Thursday, August 29, 2013

Think Out Loud #10

Think Out Loud.
This is a weekly meme used for bloggers
to post something they would normally not post.
So, post whatever YOU want!

So here's my story about the........... Ghost Woman! by Lawrence Thornton

I'm guessing everybody has one or more books they haven't finished or they've  put aside and have every intention of eventually picking it  up again. I have one of those. I bought it a long time ago..years ago. Those were the days I was starting to buy books for my own personal library. It was on sale and I liked the title and cover so naturally I bought it. Tried to read it but stopped and put it aside planning on continuing eventually. BUT here we are..2013...and I am haunted

It's just sitting there on my bookcase and every time I walk past it..I think about how I left things.........unfinished. At night when I go to sleep , I toss and turn thinking I should finish her. I hear her calling me...whispering to me...saying things.

I am being haunted by a book!!


ex libris RAB
















So what are your DNF stories?



Monday, August 26, 2013

Johnny the Homicidal Maniac (issue 5,6 & 7 ) by Jhonen Vasquez

The series focuses on the 20-something year old anti-hero Johnny C, also known as "NNY" (pronounced 'knee'). He is a deranged serial killer, mass murderer, and spree killer who interacts with various other characters, generally by murdering them. He elaborately kills anyone who even slightly irritates him, then drains their blood and paints one of the walls in his house with it. Johnny is also willing to murder "innocent" people who, in his twisted mind, deserve their fate for some reason or another. The number of Johnny’s victims is in the dozens, if not hundreds — or perhaps even thousands. Authorities are unable to capture Johnny and seem unaware of his existence, even though his crimes are often witnessed in public and reported by the few who manage to survive.(from Goodreads)


JTHM #5 An A Scent in Hell

You know, I honestly didn't think things could get anymore weird. However every time a person thinks that, things go the other way. Johnny has literally lost his mind......well, I know that's not saying much because he's a maniac. But hey, this time he's literally lost his mind. I mean in the sense that his brains are all over the wall and floor, there's a hole in his head! A  black hole of darkness.  In the previous issue Johnny seems to have succeeded in killing himself. However, we see in this issue that he's not dead (yet) even if he has a hole in his head. He's still saying crazy stuff. Meanwhile two of Johnny's victims are trying to  escape (another douchebag and the girl he dated in issue 2). They're being chased by a tentacled creature and eventually these two escapees come across Johnny lying on the floor with a big black hole in the back of his head and blood everywhere.
The douchebag mentions how Johnny tortured him by forcing him to  read the Happy Noodle Boy comics and quizzing him on what they meant. It's odd but this was the most terrifying thing in the comic: I freaking hate Happy Noodle Boy....

This comic is really gory and is taking a darker turn. Reader discretion advised.

Grade:











JTHM #6 A Brief Failure at Living

So Johnny does die and ends up going to heaven and hell. In the end he doesn't belong in either. The authors note in the beginning sounds kind of ironic. He addresses some of his fan mail in which many have shared their suicidal feelings. Vaquez says he does not condone suicide and yet Johnny has tried to kill himself several times and has succeeded in issue #4 and #5...However he is a fictional character that was resurrected which of course should be taken into account if you're contemplating killing yourself. YOU are not fictional!




How heaven and hell are depicted is interesting.  Heaven is very unhygienic and hell seems more like the real world where people are left to their own miserable devices, God is depicted as a fat lazy entity hovering around on a couch. When Nny attempts to get some questions answered God refuses to answer them like many unanswered prayers often go. Johnny goes on a killing rampage in heaven and ends up in hell and is then resurrected.

I prefer this issue to issue 5 but that doesn't mean it's less gory. Other than the main story there are some pretty fun strips there's a Meanwhile strip with a biographical tread: Vasquez answers fan mail again "if he's anything like his character". It starts off good but then goes down the hill of plausibility when he fights a clerk that is actually  Satan and saves the Pope from aliens. The scene with the clerk reminds me of the scene in issue 2.

