03 May, 2017

The Wicked + The Divine

/ posted in: Reading The Wicked + The Divine The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, Clayton Cowles
on November 12th 2014
Pages: 144
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels
Published by Image Comics
Format: Graphic
Source: Library
Setting: England

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever. Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1-5


I’m not a big graphic novel reader but I was intrigued by this story.

Every 90 years twelve gods take over the bodies of people. This is a well known phenomenon. People study it. For two years these gods are superstars. People flock to them. By the time two years are finished, they are all dead.

The art in the books is beautiful.


This is Luci. She is the incarnation of Lucifer. You see the story through the eyes of Laura, a mixed race English girl who goes to all the gods’ concerts against her parents’ will. She ends up befriending Luci and that brings her in contact with the all schemes of the gods.

The first book was my favorite. You are drawn into Luci’s world. You see the glamor and the pain of knowing that you are going to die soon.

SPOILERS in the next descriptions

The Wicked + The Divine The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 2: Fandemonium by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, Clayton Cowles
on July 1st 2015
Pages: 168
Published by Image Comics

The second volume of the award-winning urban fantasy series where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. Following the tragic and unjust death of Lucifer, it takes a revelation from Inanna to draw Laura back into the worlds of Gods and Superstardom to try and discover the truth behind a conspiracy to subvert divinity. Includes issues 6-11 of the series, plus supplementary material.


Laura starts to investigate why Luci was framed for murder and then killed.  It draws her deeper and deeper into the world of gods.  Not all of the gods are friendly.

The Wicked + The Divine The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 3: Commercial Suicide by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie
on February 9th 2016
Pages: 200
Published by Image Comics

After the detonation of FANDEMONIUM the gods-as-pop-stars of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE try living in the long dark shadow.
Team WicDiv are joined by a stellar cast of guest artists to put the spotlight on each of the gods. The multiple Eisner Award nominated series continues in the only way it knows how: darker, weirder, faster. Don't worry. It's going to be okay.
Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #12-17


There were guest artists for this book and I wasn’t a huge fan.  I did like seeing more back story on some of the gods that have been bit players up to now.

I must admit that I’m a bit lost on the overall story right now.  I thought it was me but then I started looking at other reviews and I’m not alone in feeling this way.  It seems like the story is starting to lag.

The Wicked + The Divine The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 4: Rising Action by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson
on October 5th 2016
Pages: 144
Published by Image Comics

Every ninety years, twelve gods are reincarnated as young people. They are loved. They are hated. And sometimes - just sometimes - they fall into open Superstar wars. The fourth volume of the award-winning, best selling series from acclaimed creators KIERON GILLEN, JAMIE McKELVIE and MATT WILSON is the most explosive yet.
Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #18-22


This book was back to the amazing art.  That’s good.  Now all the gods are fighting against their mentor/controller/I don’t know what she is.  I feel like the story is murky at best but I kept flipping through for the art.



This is the incarnation of Amatersu, the Japanese sun goddess in the first book.  She is one of the few that is mostly trying to do good with her new body and powers.

Bottom line – Look at it for the art and maybe read the first two volumes.  Then wonder why the covers are so blah when the art inside is so colorful.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Backlist Books
  • Books Set in Europe
02 May, 2016

Small Shen – The Book I Wasn’t Allowed to Have!

/ posted in: Reading Small Shen – The Book I Wasn’t Allowed to Have! Small Shen by Kylie Chan, Queenie Chan
on December 1st 2012
Pages: 352
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Legends, Myths, Fables
Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Australia
Format: Graphic
Source: Owned
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

SMALL SHEN is the amazing story of Gold -- a stone spirit and a chronic troublemaker in the court of the great Gods of Chinese mythology.
A mix of Kylie Chan′s brilliant storytelling and Queenie Chan′s beautiful illustrations, SMALL SHEN is a fantastic treat for fans of WHITE TIGER. Readers will be thrilled to discover the events leading up to John Chen and Emma Donahoe′s story in this wonderful prequel.
Shown through Queenie Chan′s stunning illustrations and comics, the story follows the stone spirit Gold′s entertaining adventures throughout history. His escapades include seducing a dragon princess, attempting to steal one of the Tiger′s wives, making bets with demons, and working for the Blue Dragon of the East.
Eventually, as a result of his crimes against Heaven and his constant philandering, Gold is ordered to join the household of Xuan Wu, the Dark Lord of the Northern Heavens. Xuan Wu is also known as John Chen, a Hong Kong businessman.
The story then follows Gold and Jade -- the dragon princess - in contemporary Hong Kong. The two small shen must help guard John Chen′s beloved human wife and baby daughter from demon attack.


