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Nicola Manning-Mansfield (Ontario, Canada)
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Batman and Robin Vol. 4: Requiem for Damian (The New 52)
Batman and Robin Vol. 4: Requiem for Damian (The New 52)
by Peter Tomasi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.17
41 used & new from CDN$ 15.73

5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional, July 6 2014
Oh boy! I read Vol. 3 of this title and it left me eager to continue on and I am hooked with this volume. Batman goes postal!! Wow, is he ever stuck at the anger step of grief. He doesn't kill but he's out on the town debilitating criminals anyway he can with a vengeance. A very dark and broody Batman, more so than ever. Even I wanted him to cheer up and get some closure. The other great thing here is all the Batfamily make appearances, some longer than others, even Catwoman!, to try and help the Bat release the hate and deal with the death. But they all kind of give a bit of detail as to what is going on in their stories too, which I enjoyed, since I read most but not all of the other series. Finally the issue where Batman kidnaps Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. is awesome! There is an interesting new character as well ... could it be the new Robin?? Great volume. I didn't read V1 or 2 but I'll be sure to continue on with 5 now.

Classics Illustrated #6: The Scarlet Letter
Classics Illustrated #6: The Scarlet Letter
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 11.48
42 used & new from CDN$ 3.42

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Adaptation, July 4 2014
I've read a lot of graphic adaptations of classic literature but this is the first time I've read one that I haven't read the original novel. I'm working my way through this entire series and there are going to be quite a few where I'll be in this situation. Usually I compare the adaptation to the original. Now I'll be giving my impressions of the story as a first time reader. First of all this is a beautiful book; the illustrations are gorgeous. Thompson has painted each page with luscious watercolours. I've read "The House of Seven Gables" by Hawthorne and absolutely abhorred it so I had no intentions of ever reading this novel or anything others by Hawthorne (though I think "A Wonder-Book for Boys and Girls" is one o the best books of Greek mythology ever written). It was good that I got to experience "The Scarlet Letter" through this format as I immensely enjoyed the story! Of course, I knew the basic adultery, letter "A", plot and guessed right away who she was protecting but I had no idea how much the story focused on what a strong, faithful person Hester was. My previous experience with this series lets me know how true to the originals Papercutz stays and they use a lot of the original text also. However, I'm not sure if I'd be compelled to read the original even at this point as the writing is full of thous, dosts and whences, which I don't need in my life. I'm thoroughly thrilled though to have become acquainted with this classic through such a quality graphic adaptation.

Classics Illustrated #8: The Count of Monte Cristo
Classics Illustrated #8: The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 10.79
15 used & new from CDN$ 4.29

3.0 out of 5 stars A Lot of Story for a Little Book, July 4 2014
So this is another classic that I have not read the original of first. I never had any intention of reading this original as I did try to read The Three Musketeers and gave it up as a bad job, over the years I've come to simply realize I do like French Literature nor historical fiction set in French history, not even if Charles Dickens writes it. This story was passable reading but it is a very complicated plot with many storylines between various characters going on and I can only imagine the number of cast not included in this graphic adaptation. A silly romance, with over the top devotions, willing to die rather than live without that one special love. It's also a story of revenge, backstabbing, swindling and the past coming back to haunt us. I can't compare to the original but Grant did manage to keep me on my toes with all that was going on with so many characters I never felt lost; while Spiegle is a legendary artist in the field and his art makes for an attractive book. However reading this has not made me want to read the original, anything else by Dumas nor has it changed my opinion of French Lit. in general.

