Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol 1 by Amy Reeder #BookReview

Title: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol 1 | Series: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur | Author: Amy Reeder | IllustratorsBrandon MontclareNatacha Bustos | Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain | Publisher: Marvel Comics | Pub. Date: 2016-7-15 | Pages: 160 | Genre: Science Fiction Graphic Novel | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Bookstore coffee read


Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Vol 1

LUNELLA LAFAYETTE IS AN INHUMAN PRETEEN GENIUS WHO WANTS TO CHANGE THE WORLD! 

That job would be a lot easier if she wasn’t living in mortal fear of her latent Inhuman gene. There’s no telling what she’ll turn into – but Luna’s got a plan. All she needs is an Omni-Wave Projector. Easy, right? That is, until a red-scaled beast is teleported from the prehistoric past to a far-flung future we call…today! Together they’re the most Marvelous Team-Up of all – the Inhuman Moon Girl and time-tossed Devil Dinosaur! But will they be BFFs forever, or just until DD’s dinner time? And Lunella soon learns that there are other problems with a having a titanic T. Rex as a pet in the modern-day Marvel Universe. School, for one. Monster hunters are another – especially when they’re the Totally Awesome Hulk! Then there’s the fact that everyone’s favorite dino didn’t journey through time alone. Beware the prehistoric savages known as the Killer-Folk – New York City’s deadliest tourists! Can Lunella handle all this turmoil… and keep herself from transforming into an Inhuman monster? 

Collecting MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #1-6.

Book cover for Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Review

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is a graphic novel that I had on my list several months ago as one I wanted to read. Well, the day before Miss L had her heart catheterization and bronchoscopy, we were playing hooky from all responsibilities. We went to the local Barnes & Noble and snagged a few graphic novels to read while we had our ‘coffees’.  She had picked up the latest Supergirl comic, but within minutes of me starting Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, she was peering over my shoulder. And then she started grouching at me when we weren’t flipping pages at the right rate for her. So, safe to say she was a fan.

While I  did enjoy Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, it was more that I enjoyed the experience of sharing it with my child than the actual content itself. The illustrations were okay. Some of my favorite ones were where Devil Dinosaur was carrying Moon Girl around. Those made me laugh. I didn’t particularly care for Teenage Hulk’s presence in the story.  The colorist did a great job on Moon Girl and I liked the color choices in general.  The dialogue was middling though. While it was fun to make the indignant tones and growling noises of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, not a single line of the dialogue stands out in my mind even two hours later.

As for the story itself – well, there was something in there. I liked that Moon Girl was so determined to protect herself from the Terrigen mist. She wasn’t going to depend on anyone else to fix the problem. This isn’t some damsel in distress. But, through six issues, she never actually manages to accomplish anything in the way of saving herself. In fact, the volume ends with her in a serious “oh, crap!” position.  On the one hand, she’s only nine. On the other, she’s supposed to be some sort of super genius, so… I don’t know. All I know is a lot of the volume is her hijinks with trying to rescue or be rescued by the devil dinosaur, and that’s not really enough to motivate me to want to read more from the series.

And – this must be said – I only knew what the Terrigen mist (cloud?) was because I’d seen it when I was working my way through a Spanish-language Marvel sampler. I’m still not sure what role the ‘Inhumans’ play in the Marvel Universe. Are they different from superheroes? So if you’re not really familiar at all with the Marvel Universe outside the glut of superhero movies, you might have some problems.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read, but not a memorable one. I might check out the second volume next time I’m at Barnes & Noble, but that really depends on if there’s anything else more interesting looking available. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur may be a good pick for younger readers, though. 

 

Buy Link: Amazon

Frostbite – A Graphic Novel by Joshua Williamson #BookReview

Title: Frostbite Vol 1 | Series: Frostbite | Author: Joshua Williamson | Illustrator: Jason Shawn Alexander | ColoristLuis Nct | Publisher: Vertigo | Pub. Date: 2017-8-1 | Pages: 144 | Genre: Science Fiction Apocalyptic | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating 5 out of 5 | Source: Barnes & Noble random grab


Frostbite

In the arctic wilderness of post-apocalyptic America, death comes in many forms—but none is worse than the terrifying plague that freezes its victims from the inside out. They call it frostbite, and it is slowly, inexorably infecting the struggling remnants of humanity. Frostbite has no vaccine, no immunity, and no cure.

Until now.

In snowbound Mexico City, Dr. Henry Bonham and his daughter, Victoria, have found the key to destroying the disease. In order to make their theoretical cure a reality, however, they have to travel 2,000 treacherous miles to a secret government installation on Alcatraz Island.

