August 30, 2016

Current creative projects

I've been working on a couple of things lately. First up, I decided to make some new inserts for my #travelersnotebook. I'm planning on using these for my #useupyourstash project.

My plan is to try various art journaling techniques in these journals while only using supplies currently in my stash.

Keeping with that theme, I pulled out a glue gun and tried my hand at making some glue stencils. Easy, fun, and addictive.

August 29, 2016

Recent Reads

126. Pablo: Art Masters Series
I have yet to read a Picasso biography and thought this graphic biography might be a good place to start. I was mistaken. There were lots of people coming and going, and since I did not know many of them, it made for a rather confusing read. I gather this is also a collected edition, which might explain some of the choppiness of the reading experience.

I was expecting a biography of his entire life and work, but this one is rather narrow in scope, and is restricted to the first several years as an artist in Paris. There is all the usual artistic angst, and what I really liked is that this story is told by Fernande Olivier, his lover, obsession and muse for the years they were together. The woman behind the man and his paintings in an interesting angle. I really liked the art and the mood evoked by the color palette used. The story does capture the excitement of Paris in that time period really well. I clearly need to move a biography of the man, and maybe the memoir of Fernande up my TBR pile. Rating: 2 stars.

127. Ballpoint Art Pack: Cool Techniques and Creative Explorations for Drawing with an Everyday Pen
Creative people tend to collect supplies. If you create art, then your hoarding tendencies run toward art supplies, paints, etc. There is this strange phenomena where we often think that if we only knew what paper/pen/ink/insert your crazy here, we would also be able to create in the manner of artists we admire. In the midst of all that collecting of supplies it's easy to forget to actually create, and this wonderful little book reminds us that all you really need is a pen. A simple Bic will do. There are examples that cover various techniques, and the gallery of art is a wonderful reminder that less can be indeed be more. Rating: 4 stars.

128. Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond
I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by the author.

When we think about Pandemics, most of us think about them in a historical context, and there seems to be this strange belief that we'll be able to successfully deal with whatever pathogens come our way with the aid of the super duper drugs churned out by Big Pharma. Boy, oh boy, are we wrong.

How the topics and events in this book are not the headline news every single night is something I simply do not understand. Well, I do understand, because it is much more entertaining to hear about an escaped monkey, than to address the microbes said monkey might be spreading about on it's jaunt.

The topics covered in this book are a clear and present danger to all of us. Not those people over there, but all of us, and if we learn anything from history, it should be that microbes will find a way to become pathogens, and these in turn will find a way to spillover to humans.

I know there are other highly reviewed books out there on this subject but if, like me, you are new to really diving into these topics this is a great place to start. It is easy to read and digest, and the author makes complex subjects accessible to a layperson. This book explores not just the life cycle of pathogens and the history of pandemics, but also explores how medicine, big pharma, global travel, population numbers, habitat and environmental destruction, cultural norms, etc., all affect and contribute to the problem.

There are so many dots this book connected for me, and I learned about events that should have been major news stories that got little, if any, national coverage in the media. I found this a fascinating, educational, and terrifying read. I just picked up the ebook, and have not doubt that I will re-read it. I highly recommend this one. Rating: 5 stars.

129. Dogs and Water
This graphic novel is all about the journey, so don't even think about getting to any particular destination. It's a quick, if rather surreal, bleak, and dreamlike read. There is is guy walking down a long road with a stuffed bear strapped to his back. It's not clear where he came from, and equally unclear where he's headed. What is fascinating about this book is that the author is able to convey such a variety of emotions within this stark and lonely landscape. The simple black and white art is quite effective in evoking the right mood, and when I turned the last page I was unsure who was doing the dreaming. Rating: 2 stars.

130. The Vegetarian
Winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2016.

I listened to the audiobook which was well narrated by Janet Song and Stephen Park.

The fascinating thing about reading translated works is that the worlds you step in are at once both bizarre and familiar. This South Korean novella is setup in three parts, each with a different point of view. I cannot quite explain why this story wormed it's way into my psyche, but I could not stop listening to it.

On the surface this is a rather simple story. A woman decides to stop eating meat, in spite of the title she is technically a Vegan, and as anyone who decides to buck popular culture knows, there are huge ramifications. I love that we don't really get her point of view, but rather each of the three narrators tell us about her and how her decision ripples out in their lives. The narrators are her husband, her brother-in-law, and her sister, and from their accounts we might actually get a better understanding of the situation than if we had simply heard from the vegetarian.