Pretty Deadly Volume 1 TP
Pretty Deadly Volume 1 TP
by Kelly Sue Deconnick
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.98
37 used & new from CDN$ 3.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Gothic, Mythological Western, June 30 2014
Yes! This is pretty funky awesome! A horror/mythology western. Very dark and Gothic with its theme of death. Absolutely brilliant art, especially the colours which amazed me, these palettes are unusual and perfectly moody and atmospheric. It starts out with orange/peach/browns, then blue/pinks/black then pinks/reds/black, etc. The story is set in some sort of American West world/dimension and centres around an original death story which takes elements from the Hades/Demeter/Persephone myth. It's by no means a retelling but just enough to use as a backbone. The characters are fantastic, and since this is about death and takes place for a good part in Hades, it is safe to say not everyone is alive by the end of the volume. There are "good" and "bad" guys, while some hover across that line but none is beyond redemption and I loved them all. This volume finishes with a finite ending and thus, when the end note prepares us for volume 2 we are left feeling as if we have just read the prequel to events yet to come. I'm left extremely eager to carry on with this series!

Millennium Snow (2-in-1) , Vol. 1: Includes Vols. 1 & 2
Millennium Snow (2-in-1) , Vol. 1: Includes Vols. 1 & 2
by Bisco Hatori
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.26
34 used & new from CDN$ 8.20

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Vampire/Werewolf Romp, June 30 2014
Vol. 1 - This is adorable! I'm on a quest to find shoujo that I actually like ... there must be some. I chose this because of the vampire theme and the summary made it sound as if romance was not the main element. I found the story cute and funny. We have the typical couple at odds but what is different here is that the girl, Chiyuki, likes the boy, Toya, from the get-go and lets him know it. He is the one who won't admit he likes her, though of course he speeds to her side the first time she gets a boo-boo. LOL. I like the girl's attitude here; she's sassy and has spunk, not a door-wipe like most shoujo I've tried. Of course, Toya, knocks her around a bit in jest, you get used to this in shoujo, and calls her names, mostly "stupid". I prefer Dojo's calling Iku "bonehead" in Library Wars, but name calling is cultural and I'm sure the Japanese equivalents are more endearing. I know in French they use animal names such as chicken, flea, otter, hen and even cabbage and egg! Anyway, I kept waiting to find out who the other guy was on the front cover and I *love* who it turns out to be. Sweet and fun. And the sidekick, Yami, the bat? Perfect comedic partner and kawaii! Looking forward to the next volume. Unfortunately, this volume does end with a (perverted) one-off which left a sour taste in my mouth ('nough said). (4/5)

Vol. 2 - I'm totally satisfied with this volume but we need to suspend belief and just go with the flow because plotting is all over the place. Things happen for no apparent reason and then everybody just moves on to the next thing :-( Normally, that would bother me but this story is basically "fluff" and really a lot of fun that to analyze it would just be pretentious. The characters are all so cute, I just love them! Of course I like Toya the best! The romance is more focused in this volume but everybody now knows everybody is in love (or deep like) with each other, which usually isn't the case in shoujo, and I didn't feel any irritation with it at all. (My main problem with shoujo) The plots of the stories overrode the romance for me keeping me interested and the humour kept me laughing. As mentioned the the story jumps all over the place but the stories of the ghost girl in the deserted mansion and the psycho cousin who ties Chiyuki up are pretty wild. Here's hoping volume three continues in the same fun manner. (4/5)

Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 1: REDemption (The New 52)
Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 1: REDemption (The New 52)
by Scott Lobdell
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.99
47 used & new from CDN$ 7.16

4.0 out of 5 stars I Like These Guys!, June 30 2014
Red Hood is intriguing to me, as I had never heard of the character before I started the new 52. I've read the whole "Death of a Family" arc and the Red Hood volume was good enough that I had to backtrack and find out more about him. Of course throughout all my DC reading he's popped up here and there but only very briefly. Roy Harper has made a few brief pre-Arsenal appearances as well. This volume has great dialogue and is very comedic. If you love banter among JL team members, there is a great deal of that going on here and it really made me like both Roy and Jason. Princess K we don't get to know very well but she's very powerful and everything mentioned about her past is very intriguing. Lots of action in this volume as we have a couple of side stories going on but the main theme centres on the new "team" tracking down the "Untitled" and finishing off the remaining members. A lot of Jason's background with the "All" is explored and I feel much more familiar with the character now. Interesting tidbit shows Nightwing's old blue costume having been left aboard Starfire's hideaway when Jason first finds her.

