more than one post.  Because I’ve solved it.  It’s Chris Pratt for the win – easy.  No contest.  Game.  Set.  Match.  Now here’s why. Continue reading “The Great Chris Debate! Part 1: Chris Pratt”

Wonder Woman (Rebirth, Vol. 4): Godwatch

Veronica Cale, leader of Godwatch, is definitely not a Wonder Woman fan. She’s watched Diana on the news, read about her in the papers, and thinks she is a sham. It doesn’t help that two of her gods, Phobos and Deimos, sons of Ares, have stolen her daughter’s soul. They’re holding it ransom until Veronica can lead them to Themyscira. Veronica sacrifices much in the journey, in developing the technology to get there. But to save her daughter – Veronica will do just about anything.

Rebirth WW does a lot of skipping around in the story. I can see why they utilize that method – revealing hidden truths and all that – but it’s not ideal for light reading. I really had to pay attention! That said, I loved that they went in a slightly different direction in this volume and made Veronica Cale the focus. You see her make the descent from a woman who just wants to save her daughter to a villain, and neither you nor her realizes until it’s too late. Cale is an excellent foil for Diana. I’m kind of a sucker for villain stories like this, and I enjoyed it very much.

Bilquis Evely’s art is lovely in it’s subtlety. The focus is more on expression as opposed to great detail. The color palette gets more muted and darker the more you read, echoing Cale’s descent into villainy. My favorite part had to be Jenny Frison’s covers at the back, though… I can’t get enough of them!!!

– Kathleen

Rucka, Greg, Bilquis Evely, and Romulo Fajardo Jr. Wonder Woman (Rebirth, Vol. 4): Godwatch. 2017.

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