This little story explores really big themes quite deftly. In a sexist, patriarchal world, does a woman have agency over her life? Can she even make a decision about something as simple as what she puts in her mouth? Mental health is still a taboo subject, especially in many communities of color, and I admire the author for the way she handles it here. Once you decide to discard one social norm, does it make sense to follow any others? So much to chew on with this one.

The only reason I docked a star is because I felt the ending was rather rushed and I was left wanting more, but maybe that was intentional on the author's part. Rating: 4 stars.

August 27, 2016

Journal pages

Here are a couple more pages in my traveler's notebook. As always click images to view larger.

Are you ready for some football? This Hobonichi prompt reminded me of Green Bay Packers fans. I've been dipping in and out of the prompts. Many simply do not call to me.

How is it that I know so little about Margaret Sanger? This woman should be on stamps and currency. Created an homage page to her in the style of this graphic biography.

August 25, 2016

Cinemascope: The Forsyte Saga (Seasons 1 & 2)

Cinemascope is a regular blog post where I will share with you movies and TV shows I think are worth watching.

Released in 2002.

Plot line: Chronicles the lives of three generations of the upper-middle-class British family, the Forsytes, from the 1870s to 1920.

The Forsyte Saga, first published under that name in 1922, is a series of three novels and two interludes published between 1906 and 1921 by Nobel Prize–winning English author John Galsworthy. 

I have yet to read these books, but this PBS series is really, really good. I cannot wait to read the books. The cast is great, the opulence smothering, and the familial issues explored still relevant today.

You can see the trailer here. If you have yet to see it, this is TV worth watching.

August 23, 2016

Summer 2016 Traveler's Notebook (Video)

DIY Fabric TN that I'm using this summer.

If the embedded video does not work, click here.

Links to videos mentioned:
Fabric Journal Covers:
Easy-Peasy Journals:

August 22, 2016

Recent Reads

121. Death: The Time of Your Life
I'm a huge fan of the Sandman series, and have been intrigued by the sibling spin offs for a while, so thought I'd try this one. If I had to pick my favorite Endless sibling, after Dream, of course, it would be Death.

This graphic novel tells a story I did not expect. It is a coming out story, and while it was interesting, Death herself only makes a cameo appearance. While, we would wish that she visits us that infrequently in real life, I wanted more of her, and less of the melodrama of the coming out story. That being said, if you are in the closet and have coming out drama, or if you want to revisit those angsty days, you might like this one very much.

I, however, did not have the time of my life while reading this one. Rating: 2 stars.

122. The Golem and the Jinni
I listened to the audiobook, which is superbly narrated by George Guidall.

A golem and a jinni walk into a bar. Well, not a bar exactly, but New York city circa early 1900s.

I've been saving this book for just the right moment, after all, it is not everyday that I am in the mood for magical realism. I was pleasantly surprised that this one is more historical fiction than magical realism. There is the golem and the jinni and other magical stuff to be sure, but their story plays out against the backdrop of 1901 New York city.

The scope of this novel is wonderful. It is an immigrant story, a coming of age one, an exploration of various cultures and the clash of said cultures. History and mythology all swirl around seamlessly in this lovely tale. The author wonderfully juxtaposes the innate characteristics of a golem and a jinni against each other, and one cannot help but see all of humanity in this exploration. I was expecting the magical realism, but the philosophical musings were an unexpected delight. This is a fun and fantastical tale that really asks what it is to be human.

The only reason I docked a star is there is some repetitive stuff that could have been edited out to make this a tighter story. After finishing this I see that there will be a sequel, and I look forward to spending more time with Chava (the golem) and Ahmad (the jinni) during the Great War. Rating: 4 stars.

123. Cowboys and East Indians
"We were the wrong kind of Indians living in Wyoming."

While in college I worked in an after school program, and a five year old girl asked me if I was Spanish. When I said I was Indian, she paused, squinted her eyes, and then calmly said, " I thought all the Indians were dead."

Another flashback. When we were kids playing Cowboys and Indians in Kenya, all of us wanted to be Cowboys, because they were the good guys, besides the Indians all got killed. Sigh.

The immigrant experience tends to be unique to each immigrant, but so is the American experience. It is too easy to cast all Americans into one bucket and call it done, but the author quickly dissuades you of that notion. These stories all have an Indian at their center, the dot not feather kind, which is also the category I fall into.

I'm not a fan of the short story format, but I really liked the voice and glimpses of the American experience captured in this one. As with any collection, there are stories I loved, and others I did not, and the ones I loved have stayed me. Rating: 4 stars.