Enter Keaton, captain of the cross-country cargo hauler Icebreaker, and her hard-bitten mercenary crew. They’ve spent years learning how to survive on the ice, but they’ve never before gone on a run with such high stakes—or with such determined enemies.

Will these unlikely saviors make it across the frozen wasteland, defeat the relentless forces gunning for their lives, and bring warmth to the world? Or will frostbite continue to consume all life in its icy jaws?

Discover the shocking answers in FROSTBITE. Collects FROSTBITE #1-6.

Book cover for Frostbite

Frostbite Review

 

I loved this. Holy crap. I loved this so much! The cover art of Frostbite caught my attention – reminded me strongly of one of my favorite sci-fi women – and so I grabbed it while I had a coffee at the local Barnes & Noble. I knew I wasn’t going to buy it, but I’m a quick enough reader that getting through a volume like this in the time it takes me to drink a cup of coffee is fairly easy.  So, even if it was a dud, I was good. It wasn’t a dud. It was freaking awesome!

The resemblance to Zoe from Firefly doesn’t just end with the outfit and (apparent) race of the main character. Keaton is firm, but kind. She makes a decision and follows through on it. She might regret her actions later, but she does what she feels needs to be done at that moment. This means she succeeds where others fail. It also means a lot of people would gladly see her dead. In comparison, though Victoria is strong in her own right, she seems to pale in comparison. Still, there were moments when I rooted for her as well.

Jason Shawn Alexander did an amazing job here. While I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the stuff I’ve seen from his past, I definitely enjoyed his work in Frostbite. It wasn’t amazingly detailed,but everything was communicated, and it was a pleasure to look at. I don’t know exactly what was different, but this just felt more ‘real’ and clean to me. His drawings were only enhanced by colorist Luis Nct’s work. Luis didn’t use a lot colors, let alone bold ones, and yet he still managed to perfectly set each scene.

While I’m sure the set-up for Frostbite is not unique (I’ve seen similar scenarios many times in regular novels), I still enjoyed it immensely. I was completely immersed in Frostbite from the first page to the last. There was at least one scene where I muttered a rather crude word under my breath, and another where I remember drawing a quick breath in surprise. 

I can’t wait for the next volume of Frostbite to come out. I’ll definitely be having a coffee and mooching another read from the local bookstore!

Buy Link: Amazon

10 Horror Graphic Novels to Read in October

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.The prompt for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday was supposed to be Top Ten Book Boyfriend/Girlfriends, but it’s October and we’re not doing mushy. So, today we’re going to focus on horror-themed comic books / graphic novels.

The first five are books that we’ve recently come across. Didn’t have a clue they existed, but something about them drew our eye. The Veil and Born in Hell are both horror-mysteries. The Pound looks like it would be a wild ride. Arkham Woods was selected because, well, Arkham. And tentacles. The tentacles definitely had something to do with it. Really don’t have any good reason for choosing the Grim Leaper other than sometimes twisted romances can be fun to read about.

The second set of five are book series that we’ve read some of already and definitely enjoyed.

 

 

The Veil

Written by El Torres | Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Meet Chris Luna, a cheap private eye with a client list of the dearly departed. Chris has the unique ability to sometimes pierce through The Veil between our realm and the unknown beyond. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really pay the rent. Now Chris is broke and has to return home to Maine… and face the darkness that now lurks beneath the surface of her quiet hometown.

Book cover for The Veil

Purchase on Amazon

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The Pound Vol 1

Written by Stephan Nilson | Art by Ibrahim Moustafa

What do two, unemployed, municipal animal control specialists do when their city is infested with monsters? They open a facility, “The Pound,” dedicated to the capture and rehabilitation of unregistered monsters. What they don’t realize is their community service is putting a serious kink in the original four monsters’ plans for all-out Armageddon!

Book cover for The Pound

Purchase on Amazon

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Arkham Woods

Written by Christopher Rowley | Art by Jhomar Soriano

Kirsti Rivers is an L.A. teenager suddenly transplanted to the small New England town of Arkham Woods. Kirsti and her mom, Victoria, are tasked with clearing out and selling the old house left to them by Silas Scadmore, Victoria’s eccentric uncle. But from the hidden recesses of the house, Kirsti and her friends unwittingly unleash and ancient evil that could spell the end of the world — unless they can find a way to stop it first!

