Category: discussion


I’m late, it’s tomorrow already! Sorry everyone. Though I suppose it’s a good thing I’m reviewing the comic for a blast from the past. This is, again, a book that I received through NetGalley for review. Enjoy!

The Flintstones Vol 1 Cover

Meet the Flintstones, they’re the modern stone age family. You’re familiar with them. We all are. So let’s go back to Bedrock and see what a modern look at a stone age family looks like.

The Flintstones is something of a slice of life comic centering on, of course, the Flintstone family as well as the Rubbles and Bedrock itself. It’s anachronistic in a way that feels totally true to the old cartoon, while also turning a sharp eye on modern life, and also being a ton of fun. It also goes back to the cartoon’s sitcom roots, being aimed at an older audience. It feels weirdly subversive to see the concept for an old show turned to, more or less, current concerns. I like that quite a bit.

It’s also interesting to see what Mark Russell did with the characters. Fred and Wilma are more communicative, which is awesome in so many ways. The club Fred and Barney belonged to in the cartoon is a veterans’ society now, which ties into just how bedrock came about. Pebbles and Bam Bam are probably the most changed, being teenagers here rather than babies. They often provide a B-plot that reflects the main story in miniature. That’s more than kind of cool. I do sort of wish we’d seen more of Betty. Since she’s Wilma’s friend rather than Fred’s and most of Wilma’s screen time is with her husband, Betty gets pretty left out. I feel like I want the next book to focus more on Betty and Wilma, I want to see more of what’s going on with them especially after the response to Wilma’s art at the museum.

On to the art! Steve Pugh does a really cool job here. Characters from the original are, for the most part, immediately recognizable while also having dropped a lot of the cartoonyness from before. The random background characters have distinct looks. The coloring, done by Chris Chuckry, is vibrant and conveys mood well. My only issue with the art at all is that it does tend to combine massive beefy dudes with comparatively small women.  That honestly feels like it could be a throwback though given that the main characters are fairly set design wise and, as the comic goes, we get more body diversity in the background characters.

So, final thoughts. When I first saw that this was going to be a thing months ago I didn’t expect it to be much, mostly due to cherry picked panels and not really knowing what to expect beyond the old cartoon. I’m more than pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. The writing is solid, the art is good, and while it can be serious there’s always a thread of humor. I like the anachronistic stuff, especially all the little background stuff like store names, it fits and it feels like The Flintstones. So that’s a five out of five from me.

I’m something approaching  early this week. I wanted to get this posted the day it came out instead of  waiting until tomorrow. I also wanted to do something to apologize for being so late last week, so I’m posting a review tomorrow as well. Bringing this to you thanks to NetGalley, here’s a review of DC Universe Rebirth: Batgirl volume 1: Beyond Burnside. Enjoy!

Batgirl vol 1 Beyond Burnside cover

Batgirl is on vacation, and Barbara Gordon is headed to Okinawa in hopes of interviewing Chiyo Yamashiro, the Fruit Bat, a vigilante from the 30’s. Even on vacation Barbara manages to find trouble in the form of her childhood friend Kai and the three “students” hunting him down. Can she figure out what Kai’s gotten himself into and how to save him or will Batgirl flunk out?

I feel very out of my depth reviewing this. It’s been since Gail Simone left the Book that I’ve read a Batgirl comic and I’ve missed a lot. That said, while there’s some thing’s I’m not a huge fan of, I find myself really liking this iteration of Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl. Hope Larson does a good job with the characters and a more than reasonably good job with the story.

Let’s actually start with that. What makes this Batgirl different than what I’m used to? She feels a lot younger for one, that’s one of those things I’m not real big on, but it also lends a lighter feel to the comic so it balances out. She’s apparently running her own company as well, a company that makes enough that she can travel around the world pretty easily, so that’s something I’m curious about. I’m also interested in what’s going on in Burnside, which seems to be Batgirl’s Bludhaven, her Gotham in a way. So a lot of that actually makes for a really good jumping on point. The character is familiar enough not to alienate a reader who’s either lapsed or someone who knows her from something else, but also fresh enough to feel new.

The flipside is that the arc that Beyond Burnside covers is very standard Batfamily stuff. The new old friend, Kai, just happens to be Barbara’s roommate at the first place she stays. He gets attacked while they’re out seeing a festival and meeting Fruit Bat, thus introducing our villain. Necessary coincidences happen as required. It’s a good building point, and I’m curious about some of the characters, but it does feel like a safe introduction kind of story. This being the first arc for the DC Universe Rebirth for Batgirl, that’s not a bad thing just very safe.