124. The Fireman
I was in the mood for a thrillery summer read, but do expect that a few brain cells will be engaged while I read said thriller. That is not the case with this one.

This post apocalyptic story has all the summer buzz this year, and it has two things going for it in my opinion: spontaneous human combustion and about 800 pages to wallow about in for a good while. You've probably heard of the premise by now, but in case you missed it, the world has gone to hell in a hand basket, and people are a flame, literally. You know you're infected when cool markings that look that tattoos start to appear on your body. Death by spontaneous combustion is right around the corner, so how is it that there is this guy who's infected but not burning to death?

On the plus side, I really liked the premise of the story, and some of the interesting plot points. The negatives however tip the scale. The characters are not fleshed out and do not develop at all over the course of the story. Given the ecological adage of move, adapt, or go extinct, the main characters should have gone extinct. After the initial setup and world building, the plot is rather ridiculous, and predictable. I'm no rocket scientist, but I knew where this was heading the entire time. I was annoyed by the magical realism touches as they were not developed enough to really belong to this genre story. The writing is rather pedestrian and simple and might have worked better if targeted at a young adult reader. I could go on and on, by why bother? The only reason this does not get a 1 star is that I actually finished it, and that is mainly because it was a really fast read despite its size.

This is the first novel I've read by the author, though I'm a fan of his graphic novel series, Locke and Key, and if you have not read it, I would highly recommend the series. He brings some of that talent to this book; so much of the dialog felt like it was a speech bubble. Ah well, I cannot love them all I suppose. Rating: 2 stars.

125. Finding Wild
The art in this children's picture book is gorgeous, and I really like the message of getting out and exploring the natural world to "find wild", however as an adult reader the text is rather underwhelming. This one is geared for the very young, and maybe it's just right for that audience, so if you've got littles in your home this one might be worth checking out. Rating: 2 stars.

August 20, 2016

Journal pages

The fun thing about reading graphic novels, is that I get exposed to a wide variety of artists and their styles. I really liked the sketchy art in this one, and decided to try and capture it in my art journal. As always, click on images to view larger.

I am finding that sketching on colored paper is both fun and challenging, and I can achieve interesting results with very few supplies.

August 18, 2016

Cinemascope: And There Were None

Cinemascope is a regular blog post where I will share with you movies and TV shows I think are worth watching.

Released in 2015.

Plot line:Ten strangers are invited to an island by a mysterious host, and start to get killed one by one. Could one of them be the killer?
And Then There Were None is a mystery novel by English writer Agatha Christie, widely considered her masterpiece and described by her as the most difficult of her books to write. This BBC One mini-series has an excellent cast, a very atmospheric setting, and does justice to Ms. Christie. A fun and suspenseful story that is all about the dialog and the plot. No special effects at all. 

You can see the trailer here. If you have yet to see it, this is TV worth watching.

August 17, 2016

Journal pages

Here are a couple of pages in my traveler's journal that are all about the Hobonichi Challenge. I do a couple prompts every so often. I clearly need to spend more time drawing sneakers. They are more complex than I imagined! As always click on images to view larger.

I always like seeing where people create, and this pic shows my desk in my newly cleaned and organized study.

The nice thing about the Hobonichi Challenge, is that the prompts give me a boost when I feel totally uninspired.

August 15, 2016

Recent Reads

116. Redemption Road
Summertime is the prefect time for fast paced thrillers, and this new one got rave reviews, so took it out for a spin. I've had this author on my TBR for a while, but this is the first book of his I've read. Color me disappointed. After about 200 pages, so about halfway through, I decided to stop wasting my time and DNF it.

I heard Helen Mirren say that the thing all humans have in common is our interest/fascination with sex and violence. TV, movies and best selling books seem to bear this out, but in my opinion there is a difference between violence that serves a purpose in story telling and gratuitous violence. This story seems to showcase the latter, but to give credit where credit is due, the violence is against both women and men. Equal opportunity violence.

The plot revolves around a young boy, a troubled female dectective, a cop recently released from prison, and a serial killer. It's set in a small town, so I'll suspend disbelief, and go along with the premise that they are all connected in the manner that unfolds. The problem is that the plot needs the violence to move it along, as there is no other anchor point into this story. The characters are not well fleshed out, their motivations are murky at best, and in a couple of instances simply mind boggling. The point of view changes from character to character, all in the third person, which does little to pull you into the story. The writing was not good enough to pull me along either, and I was bored. The reason I even got this far in the book is that it is a quick read, and I was at the halfway point in a couple of sittings. However, I could care less about these people and where they are headed, even though I think I have a pretty good idea of the grand reveal.

