Graphic Friday- Psychic Academy by Katsu Aki

As I continue my discovery of the graphic novel connection, I want to take a minute to be real here.  I would not call myself a fan of manga.  I like graphic novels and comic books but the backward reading always drove me nuts.  Only, not really.  What I have learned through the years is that a good story is readable in any format.  When I was looking through books I’ve read in the past decade, there were some manga series that stuck out.  I liked R.O.D. and Hellsing, Princess Ai and Monster.  I know that it is possible for me to like good stories in this format.

But let’s be real here.  This is kind of a shit story.  It’s very… flat.  I know that I only read the first volume but there was nothing in that first volume that makes me want to continue.  Some of it even actively bothered me.

Like, cool, your two female characters are smoking hot and both into the main character and you have your typical love triangle where one girl has known him forever and the other is edgy and perfect for him or whatever.  BUT I do not think that I have ever seen so much accidental boob grabbing in my life.  The first time it happened I was surprised enough to send a picture of the frame to my husband with a chuckle.  Around the third time it happened I was rolling my eyes.  There is a lot of sexy for sales sake going on here, I think.  None of the sexiness makes any sense for the story.  And, for the love of God, why do their gym suits have nipples??!??

Suffice to say that I won’t be continuing this series.  In fact, I considered removing it from the collection so that I could replace it with something better but it appears to still check out.  This one was not even laughably bad in my opinion, just irritating.

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Graphic Friday: Archie, vol 4 by Mark Waid

It is no secret that I am in love with the new Archie, sometimes called “hot Archie.”  When the newest in the series lands on my desk, I have been known to squeal and hug it.  This updated comic has branched out into other things, too.  I love CW’s Riverdale, though I am watching on Netflix so don’t ruin the second season for me!  The revamp of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is also pretty great.  I even saw an Archie Diegest the other day that was a special Riverdale edition that I did not buy and have been beating myself up about ever since.

This new volume is more serious than the last and it was a roller coaster ride for me.

Now that Veronica has returned to Riverdale, her relationship with Archie is strained.  Veronica has matured slightly, at least on the surface, and she’s starting to talk like the future heir of her father’s billions while Archie is the same old Archie.  Things already shaky between them, Archie is worried about Veronica finding out that he could be cut from the football team so when Reggie threatens to tell her if Archie doesn’t drag race him in Betty and his newly restored 1969 Mustang Mach 1 Cobra, Archie feels trapped.  He takes off in the car without telling Betty where he is going but when she finds out there are dire consequences.

Even though this was a much more serious run than the previous volumes, it was still loads of fun.  Plus, cliffhanger!  I can’t wait to see what happens next.  (Also, so much fun to read the car stuff out loud to my husband. Ha ha.)

Graphic Friday- A-Force: Rage Against the Dying Light by Kelly Thompson

So, I read the first A-Force trade and liked it a lot more than I expected.  When I finished reading, I noticed that it was by G. Willow Wilson and I really liked her Ms. Marvel so I felt less surprised and also very excited to start the second trade.  Then I checked it out and I realized another reason that I get so pissed off about comics.  New writers.  New artists.  I know Kelly Thompson from her work on Jem, the first trade of which I really liked.  So, in short, I gave it a try.

I liked it.  I did.  Again.

Which has left me in a kind of conundrum.  Am I going to have to admit that maybe I DO like superhero comics, if they are the right ones?  Am I going to have to trust Marvel’s choice in writers and artists?  (I don’t think I can do that because we all know they have a tendency to do stupid shit constantly.  Though I do like that both writers for this series were women.)  And, you know, is there ever going to be more A-Force because I kind of need it?

We join the team this time in the midst of a battle that is going poorly.  It goes poorly enough that She Hulk ends up in the hospital, in a coma.  Meanwhile, Captain Marvel has heard a prophecy that Nico will kill a woman named Alice.  Cap wants to arrest Nico in order to prevent this murder until they can figure out what is going on.  Nico is not a fan of being arrested by her teammate and runs away (ha) to a safe house she has in Colorado.  However, when she gets there she finds that the townspeople are being turned into giant insects.

Another fun run!  I want more, damn you, Marvel.

