i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Janes in Love

Janes in Love
by Cecil Castellucci / Jim Rugg

In this sequel to “The Plain Janes,” the Janes are back. But when the Janes become entangled in matters of the heart, they discover that in art and in love, the rules don’t always apply. (goodreads.com)

It’s been ages since I read The Plain Janes, and I could never find this sequel anywhere. Sometime last fall I happened to see it while we were in our local comic book shop picking something up, so I bought it! I was thrilled!

And then I couldn’t find it anywhere and I forgot all about it.

Cut to this past weekend when my husband was vacuuming (because if I do it, I throw things around. Don’t know why, but vacuuming just enrages me. Irrationally.) and he moved the cedar chest in the living room and found a plastic bag. In this bag was my book! It must have fallen under the chest one day and since we don’t really move it around much, I never even noticed.

I picked this up and quickly read through it. It’s sort of a cheating way to get my Goodreads challenge numbers up. Heh. Also, I had really wanted to read this one!

Now, I have seen reviews of this graphic novel that say the first one was better, but you know something? I think I liked Janes in Love  better than The Plain Janes. Heck, this novel even made me sort of tear up near the end. When Jane’s mother comes out of the house, when Jane gets the art grant, the ending. It was just very moving to me. It could be because I have been having some wicked serious PMS the last week or so, but this story actually spoke to me more-so that the first.

Looking back at my post on The Plain Janes  I find it funny that I didn’t like Original Jane all that much, when I quite adored her in this segment of the story. I didn’t care for Theatre Jane this time around. Oh the difference time and situation can have on a book!

It was also neat to learn from Cecil Castellucci back in the fall that both this and the first Jane graphic novel were meant to be one story together. I like the split though. It’s also sad that they aren’t published anymore… or at least something was supposed to happen. My brain is mush right now.

If you’re into graphic novels and you haven’t checked these two out yet – if you see them, pick them up. I especially adore the art. I am picky when it comes to art and animation style, but this one is right up my alley!

Courtney Crumrin Vol. 4: Courtney Crumrin’s Monstrous Holiday

Courtney Crumrin’s Monstrous Holiday
by Ted Naifeh

Imagine my delight when I found this last volume in the comic book store in downtown Fredericton, NB this week! We probably would have gone into the store anyhow, but we ducked in when we did due to a starting rainstorm. We wandered around and I wasn’t actively looking for anything so I was excited when I saw this book on the shelf!

Unlike the first three volumes, which seem to have 4 or 5 “chapters” in them (individual comics, I believe) Volume 4 has two different stories in it. One about werewolves and one about vampires. It was different from the other volumes, and although I still enjoyed Courtney and the writing, I found the flow of the story to be… odd. I like reading about Courtney’s life in her Uncle’s house and with the kids at school. In these two stories she’s traveling in Europe with her Uncle.

It was a different feel for Volume 4 than the first three. I am curious if there will be more volumes and as to what sort of mischief Courtney will get herself into in the next chapter!

Books in the Courtney Crumrin series:

Volume 1: Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things
Volume 2: Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics
Volume 3: Courtney Crumrin in the Twilight Kingdom
Volume 4: Courtney Crumrin’s Mysterious Holiday

Courtney Crumrin Vols. 1 & 2

Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things
by Ted Naifeh

This first volume introduces us to little Courtney and sort of explains why her parents sold the house in the old neighbourhood and moved in with their Great-Uncle Aloysius. He asked them to move in so they could help take care of things as he is pretty old. The main reason he had them move in was to be closer to Courtney and train her in magic, when she finds out she’s a witch.

Courtney learns a lot on her own as she is bullied both at school by the other Junior High kids and by the Night Things, particularly a goblin called Butterworm. Once she learns the consequences of trying out magic on her own, she is taken under the wing of her old Uncle, who really isn’t as frail and ailing as he lets on to be.

I happen to really like Butterworm. I think he’s adorable, you know, for a goblin. And I love Courtney’s dry, cynical look on life. She doesn’t quite let people knock her down, at least not a second time. Her form of revenge is generally amusing. Also, she’s drawn very cute. I like the art very much in this series.

Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mysitcs
by Ted Naifeh

In the second volume, you learn a little more about Uncle Aloysius and Courtney’s magic progresses. There’s a cool chapter in the middle where Courtney becomes a cat and is allowed to witness the secret life of cats (who can speak, of course. Those that choose to speak with a human, that is.) Courtney is still bullied at school, though less and less as she becomes more feared than anything else. Also Courtney takes on a hobgoblin and the Goblin underworld. She might fear things, but she doesn’t let that stop her from doing what she thinks is right. Her relationship with Butterworm is stronger now, and though they aren’t quite friends, he often helps her out with her missions. He doesn’t even try to eat her anymore!

I am so very happy I discovered these books from DarlaD’s blog. They are well-written, have great art and are just fun to read. I just picked up Vols 1 & 2 today after my special order came in and have read them cover-t0=cover. They aren’t all that short, maybe about 100 pages? But they are full of dialogue and description. Well worth the addition to my book collection!

