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.

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Top 5 Wednesday (7/4): Best Books of 2018

This meme was created by Lainey and is currently hosted by Sam on Goodreads. Join us!

Happy Independence Day! We have a nice break this week due to the holiday, so time to take a quick breather and share what some of my favorites are for this year. This list includes both writing, graphic novels and manga.

  1. America is not the heart by Elaine CastilloAmerica is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo
    An historical fiction looking at the cross-section of being Filipino and American in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 80’s/90’s. Seriously, a must read novel. I love the fact that the author writes the experience of being Filipino so well that I’m reminded of my in-laws, and catches the feeling of being an Asian person in the 90’s. I also enjoyed the inclusion of the LGBTQ element, which was totally unexpected but handled really well.


  2. The Eating Instinct by Virginia Sole-SmithThe Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America by Virginia Sole-Smith
    This book hasn’t been released yet, but from an ARC I received, this book is seriously top on the list for non-fiction books for me this year. As a person with Celiac Disease, this book somehow caught a lot of the complex feelings around food and eating and placed it into a book. I never knew what orthorexia was before this, but I think this is going to become a bigger issue as time goes by. I’m looking forward to reviewing this book closer to it being released in November.


    tokyo tarareba girls

  3. Tokyo Tarareba Girls, Vol. 1 by Akiko Higashimura
    Just got this from NetGalley yesterday, and I do-not-regret-it! On first view, I was taken aback because the main characters did remind me of the characters from Princess Jellyfish. Reading into it, though, I was soooo pleasantly surprised. She really captures being an ADULT woman trying to navigate love and life, and this is geared towards your older readers who can really relate either personally or through friends.


    kimetsu no yaiba

  4. ้ฌผๆป…ใฎๅˆƒ 1 [Kimetsu no Yaiba 1] by Koyoharu Gotouge
    A 80’s/90’s style shonen that DOESN’T make you feel like it’s going to drag on for-ev-er. A really enjoyable action-packed read.


    x3

  5. ๅค่ฆ‹ใ•ใ‚“ใฏใ€ใ‚ณใƒŸใƒฅ็—‡ใงใ™ [Komi-san has a communication problem] by Tomohito Oda
    Bite-sized. Fluffy. Happiness. So cute. Just read it. Here’s my previous review on the series.

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

A quick primer on spelling Celiac Disease

 

Something I’ve seen all around the interwebs is the mispelling of the autoimmune disease, such as Celiac’s Disease or Celiacs Disease. Let’s quickly make a correction!

The real spelling of the disease is:

Celiac Disease OR Coeliac Disease

The reason it’s spelled as such is thanks to Aretaeus of Cappadocia, who named the condition a few thousand years ago “koiliakos,” coming from the Greek word “koelia,” which means abdomen (Guandalini, 2007). The word was translated into Coeliac, then is now known as Celiac in some parts of the globe. Both spellings are correct.

However, the disease is not named after a person, so Celiac’s Disease is incorrect.

Celiacs Disease is also incorrect, but you can call a group of Celiac Disease sufferers Celiacs in normal conversation.

Reference:

Guandalini, S. (2007). A brief history of celiac disease. Impact: The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center Newsletter, 7(3), 1-2.

Wednesday Drawings: 6-13-2018

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I pulled out the good ole Paint Tool Sai 2 today after (1) finding some new brush settings to try out and (2) finding out there was an update a few weeks ago. Not sure exactly was updated, but still looks pretty good. This week has been a doozy thanks to work so I’m finding this extra time to draw super helpful… I’ll get back to sketching out the next chapter of my webcomic at some point.

Today’s drawing is a drawing of Myrn from my other webcomic Pauthalian Adventure. (Needs a major overhaul ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Done in about 1-1.5hrs, so could use some cleaning but I’m lazy so there!

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Currently Reading: June 10 edition

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I’ve been requesting a lot of books to read that look interesting, so this list is GROWING! A lot of these are ARCs, so reviews won’t be coming out for some time. Let’s get down to business. ๐Ÿ™‚


The Eating Instinct by Virginia Sole-SmithThe Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America by Virginia Sole-Smith
Release Date: Nov 13, 2018 through Henry Holt and Co.

I’ll be writing a review for this book once the release date nears (likely mid-October), but this is a reading that I’m so pleasantly surprised by. As someone with Celiac Disease, I felt a bit called out because it is so hard to not get pulled into the whole food culture issue in America… but this is *not a bad thing.*

I have so many thoughts that I cant wait to share on this. ๐Ÿ™‚


Confidence Creator by Heather MonahanConfidence Creator by Heather Monahan
Won in a Goodreads giveaway — Thank you!

If you want to boost your confidence, take a peek at this! Although I’m not exactly a fan of the writing style, the takeaways so far have been great and I feel that although this is meant for women, men can definitely take some lessons from this book.

I’ve found myself quickly going through this, so if you’re short on time, you can easily read a chapter during a quick break!


Real Food Fake Food by Larry Olmsted

Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It by Larry Olmsted

5/27: A great read so far, this book is going into the issue of food fraud on a global scale and how this fraud is taking advantage of the people eating it. Who could’ve realized how much of an issue the name of products are?

6/8: Still a fantastic read, however this book can be very dry at some points with how much information the author shares about different types of food fraud. I’m currently slowly making my way through the wine chapter because it’s incredibly dry. Just taking a while!


America is not the heart by Elaine Castillo

America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo

5/27: Another great read, this book feels all too real to how SF Bay Filipinos are in reality. I could seriously hear the voices of my in-laws when reading this book, complete with the Tagalog and other dialects that I have no idea what they mean.
There were some complaints about these not being translated, but it’s easy enough to pull up Google Translate and put in phrases so you know. Otherwise, for an authentic experience, leave it untranslated. ๐Ÿ™‚

6/8: On hold to read other books right now…