Must Read Fall 2018 Comics

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I’m a little behind on doing anything with my blog for some really good reasons. Work, work travel, work, work projects, school, school papers, personal life… lots of stuff going on. In the meantime, I saw that three of my favorite artists are releasing comic books! THEY DELIVERED. Here are some mini-reviews I posted on my Goodreads.

FYI: These are all advance reading copies (ARCs).

super chill - a year of living anxiously

Super Chill: A Year of Living Anxiously – Adam Ellis
Releases on Oct 23, 2018
If his stuff looks familiar, it’s because he used to be a comic artist for Buzzfeed. By far my favorite of the releases this fall.
A great collection of comics by Adam. I was super happy to see that a lot of the comics in this book were content new to me, still in his signature style that touches on a lot of fun and sometimes way too real topics. I really enjoyed reading this and can’t wait to read more from him.


sharky malarkey

Sharky Malarkey – Megan Nicole Dong (Sketchshark)
Releases on September 18, 2018
A fun assortment of comics by Megan, a.k.a. sketchshark! The comics and illustrations are just so much fun and very lively. There’s a lot of social commentary and poking fun at real life situations, and I love the comics about Chaos, her cat. A definite read for any comic fan.


emotions explained with buff dudes

Emotions Explained w/ Buff Dudes – Andrew Tsyaston (Shenpai)
Releases on October 16, 2018
I’m a big Shenpai fan, and was super excited to see his book on here. His comics are very cartoony and simple, but he really tackles some tough issues in a comedic way that I can easily relate to, like depression, self-esteem, and other touchy subjects. It’s a quick read but super funny. Must read! My only complaint is that I’ve read most of the content previously.

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Revisiting Harry Potter #2 and #3

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With the hope of finishing the Harry Potter series by Halloween, and the small chance of actually doing so, I’ve continued on!

I started the Chamber of Secrets on my return flight back from the midwest, and finally finished getting through the Prisoner of Azkaban last week. When I was a kid, I didn’t realize how silly some things were… like Lockhart. Oh my goodness. Not sure I exactly had an opinion on him as a kid, but after re-reading the book, I felt like he would be one of those annoying guys posting on Instagram all the time about the stuff that he’s done for attention. Nope.jpg.

The Prisoner of Azkaban, on the other hand, was such a joy to reread. My favorite chapter is the chapter with the Knight Bus: the mix of magic and reality really started the book off on the right note. For some reason, Prizoner of Azkaban is where I’ve always felt like the series really started expanding and where I felt that the situations became more dramatic and important.

Also that this book had important situations spanning the entire book — e.g. Buckbeak — whereas it felt like the previous two books tended to have a lot of the action right at the end of the book. Although I have nothing against that, this need and desire to see how the trial ends up and everything else made me keep reading and reading and reading.

I’m excited to get into the 4th book, but I’m a bit nervous as well given the length of the book and juggling school/work. I’m not sure I’ll hit that Halloween timeline, but maybe Christmas will do. πŸ™‚

 

Corel Painter 2019 Demo Review

I’ve been wanting to buy Corel Painter for quite some time now, but the steep price tag always turned me away from actually buying it after trying the demo. Now that I’m a student, I can finally take advantage of the under $100 price tag (much much better), and with Painter 2019 available to demo, I can try it out with the expectation of getting it this time. πŸ™‚

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As a digital artist, I found that accessing the brushes were very easy and straight forward. I enjoyed the default paper textures and brushes (and their algorithms) that made drawing a really fun experience, without a lot of the customization and fuss that come with a lot of other drawing programs. It’s very user friendly.

One downside I’ve had with Painter is that when attempting to paint on the selected layer only, it’s persistent throughout the entire picture. Compared to other programs, this is something odd to get used to. Usually the option is layer-by-layer rather than the entire image, which can be helpful for quickly going between layers and doing touch-ups. I’ve found myself having to continuously check when my brush doesn’t show.

