Comics Roundup #56: Wizard Beach & Moonstruck, Vol. 2

For this batch of comic book reviews, I’ll chat about two fantasy comics, one for the middle grade crowd and one for YA readers. Both were silly, fun reads that I enjoyed and liked the art.

I read both for Wyrd & Wonder in May.


Wizard Beach by Shaun Simon, illus. by Conor Nolan with colors by Meg Casey

Genre

MG Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2019

From Goodreads

What do wizards and witches do when they need a break from the cold, ice-capped mountains of their homeland? They go to the beach, of course!

When Hexley Daggard Ragbottom, a high-strung young wizard, wants to put an end to the frost of dark forests he calls home, he seeks out his Uncle Salazar the greatest wizard of all time. But Uncle “Sally” has abandoned his old life for one of leisure, surfing and napping. Sally’s permanent vacation doesn’t sit well with Hexley, but maybe the young wizard is on the wrong mission. Maybe what “Hex” really needs is to learn how to chill out. (Goodreads)

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Comics Roundup #55: 1602 — Angela and Marvel

I know nothing about the superhero stories, so I didn’t realize Angela was from the Marvel superhero universe when I got this. I picked up 1602: Witch Hunter Angela purely because of the cover, and the title — I like stories about witches. It wasn’t until I started reading the bonus story — Marvel 1602, #1 by Neil Gaiman — included in this volume that I realize it’s about superheroes but set back in the early 1600s.


1602: Witch Hunter Angela by Marguerite Bennett & Kieron Gillen, illus. by Stephanie Hans with additional artwork by Marguerite Sauvage, Irene Koh & Jordie Bellaire, Frazer Irving, and Kody Chamberlain & Lee Loughridge

Genre

Historical Fiction; Fantasy

Series

Marvel 1602

Pubbed

2016

From Goodreads

In the altered realms of Battleworld, Angela and Sera are Witch Hunters, the scourges of King James’ England, 1602. In a land beset by magic and monstrosity, they seek a new and seductive evil-not witchbreed, but deal-making Faustians, who bargain with ancient creatures for unnatural power! Moral ambiguity? Fancy allusions? Marguerite making the most of that English degree?

Collecting: 1602: Witch Hunter, Angela 1-4, 1602 (Goodreads)

My thoughts

I had to read this one twice, which I usually do with comics to refresh my memory before reviewing them but with this one, I had to do a double read because I didn’t get the story my first time through. The plot was too episodic, and I couldn’t tell how Angela and her companion, Serah, were able to quickly identify the Faustians. And although I liked some of the mini-stories interjected throughout, they didn’t help to ease my confusion about the main plot.

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Wyrd & Wonder Wrap-Up & Bingo | 2021

Wyrd & Wonder this year was a surprising success for me. I read more than I expected and, although I didn’t post as much as I expected, I did pretty well considering how unprepared I was.

W&W Plans

I hit all my W&W goals:

✓ Read mostly fantasy.

— Apart from a thriller novel I completed early in May, all my reads were intended to be fantasy reads, although there was one that leans more into horror and another that I didn’t realize was religion but I count it anyway since I picked it up intending to read it for W&W.

✓ Publish mostly fantasy-related posts.

— Apart from a review or two that weren’t for fantasy novels, I’ve managed to pull off posting 95% fantasy-related posts.

✓ Do the W&W challenges.

— I’m so happy I found a way to do this that works for me. I sometimes did the challenges on Instagram, but I knew there would be times that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. Wyrd & Wonder Wednesdays helped me to resolve this; I made the challenge into mini tags. 😊

✓ Host a giveaway.

— I managed to do this as well! And I’m so happy so many folks signed up for it. I will reach out to the winner this week. (The winner will have up to 2 days to respond before I choose someone else. I will announce the winner on here on June 7.)

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“Dragon Wing” by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

A book with dragons! 😊 Since completing Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series, Emily at Embuhleeliest (my buddy-reader in all things Hobb) and I have been searching for a long, chunky fantasy series to get stuck in. Dragon Wing was the first book we decided to try in our search for a new series to read. But although it started out pretty good, it fell flat for me toward the end.

Genre

Fantasy

Series

Death Gate Cycle, book 1

Pubbed

1990

From Goodreads

Ages ago, sorcerers of unmatched power sundered a world into four realms — sky, stone, fire, and water — then vanished. Over time, magicians learned to work spells only in their own realms and forgot the others. Now only the few who have survived the Labyrinth and crossed the Death Gate know of the presence of all four realms — and even they have yet to unravel the mysteries of their severed world…

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“The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry” by C.M. Waggoner

I’m here shaking my head at myself because I read this back in early April and am just now getting around to the review — a whole one month later. I keep procrastinating on the books I enjoyed reading the most. I feel like I won’t be able to do the book justice to let y’all know how awesome they were and that, yes, you really should get a copy and read it too!

I buddy-read The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry with Millie at Milliebot Reads. We had read Waggoner’s debut novel Unnatural Magic together and enjoyed it (and loved the cover) so much that we were eager to pick up the second book together too. It turned out to be a really good read (with a beautiful cover) as well.

Genre

Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

January 2021

From Goodreads

A charming historical fantasy with a tender love story at its core, from the author of Unnatural Magic.

