Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Pull List: Best of 2014

Now, I told myself that I wasn't going to do one of these because I was moving and wouldn't have the time, but dammit, I wanted to give one last shout-out to a wonderfully dynamic year in comics. I feel like I grew tremendously as a creator because of my exposure to a smorgasbord of talented writers and artists, and I witnessed firsthand a medium that is just a microcosm of the changing tide in our culture: the inclusion of a diverse set of voices, the power of creatives to discuss social issues and bring about an alteration to the ways we see things, etc. It wasn't without its various missteps and downright flops, but, as a whole, I feel like the world of comic book nerddom is coming into its adulthood.

Here we go: in no particular order, these are my Best of 2014:

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Pull List: Butterfly Review

I am pretty sure that I have stated this before, but I have found over the last six months that I prefer limited-run series to many ongoing ones, partially because I know that I'm going to get a complete story and that it probably won't be canceled. Every now and then, a limited series becomes an ongoing, like in the case of Boom! Studios' Lumberjanes, but for the most part, like Babylon Five's five-season run, the creators know that they have a specific theme or themes they want to explore and then be done with it. Archaia's Butterfly is a perfect example of how effective a short story can be in comparison to a novel, especially when it's done as well as this was.

Just as an aside, this was going to be a review of the final issue, but I decided to look at the series as a whole instead. Actually, I think that was my original plan when I first picked up Butterfly, so I'm happy that I enjoyed it as much as I did.

No spoilers below the cut!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Pull List: They're Not Like Us #1 Review

I think I was overly ambitious this week when I was like, "Oh, sure, I can totally write two reviews the week of Christmas while working full time!" So apologies for being a day late on this. But driving three hours to see my family and then driving three hours back was kind of exhausting. You understand. :)

And nope, no spoilers below!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Pull List for December 24, 2014

Dear God, after the last two weeks, I am thankful for this little reprieve for the next two. Most of what's on my pull list for this week is stuff that I'm probably not going to purchase, but they're interesting enough to read or at least mention here. However, it looks like January is going to a bitch, based on the sheer number of books about which I am excited. I guess there could be worse things.

Also, I'm going to be taking the next week off since A) nothing is really coming out (at least that I'm wanting to read) and B) I am going to be in the process of moving to South Carolina. Siiiigh, so much to do.

Anyway, here's this week!

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Pull List: Captain Marvel #10 Review

Well, it had to happen at one point. Carol Danvers' 100th solo issue was not the amazingness that it could have been, but really, it is fairly difficult to follow the high action and hilarity of the first arc of this Captain Marvel series.

And as (almost) always, no spoilers below the cut!

Friday, December 19, 2014

On turning 31 ...

Being officially in my thirties is an interesting thing. Even in my twenties, I wasn't dreading reaching the Big Three-Zero, and really, it was other people's response to it that got me thinking about it.
"Only three more years until you can't call yourself a twenty-something!"
"Oh, my God, isn't it weird that you're going to be 30?"
"Do you feel nearly 30?"
And now that I've crested fully into a new decade of age, I've realized that, yep, I kinda like it here. Now, my twenties weren't necessarily this horrible ten-year span of awful - although plenty of pretty awful things happened to me, many of which were of my own making - but there is a certain freedom that comes with leaving them.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Pull List for December 17, 2014

Oh, last week, I thought you were bad. I'm a little worried how things are going to go when I don't work at a comic store next month.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Pull List: Copperhead #4 Review

Clara Bronson is a badass. This just goes without saying. She's almost the opposite of Low's Stel, the eternal, incurable optimist. Clara looks at the world realistically, not quite willing to go completely dark. But what both women have in common - in addition to their willingness to break established rules when they don't fit the situation - is that they hold family close to their hearts, ready to go to depths usually avoided in order to protect those they love. However, as complex and intriguing a character Clara is, she definitely shares the spotlight with Boo (aka Budroxifinicus) in this issue. Writer Jay Faerber splits the narrative between the two and manages to keep me interested in both, a feat that's not always accomplished easily (ahem, the Frodo-Sam half of the The Return of the King).
Via Image Comics
(No spoilers below the cut!)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Pull List: Bitch Planet #1 Review

