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The Wolf Among Us

The Wolf Among Us

I was recently lent The Wolf Among Us series by my other half, possibly in response to my moans that nothing was comparable with Saga.  Although I still stand by that statement, The Wolf Among Us was definitely still something to shout about.

The series is just two books long, based on the Tell Tale game of the same name.  Both were inspired by the original Fable comics, about characters from fairy tales who now live in modern day New York after being forced to leave their old world.

The Wolf Among Us follows Bigby (previously known as the Big Bad Wolf), who has left his past behind and reinvented himself as the sheriff of Fabletown.  When a Fable gets murdered on his watch, Bigby and Snow White team up to find the culprit.  But as they find the situation quickly spiraling out of their control, all the residents of Fabletown are forced to face some home truths about themselves, and about who they used to be.

The plot probably dragged just a little longer than it needed to, with one too many samey fight scenes.  But the number of brilliant characters constantly being introduced truly overrode any real flaws.  I was pleasantly surprised to see faces from Alice in Wonderland and Bloody Mary, as well as so many traditional fairy stories too.  Characters were rarely how I would have imagined them, which kept things unpredictable and fun.  The plot itself was also full of twists and turns, as secrets were slowly revealed.  By the end I had no idea who to trust, and where to place my sympathies.  Villainous characters always had a backstory and something to support their actions, leaving the task of picking a side a wonderful challenge.

I’m desperate to play the game now – I’m waiting (im)patiently for a Steam sale at the moment, as it sits at £18.99 full price.  The game allows the player to make decisions, which affect the outcome of the story – considering the complex themes of justice and morality in the comics, I can only imagine how thrilling the game is to play.  Check out the trailer for the game below:

Happy reading!

Emma

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October 5, 2017
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Book Review: My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy!

My Japanese Husband Thinks I'm Crazy!Title: My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy!

Author: Grace Buchele Mineta

Genre: Non-Fiction, Comics, Autobiographical (to a degree)

Don’t let fear prevent you from doing something you love.

INFO | Goodreads

BUYThe Book Depository


Grace Mineta became popular with her blog and YouTube videos documenting life in Tokyo as a Texan married to a Japanese man.  My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy! is a collection of some of her earliest comics about her experiences in Japan, and the struggles and joys of intercultural marriage.

As a big fan of Texan in Tokyo, it seemed quite obvious that I would at some point support Grace and buy her book, firstly because I think she produces excellent content online but mostly because I love comic books!  The comic had quite an amateur feel to it, but I think that was half its charm, and I think rather than a criticism that became one of its greatest strengths – there was a real sense of authenticity with the stories told.  Also, I think it shows the journey of Grace’s artistic talent; looking at more recent comics on her website, you can see how she has progressed creatively from those first doodles.

Saying that, I was a little underwhelmed by a few of the comic strips but many of them were very informative, or just fun; ‘Introducing the ‘Earthquake Game”‘ made me chuckle, because that’s exactly the sort of thing I would do.  Every so many comics there would be an article or list, and these were some of the most engaging parts of the book.  Titles included “7 Questions Interracial Couples are Tired of Hearing” and it was surprising and sad to see the prejudice that Grace and Ryosuke have been subjected to.  The section on onsens was also really fascinating, and I would visit an onsen during my next visit to Japan on Grace’s recommendation alone.

I’ll be buying her two other comic collections in the next few months, mostly because I am interested in learning more about the Japanese culture, and I enjoy Grace’s perspective of her experiences in Tokyo.  As a result, it does pain me to say that I think the comic book could have been better, though I wonder if my criticisms are more just “teething problems” that are smoothed out by the second and third books.  After all, as Grace says in her introduction, she never intended these early drawings to be published.

Before buying the comic, I definitely recommend checking out the Texan in Tokyo blog and YouTube – it really grounds the comics in reality when you remember they are a real-life married couple, and their ‘Day in My Life’ videos are very interesting.  Here’s one of my favourites: A Day in My Life (#18): Hunting for crafts at the 100yen shop.

Star Rating: ☆☆☆½ (3.5/5)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


You can check out my own adventures in Tokyo here.

Happy reading!

