What I’m Reading Wednesday – Green Arrow

When I first started getting heavily into comic books I discovered Jeff Lemire and fell head over heels for his stories & art. So when I realized that he had started writing for the Green Arrow I knew I needed to check it out.

The best way to get caught up on comics when you decide to start in the middle of the series is to look for trade paperbacks. These usually consist of 5 or 6 comics in one book. The best thing is that you can usually get them from your local library, which is great if you’re unsure about spending $15 on a story you may hate.

Green_Arrow_The_Kill_Machine_TPBNow Jeff Lemire didn’t start out writing the New 52 Green Arrow, and let me just be frank, it was awful in the beginning. The stories dragged on and just weren’t very interesting. But since I’m so familiar with Jeff Lemire I stuck out reading it until he finally took over the series, and boy am I glad I did. He really took Oliver Queen and gave him some substance. Now I’m feeling for this guy who lost his father, lost his company, and was stranded on a desert island for 3 year. He’s not just some a-hole with a ton of money to blow on some cool gadgets while he pretends to be a super hero.

lemire-sorrentino-green-arrowI just finished reading the 4th trade paperback last night, Green Arrow Vol. 4: The Kill Machine, and it did not disappoint. I would almost suggest that you start with this one because it gives you a lot of his origin story and it’s not particularly difficult to understand what’s going on. Also, Andrea Sorrentino’s art work is superb and it gives this comic a very cool vibe.

So, did you know that it’s Free Comic Book Day this Saturday? I’m very excited because this will be my first time attending. Wook Jin Clark who does the art for the Adventure Time Flip Side comics will be there signing autographs and I may have a fangirl moment if I get to meet him. I’m sure I’ll mumble something about stalking his instagram and how great I think his art is and that we should totally be friends in real life.

Have I mentioned how cool I am in real life? Very cool obviously.

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Make Something Monday – Go Bananas!

I freaking love bananas. They’re my favorite fruit and one of my favorite flavors to bake with. So when I started to plan my work snack for the week I went for a classic: banana bread. Of course, as always, this recipe is gluten free. You can substitute regular “gluten full” flour if you want since this recipe is pretty simple. And just to satisfy my sweet tooth I threw some chocolate chips into this bad boy, but you can always leave those out if you prefer.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

adapted from The Life of Curls
  • 1 3/4 cups gluten free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill AP GF flour)
  • 1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 sugar
  • 1/2 canola oil
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a bread pan. Combine your dry ingredients in a bowl: GF flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2.  In a seperate bowl, using an electric mixer or a potato masher, mash your bananas. Add eggs one at a time and mix. Add sugar, canola oil, and vanilla extract to the banana and egg mixture.
  3.  Add your dry ingredients to wet ingredients in thirds, mixing between until fully combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into your prepared bread pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out completely clean.
  4.  Cool on a rack of 10 minutes then remove from the pan and cool completely. (If you can. Trust me, you’ll be tempted to dig into this yummy treat right away.)

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Variation: In the past I’ve also taken about 1/4-1/3 of the batter and added unsweetened cocoa powder and then marbled it throughout the batter. (Chocolate marbled banana bread might be one of my best ideas yet.)

What delicious things have you been cooking up lately?

Friday, I’m in love: 4.25.14

We’ve made it to the end of the week! Now it’s time to look back and reflect on some of my favorite internet finds.

Swords are the coolest! Check out the amount of time & detail these people put into replicating Jake’s sword from Adventure Time. Mathematical!

 

I’ve been a huge fan of Lily Allen since her first album came out in 2006. (Whoa, I’ve loved her for a long time!) Her new album Sheezus comes out on May 6th and I can’t wait to pick it up. I know she’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but Lily Allen is pretty much my best friend in my head.

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I just ordered this amazing patch from the Stay Home Club. I also purchased a denim jacket yesterday so as soon as this patch arrives I can start my girl gang. (Can one person be a gang?)

Aaron Kraten 8 bit tshirt

My friend (and amazing artist) Aaron Kraten has been releasing awesome t-shirts all week. I’m needing for this Nintendo shirt like whoa.

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I’ve been searching Airbnb a lot for staycation options close to home and I recently ran across this Tugboat house on the Columbia River. How cool is this?! Check out the pictures for all the little details.

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This gold bike helmet from Bobbin Bicycles is everything! I swear if I have this I’ll ride my bike all the time!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. It’s supposed to rain here (no surprise) but next week we might actually hit 80°F! Bring on the sunshine, I say!

What I’m Reading Wednesday – Ms. Marvel

In the past year I’ve gone from being pretty intimidated by the comic book world to being a full fledged enthusiast! Every weekend the husband and I venture down to Things From Another World in Milwaukie, OR (just south of Portland) and pick up our box. It’s a nice treat to catch up on the latest issues and see what’s happening in all these different universes.

Since we get a lot of comics from all over the spectrum, and reading them has become such a huge part of my daily routine, I thought I would change What I’m Reading Wednesday from a mostly YA/fiction book centered feature to a mostly COMIC BOOK feature. Since the world of comics is still a new adventure for me hopefully this will inspire other girls to step into a comic book store and pick up the next issues of Ms. Marvel or Batgirl. But don’t worry if you’re not a huge comic fan, I’ll still feature what I’m reading with my monthly book club and any other great books I read along the way.

msmarvel2014_1Ms. Marvel is one of my favorite new comics. It’s about a Pakistani-American girl named Kamala Khan who wants nothing more than to fit in at school. As she walks home after a party one night, all of Jersey city is enveloped by a strange mist, and when Kamala finally wakes up she realizes she has transformed into her idol, Ms. Marvel (aka Carol Danvers, the now Captain Marvel). What Kamala soon discovers is that she can transform into just about anything she wants, which is a pretty amazing power for a girl who doesn’t feel like she fits in.

msmarvel2014_2I especially love this series because it deals not only with being a teenager, or growing up with strict parents, but it gives another side to a traditional super hero by dealing with race and religion. It’s great for people of color to be able to open a comic book (which are usually pretty damn white washed) and see super hero’s that look like them. This is so freaking important! Women of color are so under represented in the geek world, and I hope that more major comic book publishers will open their minds to showcasing these stories.

msmarvel2014_3So if you’re looking for a new series to check out, or are having a hard time knowing where to start in the comic book world, check out Ms. Marvel. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Not only is the story gripping but the art is superb!

Plus this is sure to be a great costume at any Comic Con! I know I’ll be stalking any ladies dressed up at the next Con I attend and dishing out major high-fives. (And if you pick these up you’ll see how epic Ms. Marvel’s high-five can be.)