Graphic Friday- Emitown, vol 2 by Emi Lenox

Now that I have read both volumes of Emitown, I feel comfortable telling you that I am in love with these books.  I don’t know what it is about them.  I find them comforting, somehow.  They make me feel a little more upbeat.  Even when Emi is dealing with *some shit* she manages to make herself go out and try to have fun and reading these daily entries made me feel like I could do that too.

This volume differs from the first in that Emi constructed it from notes at a later time and so the book has more of an actual arc to it.  At first I was concerned about this because I loved the randomness of the first volume but this book was just as good.  Emi is going through the publication of her first book and a relationship and a job loss.  There is a lot going on but she ties it all together nicely.

I know that these books aren’t for everyone but I can tell you that when I finished volume 2, I wanted to start back at volume 1 again and keep going in an infinite loop.

Graphic Friday- A-Force: Hypertime by G. Willow Wilson

A while ago, I gave up on superheroes.  I was just, you know, over it.  In all fairness, the superhero comics get damn confusing.  New arcs, new dimensions, cancelled stories left incomplete, no clear jumping in place.  Plus, there are SO MANY great comics out there right now that aren’t superhero centric.

But, of course, being me, I decided to delve into graphics this year and I also decided to just “go ahead and start at the beginning of the graphic novel section” which just so happened to plop me in A-Force: Hypertime.  I actually really enjoyed this.  I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

When a strange being appears in space Captain Marvel moves in to destroy it.  However, the destruction is only temporary and in its wake there appears another being:  Singularity.  Singularity is from another dimension where she was part of the A-Force that protected Arcadia.  Now that world has been destroyed but she remembers the people who were her friends: Medusa, She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, Nico, and Dazzler.  When the original being remanifests and goes after Singularity, she gathers these friends around her to attempt to defeat it.  The only catch is that her friends don’t know her and nobody knows how to defeat Antimatter.

A-Force was added to the collection based on the suggestion of a TAB member.  I always try to order what TAB members recommend.

EmiTown, vol 1 by Emi Lennox

I don’t know if other people enjoy reading journal comics as much as I do.  Is it because I have kept a journal since I was 13, almost religiously for the past decade?  Or do I just really like getting a glimpse inside someone else’s life?

I loved Emitown.  I loved it for a lot of reasons.

I loved the army cats because, come on.  Army cats.

I loved it for Emi’s love of food.  In fact, because of Emi I have been eating sausage McMuffins, cheeseburgers, and sushi.  It’s a hard knock life.

I loved that Emi was so kind to herself!  Even when she was feeling down, she was drawing about how that was okay and that was really good for me to see.

I loved that she had adventures.  It made me nostalgic for the days when I would just run off to the bar with my friends.  (Never, you guys.  Those days were never. lol)

Seriously pleased that I purchased this and that I have volume 2 waiting for me.

Graphic Friday- Archie, vol. 3

It’s happened.  I’ve become confused.

I read the second volume of Hot Archie back in December and in the meantime, well, a lot has happened.  Besides the fact that my brain is having a hard time accessing details from Before Baby, I’ve also gone and gotten myself addicted to Riverdale and in the past two weeks have watched eight episodes.  (It’s hard fitting in binges right now but I’m doing my best, dammit.)

So, it took a little adjusting but I eventually managed to get back into the groove.

Look, I have always been an Archie fan.  I used to pick up the occasional comic at the grocery store.  I was a fan of the Prom digest every year.  I know that The Archies are credited with the song “Sugar, Sugar.”  I recognize most of the characters, though I did have to look a few up for Riverdale watching purposes.  What I’m saying is that I am biased.  I am going to be here for all of the new Archie.  I may not read the new Jughead  (I didn’t like it.)  but I am IN for the new Archie.

In this volume, we find Veronica shipped off to boarding school in Switzerland where she meets her nemesis, Cheryl Blossom.  When the two wage war on one another and Veronica gets the upper hand, Cherly manages to weasel her way to Riverdale where she sets her sights on Archie as the ultimate revenge.  While Archie and Betty are both dealing with their broken hearts, Veronica is frantically trying to get back home before it’s too late.  Good old fashion fun!