Emma

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January 9, 2017
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Book Review: Oh Joy Sex Toy, Vol. 3

Oh Joy Sex ToyName: Oh Joy Sex Toy, Vol. 3

Authors: Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan

Genre: Graphic Novel, Non-Fiction, Comedy, Educational

Source: I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

INFO | Goodreads

BUY | The Book Depository

Please note: This review discusses content that is NSFW (18+)


review

This is my first experience of Erika and Matthew’s work – their website has been around for a couple of years now, offering free weekly comics reviewing sex toys and giving sex advice and education.  Their books are a collection of these comics, which thankfully don’t run in any kind of linear order – I was happily able to pick up Vol. 3 and read it without any prior context.

The artwork is adorable and incredibly well done – although it feels there isn’t much variation in the colours used, I think the simplicity works, and is a trademark of their style.  The drawings themselves are relatively cartoonish, but the products and educational content feel as though they are replicated with considerable care and accuracy.  That’s something that I really like about the comic – the authors don’t shy away from showing things as they are, and this extends to having a variety of characters of different body types and identities.

The whole collection is incredibly light-hearted and full of laugh-out-loud moments.  One that stands out to me is the review of the toy ‘Eva’, which contained a number of WALL-E jokes that had me giggling!

A definite criticism is that there are maybe too many sex toy reviews.  One of my favourite comics in the series is ‘Erika’s Personal (Incomplete & Simplified) Requirements for being Sex Positive’, and tackles the definition of ‘sex positivity’.  These informative pieces were an excellent way of splitting up the toy reviews, which could feel a tad monotonous at times.  I also really enjoyed Erika’s book reviews, and I’ve added a few – The Sex Myth, for example – to my TBR!

All in all, this is a comic that I think everyone should read.  It is a fresh look at a subject that still feels (sadly) quite taboo at times, and is full of great art, great laughs and most importantly some very good sex education.

Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ (5/5)

Emma

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September 17, 2016
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Book Review: Batgirl Volume 1 & 2 (New 52 Series)

Title: Batgirl Volume 1 & 2 (new 52 series)

Authors: Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf (Illustrator), Vicente Cifuentes (Illustrator)

Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel, Superhero

‘Tonight, I’m not the Police Commissioner’s daughter… Tonight, I’m Batgirl.’

Volume 1: INFO | Goodreads, BUY | The Book Depository

Volume 2: INFOGoodreads, BUY | The Book Depository


review

Before I start, I should say that due to the order I managed to find the books in, I actually read volume 2 before 1.  It didn’t really have any effect on my experience; I loved them both anyway.  This has actually been my first experience of reading DC comics, and I finally understand what all the fuss is about (see my post about my epiphany regarding graphic novels).

I am not familiar in the slightest with Batgirl – in fact, I hadn’t even heard of Batgirl until I started reading these – so I can only pass judgement on what I have read so far of the new 52 series.  Before this, my Gotham experiences mostly considered of seeing Batman on lunchboxes and seeing the Joker, Harley Quinn and Catwoman cosplays at comic conventions.

For those who are also new to Batgirl (unless I’m the only one this clueless), she is the vigilante identity of Barbara Gordon, the young and intelligent daughter of Gotham’s police commissioner.  After being shot in the spine by the Joker, and left wheelchair-bound, the new 52 series begins with her recovery, as she builds the confidence and abilities to fight as Batgirl again.

I thought Barbara was a fantastic role model; she is intelligent, independent, strong.  She is young though, and this is constantly reinforced as she frequently makes mistakes and learns, captured in glimpses of her internal monologue.  A somewhat quirky revelation I made whilst reading was that I found that after years of being aware of Batman, meeting him “for real” was quite exhilarating, rather like having a fangirl moment over meeting a favourite celebrity.  I loved his relationship with Batgirl – he really cared for her, and I’m excited to learn more about their shared history as the comics progress.  All that has been revealed so far is that Batgirl trained under Batman, but the how and why are still a mystery.

Overall, my little taste of Batgirl has been a brilliant and somewhat addictive experience.  My only criticism is that I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at some of the ‘intimate’ angles of the illustrations – I can see an excellent storyline beneath it all, but I can’t shake the feeling that the art is really aimed at a specific demographic.  Saying that, Barbara’s wit and strength balance out her character nicely, so it isn’t that much of an issue.

Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ (5/5)

Emma

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June 22, 2015
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