This was labeled as a literary thriller. I found it to be neither, but based on all the 5 star reviews, it might just be me. Rating: 1 star.

117. Shackleton's Journey
This children's illustrated book has won several awards so I was intrigued to see if it would be something my nieces and nephews would be interested in.

This is a large format book with very few pages, so is a quick read. The art is fun, and the way the author creates collections of stuff is interesting, but I did not learn anything new here, and some of the art and text is so tiny you'd need a magnifying glass to really see it. The text was rather bland, though maybe it would work for younger readers, in which case it would make a good introduction to Shackleton's adventure. I expected to find a book that would leave little readers inspired to explore, but that is not the feeling I was left with after reading this one. Rating: 2 stars.

118. Lady Susan
Book blurb: Jane Austen's earliest known serious work, Lady Susan is a short, epistolary novel that portrays a woman bent on the exercise of her own powerful mind and personality to the point of social self-destruction.

I read someplace that Ms. Austen wrote this when she was 19, and my already considerable esteem for her went up another notch. That someone so young could walk in the shoes of the much older Lady Susan is simply astounding. Austen writes wonderfully complex women characters, and this one is a fun and fast read. I quite enjoyed getting the story via various letters and from different letter writers. No one is seen as they imagine themselves to be, and the characteristic Austen wit is already fully formed in this one.

I listened to the audiobook with multiple narrators, and enjoyed the additional dimension that added to the story.

I wanted to read this one before watching the new movie, Love and Friendship. That Kate Beckinsale plays Lady Susan Vernon in the movie makes me so happy. Cannot wait to see how she inhabits that role. Rating: 4 stars.

119. Daring Adventures in Paint: Find Your Flow, Trust Your Path, and Discover Your Authentic Voice-Techniques for Painting, Sketching, and Mixed Media
This is a colorful book indeed, but the art is not really to my taste, and there is a bit too much whimsy and magic in this one. The most useful thing in this book is the two page spread at the end that outline the steps the author uses to create her art. The rest is simply filler in my opinion. Not for me. Rating: 1 star.

120. Giovanni's Room
I listened to the audiobook, which is wonderfully narrated by Dan Butler.

I have started and bailed on several recently released books lately, and whenever that happens, I reach for the classics.

I've had this novella on my TBR for ages, and cannot believe that I've waited so long to read a book by Baldwin. That this was first published in 1956 with this content is in itself a remarkable thing. What is even more remarkable is how relevant and fresh this story feels today.

This is a story about love, sexuality (gay, straight, and bi), betrayal, and guilt. The heart wants what the heart wants, but we must all live in society with others, and that places constraints on us all. There is much heartbreak in the world because of this, and the rawness and honesty of this book took my breath away. The writing is masterful, the characters fully fleshed out, the Paris setting evocative, the struggle of the human heart palpable. When I finished this one, I felt like I knew and cared about these people.

This is my first Baldwin, and I plan to read everything the man ever wrote. He is that good. Rating: 5 stars.

August 11, 2016

Cinemascope:The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Cinemascope is a regular blog post where I will share with you movies and TV shows I think are worth watching.

Released in 2015.

Plot line: In 1970s San Francisco, a precocious 15-year-old (Bel Powley) embarks on an enthusiastic sexual odyssey, beginning with her mother's current lover (Alexander SkarsgÄrd).

This coming of age story is not easy to watch, but the honesty of the telling is so dang compelling. There are lots of stories of the sexual awakenings of boys, but can you watch this one without judgement? All the while I was cringing, I could not look away. So many issues raised with this one.

This is movie is based on a graphic memoir, and I've added the book to my to be read pile.

You can see the trailer here. If you have yet to see it, this is a movie worth watching.

August 9, 2016

Journal pages

I'm going to attempt the Hobonichi Challenge this month. It's basically a prompt a day. Will see how that goes. The page below is for the first two days, and shows the art supplies I used.

I continue to play in my traveler's notebook, and am finding that my 100-Day project has started to influence my pages. So fun.

August 8, 2016

Recent Reads

111. Everything Is Teeth
This graphic memoir is so simple and yet incredibly effective. It tells the story of the author's obsession and fear of sharks as a young girl. The art is not complex, but sets the right mood for capturing the terrors of childhood. If like me you had a problem swimming after watching Jaws, then this is one for you. Beautifully and tenderly told. Rating: 4 stars.