I’m a fan of Kylie Chan’s series about the Taoist Gods. The series starts with White Tiger.

White Tiger (Dark Heavens, #1)White Tiger by Kylie Chan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“A young woman accepts a position as nanny to the young daughter of a handsome, wealthy, and mysterious Chinese businessman only to discover her new employer is really a god and every foul demon in creation is out to destroy him!”

This is a very complex world that is developed through a lot of books. I was excited to see that there was a standalone story about Gold. I wanted to get it to read for Weirdathon in March. So when March came around I went to try to find it. That’s when I discovered that I wasn’t allowed to have it.

This book is not available outside of Australia. Ok, but there is this thing called the Internet and you can buy anything… or not. It turned out to be surprisingly difficult. By this time I was determined. Nothing will make you want something like being told you can’t have it.

I finally found a store willing to sell me a copy and based on the cost of shipping they must have sent it on the back of a flying unicorn to get to my house.

It was worth it though. I love the style of having a written novel interspersed with sections of graphic novel. I want the rest of the series like this. For a series based on gods who have any different aspects and presentations this is a big help.

A photo posted by @dvmheather on

The cover copy says that this is a good introduction to the series. I don’t think so. It does take place before the series starts but you don’t get the gentle introduction and world building that happens in the first book. If you feel like seeing a floating stone carrying towels to the human wives of a white tiger and then finding a snake and a turtle lounging in the pool would leave you with some questions, read the White Tiger first. For fans of the series this is a fun read about one of the essential secondary characters that you really don’t get to know much about.

08 Apr, 2016

The Comic Book History of Comics

/ posted in: Reading The Comic Book History of Comics The Comic Book History of Comics on 2012
Pages: 224
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, General, Nonfiction
Published by IDW
Format: Graphic
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

For the first time ever, the inspiring, infuriating, and utterly insane story of comics, graphic novels, and manga is presented in comic book form! The award-winning "Action Philosophers" team of Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey turn their irreverent-but-accurate eye to the stories of Jack Kirby, R. Crumb, Harvey Kurtzman, Alan Moore, Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Fredric Wertham, Roy Lichtenstein, Art Spiegelman, HergE, Osamu Tezuka -- and more! Collects "Comic Book Comics" #1-6.


The title of this book made me laugh so I borrowed it online from the library.

I don’t know a whole lot about comics but this book packed a whole lot of history into it.  It starts with the development of the comic strip and then moves into the business ideas behind making books out of comic strips.  The early developers of the format are all profiled.

The history of comics seems to be mostly about intellectual property disputes.  Were comic artists creating work for hire in which case anything they made belongs to the company or were they authors in which case their creations belong to them?  For me the book got bogged down in the middle around the 1980s with all kinds of legal challenges.

I was more interested in the early creators like the men behind Superman and what Stan Lee may or may not have done for comics.

This book looks mostly at American comics with some side trips to France but it does contain a section on manga too.

This would be a great book for any comic book fans in your life who also love history.


17 Mar, 2016

Bitch Planet

/ posted in: Reading Bitch Planet Bitch Planet 1 on August 4th 2015
Pages: 136
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Science Fiction
Published by Diamond Comic Distributors
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro team up to bring you the premiere volume of "Bitch Planet," a deliciously vicious riff on women-in-prison sci-fi exploitation. In a future just a few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman's failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords will result in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. When the newest crop of fresh femmes arrive, can they work together to stay alive or will hidden agendas, crooked guards, and the deadliest sport on (or off!) Earth take them to their maker?


Are you a compliant woman?  Do you do everything the men in your life want you to do?  Are you skinny and attractive?

If not you might be sent to the Auxilary Compliance Outpost – otherwise known as Bitch Planet.

This volume covers the first 5 issues of Bitch Planet.  A new group of women have been sent to the planet, including a former athlete named Kamau Kogo.  On Earth there is a very important sporting competition called the Duemila or Megaton.  The producers want to put together an all-female team from Bitch Planet for the entertainment of the male spectators.  They chose Kamau to lead it.  The women agree to do it, not like they really have a choice, because they have a plan to take down the event from the inside.

I particularly like the end of each issue. There is a page of advertisements that make fun of the ads that you see in the back of comics.