At the comic shop where I work, I am known as the Kelly Sue DeConnick Cheerleader. It's not an exaggeration, either. Ghost was phenomenal, although I will admit that I stopped reading when KSD left; Pretty Deadly was gloriously weird and poignant; and Captain Marvel portrays feminine power in a way that few comics do these days. DeConnick is a huge inspiration to me not only as a writer, but as a feminist, as well. I mean, who else could say, "I make people uncomfortable so my daughter won't have to," and mean it so wholeheartedly? So when I discovered a few months ago that she was working on a series for Image Comics called Bitch Planet, I knew that I had to pick up the first issue. 

And what an amazing first issue it was. No spoilers below (I promise!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

100 Happy Days Is COMPLETE!

Via Wiffle Gif
After 100 "grueling" days, the #100HappyDays challenge that I was conducting on Facebook is finally complete. I was late on a couple of days, which technically disqualified me from ... whatever prize I was supposed to win, but I wanted to go all the way through to the end, you know?

I'm not sure if the challenge altered my perceptions of what happiness is to me, but it did confirm just how easily I am to please. I am the type of person that squeals in delight over seeing that my husband has come home with a package of pot stickers, that claps her hands when she sees a cute video of squeaky otters. And if such small things make me happy, why worry about the big things?

That's what I'm going to take from the whole experience: happiness is not something that is given to you and it can't be stolen from you. You look at what makes you happy, and guess what. That feeling is yours. I encourage everybody who feels so inclined to take part in the challenge. Even if you miss a day for whatever reason, that's no reason to quit. You can even alter it to fit your lifestyle. Don't want to hashtag everything? Make a Happiness Jar! Three and I have decided that, starting January 1, we are going to do just that. It will be just for us, and at the end of the year, we'll be able to look back and count our blessings.

Okay, enough sappiness. But if you do decide to do 100 Happy Days, feel free to let me know! I'll send happy vibes your way.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Pull List for December 10, 2014

This week has so many titles that I'm excited about reading: Thor, Rachel Rising, Bitch Planet, Copperhead, Supreme: Blue Rose, Batgirl ... It's looking like it's going to be an expensive week for me.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Pull List: Men of Wrath #3 Review

I think I'm one of the last people on Earth - at least, among American comic book readers - that didn't know how awesome a creator Jason Aaron is. When I found out that he would be spear-heading the new Thor, I decided to do my research. And by research, I mean read more comics. It's a hard life, I know. His run prior to the Thor change-up was pretty solid, and I even found myself really loving Southern Bastards, which I'll definitely get back to in a minute. A few days ago, a Scalped trade came into the store, and I leafed through it with the full intention of reading it completely on one of my lunch breaks. What seems fairly certain to me is that, no matter how far Jason Aaron may go from his Southern roots, they'll always come back into his work. You write what you know, right?

(And as pretty much always, no spoilers below the cut!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Pull List for December 3, 2014

After a lovely Thanksgiving and Black Friday avoidance, I return with the first week of December's Pull List. This month is already looking pretty fucking awesome. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Pull List: ODY-C #1 Review

Over the past several months, I have been lucky enough to work in a comic book store, an experience which is, sadly, going to be ending in the next two weeks due to the HusFriend and me moving to another state, and during that time, I've been surrounded by amazing artists and writers that manage to get me excited about a new comic. For instance, Captain Marvel's Kelly Sue Deconnick's Bitch Planet, which is set to come out on December 10th, is one that I literally bounce at the mere mention of it, and any time I find another comic illustrated by Low's Greg Tocchini, I immediately pick it up (my most recent was issue #20 of Ms. Marvel, Volume 2). Ever since I read Sex Criminals - I went straight for the trade based on all the reviews - I've been a big fan of Matt Fraction, enjoying the hell out of Hawkeye (still so sad it's ending), so you can just imagine how excited I was when I heard he was taking on one of the only books I willingly read in high school: Homer's The Odyssey. The art was going to be trippy and vivid! And it was going to be with a feminist bent! Wheeee!
Via Image Comics
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