Review: Untamed: The Psychology of Marvel’s Wolverine

Untamed

Publisher: McFarland
Author: Suzana E. Flores
Released: June 18th 2018
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I received a copy of Untamed: The Psychology of Marvel’s Wolverine through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I can honestly tell you that I never expected to see a novel that literally analysis the psychology of a comic book character…but man am I happy to be surprised by this one! While it may never have occurred to me to seek out a book like this, I am happy that it was written and that I stumbled across it.

Suzana E. Flores absolutely had the writing and psychology chops to nail this analysis. While some of her explanations may have been long winded, it doesn’t change the fact that she knew what she was talking about. I don’t know if I agree with every conclusion she came to about Wolverine, but likewise I really can’t argue with her logic for getting there.

Along with an in-depth analysis of Wolverine’s mental state, Untamed includes an in-depth view on the character himself (which makes sense – you have to know the character before you can study him) and major events in his past. Since these events made him the character he is today, that all makes complete sense.

Still, it was interesting to learn so much more about Wolverine. For example, I never knew the origin behind Wolverine’s creation, nor did I know about the author’s real life histories that gave Wolverine such a lifelike backbone.

Flores breaks up major events, themes, and theories into nicely organized chapters. She has an entire chapter dedicated to Wolverine’s childhood (which again, makes sense), the subject of torture (which again, unfortunately for Logan, makes sense), and Wolverine’s romantic interests and failures. There’s more, of course, but those were the parts that stood out in my mind the most.

Together all of these chapters, perspectives, and theories give us a fuller idea of Wolverine and the true suffering he’s experienced over time. It gives us a better idea of the character he’s become, and why he behaves the way he does.

 

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Review: Geninne’s Art: Birds in Watercolor, Collage, and Ink: A field guide to art techniques and observing in the wild by Geninne D. Zlatkis

Geninnes Art

Publisher: Quarry Books
Author: Geninne D. Zlatkis
Released: June 12th 2018
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 Kitties

I received a copy of Geninne’s Art: Birds in Watercolor, Collage, and Ink through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Geninne’s Art is a wonderful and beautiful look at the work of Geninne D. Zlatkis. It’s also an art guide, of sorts. There were certainly techniques, tips, and guides included, I just found myself constantly distracted by the absolutely stunning artwork included in this book. So for me, in a way, the guide part was really more of an added bonus for reading.

This novel is both beautiful and exceptionally informative. Along with an introduction we’re given an inside view on how Geninne sets up her studio, as well as her preferred materials and tools, and their setup.

There’s a whole chapter dedicated to photographing nature, which I think was my favorite as far as the guides were concerned. I especially loved the tips for how to get the most out of one’s camera phones – I can assure you that I’ll be making use out of those ideas.

The book also covers watercolor, collages, and drawing with ink. The end result is a wonderful view on the many different art styles that Geninne has mastered and was willing to share with the world. Her work is breathtaking, and that alone makes her somebody worth listening to, in my book.

If you’re looking for an art book that has more of a thematic focus than a technical one, then this is the book for you. Geninne focuses more on the wildlife aspect, covering many different forms of media rather than just focusing on one. This made for a really nice change of pace, and makes it stand out amongst many other art books.

 

 

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Review: Snotgirl Vol. 1: Green Hair Don’t Care

Snot Girl Vol 1

Publisher: Image Comics
Released: February 28th 2017
Received: Own
Issues: Snotgirl 1-5
Rating: 3.5 Stars

It’s easy to look at a graphic novel like Snotgirl and make some very basic assumptions about it. I know I did. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found within. Snotgirl was nothing like what I expected, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Snotgirl comes from the minds of Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim, Seconds, Lost at Sea) and Leslie Hung (new to comics, but worth keeping an eye on). The artists are Mare Odomo (Ahoy Booty!, Late Bloomer) and Mickey Quinn (Jonsey, Best Friends Forever).

I’ll be honest with you, when I started reading Snotgirl I had actually completed spaced on the fact that it was written by the same guy that created Scott Pilgrim. If I had known/remembered that I would probably have read this series a lot sooner. Oh well.

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Review: Batman/Catwoman: The Wedding Album

Batman Catwoman the Wedding

Publisher: DC Comics
Release: September 11th 2018
Received: NetGalley
Issues: Batman 44 and 50
Rating: 4 Kitties

I received a copy of Batman/Catwoman: The Wedding Album through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

It’s finally here! The moment that DC has been building up to for almost a year. It’s actually kind of hard to believe it, truth be told. I sort of love that they decided to title this volume ‘the Wedding Album’ it seems sort of oddly fitting, doesn’t it? I know that the outcome of these events has been heavily spoiled (thanks internet), but I’m still going to put this all behind a spoiler warning.

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Review: Ashen Stars: An Exile Novella by Glynn Stewart

Ashen Stars

Publisher: Faolan’s Pen Publishing
Author: Glynn Stewart
Released: March 1st 2018
Received: NeGalley
Rating: 4 Kitties

I received a copy of Ashen Stars in a sample package through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Ashen Stars is the novella preceding the events that occur in Exile (which only recently released). Honestly, you could read these in either order and be okay. The prequel will help you understand the main character better, but reading them in the reverse order won’t hinder you either (it’s how I did it, and I had no trouble understanding what was happening in either plotline).