Grade:











JTHM #7 In Control of a Broken Machine

Not much of an ending to the comic. Johnny has been resurrected after not belonging in hell or heaven guess the only place he can go back to is his former life on earth. He comes back with a new haircut though..so that' new.


I can only describe this issue as a bit confusing especially the crowded speech boxes and the font used in the introduction  These have always been an issue. Digital versions of this comic aren't as fun as the physical one. Zooming in only distorts the text and little interesting things in the comic that are written very small also are lost to the reader.

However being a not so direct ending it is still filled with twisted old psycho Johnny goodness. Fun strips and an attempt at closure with the girlfriend he tried to kill in issue 2 and saying goodbye to the kid from the very first issue.  Which if this was an ending is a plus point. Going back to the beginning and all.

I feel like I should point out that since issue 5 I've been skipping the Happy Noodle Boy strips. I'm sorry but my disgust with this character has gotten to the point that even seeing the strip or that goddamn stick figure makes me want to hurt somebody.

Finally Johnny's last dear diary entry? Is  this  really the end..or will Johnny one day return.

Grade:



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Think Out Loud #9


Think Out Loud.
This is a weekly meme used for bloggers
to post something they would normally not post.
So, post whatever YOU want!

Free falling back into Aniiimeee
I don't remember when I got into anime. Rough estimation is 5 years ago when I watched one episode of Bleach and I was hooked. Before that I had seen other shows like Dragon Balls and Saiyuki on TV. After bleach I was introduced to Fullmetal Alchemist and Naruto. When Bleach was on hiatus for awhile I went digging for the mangas. Then I discovered D.Grayman, Hitman Reborn, Dengenki daisy, Personant, Hana Yori Dango. I read all these on one site onemanga.com The site was taken down and hasn't been the same since. So I was put off of the anime world some how.

Then I was watching this video by wongfuproductions where they were at a anime convention and everybody on the floor recommended this anime...So I checked it out. I was hooked by the first episode. You might have heard of it because it seems everybody has been watching it except me! Shingenki no Kyojin! It's amazing!


I still have mixed feelings because I just went into it head first and didn't see that there were only 16 episodes out at the time. I went through them like potato chips. After that desperate for more I went in search of the manga and again  went through them fast and IT'S SO GOOD! 
The characters have great background stories and many strong female leads. Mikasa is one awesome bad ass chick but somehow I find myself liking Sasha Braus more. She's not the best soldier but tries. This anime/manga has great characterization  AS for the plot it's alive: so many twists. Then there's the psychology of the characters: both humans and humans that can turn into titans: I'm still not sure about who's the bad guy and what the titans motive is. This is probably one of the reasons people get hooked on the show.


In episode 3 when Eren get's killed I was shocked because isn't he the main character.  For a moment I thought GRRM was involved following me everywhere after the Red Wedding. 

This show is amazing and full of surprises and scary ugly titans and a bit gory. People die easily. At the end of this goodness you end up thinking two things about the further development of the anime/manga:
1.it's only going to get better or 2. with all the titans in the survey corps and the identities of the Colossal and Armored Titan already known the author,Hajime Isayama, might end up writing himself into a corner. or maybe this is just my irrational fear..I'm sure he knows what he's doing.

Now I'm in a state of withdrawal and anticipation. I want the anime to get to where the manga is and I wanna know whats going to happen  next! so many questions need to be answered.


The hope of mankind

Do Do you watch anime?
This anime?
What do you think?



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Truth about Bras,Boobs and High-heeled Shoes! by Ann Young

Is there more to life than sex?

My new book The Truth about Bras, Boobs and High -Heeled Shoes! Is there more to life than sex? delves with humour and insight into some of the beliefs that exist in the mind of the modern day woman. From our bras and knickers, to shoes and romance, money and sex, discover with a touch of light heartedness, how we have been told to live our lives. Only then can we begin to understand the potential we have to turn things around, finally creating what we ourselves choose to create in our lives.GOODREADS




The cover and title of the book are attractive enough to draw my attention. It's simple and straightforward. As a 21 year old woman, I'd like to know the truth as well. However I had thought this book would be more textbook, based on facts and plausible information. The book is based on the authors opinion and insights about how women are socialized into acting a certain way. An opinion that's probably shared by many women because I found myself agreeing to many things in the book.

It's easy to identify with many of the issues stated in the book because they're very common girl-problems. Like why do we have to wear bras or feel insecure about our breasts. the first chapter starts off pretty well; it addresses the standard of beauty society gives to women and how breast have become this sexual object. It's written in first person and the author proposes we consider men wearing something similar to a bra to keep their free-moving assets in place. These garments exist but men can simply choose to wear them or not. Women have been wearing them for a long time it's become so normal we don't question them. The chapter promotes the message that woman should love their bodies and not constantly criticizing them. You are a woman, so adore yourself. 

The first chapter makes a very good start until you get to the part where she uses apes as an example: that they are not self-conscious about their bodies and have simpler lives and how it would  give us a different perspective on things to imagine animals behaving like humans. Imagine an ape being insecure about her breasts and not being able to attract a mate. The comparison was a bit off for me. I get the point she's trying to make. However animals have different ways of attracting potential mates than humans. Monkeys urinate on themselves to attract a mate. Except for this minus point the rest of the chapter is substantial enough. it addresses the indoctrinated image of women as sexual objects.

The rest of the chapters are more or less the same addressing different things and promoting a change in the way people think. Chapter 3 The Bedroom, again had me expecting something else but this is an actual chapter dedicated to a persons bedroom and why people don't want their own and why we have to "share ' them with our partners. I wouldn't mind my own bachelorrete pad. However the authors opinion about the perfect relationship being between two compatible people who fully support each other and in which there would never be criticism. Seems too perfect and impossible. 

The author succeeds in getting her message over: we need to change our mindset. We should love our bodies and be happy with who we are. Making choices based on what makes us ,as women, happy and healthy and not based on the standards of what society wants or expects from us. A message of empowerment. Definitely a book I would recommend because it's a book to reflect on.


Grade:










*I was asked by the author to review this book

Monday, July 15, 2013

Waiting for Dead Men's Shoes by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Underachiever Minette "Mini" Monroe has long dreamt of how much better life would be if only she were in charge of the world, said world being the independent bookstore in Westport, CT, where she's worked for the past half dozen years. After her beloved boss Colin Quimby is murdered, Mini gets her wish and also gets a chance to solve the case, aided by hot young Officer Michael "Mickey" Maus. Despite his unfortunate nickname - would any woman really voluntarily become part of Mini and Mickey Maus? - Mini takes a shine to him, but there's no real time for romance, not when Mini has her hands full dealing with Colin's viper's nest full of ex-wives, offspring, former business partners and current business rivals, all of whom had good reason to want to see Colin dead. Who will turn out to be the guilty party? The only way to find out is to read WAITING FOR DEAD MEN'S SHOES, a madcap comedic novel that proves that the Shakespeare Unabridged Globe and the Oxford English Dictionary are still a girl's best weapons.
Show More Show Less. 
GOODREADS



Friday, April 12, 2013

Johnny the Homicidal Maniac (issue 3 and 4) by Jhoneen Vasquez

Random Comic Review

The series focuses on the 20-something year old anti-hero Johnny C, also known as "NNY" (pronounced 'knee'). He is a deranged serial killer, mass murderer, and spree killer who interacts with various other characters, generally by murdering them. He elaborately kills anyone who even slightly irritates him, then drains their blood and paints one of the walls in his house with it. Johnny is also willing to murder "innocent" people who, in his twisted mind, deserve their fate for some reason or another. The number of Johnny’s victims is in the dozens, if not hundreds — or perhaps even thousands. Authorities are unable to capture Johnny and seem unaware of his existence, even though his crimes are often witnessed in public and reported by the few who manage to survive.(from Goodreads)

I'm not sure this falls under random seeing as I've previously reviewed issues one and two, but let's not pay too much attention to this and more attention to the comics. I won't get to detailed into the structure of the comics, because I did that in the first review. I'm  just going to highlight some of the good/bad aspects of the comics. It's an awesome comic either way. 

