Thor, Vol. 2: Who Holds the Hammer?, by Jason Aaron

Two and maybe a half stars, read in 2016. I gave the first volume four stars, but this one is disappointing. She’s barely even in it, and it’s not even a full five issues like trades usually are. There are only three issues of actual current story, followed by one about Thor’s friends making her…

New Volumes of My Favorite Comics

Saga, Vol. 8, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. Four stars. Excellent as always, less robot penis than usual, so plenty of good news. For the bad news, in chapter 47: oh my god, Brian K. Vaughan, no, absolutely fucking not. That is too far. Such excruciatingly graphic sexual violence against women is fetishistic, and…

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel

Five stars, read in July 2014. For the first 50 pages it seemed like I wasn’t making any progress—it’s one of those books that looks longer than it is, so you feel like it will never end. Once I got to the last hundred or so pages, I was hoping it never would. It’s funny, really, because several of…

Tonoharu, by Lars Martinson

Four stars, read in March 2017, then again in August. I didn’t write what I thought about each book as I finished it, so I can only think of the trilogy as a whole—but you really have to read all three, so it’s just as well. The story is written a bit confusingly; the two…

How to Fake a Moon Landing, by Darryl Cunningham

Four stars, read in March 2017. Three and a half stars, maybe, but I don’t mind rounding up to balance out all the reviews that hate it way more than I think is warranted. (Though I do wonder, since this is yet another instance of books titled “how to __” which do not in any…

Mini Reviews: Comics and Manga

Everything I’ve read so far in January and February 2017, because apparently I haven’t reviewed any of them yet! Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 1, by Fumi Yoshinaga. Four stars. What an absolutely fascinating combination of ideas at play in this book. A sort of dystopian premise with a historical setting, a matriarchal society that still…

Rocket Girl, Vol. 1, by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder

Two stars, read in July 2016. This is a great premise, but it wasn’t carried out well. The dialogue is lame and the story is very unclear: teenage police officer leaves the year 2013—”the past”—to go back in time to 1986—”the present”—to stop a company from developing the technology that created her world, which she…

Mara, by Brian Wood and Ming Doyle

Three stars, I think? Read in October 2016. I probably shouldn’t even write a review of this because I do not in any way have a solid grasp of what is going on, but there is a lot that is great about it, and I guess I want to remember that. It’s a confusing combination of…

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 5: Super Famous, by G. Willow Wilson

Two stars, read in October 2016. This was my least favorite Ms. Marvel, very disappointing after how completely fabulous the previous four have been. I just felt stressed the whole time as she piled fuckup on fuckup, and then I was unsatisfied by the ending. There was a lot of moralizing, but where I usually…

Silk, Vol. 0 and 1, by Robbie Thompson and Stacey Lee

Four stars, read in September 2016. This is a great story, and I’m so excited about Silk/Cindy Moon as a character. As with Spider-Gwen, it was frustrating to be reading volume zero—basically a prequel in itself—and still have tons of backstory missing from all the Spider-Verse comics. Robbie Thompson does a pretty good job filling it…

Lumberjanes, by Noelle Stevenson

Four stars, read in August 2015. This is a fabulous, diverse, female-led fantasy series about the girls at a summer camp “for hard-core lady-types.” The Millennial humor is a little much for me, but mostly it’s fun. I love all the exclamations referencing women from history—”what the Joan Jett,” “oh my Bessie Coleman,” “holy Mae Jemison!”—and…

Storm, by Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez

Four stars, read in September 2016. I have been looking for this comic for so long. The thing is, about comics, that there are way too many of them, and they are too expensive. There are so many I want to read, but unless I can find them at my libraries or Half Price Books,…

Monstress, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

Five stars, read in September 2016. Jesus. Where to start?? This book needs all the superlatives. The artwork and the characters themselves are so beautiful it’s extravagant. The story is suspenseful and spectacularly violent. The protagonist is the most powerful, hardcore badass I’ve read in a long time; like Hannah from Rat Queens, only less…

In Which I Finally Read My Free Comic Book Day Haul

Yeah, it took me this long. Mike and I got our free comic books together, and we each bought one or two at the same time, which I also did not read until today. How can it take me several months to read a 25-page comic, you ask? This is a good and unanswerable question….

A + E 4ever, by I. Merey

Five stars, read in July 2016. This book is gorgeous. I don’t have anything objective to say about it—I just want to gush feelings for a while. It’s so lovely, in fact, that I went and found a bigger-than-usual picture of the cover to use here, just so I could look at it. I read…

Speed Reviews (Catching Up)

I haven’t been exactly sure what’s going on here lately. I’ve been through some reading slumps and revivals and slumps again, and I think the same is true of my blogging. But in the past couple months, a lot of really great books have come through for me.   The Vegetarian, by Han Kang Five…

Top Books of 2016 So Far

It’s June, so it feels like we’re halfway through the year, but also it’s only the beginning of June, so really only five months have passed. If this post is any indication, I am going to have a hard time narrowing down my “best of” lists when January 2017 rolls around. Despite my falling into…

It’s Time For More Women of Color in Comic Book Movies — PANELS

It’s official: we’re all mad for Black Panther. You could argue, if you wanted, that people’s enormous reaction to Black Panther’s inclusion in Captain America: Civil War indicates just how thirsty fans are for representation in comics and related media. And even as we celebrate an awesome showing of an awesome character in a huge…

This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

Four stars, read in May 2015. This reminded me of The Way, Way Back—obviously because of the setting, but also the age of the main character, that time in adolescence that’s so rough because you’re trying to figure out what’s going on around you and how you’re supposed to relate to it. It was so…

Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson

Five stars, read in September 2015. I didn’t know anything about Noelle Stevenson before I picked up Nimona, but I was intrigued by the lovely cover. It was outstanding, getting much darker than I expected it to, and also way more awesome. The protagonists are supervillains, the antagonists are heroes, and at times you question whether either group…

Comics Round-Up

This past weekend was a long one for me, and I spent two of the three days off work putting a sizable dent in my graphic novel TBR stack (with mostly excellent results). Beautiful Darkness, by Fabien Vehlmann and  Kerascoët : four stars. This book basically just revels in how horrible people are. The characters aren’t particularly…

The Plain Janes, by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

Three stars, read in December 2015. A middle grade graphic novel about a group of girls who form a “secret art gang,” sneaking out at night to create works of art in public spaces all around their city.  This was disappointing because the premise is awesome, but the delivery is so cliche it’s almost—but not—a…

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman, Vol. 1, by Gail Simone

Three stars, read in September 2015. I did not realize, and ended up loving, that this was an anthology, each comic produced by a different team. Only one was terrible: “No Chains Can Hold Her,” in which Supergirl and Mary Marvel feature, which is cool, but (1) I truly hate the Golden Age illustration style, (2)…

The Beats: A Graphic History, by Paul Buhle

Four stars, read in August 2015. I read On the Road five years ago, my first foray into the collective oeuvre of the Beat Generation. It wasn’t a huge success. But I’ve always had it in my head that I want to explore their work more, and I’m really into graphic biographies right now, so…

The Color of Earth, by Kim Dong Hwa

Three stars for the series, but five stars for the first book alone. Read in September 2013. There was quite a bit of buildup for this book before I was finally able to read it. I lived in Utah at the time, and I’d been hearing a lot about it in connection with Banned Books…

The Wicked + The Divine, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

Four stars, first volume read in August 2015. I couldn’t believe it when I realized that the volume I read first was actually volume two. It happened to work out very well—it didn’t take me long to figure out what was happening, so even though I was obviously coming into a story in progress, I thought…