Friday, December 30, 2016

Fun and Entertaining

Laser Moose is a moose that can shoot lasers out of his eyes. His best friend is an overly optimistic rabbit called Rabbit Boy and LASER MOOSE AND RABBIT BOY is a book that chronicles four different adventures of theirs.

“Invaders” – When the Forest is visited by an UFO, Laser Moose is sure that the aliens have come to destroy the whole forest. However, Rabbit Boy isn’t so sure and wants to give them the benefit of the doubt. What I like most about this story is that even though Laser Moose is overly vigilant, the end of the story reveals that his worst fears are actually true.

“Day of the Aquabear” – a bear eating a fish falls into a pit of toxic waste and mutates. Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy do everything they can to get the aquabear to follow them back to toxic waste plant.

“Terror of the Mechasquirrel” – Laser Moose’s arch nemesis creates a super smart and super strong mechanical squirrel that he programs to kill Laser Moose and destroy the forest.

“More to Explore” – Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy explore how lasers work.

Overall, I really enjoyed LASER MOOSE AND RABBIT BOY. It was a very fun and entertaining book.

Comics for Smart People

MAN, I HATE CURSIVE is a book of comics by Jim Benton. I enjoyed most of the comics in the book and some made me laugh at loud. Many of the comics have an edge to them and are kind of dark. Others are rather sentimental. Please be aware, while there really isn’t any foul language or overtly sexual comics, many of these comics are not safe for children: they refer to adult situation. Overall, I really enjoyed MAN, I HATE CURSIVE and I look forward to reading more comics by Jim Benton.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Fairy Tales With a Cat Twist

Author Yasmine Surovec has used her “Cat Vs Human” comic to tell stories in graphic novel form as well as inspire a book of cat-centered poetry. Now, Surovec takes on classic fairy tales in CAT VS HUMAN FAIRY TAILS. In this book, several different fairy tales are re-told through the lens of “Cat Vs Human”. The stories retold are: Rapunzel, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Ugly Duckling, The Princess and the Frog, The Princess and the Pea, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Little Mermaid, The Pied Piper, Sleeping Beauty, and The Little Match Girl. Unlike the original stories, all of these re-tellings in CAT VS HUMAN FAIRY TAILS have happy endings. Although cats are front and center in this book, CAT VS HUMAN FAIRY TAILS is a book that even those who aren’t cat lovers can enjoy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2017 Graphic Novel Challenge

After a couple years of doing really well, I haven't done very well the past couple years when it comes to reading. I signed up to do the 2016 Graphic Novel Challenge this year at the lowest possible level and as the year comes to a close, I find myself struggling at the last minute to complete it. Nevertheless, the year's not over and I'm determined to complete this challenge again next year. So, I'm signing up for the Modern Age of the 2017 Graphic Novel challenge. Think you're up for the task? You can find out more information here:

Here's hoping next year I can do much better than I did this year.


Although the strip isn't published in my local papers, I really enjoy reading the comic "Lio" anytime I come across it. Lio is like a strange hybrid between Calvin from "Calvin and Hobbes" and "The Addam's Family" but with updated and more modern references. I also love the fact that the strip is pretty much wordless. It adds to the charm and makes the strip feel as though it's from a time far in the past when silent movies were the king of entertainment. LIO'S ASTONISHING TALES FROM THE HAUNTED CRYPT OF THE UNKOWN HORRORS is a treasury of Lio comics. It contains all the cartoon found in the previous book collections "Happiness Is a Squishy Cephalopod" and "Silent But Deadly." There's also some fake advertisements thrown in and some sketches of Lio. In addition, the author comments on the comics throughout the book and this treasury is almost worth buying for that commentary alone. Highly recommended.

The Remote-Controlled Heart

"Pearls Before Swine" Dec. 5, 2005

I think this is my favorite "Pearls Before Swine" comic ever (I can't think of one I like better).

Monday, November 07, 2016


OPTIMISM SOUNDS EXHAUSTING is a collection of Dilbert comic strips. These strips originally appeared in newspapers from July 21, 2014 – August 1, 2015. All of the strips are printed in color. Other than a few glimmers here and there, “Dilbert” had lost much of its original charm.  However, in the past couple years, “Dilbert” has regained much of its earlier glory. There’s a lot more to be made fun of in the workplace now than even just five years ago.   

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Book Review: LIBRARY OF SOULS by Ransom Riggs

LIBRARY OF SOULS is the final chapter in the trilogy of books that began with MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN. The second book of the series (HOLLOW CITY) ended on a major cliffhanger as Jacob and Emma find themselves in modern day London separated from the rest of their friends who have all been kidnapped. They find themselves staring face-to-face with a hollow, those terrifying creatures that hunt, capture, and devour peculiars, and Jacob discovers he is able to control the hollow and make it do what he wants. The conclusion is a bit of a shocker and makes up for the weak points found in the rest of the book.

LIBRARY OF SOULS begins right where HOLLOW CITY ended. Jacob and Emma and Addison begin their hunt anew to find their missing friends and try to bring about the end of the wights. Their journey takes them from modern-day London to a place of peculiardom called Devil’s Acre, a place where the unwanted, rejected, and addicted peculiars come to reside. It’s also where the wights fortress is located. Along the way they meet new foes and allies alike.

I really enjoyed MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN. I thought it was a fascinating idea to write a novel and was intrigued by how well the story and pictures all fit together. Although I was excited by HOLLOW CITY, I was somewhat disappointed by it. The story lacked the depth and character development of the first book. I usually really enjoy the final part of a trilogy and was really looking forward to reading LIBRARY OF SOULS. However, I found the book to be the most disappointing in the series. The story wraps up the mysteries and loose ends of the first two books. It also introduces some unforgettable characters who I wish we would have had more time with (Sharon and Bentham) and has some grand climatic battles.  Yet, so much of the book feels forced. At times it felt like I was reading a story that was written just to beat a deadline. That’s the thing about turning one book into three: sometimes a story doesn’t need to be that long. I really think the series would have been better if it had been told in two books instead of three. Also, the gimmick that brought about the first book (photographs that inspired the story) has lost its luster in LIBRARY OF SOULS; the photographs aren’t needed now and the book even reads that way; the photographs aren’t central to the story anymore and are more of an afterthought. Personally, in some ways this series reminds me of the trilogy of Matrix movies (HOLLOW CITY ends very much in the same way that THE MATRIX: RELOADED does): the first story is so original and groundbreaking, the second story isn’t as strong but has some moments, and the final story fails to live up to the epic conclusion it has been building. That’s not to say LIBRARY OF SOULS is a bad book because it’s not. However, it’s just not the epic conclusion it should have been.