Issue 3  A Transient Smile 

A little note from the author.

" My mind grows heavy at the burden of my dark life......and it is deeper that I.....oh.....why must I...OH FORGET IT!...".....

I always enjoy reading the authors introduction or note (again I'm not sure what to call it). They're always dark, depressing but not insignificant. In this case confusing, Vasquez goes on about something about emotions and how "blind certainty is repellent...". Have to agree on the latter. The font used in the introduction/note is unpleasant . The text which, as in the previous issues, is cropt together, too close together and the use of inverted E's is confusing. This really makes it difficult to make out some of the words.

What's Johnny been up to in issue 3: he  visits Cafe Le Prick then goes on a killing rampage. Which was pretty entertaining. He also rescues the poor kid from issue one from a child molester by knocking him out......then johnny proceeds to cut off the guy's hands and takes his brains out. All this gory insanity in front of the poor kid, who runs away screaming.

Meanwhile...which is also the highlight of this issue because of the absurdity. There's a sketch of a guy being abducted by aliens. Now these (not very intelligent aliens) have abducted Rob to study human sexual behavior.  Rob suggests  voyeurism  but of course the aliens must do this in a controlled environment in which Rob must engage in sexual activity with a human female.  However according to the aliens a human female is a chicken. An actual chicken. Now what happens when aliens force you to copulate with a chicken...........................I don't wanna talk about this anymore.


Of course, there's always other favorites : Wobbly Headed Bob and Johnny' s failed suicide attempt.  The Aliens were really fun, drawing wise and then there's (my) the  least favorite , Happy Noodle Boy. The one thing I liked about HNB is that somebody kills him at the end of each sketch...he's still alive by the end of the comic.....

Grade: 


Issue 4  Another Tiresome Descent


A little note from the author.

This time sort of handwritten again not very legible but still fun. Also a lot of cursing. must of had a bad day...

What's Johnny been up to in issue 4: well he's trying to figure out what he was like before (he became homicidal) and why he changed.  It's noticeable from all the sketches that Johnny seems to be getting worse and more psychotic. The kid from Issue one and the girl Johnny dated then tried to kill are featured.

Successful suicide attempt?
Again Johnny tries to kill himself and has apparently succeeded...but he can't be dead!

Also features Wobbly Headed Bob and Happy Noodle Boy (who is again still alive!)

Both issues feature a new sketch called "Public Service Announcement" the first one is about teen pregnancies (which I only now understand) and the one in issue 4 is about using drugs. 

Remember ...."" KIDS, drugs won't help things. They'll only turn you into a hideous little freak troll-baby with exploding eyeballs.""


This comic is pretty dark, gory at times, insane. Johnny is not the kind of person you'd wanna meet but his frustration is understandable.  I think anybody can relate to some of the things he says about society. Also I'd recommend getting the real comics, a physical copy. E-copies aren't as fun. Vasquez likes writing things along the margins of the sketch-boxes, horizontally,vertically. and there are hidden texts everywhere. Fun things to discover. 

Grade:




Monday, April 8, 2013

The Emerald Tablet ( Legends of Amun Ra # 1) by Joshua Silverman

Leoros doesn't have many friends. The son of a scientist and archeologist, he is constantly on the move. But when his parents make a startling discovery in Egypt, Leoros' world is turned upside down.

Description

Do you wish you could have the power of a god? Would you use it for good…or for evil?