Book cover for Arkham Woods

Purchase on Amazon

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Born in Hell

Written by Valentin Ramon | Art by Ferran Xalabarder

By the end of the Thirties, with the world one step close to the most terrible war, three characters, seemingly with nothing in common, find themselves implicated in a complex intrigue which will push them to the very limits of sanity. Joe Colter, a tough private eye looking for an urn, Max Conrad, an FBI agent looking for a missing comrade, and Juiette Smith, a luxury prostitute looking for her missing friend, are the three legs of a story which will lead them to a true meeting in the real kitchen of hell.

Book cover for Born in Hell

Purchase from Comixology

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Grim Leaper

Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe | Art by Alusio C. Santos

In death, he finally found something to live for. Lou Collins is caught in a cyclical curse of violent, gruesome deaths and new beginnings in the bodies of strangers. With no clue why, Lou desperately searches for a way to break the curse and cross over peacefully to the other side. Then equally doomed Ella comes along. It’s a love story to die for.

Book cover for Grim Leaper

Purchase on Amazon

Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

’68 Vol 1: Better Run Through the Jungle

Written by Mark Kidwell | Art by Nat Jones, Tim Vigil

There are zombies in the razorwire. Welcome to 1968– and the end of the world. From the steaming jungles of Viet Nam to the brightly lit campus of demonstration-torn Berkeley, California, ravenous hordes of unstoppable ghouls are changing the face of the Age of Aquarius. Collected for the first time, this 178-page collection re-presents the first four-issue story arc from the ’68 ongoing series, along with the re-colored and re-lettered original one-shot from 2006! Plus, creators MARK KIDWELL, NAT JONES and JAY FOTOS have included tons of behind-the-scenes extras to make this a must-have for zombie and horror fans everywhere!

Book cover for 68 Vol 1

I have no interest in wars, but when you add zombies into the mix, I’m definitely willing to have a look. ’68 was an interesting read.

Purchase on Amazon

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28 Days Later

Written by Michael Alan Nelson | Art by Alejandro Aragon, Pablo Peppino, Ron Salas, Declan Shalvey

The film that changed horror forever continues here! Selena and her new comrades struggle against the infected, the American presence in the UK and themselves. Selena is a survivor but even she must give pause when the mission has her breaking into the land she fought so hard to get out of.

Book cover for 28 Days Later: Omnibus

I loved the 28 Days Later movie, so when I saw this on Comixology, I was half-tempted, half-scared to check it out. Luckily what I read (not all of it was available on Comixology Unlimited) was well-drawn and worth checking out.

Purchase on Amazon

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The Dunwich Horror

Written by Joe R. Lansdale | Art by menton3, Peter Bergting

H.P. Lovecraft is known as one of the key founders of modern horror, cited as a major influence by many prominent authors, such as Stephen King. In collaboration with renowned Lovecraft historian and literary caretaker Robert Weinberg, IDW is bringing you the definitive Lovecraft comics updated for a 21st century audience. This unique series begins by adapting classic Lovecraft tale “The Dunwich Horror” by fright-master Joe R. Lansdale (30 Days of Night: Night, Again) and Peter Bergting (D&D: Dark Sun).

Book cover for The Dunwich Horror

I think I actually started this before I’d tried to seriously read anything else from H.P. Lovecraft. The first volume was definitely creepy and caught my attention.

Purchase on Amazon

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The Twilight Zone Vol 1

Written by J. Michael Straczynski | Art by Guiu Vilanova

From the mind of J. Michael Straczynski, Hugo Award-winning creator of Babylon 5 and writer for the blockbuster films Thor, Changeling, and World War Z! Trevor Richmond is a Wall Street investor who embezzled millions and is about to tank the economy. Desperate to avoid the consequences for his actions, he goes to Expedited Services, which offers to help him disappear and enjoy a life of leisure in a new identity. But what exactly is this new life, how much is freedom worth, and what happens to the old life when someone else shows up to claim it? This captivating first volume will push the boundaries of The Twilight Zone into new and uncharted territory – a journey that will travel into the past and the future, into murder and revenge, and finally into the sunrise of nuclear Armageddon!

Book cover for The Twilight Zone Vol 1

The art isn’t exceptional, but it fits the story perfectly. And the way the story is told does instantly put you right into the Twilight Zone. Think it’s something you must check out if you’re a fan of the TV series.

Purchase on Amazon

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Whispers in the Walls Vol 1: Sarah

Written by David Munoz | Art by Tirso

Somewhere in post WWII Central Europe exists an orphanage where children having survived a mysterious, transformative virus are admitted. Czechoslovakia, 1949. What Evil lurks within the walls of an ancient children’s infirmary? After the brutal murder of her parents, Sarah, a young orphan, is about to discover that and much more. From long-buried secrets to imminent battles, the fate of man, and monster, lie with young Sarah. A gothic tale of horror from David Muñoz (co-writer of Guillermo Del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone film) and artist Tirso.