112. Salem's Lot
I listened to the audiobook, which is superbly narrated by Ron McLarty.

If you know my reading habits, then you might know that I bookend sailing season with a King novel. He sure knows how to spin a yarn, and can evoke the claustrophobia of creepy small towns really well. I'd read this book decades ago but remembered so little of the actual plot, that I thought I'd do a re-read, something I very rarely do.

I love a good vampire story. The vampires of old, ala the Anne Rice and Bram Stoker kind. None of these "skin sparkles in sunlight" crap for moi. King does a decent job of paying homage to the genre, and it is clear, as he states in the introduction, that he was heavily influenced by Shirley Jackson and some of the "trash" he read as a kid.

While I liked this story, I did not love it as much as his other works. The build up is oh so slow, and the sheer number of characters mentioned, who add almost nothing to the story other than having their name dropped got a little tiresome after a while. It's the place and setting that pulled me along, and I enjoyed the ride well enough. Rating: 3 stars.

113. Y: The Last Man - The Deluxe Edition Book Two
This deluxe edition book two collects issues #11-23, and I liked this installment even less than the first one. Let me try to articulate why.

As I've said in my review of the first volume, just because all but one man dies, it's not as if the world stops turning. In this volume, we meet more groups of women, some of whom add absolutely nothing to the plot, other than as a means to show some barely clothed voluptuous bodies. If such a apocalypse were to occur, I'd agree that not all women would respond in the same way, so some of what the author does here could be seen as quite feminist. However, when the only "good girls" around are the ones trying to save the sole man, or are all about the man, it's hard not to see that as very anti-feminist in reality. There is almost no character development or depth, so it feels like watching two dimensional cutouts move across a stage. The Israeli angle is ludicrous, and I continue to be annoyed at all the stuff that no longer works - because you know what would be solved if all the men disappeared? Unemployment.

On the plus side, I liked the art much better in this volume, and there were scenes with more realistic women bodies, but at this point I'm wondering if I'm even interested enough to see where this story is headed to continue reading on. If you've read the series, and think I should, please chime in. Rating: 2 stars.

114. Becoming Unbecoming
I'd never heard of this author or graphic memoir, and am so grateful to my Goodreads friends whose reviews of it put in on my radar. This might well be the most thought provoking and important graphic memoir I've ever read. The author uses words and art to tell the heartbreaking account of the violence she experienced growing up, and then juxtaposes her personal story against a national serial killer story playing out in the media at that time. She explores how societal and cultural attitudes towards girls and women play a huge role in the gendered violence experienced.

We continue to live in a world that values girls and women less than boys and men. Girls and boys continue to grow up in a culture where male violence mostly goes unpunished and unquestioned. Victims of violence continue to live in a culture of silence and shame, and are further victimized by being held responsible for being the cause of the violence because of how they were dressed, or lived, etc.

The personal is political, and the political is personal. We are either part of the solution, or we are part of the problem. I cannot put into words how important a book this one is, and I'd recommend it to everyone. Rating: 5 stars.

115. The Collage Workbook: How to Get Started and Stay Inspired
I'm in the midst of the 100-day project, and creating a collage a day, so thought this book would give me some ideas. It's a basic introduction to collage, and there are some exercises to try, but it felt more like a showcase of the author's work, than something I found useful. If, however, you are completely new to collage, this might be just the right book for you. Rating: 2 stars.

August 6, 2016

Journal pages

Most people tend to be uncomfortable with solo dining. I enjoy it. I get a chance to really look at my fellow diners and sketch them in my traveler's notebook.

August 5, 2016

Journal pages

Playing in my traveler's notebook makes me happy. I love the flexibility of being able to bind different papers into each signature. The page on the left was created with acrylic paints and sharpie flip chart markers.

One of the ways I've changed my daily journal, is that I treat it more like a an actual travel journal, so have started including photos, ephemera, etc. in addition to to art play.

The thing about always have a journal and basic art supplies with me is that I can do quick 15 minutes watercolor sketches like the one above. My everyday carry supplies include some Derwent watercolor pencils, a pen, and a water brush. Light and portable.

August 4, 2016

Cinemascope: War and Peace

Cinemascope is a regular blog post where I will share with you movies and TV shows I think are worth watching.

Released in 2016.

Plot line: In a new adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s timeless novel, three young people experience life, love and loss against the epic backdrop of Russia’s wars with Napoleon.

