What I’m Reading Wednesday – Bad Blood

Vampire stories have been pretty hot for around the past 5 years. Twilight had a lot to do with that. I admit I was never a huge vampire fan. I’ve read Twilight and I think it ruined things for me. But last year my friend started bragging about True Blood and I figured I would check it out. Holy hell! That show is fantastic. It showed me a different type of vampire story, one that was entertaining, and something I could relate to. I started to see why people are so hooked on the whole vampire thing.

So when Dark Horse decided to release a comic book series called Bad Blood, a story about a kid with cancer who’s blood is poisonous to vampires, I decided to check it out. I thought this was such an interesting concept, and something I hadn’t seen in any of the other vampire stories I’d read before.

Bad Blood touches on a lot of subjects relating to health and our environment. Are the things we’re putting into our bodies really good for us in the long run? How does the government try to control what goes in our bodies, and if this is a good or bad thing? This comic had me thinking about how different the world is now compared to even 40 or 50 years ago when food was processed differently and medication was not as easily accessible.

This is a pretty short series with only 5 issues, and I’m not saying I love the way it ended (actually I downright hated the ending), but I believe it is worth checking out. It’s sometimes nice to get an unexpected lesson when reading a book; to have someone make you think and challenge your opinion.

What’s your favorite vampire series?

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Neighborhood Watch – Things From Another World

I love my local comic book store. It’s one of the few places I can walk in wearing a Star Trek skirt or Gryffindor buttons without getting strange looks. Things From Another World is owned by Dark Horse comics, who have been putting out great comics for almost 30 years (ie. Buffy, Star Wars, Sin City) and their Milwaukie store is located right next to their corporate offices.

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Everything from the flying saucer perched on the top of their store front to the figurines that line their windows make coming to this location well worth the drive outside Portland. The other perk is their amazing and friendly staff. They make you feel at home from the moment you step in the front door. If you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for don’t hesitate to ask Sean or Martin. If you’re looking for suggestions on new series to check out, they are a wealth of knowledge.

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Nate & I subscribe to a box at the store so they pull all the comics we want every week and hang on to them until we come pick them up. Subscribing to a box is free, you just need to have at least 3 titles that you’d like pulled for you. You also get great discounts for having a box, plus if you have a busy schedule like us and can’t always make it in once a week you’ll feel better knowing that all your issues are waiting for you.

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It’s hard to resist feeling like a kid in a candy store every time we visit. If I ever win the lottery I think I’ll just walk in here and take one of everything.

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We usually do come away each week with a new Funko Pop figure or blind box. Our apartment will soon resemble this wall! But I can’t help it, I love them so much.

So next time you find yourself in Portland don’t think twice about driving out to TFAW. Remember, we don’t have sales tax in Oregon so you have no excuse not to stock up on some geeky goods.

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.

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.)

What I’m Reading Wednesday – 100+ Books!

At the end of 2012 I set what seemed like a hefty goal for this year: read 100 books in 2013. I seriously thought I was crazy but figured what the hey, might as well give it a try. The point was to just read as much as possible since for years I had been so caught up in school, work, & friends and barely could finish a book in a whole year. I never thought that half way through November I would be announcing that I’ve not only reached my goal, but surpassed it! Holy smokes, Batman!

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This has really been a great year in reading. My girlfriends and I started a book club back in March and it’s now almost doubled in size. Through book club I’ve been introduced to some great new (to me) authors and genres that I may have missed out on reading otherwise. Thanks to Nate I’ve finally been introduced to the world of comic books. I have fallen head over heels in love with some great stories. Thank goodness for trade paperbacks! It makes it so much easier to catch up on series that have been established for years.

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I’m so surprised I haven’t worn my library card down to nothing this year. I try to check out everything I can from the library just because our apartment is so small and finding room for new books is so difficult. When I do purchase books it’s usually for my Kindle (which I love love love) but it’s still not quite the same as holding a real book in your hands. One day when we finally settle down in a house I’m sure we’ll work hard to build a real library full of books.

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I decided to put together a short list of my favorite books that I’ve read this past year, so if you’re looking for something new to read check these out:

And for my complete list click here. I’ll continue to update it until the end of the year. Then I’ll have to think of a new reading goal for 2014!

How many books have you read this year?

xx

Candice