The story is ongoing so I’m interested to see what happens when the next volume comes out.


14 Mar, 2016

Moving Pictures

/ posted in: Reading Moving Pictures Moving Pictures on 2010
Pages: 136
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Crime & Mystery, Historical Fiction
Published by Top Shelf
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)
Set in France

"Moving Pictures "is the story of the awkward and dangerous relationship between curator Ila Gardner and officer Rolf Hauptmann, as they are forced by circumstances to play out their private lives in a public power struggle. The narrative unfolds along two timelines which collide with the revelation of a terrible secret, an enigmatic decision that not many would make, and the realization that sometimes the only choice left is the refusal to choose.


I’ve talked here before about not being a big comic/graphic novel fan because they are too short.  However, my library just got Hoopla which lets you read graphic novels from their collection on an iPad.  I figured I would be more likely to read them that way than getting multiple short books from the library.  After I read my first 25 page comic on the life of Ganesh, which was interesting, I realized that I could only download 10 books a month.  That killed my plan to read all the short ones about the Indian gods and goddesses.  So I started looking to see what books they had that were fairly long.

Moving Pictures is 146 pages.  It is the story of a Canadian woman working at a French museum during World War II.  She has been in charge of boxing up the non-important works of art and storing them in the basement of her museum.  She has decided to stay in France during the war for reasons that aren’t clear to her coworkers.  At the beginning of the book she is being interrogated by a German officer about her work at the museum.


The artwork is black and white and very minimalist except when a particular piece of art is being discussed. It shows up well in digital form.

The story is told in flashbacks to show how these people ended up in this interrogation room.

This is a good introduction to historical fiction graphic novels.

24 Apr, 2015

Get Over Yourself

/ posted in: Reading Get Over Yourself Get Over Yourself by Jeremy Whitley
on July 30th 2013
Pages: 128
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Princess Adrienne is back and she's bringing back her dragon Sparky and girl-blacksmith Bedelia! This time they're out to save the first of Adrienne's sisters, Angelica. Unfortunately, Angelica is the most beautiful girl in the whole kingdom and she knows it. Not only will Adrienne have to fight her jealousy of the attention Angelica gets, but she'll have to face Angelica's mysterious guardian. Meanwhile, Adrienne's father has hired a motley crew of bounty hunters to track down the knight he believes killed his daughter. What he doesn't know is that the knight he is after is Adrienne! Collecting issues 1–4 of volume 2, Princeless Book 2: Get Over Yourself is 100 pages of feel-good, girl-powered adventure for young readers or comic fans of any age.


Adrienne is back! Now she decides to rescue her oldest sister only to find that Angelica doesn’t want rescued. Why would she? A village of artists has set up camp around her tower because she is their muse. All she does is walk around all day and look beautiful.

It is up to Adrienne to convince her that there is more to life than that even if Angelica’s life does look pretty good.

The Princeless series continues to be a great, quick read celebrating the power of women.

14 Apr, 2015

Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin

/ posted in: Reading Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley
on May 2nd 2012
Pages: 118
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Collecting the first storyline of the multiple Eisner Award–nominated and multiple Glyph Award–winning series, follow the adventures of Princess Adrienne, a princess who’s tired of waiting to be rescued. Along with her guardian dragon, Sparky, they begin their own quest in an all-ages action adventure designed specifically for those who are tired of waiting to be rescued—and who are ready to save themselves.


In the opening pages you see a young girl being read a bedtime story about a princess locked in a tower. A blond haired prince slays the dragon guarding her and rescues her.

The girl is outraged. Why are the princess’ parents so angry at her that they lock her in a tower? Where do you even get a dragon?

It turns out that this girl is a princess and before she knows it she is locked in a tower with a dragon to guard her. She is not pleased. Before long she decides that she isn’t going to stand for this and is going to rescue herself. She befriends her dragon and rides off to rescue her sisters from their towers.

Her absence from the tower doesn’t go unnoticed. Neither does her attempt to rescue one of her sisters. She is wearing armor made my her new friend Bedelia, a dwarf who is tired of having to pretend that she doesn’t know how to make armor. Together they have made proper armor for women that focuses on protection more than appearances.

I loved the idea of a graphic novel upending the conventions of fantasy and fairy tales. As an experiment I let Z read it. She is an absolute Disney addict and lives all things princesses. I didn’t know if she would like this or be mortally offended.

It turned out that she liked it too.