Comics Roundup #67: A Love of Books and Food

Although I don’t want to jinx myself, I’m celebrating a little because it seems that my blogging slump is lifting. Here I am again with another batch of reviews! This time, I have two mangas and a graphic novel that are all light, humorous, sometimes silly reads.


Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-San, Vol. 2 by Honda (illus.), transl. from the Japanese by Amanda Haley

Genre

Contemporary; Humor

Series

Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-San

Pubbed

2016

From Goodreads

Whether it’s foreigners asking for “JAPANESE EROTIC MANGA,” navigating the tricky government definition of “morally harmful material,” or helping a customer who’s awfully “criminally organized,” there’s rarely a dull moment for Honda-san. The true stories of a Japanese bookstore employee can be stranger than fiction! (Goodreads)

My thoughts

I’ve decided to continue with the second volume of this humorous manga series. The series seems to be semi-autobiographical and is about the experiences of an employee at a Japanese bookstore. The bookstore’s name isn’t mentioned, and all the employees are drawn wearing a mask. The protagonist (the author, Honda) wears a skull-face mask. In addition to focusing on Honda’s experiences working in the bookstore and interacting with a variety of customers and professionals in the Japanese book publishing industry, this volume also touches a bit more on Honda’s job as a manga artist.

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Comics Roundup #66: Three Dark Comics

I’ve been battling a blogging slump since the beginning of this year and it recently became worse, so my posting hasn’t been consistent lately, and I’m behind on many reviews. Actually, the comics I’m discussing in this post were read way earlier this year, in March and April. So, due to those factors, my thoughts on them might not be as detailed as usual.


Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy: The Fair Lady, the Frost, and the Fiend by Mirka Andolfo (illus.), transl. from the Italian by Arancia Studio

Genre

Horror

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2020

From Goodreads

The story is set in a small town in Washington state during the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 19th century. The Swanson family controls the town and seems to run everything, even the brothels. In the prologue, the Swansons seem to have found a portal in one of the gold mines through which monsters can enter. These monsters can take on human form, and some of them are already in the world — a group of Native Americans hunt them.

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Comics Roundup #65: Romance Comics — Moonstruck, Virtually Yours, Bingo Love

My catching up on reviews continues with these three comics I read that all focus on romance. All three are diverse, inclusive reads that focus on characters of different age groups.

Moonstruck is fantasy but focuses on characters in college and seems geared toward a YA audience. However, I’d argue that it could be recommended to older middle grade readers as well. Virtually Yours is contemporary and focuses on characters who’ve recently graduated from college and are beginning adult life; it seems geared toward older YA and new adult audiences. And Bingo Love is also contemporary but focuses on older adults and is geared toward audiences that are YA and older. All were pretty good reads.


Moonstruck, Vol. 3: Troubled Waters by Grace Ellis, illus. by Shae Beagle and Claudia Aguirre

Genre

YA Fantasy; YA Romance

Series

Moonstruck

Pubbed

2020

Quick summary

Moonstruck is a fantasy graphic novel series that takes place in the supernatural college town of Blitheton and focuses on Julie, a girl struggling to accept that she’s a werewolf. In this volume, spring has arrived, which means it’s time for the annual mermaid festival, the Unfreezing Festival. Julie usually attends the festival with her best friend Chet (a centaur), but this year Chet and their partner Manuel are attending a NewPals (like Neopets) internship, so Julie will instead attend the festival with her girlfriend, Selena, and Selena’s best friend, Skyla, a mermaid.

As usual, Julie feels awkward and anxious, which is increased when she receives an ominous warning from her prophetic friend Cassie saying she must break up with Selena and when she realizes she has attracted the attention of a strange Finstagram influencer called Kit. So again, lots of shenanigans happen, Julie and Selena argue, and nothing goes according to plan — including the NewPals internship. (Goodreads)

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Last Couple Books Read in 2021

It’s been a while since I’ve done a review, and whenever this happens, I feel as if I’ve forgotten how to write them. That’s how I feel now. It’s partly due to not having written one in a while and also having forgotten some details about the books I read. But, since my plan with this blog is to chat about every book I read, I’d like to post something about the books I read during the last months of 2021.

Those last months were a very busy, very stressful time for me, which is why I’ve delayed chatting about the books until now. Things got so overwhelming that I didn’t blog as much as I usually did and had a bout of reading slumpiness that lasted until… a few weeks ago. It was probably my longest reading slump. But now that I really feel back to my old self, I’d like to catch up on the MANY blogging and reading things I wanted to do since the slump hit — starting with these reviews.

I read all of these back in September last year, so I’ve forgotten much.


Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Genre

MG Fantasy

Series

Keeper of the Lost Cities, book 1

Pubbed

2012

Quick summary

In this middle grade fantasy, we meet Sophie Foster, a 12-year-old, telepathic girl who is often treated as an outcast — even by her own family. However, one day she sees a boy with very interesting blue eyes at the museum and he helps her to realize that she does not belong in the human world. He tells her that she’s an elf and must leave her family to protect them.

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Comics Roundup #64: “Assassin Nation, Vol. 1”

I’m still catching up on discussing books I read in the late summer/early fall months, especially for the Magical Readathon. So, here’s another comic book I read way back then.


Assassin Nation, Vol. 1: Number One With a Bullet by Kyle Starks, illus. by Erica Henderson

Genre

Thriller; Humor

Series

Assassin Nation

Pubbed

2019

From Goodreads

The World’s Former Greatest Hitman hires the 20 best assassins in the world to be his bodyguards. These mean-as-hell hired guns and murderers must work together to keep the new crime boss safe, survive, and also attempt to solve the mystery of who’s trying to off him! (Goodreads)


My thoughts

Assassin Nation is an action comic book about a dude who was once one of the best hitmen in the world hiring the 20 best assassins to serve as his bodyguard because someone’s targeting him.