I’m not familiar with Rafael Albuquerque’s art. It’s not my favorite thing, and I do feel like it’s one of the weaker parts of the book. This is mostly due to the lack of backgrounds throughout the book. Having a single solid color backing the panel can be a great way to reinforce the emotion of a scene, if used sparingly. I feel like it’s overused here, which makes it lose its effectiveness and just feels a little off. Albuquerque’s faces can be fantastically emotive, though they can also slip into something just slightly off, something about the angling in some of the close-ups or just going a little too far with an expression.

I enjoyed this a good deal, it was fun, it did the job of introducing the world at large to keep my interest past this arc, and the one-shot story at the end was a good way to tie up loose ends and cool down from the arc. Batgirl Volume 1: Beyond Burnside gets a four out of five from me, it would have been a five if not for the few issues with the art.

Postponement

Hey all. I’m going to be late with my review this week, it is still coming but it’s not going to drop until Friday or Saturday. It’s just kind of been a week and if I finished it now I’d be necessarily rough on the book and I don’t want to do that.

So that’s the bad news, the good news is that I’ve got some really cool books lined up for review in the next couple months. That’s more than kind of exciting, I think. I’m also going to be trying to post more, I’ve gone slack on that again.

You may get innundated with stuff about my garden in a couple weeks. I’ve restarted the beans and have some tomato and basil seeds going. Really looking forward to that.

But, yeah, I’ll have things to say in a couple days. See you all then.

Words and Such

I’m going to run out of titles like that at some point and have to get creative.

So, I missed last week’s review. That wasn’t on purpose, I just sort of had a rough week and fell off existence. Can’t say it won’t happen again, so I’m not even gonna try. I am working on a short run fix for it though, so there’s that.

Got some really cool reviews coming up. Some stuff that I’m behind on, some stuff that’s current, and some comics like I’ve been mentioning for years.

Beyond that, I don’t really have much to say. I’m tempted to run my mouth off about the stuff that’s coming up, but that would spoil the fun a bit. At some point I know I want to finish up the Kitty Norville series, but that’s a little ways off and I’d need to reread the penultimate book. I also want to do some structured stuff on tropes and writing habits that bug me, why they do, and what might work instead. Not sure how I’d have that labeled or how it would work in the long run.

Just general me throwing stuff at the walls.

Admitting a Thing

Sometimes I hate my writing. It feels repetitive and clunky and always always always like I’m using the wrong words to get my point across. I’ll get lost in trying to make a point without spoiling things or being aggressively negative, and then reread it and feel like I’m saying nothing. Sometimes I feel like I’m stalling out and the words scatter, or I get it in my head that I’m not a very interesting writer and I want to give up.

Sometimes I hate my writing, and that extends to the fictional stuff too. I’ll look at my dialogue and feel like it’s too stilted and faux formal. My action scenes fall flat. Sometimes it just feels like I’ve spent so much time with it on the back burner that it’s congealed and will never work quite right.

Sometimes I don’t hate my writing though. Those times are getting fewer and farther between lately, which sucks massively. But they still exist. Sometimes it feels like I might can make this whole thing work out and actually get somewhere with it. Sometimes I can even hold onto that when I hate my writing. I can hold it up to myself.

Sometimes I get tired of doubting myself and have to vomit words into the void. It’s a little weird like that, telling no one and everyone this one tiny huge secret so I can go back to calling myself the best thing ever.

I’m starting to sound like a pop song here. Someone set this to the four chords, let’s see what happens.

So I Fell Off the World

Being gone since the first has not been intentional, as you all may have guessed. I’ve fallen into something of a weird place with reading where I’ve read several books and loads and loads of fanfic, and then just haven’t gotten around to wording about it. At least, I haven’t gotten around to wording about it online. I’m rather certain my roommates are tired of hearing about how fantastic that one fic is or how that novella could have done so much better if.

I’m going to work on fixing that, so you can all share in their torment.

Add on to that, I feel like I want to do a break down of the Fear Street Saga trilogy some time. Not another review mind, that would be a bit odd, just another going over going deeper into some of the issues I had with the books. Sort of a “I mentioned this but” thing.