When an archeologist discovers the mythic Emerald Tablet buried beneath Egypt’s desert, her son decodes the ancient text leading him to a distant world.

On that world, a slave girl begins a journey towards a destiny she cannot imagine. But when an ancient foe rises from the ashes, they will be brought together
by forces neither understands.

Leoros, who dreams of being like the heroes in the comic books, must fight to unlock the secrets of the universe to save a people he never knew existed.

Atlantia, whose bloody visions wake her in the night, senses the darkness coming.

Together they will face an enemy with the power of dark energy, lose a mentor to the assassin’s blade, and be betrayed by someone they trust. Their fight for the future is just beginning, and before it is over, a final sacrifice must be made. When the darkness comes, will they stand and fight or will they join it?

There is darkness in everyone.GOODREADS


_______________________________________

I expected this was another story about a kid ending up in another world and having an adventure. Like that movie Warriors of Virtue or Alice in Wonderland. Although I suppose with all the Star Wars references it should be more like Luke saving a planet story. However my Star Wars savvy is limited to some popular phrases and yoda-talk. So I won't go there, everything I expected from this book was blown out of the window starting from chapter one.

The first chapter starts of with a disturbing and unpleasant scene. A girl being strangled by her father. The scene is very detailed, describing what the girl is feeling and how she blacks out. The father while he strangles her keeps asking her if she has ever felt hate. Eventually the girl escapes by unlocking an innate ability, she uses energy and throws her father away. That' was the whole point of the "exercise". The father,King Ankar, is the villain of this story. A man who wants to use his children and get vengeance.

The narration isn't that great. At times it sounds like an old wise science teacher or philosopher or like an enthusiastic kid playing with toy soldier, the latter comes out especially in the scene where captain Axios is introduced. Also the narrator switches from one character to several together and describes what they're thinking and a bit of each characters background. 

This is a book with a very good characterization. Every character has an interesting background but they have unpleasant personalities. But this can just be me and it's only at the start of the book. So bad first impressions. The characters are dynamic as well so they become more bearable in the second half of the book. Leoros was too accepting, he's 13, very young, goes through a portal meets an Amun Priest that says he's a kid from some prophecy and Leoros's reaction to this is "cool, teach me your ways". The other apprentices have unpleasant and shallow personalities. Again this changes later, while  some change for the better others not so much. The one character that changed and I liked more was Dio, I think her character grew a lot and I suppose Leoros as well. Then there's Kam's character  one of the apprentices that goes and joins Ankars army. The one character that just kept going down hill while developing some romantic attachment to a magical rod, I expected him to start calling it "my precious " at some point. 

The odd and unfortunate thing is I liked Leoros parents, Alex and Camilla. Those were the characters I liked the most. They had clashing personalities, Alex believes in what he sees while Cam is more open-minded. The narration also switches from what's happening in Potara and with Leoros's parents trying to activate the pillar to get him back. This was an unfortunate choice in favorite characters because they died.

This is science-fiction, kind of. Leoros ends up in a futuristic kind of Egyptian planet, potara. There's a disconnection at times between the narration or the story. Sometimes you're focused on one scene or event then suddenly they're on advanced aircraft's. 
It's still a good story, it has that old school feeling of diving into a new and interesting  world and not just some glossy young adult novel. Also a good integration of Egyptian and Creek mythology.

I'm not happy with the ending. The ending was unexpected. It felt like the scene in John Carter when Carter gets tricked and sent back to earth...only the movie didn't end there. Objectively it's a good ending, subjectively.........

I'd definitely recommend this book. if you're a sci-fi fan, or Star Wars fan, or a comic book fan then there's definitely something for you in this book. If you're looking for something new, this book has that too. 

I liked what Leoros learned about Duality , how it's about perspective and finding a balance between two things. Is this really a good book or a bad one, I guess you'll just have to read it yourself.


Grade:


















**T0 review this book I was asked
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