Super Chill: A Year of Living Anxiously
October 27th, 2018 by diane92345

Usually graphic memoirs are either funny or have good art but not both. Luckily, Super Chill: A Year of Living Anxiously has both laugh-out-loud (but embarrassingly familiar) slices of life and clearly beautiful artwork.

What if your memory foam pillow starts whispering about the worst events of your life? Your DNA results come back 37% chicken nuggets? You have just discovered the 100% most efficient and effective method for clean dishes (that every 20-year-old has found before you)? Hint: it involves a large trash can and a quick visit to Amazon.

As a nerd from birth, I resemble many of the life moments captured here. Why didn’t I see the humor in them at the time? Then create a web series and eventually write a book about them? Ahhh, the familar feelings of envy and regret…

Seriously, these comics are both true and funny! Highly recommended to anyone with a funny bone and/or a life (see Super Chill: A Year of Living Anxiously is inspiring me to be funny—at least I hope so—okay maybe I’m overthinking this—it must also be inspiring me to live anxiously—life gives and it takes away) 5 stars!

Thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for an advance copy.

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Posted in Graphic Novel, Humor, New Books Tagged with: ,

Hellicious TP Vol 1
October 26th, 2018 by diane92345

Hell is for Children in Hellicious TP Vol 1.

Cherry is seven and mischievous. Her grandfather is Satan, literally. Cherry lives in Hell with her mom, Sin, the chief torturer. And she is bored, really bored. She is also the #1 fan of the famous death metal rocker Briggy Bones (think Ozzy in his bat eating days). After getting permission from her reluctant mom and permissive grandfather, Briggy becomes Cherry’s very first reaping.

The plot is intriguing. The art is colorful and innovative. Cherry is cute as a bug, if the bug is a brown recluse spider. A demon who looks suspiciously like our President appears as the other chief torturer set in a fake game show. The fake advertisements for the publisher are true throwbacks to the 70s. I think middle school kids and adults who have a wry sense of humor would enjoy Hellicious TP Vol 1. The next volume comes out in March and I can’t wait for Cherry and Briggy’s next adventure. 3.5 stars.

Thanks to Starburns Industries Press and NetGalley for an advance copy.

Posted in Graphic Novel, Horror, Humor, New Books Tagged with:

Beyond Weird
October 25th, 2018 by diane92345

Quantum mechanics is Beyond Weird, which is why this book’s easy to understand explanations, with minimal math, is such a great read.

The first mention of quantum occurred in 1900 during prosaic research on emitted heat. This accidental discovery was to change physics and also our understanding of the universe.

Quanta is neither wave nor particle and can be both inside and outside a box like Schrodinger’s cat. Does the inability to understand something logically make it untrue? Of course not. However, does it smell like the ancients use of ether to force their math to work? Maybe…

If you have any interest in science, the inability of scientists to explain the weird behavior of quantum mechanics is fascinating. If you have ever wanted to be Galileo discovering the Earth circles the Sun, there is an obvious task for you to take on. I suspect that the elusive Unified Field Theory will also be found by an amateur who has no fixed ideas of how physics should work. Or perhaps someone who enjoys science mysteries that are Beyond Weird. 4 stars!

Thanks to the University of Chicago Press and NetGalley for an advance copy.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: , ,

Go to My Grave
October 24th, 2018 by diane92345

Accomplished dual mysteries wrapped in an artful gothic atmosphere. Go to My Grave tells the story of two parties that went horribly wrong.

“They were terrified. Every last one of them.”

Donna and her mother spent their last dime opening The Breakers, a bed and every meal (rather than just breakfast), on the Galloway coast. Kim decides to have a surprise tenth anniversary party there with her husband Sasha and his six cousins. Little does she know that Sasha and his cousins spent another harrowing weekend there 25 years earlier.

When someone begins leaving hints of what happened at the long ago birthday party, the cousins start to fall apart. Their pledge of keeping it in a box, stitching their lips and going to their grave with it clearly forgotten.

Alternating between telling the tales of the anniversary party and the birthday party 25 years before, Go to My Grave has some extremely creepy atmosphere. There are several possible endings for each tale making the mystery intriguing. Some of the slang used was unique. Neither my Kindle nor I could figure some of them out.

Overall, Go to My Grave is a first-rate gothic mystery for the windy fall days around Halloween. Perfect for mystery fans who want a touch of dread in their books. 4 stars!

Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for an advance copy.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

Batman and the Justice League Vol 1
October 23rd, 2018 by diane92345

Batman and the Justice League Vol 1 has Batman, Superman, the Joker and Lex Luthor set in a Japanese manga-style plot.

A young Japanese man, Rui, goes to Gotham City to find his missing parents. His cab driver, in a VW bug (?), warns him of the city’s high crime rate and drops him off at the edge of the city. When beset with corrupt police, Rui uses his ninja-like skills to defend himself but refuses to kill. Batman rescues him. Commissioner Gordon tells Rui to leave town but he refuses. Run-ins with DC heroes and villains ensue.

Merging my two favorite graphic novel styles—manga and comics—was great fun! It took me a minute to realize that the book reads front to back (like comics) but each page reads right to left (like manga). In addition, the plot was altered slightly because it was originally written for a Japanese audience. The Joker’s new sidekick is a Japanese goddess/demon called Akurou. Using a Japanese hero, Rui, is brilliant. The fish out of water outsider viewpoint works well to emphasize new points of the Batman and Justice League’s story. The artwork also merges manga-style for Rui but only manga-style hair for the American characters though they all look much younger than they are usually portrayed in the comics.

The merging of the two styles makes Batman and the Justice League Vol 1 a great choice for both manga and comics readers. I loved it! 5 stars!

Thanks to DC Comics and NetGalley for an advance copy.

Posted in Graphic Novel, New Books Tagged with: , ,

Gideon Falls Vol 1
October 21st, 2018 by diane92345

Ready for a paranormal thriller thick with an ominous atmosphere? Don’t miss Gideon Falls Vol 1.

Father Fred is given a new flock and church in Gideon Falls. The prior priest, Father Tom, had died mysteriously. After dreaming of being visited by Father Tom, Father Fred chases him outside into a cornfield. He sees an ominous black barn in the distance. However, stumbling over a church body forces him to stop his search and call the police.

In a parallel storyline, Norton has recently been released from a mental institution. He is convinced that the trash he collects is trying to tell him something. When he has a vision of a black barn harboring evil, he also sees a mysterious stranger poised to help him conquer the evil within.

I expected a horror comic but was pleasantly surprised that Gideon Falls Vol 1 is actually a mystery with paranormal elements. As Father Fred and Norton work to decipher their visions, the feeling of dread increases. Who or what is hiding inside the black barn? The most disturbing part? The Vol 1 in the title implies that I may have to wait to discover the barn’s secrets.

Gideon Falls Vol 1 is highly recommended for fans of Stephen King and Stranger Things. It has the same creepy things-aren’t-what-they-appear vibe. Both narrators are unreliable, which is always fun. The art matches the atmosphere perfectly. Even the lettering is done in an ethereal way to emphasize the frailty of humans. Great art and the terrific plot makes this a 4 star read!

Thanks to Image Comics and Edelweiss+ for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Graphic Novel, Horror, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: