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.

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