Exile is the only series by Glynn Stewart that I’m up to date on. I will say that what I’ve read of his other series has impressed me, and that I wish I had found him and his writing sooner. Still, I’m enjoying the world that’s been established here.

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Review: Doodled Dogs: Dozes of clever doodling exercises & ideas for dog people by Gemma Correl

Doodled Dogs

Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing
Author: Gemma Correl
Released: June 26th 2018
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 Kitties

I received a copy of Doodled Dogs through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Doodled Dogs is a fun and quirky art guide by Gemma Correl. It is pretty much as the title indicates; a book on dog doodles. It has helpful tips, fun prompts, and funny comics. It’s a fast and fun read, with lots of projects included.

Some of the projects inside are one where the reader must complete the doodle themselves, or a quirky prompt or thought. They seem silly at first, but they do a great job of getting the reader to relax and have fun, and isn’t that the point of doodling?

The book also includes lots of images and comics by the author herself, which were a lot of fun. In some ways these were my favorite parts, and I found myself wishing at times that more of these had been included. They were so cute and fun!

If you’re a dog lover looking for a fun and relaxing art guide, then this is absolutely the book for you. You probably could enjoy this even if you didn’t love dogs…but loving dogs would certainly be a bonus in this case.

 

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Review: Starship’s Mage: Episode 1 by Glynn Stewart

Starships Mage Episode 1

Publisher: Faolan’s Pen Publishing
Author: Glynn Stewart
Released: December 15th 2013
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 Kitties

I received a copy of Starship’s Mage: Episode 1 in a sampler bundle through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

When I first read the concept for this series I honestly wasn’t sure what to think. While I’ve read both science fiction and fantasy novels (quite a lot of them, actually), I haven’t read that many that blended the two. Certainly not in the way described here…but it works. It absolutely works.

It took me about a chapter or two to really get into the groove of things, but once I did I found myself devouring the pages, eagerly looking for the next bit of information. Before I knew it I had finished episode one. I think I would have read all the episodes at once, had I had them readily available.

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Review: Perdy Volume 1.

Perdy

Release: September 11th 2018
Received: Advanced copy from author
Warnings: Sexual assault, horse death
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I received a copy of Perdy while at BookCon. A review wasn’t required in exchange, but I am choosing to leave one.

I got a signed copy of Perdy while I was meandering BookCon a month ago. I saw the artwork, realized it was being given away for free, and knew I had to give it a try. Getting to meet the author and artist was that much more of a bonus for me.

When I got to the booth, Kickliy was happily sitting there, drawing in his books and chatting with the people lined up and patiently waiting. He was really funny and charismatic, and seemed genuinely interested in what we thought about the graphic novel once we had a chance to read it. Overall he was a really fun person to meet, and I’m glad I took the time out of my busy day to meet him.

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Review: The Darwin Variant by Kenneth C. Johnson

The Darwin Variant
Author: Kenneth C. Johnson
Release: June 12th 2018
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 3 Stars

I received a copy of The Darwin Variant through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Darwin Variant is described as a ‘day-after-tomorrow thriller’ full of catastrophe and danger. I found it to be reminiscent of a lot of science fiction already out there, which can be considered good or bad depending on your opinion on the matter. The earlier parts reminded me of half a dozen space collision stories out there, while the latter half reminded me very much of Annihilation.

The other thing worth mentioned before we begin is the storytelling style Kenneth Johnson opted to go with. It’s written as sort of an oral story being told after the fact. So it’s more a collection of stories from a half dozen people that lived through the events. I don’t mind this style of storytelling, as long as it’s done right, but I know it grates on some people’s nerves.

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Review: Doodled Cats: Dozens of clever doodling exercises and ideas by Gemma Correl

Doodled Cats

Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing
Author: Gemma Correl
Released: June 26th 2018
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 Kitties

I received a copy of Doodled Cats through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Doodled Cats is a fun art book by Gemma Correl. The book delivers exactly what it promises; doodled cats. It includes everything from funny comics by the author to fun tutorials, guides, and prompts. I enjoyed the comics by the artist so much that I rather wish there were a few more of those, to be honest.

This is a fun and quick guide, but it includes many unique ways of getting a person to think different about doodles. From half-finished works the reader is supposed to finish, to silly prompts and ideas. They made the whole thing fun, while still being informative. I probably don’t need to point out how difficult that would be to balance out.

I think for me, my favorite chapter would have to be the third chapter, appropriately titled ‘it’s a cat world.’ It has cats in funny clothing, anthropomorphized cats, cats & dogs together, and so much more. It had me giggling at more than one point, which I suspect was the author’s goal.

If you’re looking for an art book that’ll help you relax and let yourself doodle, then this is the perfect book for you. Especially if you love cats, but that was probably obvious, wasn’t it?

 

 

 

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