Hilda and the Black Hound
Hilda and the Black Hound
by Luke Pearson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 16.70
36 used & new from CDN$ 13.08

3.0 out of 5 stars Cute, June 28 2014
This is the 4th book in this series and I haven't read any of the others but I think I would have felt more comfortable if I had. By reading I have the impression that Hilda (and her town) are not exactly altogether human, strange things happen there, and everyone takes it all within stride. This book has Hilda joining the Sparrow Scouts, obviously to give her something to do with all her extra energy and imagination. But during this time a large hound has been roaming, and sited, in the woods beyond Trolberg. The Sparrows go camping on private Sparrow ground which has been walled off from the rest of the forest making everyone sure the girls will be perfectly safe from this supposed "creature". At the same time Hilda has come across a Nisse, a house spirit, which has been kicked out of its home. Hilda becomes friends with him, helping him to find a new home and together they manage to both find him a home and solve the mystery of the Black Hound. Cute drawings. A fun fantasy, a bit short, but it keeps you reading quickly. I wouldn't mind having read the first ones because I think if read in order, you may be fond of Hilda by this point.

Batman Adventures, The: Shadows & Masks - VOL 02
Batman Adventures, The: Shadows & Masks - VOL 02
by Various
Edition: Paperback
20 used & new from CDN$ 3.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Volume 2 of the Animated Series, June 28 2014
Great little digest edition that combines issues 5-9 of "Batman Adventures" based on the TV Cartoon. Great cast of characters, edgy and dark but not overly, leaving room for fun and humour. Harvey Bullock is a good guy here, just like in the New 52, and I like him that way. The main story line for most of this book is False Face Society an underground crime family run by Black Mask and Batman is infiltrating it with his "Matches Malone" persona. I don't know if he does this identity anywhere else but I love him as Matches. Some great scenes, one where he and Alfred take a look back at all his past loves and the criminals they turned out to be. This is an all ages comic, perfect for kids but the story is plenty entertaining enough for adults also. I hate these little digests though as they are just too hard to read. Vol. 1 and 2 combined give us up to issue #9, but all 17 issues can still be purchased individually online, which would be my preferred choice to buying the complete series.

Batman Adventures, The: Rogues Gallery - VOL 01
Batman Adventures, The: Rogues Gallery - VOL 01
by Various
Edition: Paperback
19 used & new from CDN$ 7.05

3.0 out of 5 stars Volume 1 of the Animated Series, June 28 2014
This is a collection of the first four issues of "Batman Adventures" based on the cartoon show in a tiny digest size. I don't really like this format as I find them hard to read and I have good eyesight. But the first issue collected here is "Gotham Adventures" #50 which tells a tale of Bat & Cat becoming more friendly, Cat seems to have softened a bit, but still a thief. This doesn't really have anything to do with the "Batman Adventures" and I'm confused as to why it was collected here. Then we move on to an Arkham Asylum tale which are always tons of fun with all the cameos by the various villains. Then the newly "cured" Riddler & Batman team up. There's a great issue featuring Harley and the Joker and how she gets him out of prison and de-brainwashes him. Finally, the last story brings Ra's al Ghul and his daughter to the scene. The stories are all pretty much stand-alones but there is a common thread involving the Shadow Assassins of Ra's al Ghul lurking throughout. I really like the stories here but the digest size is just too small to be any fun. I recommend buying the individual comics which are still available at 99 cents each.

My Boyfriend's Back
My Boyfriend's Back
by Ty Templeton
Edition: Hardcover
14 used & new from CDN$ 2.42

4.0 out of 5 stars Clown Love, June 26 2014
This review is from: My Boyfriend's Back (Hardcover)
This is a fun episode that starts off with Harley & Joker, but Joker is no longer himself after all the brain surgery and pyschiatric 'treatment' at Arkham so she sets out to bring out the real Mr. J using her own devices, then she and Poison Ivy hook-up together when they are all back in jail. A fun issue played mostly for laughs.

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