Books in the Courtney Crumrin series:

Volume 1: Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things
Volume 2: Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics
Volume 3: Courtney Crumrin in the Twilight Kingdom
Volume 4: Courtney Crumrin’s Mysterious Holiday

Courtney Crumrin Vol.3 : The Twilight Kingdom

Courtney Crumrin in the Twilight Kingdom (Volume 3)
by Ted Naifeh

This is a totally impromptu and unexpected review-slash-book purchase! And this is also another book that I blame on someone else – DarlaD AGAIN! Darla reviewed this graphic novel about a month ago and I was instantly drawn to the art and font of the title. So I had it in my head that I wanted to look this book up, but I could never remember the title or author. Argh!

Earlier this week I added Volume 1 to my wishlist in hopes of helping myself remember what it was. Today I was at my comic book store picking up this month’s Buffy Season 8 comic (#25 Living Doll) (And as to that one, I say… WHA..??!?! I have no clue what the hell is going on with this comic and am seriously contemplating cancelling my subscription because it makes no sense and is going NOWHERE! They have no plot! Ugh!) and while there I thought – ok! Now to look for that book and… ack! I forgot the title and author AGAIN! So I made my husband use his iPhone to get to my amazon wishlist so I could look it up. Heh. Way to go iPhone!

And yes, I realize this is the 3rd volume and that there are two previous ones, but the store didn’t have them in stock – but I did place them on order and boy am I glad that I did! I loved this little graphic novel to bits!

From what I gather from the story – Courtney’s family moved from their home in, um, some sort of slummy area to live with her weird Uncle Aloysius in his spooky mansion. Courtney seems to have some sort of magical powers and a rebellious attitude. In this particular novel she needs to rescue a boy-turned-night thing from the Twilight Kingdom.

It’s magical, and dark and I love the art. It’s not quite anime style, which I am happy about because I am so not a fan of anime. There’s something adorable about Courtney. Sort of an Emily the Strange combined with Ruby Gloom. I was slightly disappointed that the book was black and white, but you can’t have everything, right? (I’m a big fan of colour!)

So I will be the proud owner of Volumes 1 & 2 shortly. Expect reviews of those as well!

Books in the Courtney Crumrin series:

Volume 1: Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things
Volume 2: Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics
Volume 3: Courtney Crumrin in the Twilight Kingdom
Volume 4: Courtney Crumrin’s Mysterious Holiday

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 8

Most people likely know this by now, but Joss Whedon has been continuing his Buffy the Vampire Slayer series through comics. Writing this post reminded me that I have the last two months comics waiting for me at Ye Olde Comic Book Shoppe downtown. I need to get there and pick them up. Anyhow, the comics are also put out in omnibus format so you can read about 5 of the comics at once and not have to wait a month between them (which, believe me, makes them very confusing).

Buffy and friends are holed up in some castle in, what I think might be Scotland. Half the time I don’t know where there are or what’s going on or even who the heck is supposed to be speaking (remember how at the end of Buffy the TV show the Slayer power was distributed to all potential slayers around the world? Well there are a lot of them and many are drawn the same way!). Buffy seems to have clones, Xander seems to be in the role of Commander General or something, Willow is.. well, she looks like Willow which is nice, and Dawn is a giant. (But why she’s a giant has yet to be totally revealed.)

I don’t know what I think about these comics. I have been getting them monthly (my first ever account with the comic books store!) and I have been reading them and occasionally enjoying them. But to be honest, I think they are just weird.

They did do this one arc where Dracula came back and that was written in old school Buffy fashion. It was funny (Xander and Dracula are a hoot) and it was the least confusing of the arcs so far in my opinion.

Where Joss Whedon and the comic creators plan to take this I don’t know. I am not entirely sure how well sales are going, though I have a feeling it’s not that bad – at least at the start. I don’t know how many people are going to want to wade through all this weird confusing stuff and sexual experimentation (um, hi? Where the hell did that come from, Buffy?!) and such… at least without some idea of what’s going to come out of it.

I am not reading the Angel series in comic book format. It didn’t interest me at all. But I am reading the Buffy one because Buffy has always been my one true love (the show, not the character ;)) since I was young(er).

Although I do wonder how the heck these crazy kids (er, adults?) can afford to  be jet setting all over the world to fight vampires. Who’s funding all of this? Where are they getting the money? Do they moonlight as bank robbers? Do they pick pocket the vamps and demons they slay? I just don’t get it. At the same time, I always wondered how Buffy could pay for the house and all those bills after her mother died on the show. It’s not like any of them had real jobs – that they went to regularly enough to merit being payed anyhow. I suppose these things are not to be thought about very hard in terms of the show. After all, they were fighting copious amounts of demons and vampires and whatnots, so it’s not like it was a true story or anything. But still, these aspects always bug me when I see how impossible it all is.

I mean… THEY LIVE IN A CASTLE WITH A TON OF HIGH TECH DOOHICKIES AND COMPUTERS AND HELICOPTERS!!! Where did they get the money to afford all of that?? Buffy should only be in her early 20s and I don’t recall her ever winning the lottery on the show. Gah!

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