Also, the Arcanium Unbounded review is still coming. So’s Christmas, but hey. My goal is to have that up within the week, so if I’m gone for another twenty days that’s what’s up.

Happy New Year

And after being gone for some time, I return to both my home and blogging. I’m hoping everyone has had a happy holidays, I certainly did. Family was great, haunts calmed down a bit, tiny monster was cuddly, general things. But now it’s a new year and time for new things and getting back on track.

This shouldn’t be much of a problem and, if it is, I will make it not much of a problem. Arcanum Unbounded is being enjoyable so far, I didn’t get as far into it as I would have liked but there you go.

There’s not a lot coming up soon beyond reviews, so if anyone has a suggestion I’m up for rambling about other forms of storytelling. There’s actually a couple posts I kind of want to write, but that I’m worried feel like retreading too much. Those may go up if I can find a way to write them that works for me for the blog. It’s mostly more about the Fear Street Saga and the short cuts used in service to the plot there and also more about Tracer’s girlfriend Emily and my feelings on her and how she could fit into the world for Overwatch. That second one’s going to have a fair amount to do with other fandoms I’ve been a part of in the past and fan reaction kind of stuff. I think it could be interesting but, my massive bias aside, I’m trying to patch together my whats and whys without just posting a plot skeleton for my own fanfic kinda deal.

So, yeah, if you want to see me ramble about stuff that isn’t directly books more or if you just want me to get back to reviewing already, let me know in the comments.

Something About a Girl

So, yesterday’s new Overwatch comic, Reflections, revealed that the series mascot Tracer is in a relationship with another woman. This is huge for a number of reasons, mostly related to how big the game is and that she is one of the more popular characters in it, but also because of how it was presented. Spoilers?

I’m kind of stalling on things to say here because a ton has already been said about this, but the big thing is that the comic itself doesn’t make a huge deal of it’s reveal. Tracer gets home, talks to someone off screen, oh hey off screen person is a girl. Then there’s a minor misunderstanding that turns out for the best, because plot contrivance, and they kiss. It’s a small moment in the comic, a series of them actually, but it makes a pretty massive impact because of what it is. And I think that’s the big thing here, Tracer being gay isn’t treated as an out of nowhere thing that shocks everyone in world, it’s a small moment at home and then on to the rest of the comic. Plus, since Emily seems pretty comfortable around Winston, the series resident PHD. gorilla, we can assume that this isn’t a new thing to anyone. Which is good.

Blizard has been teasing LGBT characters since forever, which takes a little omph out of it, but it’s also really good to see them not only making good on that but doing it in such a big way. I’ve got to repeat, Tracer is the face of Overwatch, the mascot, she’s been around since the announcement trailer. She’s the last character I would have expected, while also being one of the ones I really hoped for.

I am really hoping they do more with Emily as a character, preferably either making her playable some time down the road or having her show up a bit more in the lore. It’s nice that she exists, but I’m a little worried about what happens once the initial rush of excitement fades. Which makes this one of those places where I’m trying to put my pop culture expectations aside and just be happy about the reveal. Because when one of my co-workers told me about it, I about floated through the rest of my shift.

So, as the pun goes. Cheers love, the Calvary’s queer!

Radio Silence is Golden

Right, so as of today I am down to one job and getting stuff ready for the holidays. That means I should be able to end my mini pause and actually start posting again. That’s not going to mean much just now, I haven’t really gotten a chance to read anything in the last three or so weeks, but it means I can start going again.

General stuff, the next actual review is going to be Arcanum Unbounded, which should be awesome. The cat’s been loud and clingy because I’m back and she missed me, it is both cute and sad. Also, the house spooks keep stealing one of the roommate’s sodas, it’s weird but hey, these things happen.

As always, feel free to comment on, pretty well whatever this time, maybe books you’re excited for in the coming year.

A Thing and An Apology

So, hey, I’m behind on reviews again and it’s looking like it’s going to stay that way for the next couple weeks. I got a second job, so all my time has been work or sleep. I’ve been pretty dead on all my spare time stuff, but I figured I could at least write this so you guys would know what was up and that I hadn’t just blinked away on you.

If I get the chance, I’m going to write up a couple of the comic book reviews I’d mentioned a while back. It’s not a full on thing, but it’s something that I could put up to fill the empty space. Then, if it’s a thing that’s enjoyed, I could keep doing those every now and then.

Sorry everyone.