I tried to read Tolstoy's masterpiece over 25 years ago, and bailed about 100 or so pages in. I just don't think I was ready to read the work, and I didn't understand that the characters are called by different names by the people in their lives. Since I grew up in a culture does this too, I am surprised that I did not cotton on sooner, but there you have it. I've been meaning to take a Mulligan and try reading this tome again, and then to my delight BBC creates a new adaptation of the book. It is beautifully done, every frame in the movie looks like a painting, the clothing is sumptuous, and I loved everything about it. I have not read the book itself, so am not sure if Tolstoy had such an Austenesque sensibility, or if BBC simply knows what will appeal to their viewers. Either way, I feel better equipped to attempt to another reading.

You can see the trailer here. If you have yet to see it, this is TV worth watching.

August 3, 2016

Journal pages

A page spread that highlights key elements of my summerhood walking route in my DIY traveler's notebook.

August 2, 2016

Journal pages

While I am delighted that I completed #the100dayproject, I know I am not alone when I say that my art making seems to have lost some steam and direction. Time to change that, so pulled out my #travelersnotebook and my artsupplies and started to play. And you know what? By the time I was done I had completed five pages in my journal.

August 1, 2016

Recent Reads

106. Craft-a-Doodle: 75 Creative Exercises from 18 Artists
I think I've learned that I'm not a doodler. I try, but it's just not me. This book is a collection of doodling exercises, and while I liked a couple enough to try, most them them simply set my teeth on edge with the level of something I have no words for. So, not for me, but if you are a doodler, you might like it just fine. Rating: 1 star.

107. Princeless, Vol. 3: The Pirate Princess
In the third installment of this graphic novel series, we are introduced to Raven Xingtao. It turns out that even if your father has no lands or territory, but is considered a King by his gang, that makes you a princess. Who knew?

Raven is the daughter of the Pirate King, and although she is the oldest child, her younger brothers have convinced their father that a son, rather than a daughter, should be his rightful heir. What else is new? So Raven gets locked up in a tower, is saved by our heroines and their dragon, and hijinks ensue.

I continue to liked the art in this series, but the quality of the writing and plot weakens with each installment. The target market for this series is young girls (and boys), so why do all these girls look like they could use a good meal? They also have unexplained prowess in the several fights in this one. I'm all for girl power, but can two young girls really fight off a ship full of grown up pirate men? Really? The dynamics between the girls has also deteriorated, and while I appreciate that Raven is Asian, my current fave character is Sparky the dragon. Sigh. Rating: 2 stars.

108. Princeless, Vol. 4: Be Yourself
Finally this installment gets back to the roots of what makes this a fun and colorful graphic novel series. Before we got sidetracked, you might remember that the mission was to rescue all the royal sisters, and middle sisters are the ones most often forgotten. Fear not, our heroines are on the way to the swamp to set Angoisee free, but first they must outwit goblins, zombies, and something far worse, I cannot say what for fear of spoiling the most delightful thing about this volume. Well, there are actually two delightful things, but I won't spoil either.

Everyone still looks like they've been on weight watchers, and there is a bit too much switching of stories back and forth in this one, but a fun ride nonetheless. Rating: 3 stars.

109. Y: The Last Man - The Deluxe Edition Book One
This deluxe edition book one collects the first ten issues.

I can totally see why so many people love this graphic novel series. I really do. But as an adult woman there is some stuff I feel is my duty to point out to the dudes out there, and to the women as well. Even if every single male mammal (including humans) dropped dead tomorrow, it would not be the end of civilization. Shock, grief, yes, but in no way the end of civilization. You'd think in this day and age that would not need pointing out. Sigh.

So, there-in is my biggest problem with this comic. I love the premise, I enjoy the art, I totally understand that this is some guy fantasy - if you are the last man alive, then no matter how dumb you are, you are still the most fuckable guy on the planet, and every woman on the entire planet wants you right? Hurrah! Just so you know, we would not need clone technology to continue on, there are these things called sperm banks, you might have heard of them.

I so liked the premise that I've suspended disbelief, and am trying to shake off all the chauvinistic crap in this story, and enjoy the ride. Will continue reading on to see if it gets any better. Rating: 3 stars.

110. Painting Nature in Watercolor with Cathy Johnson: 37 Step-By-Step Demonstrations Using Watercolor Pencil and Paint
I'm a huge fan of the author and her work, and this book does not disappoint. This is probably the third time I've read through this book and I pick up new tips each time. If you are looking for guidance on how to use watercolor pencils and paints, get your hands on this one and get inspired. Rating: 4 stars.