Another downside (maybe I haven’t found it yet) is that the font selection doesn’t display how it looks, unlike in Photoshop where you can get a feeling for what font you’ll be using beforehand. Instead of scrolling through a bazillion font changes. πŸ™‚

I’ll be playing more with the program but at this price it is something that will be a good add to my collection.

Happy 21st Birthday, Harry Potter!

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerers StoneHappy 21st birthday, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone!

I went back and reread the first book on my flight to work training yesterday with the hopes of completing the series before Halloween. Guess there’s a lot of time to devour the book when you’re doing 5 hours of flying in a small airplane. πŸ™‚

One thing I was concerned about was not being as into it as I used to be back in grade school… it was a book my parents kept trying to get me to read when we got back to the USA, fresh from the Middle East as expats. Couldn’t just watch cartoons and play games all day long I guess. Not that I was complaining once I actually started to read the series!

Re-reading this for the first time in about 20 years was amazing. The book is much shorter than I thought it would be, but it was so easy to get caught up in the story that I just kept reading and reading and reading… even though I should’ve taken a good, long nap at some point. (I’m still tired!) I appreciate how easy it was to get back into, and how it eased you into the story, lore and characters. By the time I finished my trek I was done with the book, and I’m more excited than ever to get started on the second one.

Thankfully the first one was available for free through Prime. I’ve borrowed the second one and hopefully will be able to borrow the third. Whoop!

Happy birthday! πŸ˜‰

Michigan: On the Trail of a War Bride

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michigan on the trail of a war bride Michigan: On the Trail of a War Bride
by Julien Frey & Lucas Varela

I read this comic thanks to NetGalley. Greatly appreciated!

This is a quick review of this historical fiction graphic novel. It was published on May 16, 2018 (last month!) and it definitely deserves a look.

This comic starts off with a French couple who are visiting the wife’s family in the United States. As they get ready to leave, Odette’s story comes into play as a war bride: women who marry men during active service. The trip to the United States intertwines with Odette’s story in a beautiful way.

I found the art to be rather enjoyable. As a reader, I had an easy time discerning the characters and the background, and they were well drawn. Sometimes with comics, the style can be very messy and they meld together.

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Beautiful, yet simple background work

The characters were also well animated. They did a great job on showing the relationships with minimum amount of space:

michigan - 1

Just from the first page, you can tell their personalities πŸ™‚

I think I saw some complaints about the characters, but I felt like this comic was more focused on the experience of Odette’s journey rather than totally on the growth of any one person.

TLDR: If you enjoy a good historical fiction with good art, I would definitely suggest adding this to your collection.

Review: Komi-san can’t communicate (ε€θ¦‹γ•γ‚“γ―γ€γ‚³γƒŸγƒ₯症です)

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ε€θ¦‹γ•γ‚“γ―γ€γ‚³γƒŸγƒ₯症です (Komi-san can’t communicate) is a cute, fluffy comedy manga about a pretty school girl who has a communication disorder and her adventures with super-normal school boy named Tadano who tries to help her out.

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How To: Gluten Free Pain au Chocolat

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pain-au-chocolat

My petit pain au chocolate (too thick!)

Puff pastry. I never had the opportunity to play with it before I was diagnosed, but thankfully they’re starting to come out with GF puff pastry sheets so you don’t have to suffer through attempting to make it. French Picnic sells a 2-sheet pack of GF puff pastry for $13. I bought mine from a local Whole Foods.

Leadbetters GF French Pinic Puff Pastry

Leadbetter’s French Picnic GF Puff Pastry (from Good Eggs)

It was easy to work with:Β let it defrost, roll it out (which I didn’t do and regret), cut some rectangles, fill the center and fold upon itself. Brush egg mixture on while you’re doing this.You treat it the same as regular puff pastry and can just follow a regular puff pastry recipe to get the same results.

I didn’t roll my puff pastry out and found that it was way too thick to really eat. It was very buttery and flaky, which I didn’t expect, and found that it was also made from Cup4Cup.

The GF Puff Pastry is pretty expensive but it’s definitely worth it for a homemade gluten free breakfast or treat.