I read the first issue last year and thought it was okay. I wasn’t really intending to continue with it, but my curiosity got the best of me. I wanted to see how the first volume would pan out, so I borrowed it from the library when I saw it available.

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Comics Roundup #63: “Park Bench”

When I started reading this, I was pretty sure I’d read it before or had seen parts of it on the internet. My memory felt foggy, but I had such a strong feeling that a friend had sent a link to the full thing on the internet years ago and I’d seen most of it.

Whether or not I did, I’m glad that I now own a copy of the book and enjoyed my time with it when I read it for the Magical Readathon.


Park Bench by Christophe Chabouté (illus.), transl. from the French by Jonathan Cape

Genre

Contemporary

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2012

From Goodreads

With his masterful illustration style, bestselling French creator-storyteller Chabouté (Alone, Moby-Dick) explores community through a common, often ignored object: the park bench.

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Comics Roundup #62: “DCeased”

I actually began a review for this several weeks ago, but I managed to misplace it. Now I can’t remember if I began the review on a notecard or on my laptop, so it’s lost forever until I don’t need it, which is when it will magically reappear as if it hadn’t vanished.

I’ve realized after running a book blog for several years now that sometimes I tend to judge a book a bit harder than I need to. I don’t know if it’s due to writing reviews over the years or from rating books or interacting with the bookish community, but sometimes I’m harder on the book, I think, because I didn’t get much else from it but pure enjoyment. But what’s wrong with loving a book simply because I enjoyed it and nothing more?

That was my experience with DCeased. I gave it a high rating after completing it because I rate books more on enjoyment than anything else, but it took a while for me to admit that it’s a favorite because all I got from it was enjoyment. I delayed adding DCeased there thinking I should have gotten more from the story. Now I think that was silly of me. There’s nothing wrong with adding a book to your favorites list simply because it was entertaining. Everyone has their own criteria for adding a book to their favorites list, but for me simply enjoying a book is reason enough. I guess I was put off because DCeased was an easy add for me. Afterall, zombies + superheroes = Zezee loves it! 😀

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Comics Roundup #61: Conspiracy of Ravens

It’s the cover that got me. I was tempted to purchase a copy at first, but instead I did the financially responsible thing and borrowed it from my library. So, yes, I’m quite proud of myself at the moment.


Conspiracy of Ravens by Leah Moore & John Reppion, illus. by Sally Jane Thompson

Genre

YA Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2018

From Goodreads

Teen schoolgirl Anne unexpectedly inherits a mysterious locket and a crumbing English mansion estate from her long-lost aunt. She unearths the family secret that she’s part of a magical legacy that gives her fantastic abilities, and she isn’t the only girl whose family is involved. But not all the girls are so willing to use their new powers for good…

From the writers of Albion and Wild Girl and the artist of Atomic Sheep comes this original graphic novel perfect for tween, teen, and adult fans of fantasy and superheroes alike! (Goodreads)

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Comics Roundup #60: Fables, Vol. 1

This comic book has sat on my shelves unread for 4 years now, and I feel a fool for having done so. The sellers at the comic bookshop I frequent highly recommended it to me, and I bought it assuming it would be like the fairytale TV show, Once Upon a Time. But I was hesitant to start it thinking I wouldn’t like it since I wasn’t feeling the cover or the illustrations within, so imagine my surprise when I was blown away by this volume and had to immediately run to the store to grab the second one.

(And that’s why I shouldn’t judge books by their covers, lol!)


Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham, illus. by Lan Medina with inks by Steve Leialoha & Craig Hamilton and colors by Sherilyn van Valkenburgh

Genre

Fantasy

Series

Fables

Pubbed

2002

From Goodreads

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the “mundys,” their name for normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society that they call Fabletown. From their exclusive luxury apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, these creatures of legend must fight for their survival in the new world.

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Comics Roundup #59: The Wizard’s Tale

Ah ha! Another one I read way back in May for Wyrd & Wonder. (I’ll keep saying this for some time since I’m just now catching up on reviews and am quite proud of myself.) I borrowed it off my library’s Libby app thinking it was a children’s picture book. It’s a middle grade graphic novel.


The Wizard’s Tale by Kurt Busiek, illus. by David T. Wenzel

Genre

MG Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

1997

From Goodreads

A magical story of redemption, The Wizard’s Tale follows the aged Bafflerog Rumplewhisker and his young companion, Muddle, the woodcutter’s son, as they embark on a quest to retrieve the magical Book of Worse — a tome that will ensure the land of Ever-Night remains as it is, a dark and gloomy realm of evil. But old Rumplewhisker’s heart slowly warms on their journey, and a chance to restore a semblance of goodness to Ever-Night is possible — if he and his young charge can dare face the challenges ahead. (Goodreads)

My thoughts

The Wizard’s Tale was such a charming read. It’s about a wizard who’s failing at being an evil wizard. Old Bafflerog Rumplewhisker is descended from a long line of evil wizards but is the last of his line and lives in his family’s castle with his whimsical, fey-like companions and a toad called Gumpwort. Tasked with finding the Book of Worse, a tome to ensure the land of Ever-Night remains mired in darkness, Rumplewhisker sets off on a quest with the woodcutter’s son, Muddle, to travel through time and space to unexpected lands to locate the book and, possibly, love.

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