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Wyrd & Wonder Is Coming | Here’s My TBR

Wyrd & Wonder is possibly my favorite reading event in the year. I’m SO excited to be participating in it again this year, and hopefully this time I’ll really put a dent in my physical fantasy TBR.

What is Wyrd & Wonder?

It’s a relaxed monthlong celebration in May of all things fantasy that’s hosted by the Wyrd & Wonder crew: Imyril, Lisa, and Jorie.

There is no deadline for signing up; however, if you do so and make a post before May 7, you’ll be entered into a giveaway. Participants can participate in any way they choose: read only fantasy books or only fantasy comics, watch fantasy shows, post about fantasy-related stuff, play only fantasy games… whatever you like. However you choose to participate is totally up to you, and you can include links to your post in the master schedule or just check it out to see what others plan to post.

For more details about the event, check out the following links:

Wyrd and Wonder Is Back
(intro. to the event and contains banners, necessary links, and info. on the giveaway)
Wyrd and Wonder Challenge 2021
(contains challenge prompts, which you can post wherever and however you like)
Wyrd and Wonder: Read-along
(info. on the group-read book: The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart)
Wyrd and Wonder
(Twitter profile)

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Comics Roundup #52: Lady S & Dragon Age

I’ll be a very happy reader if I manage to read at least two comics or graphic novels each month. Having read two in January makes me hopeful for how the rest of the year might go. I picked up the first volumes of Lady S. and Dragon Age, both of which I read electronically.

Although I love reading physical copies of comics, I’m getting used to the electronic versions. I just love how the lighting on my iPad causes the colors of the illustrations to pop. I also like the guided reading option available in the Comixology app, which enables you to read from panel to panel by zooming in on them. When I do that, I notice details I would have otherwise missed when reading from the full-page view. It’s highly possible that I might read more comics electronically, but I’ll continue collecting physical copies.


Lady S., Vol. 1: Here’s to Suzie by Jean Van Hamme, illus. by Philippe Aymond, transl. from the French by Jerome Saincantin

Genre

Mystery; Political Thriller

Series

Lady S

Pubbed

2004

Goodreads summary

Adopted daughter and principal collaborator of roving ambassador James Fitzroy, special correspondent for the American Secretary of State in Europe, Susan is a clever, multilingual young woman, in full bloom and perfectly happy in the eyes of an attentive father. But this too-perfect happiness hides many faults, sorrows and mysteries. Trapped by her past, Susan will have to play her most dangerous role in a life already rich with adventure: Lady S., high-class spy in a diplomatic environment. (Goodreads)

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“The Conductors” by Nicole Glover

I was eager to read this when I first heard of it, so I requested a copy through NetGalley. Much thanks to the publisher (John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books) for granting me access to the e-ARC.

Although I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, it does not influence the thoughts and opinions I share about my reading experience below.

Genre

Historical Fiction; Fantasy; Mystery

Series

Murder and Magic, book 1

Pub

March 2, 2021

Quick Summary

I was eager to read this because whenever I heard of it, I thought of it as historical fantasy about the Underground Railroad. But although it touches on slavery and the experiences characters endured to escape slavery and help others do so, the majority of the story takes place post-Civil War, shortly after slavery was abolished in the U.S.

The story centers on Hetty and Benjy, a married couple living in Philadelphia who people in their community turn to when situations are dire, mostly when someone goes missing or turns up dead. The city’s police is only concerned with White folks’ problems, so Hetty and Benjy serve as detectives for the Black people in their community.

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“Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow” by Jessica Townsend

There are so many delightful moments in this book, and that’s what kept my interest and kept me reading. What next silly, entertaining thing will I read next, I wondered. With all that went on in 2020, this was just what I needed toward the end of the year — something light-hearted. Of course, there were some serious moments in the book since the story touches on something similar to what everyone in the world is currently struggling with — a pandemic.

Genre

MG Fantasy

Series

Nevermoor, book 3

Pubbed

September 2020

Goodreads summary

Morrigan Crow and her friends have survived their first year as proud scholars of the elite Wundrous Society, helped bring down the nefarious Ghastly Market, and proven themselves loyal to Unit 919. Now Morrigan faces a new, exciting challenge: to master the mysterious Wretched Arts of the Accomplished Wundersmith, and control the power that threatens to consume her.

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Comics Roundup #48: “An Embarrassment of Witches”

Sometimes I go on my library’s Libby app just to browse what they have in their online collection. I was doing that one night when I stubbled upon An Embarrassment of Witches by Sophie Goldstein & Jenn Jordan. It’s a YA fantasy graphic novel about two young women navigating life after college and their changing friendship.

An Embarrassment of Witches by Sophie Goldstein (illus.) & Jenn Jordan

Genre

YA Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2020

Goodreads summary

Life after college isn’t turning out exactly as Rory and Angela had planned. Rory, recently dumped at the gate of her flight to Australia, needs to find a new life path ASAP. What do you do with a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Southeast Asian Spellcraft? Maybe her cute new housemate Guy is the answer she’s looking for (spoiler alert: he isn’t).

Continue reading “Comics Roundup #48: “An Embarrassment of Witches””