Book cover for Whispers in the Walls Vol 1: Sarah

This is another case where I wasn’t a huge fan of the art itself, but I liked the way the story was told. The color choice is nice as well. The story opens with a nearly wordless sequence of several pages that sets the mood properly and then leaps right into Sarah’s story itself.

Purchase on Amazon


 

Well, there you have it. If you’re a fan of graphic novels, you might want to consider giving these a try. (And please remember, Sci-Fi & Scary is an Amazon Affiliate, so we do earn a small percentage if you choose to purchase using the buy links. Helps pay server costs and the like.)

What do you think of horror movies getting adapted into graphic novels? I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed 28 Days Later. They kept the main character feeling very true to form from the movie.

Would you be interested in seeing a book like IT get made into a graphic novel?

 

Talk to us! (And feel free to link us to your Top Ten Tuesday posts as well!)

What I Learned When I Started Reading Graphic Novels

I’ve never been a huge fan of graphic novels. I’ve made that pretty clear. They just never did it for me. The art didn’t appeal and I had trouble sometimes figuring out what panel I was supposed to read next. While I wasn’t the type of person to say ‘Well, it’s not really reading, is it?”, I definitely thought it at least once or twice. However, given my partner reads them, and my eight-year-old loves them… Let’s just say it was inevitable I would say “Okay, geesh, what’s the big deal?” and give them a proper try.

So, what did I find out?

Well, first off, and probably most surprisingly – I found that I wasn’t the only one who sometimes had trouble figuring out what panel I was supposed to read next! You have no idea how happy I am to have found that out. I felt like an idiot because so many people enthuse about how awesome graphic novels are, and I would get a headache just trying to read them sometimes. I like things to be neat and orderly, and that was a rare find in the world of graphic novels.

Book cover for Saga Vol 1

The biggest help for me with this has been ComiXology.com (no, this isn’t a paid ad or anything.) ComiXology has this thing called ‘guided reading view’. When you double-click on a panel, it automatically enters you into guided reading view. That starts showing you the book one panel at a time – blown up large to fit your screen – and then when you swipe, it leads you straight to the next panel! Seriously, my enjoyment of graphic novels went up by AT LEAST 25% when I could suddenly just sit back and just read the story. And it’s not one of those things you had to search to find, either. Guided Reading is easy to spot and start. I love it.

I learned that I have no interest in superhero comics. And that that’s okay. Because there are lots of graphic novels out there for me to read that don’t involve superheroes! (Who else out there basically had that misconception? I know it couldn’t just have been me.) I think I started to realize this when I was reading some of my child’s graphic novels with her. Books like Ghosts and El Deafo. But those are kids books, so I didn’t really even consider if it would apply to adult books, too. The possibilities for adult reads hit my awareness when I snagged a copy of Saga Vol 1 while at Barnes & Noble and gave it a read. And then when I read Lumberjanes Vol 1 shortly thereafter, I started to really get interested.Book cover for Scooby Apocalypse #1

Finally, I saw Scooby Apocalypse at B&N and every time I was in there, I found myself wandering over to have a look at it. I just couldn’t convince myself to pay $16.00 for a comic book! And that, ladies and gents, led to me voluntarily buying my very first (e-book) graphic novel. And I loved it. Absolutely loved it. So much more than I thought I would. I got into Scooby Apocalypse in a way I normally only get into purely-print books. 

I discovered that I’m definitely a bit of a style snob. There were several books that I picked up, looked at a few pages, and then put right back down. The ‘look’ of them did nothing for me, so I didn’t want to keep reading. I’m probably missing some good stories, but if I don’t enjoy what I’m looking at, what’s the point?  And then, right on the heels of learning that I’m a style snob, I also learned that if I give a story a chance, it might hook me anyways. (Still not going to stop me from not giving most books a chance because of the artwork, though.)  The Manhattan Projects Vol 1 brought that point home to me.  I disliked the artwork intensely, but I needed to read more.

So, all positive things thus far, right? I’m painting a rosy picture of reading graphic novels, aren’t I? I’ve learned a lot of positive things about graphic novels since I started reading them. And I have to say I’ll definitely pick up more of them in the future to read. I’m learning what I like and don’t like, and figure my experience can only get better.

But…Graphic Novels Still Lack Something

I still don’t get the same feeling of fulfillment from graphic novels that I get from reading books. (Maybe this is because they stretch out their stories over issue upon issue instead of just giving me one complete story?) I don’t like it when writers parcel out their story into bite-sized pieces, and I don’t like it in graphic novels either. I know it’s a different format, and that the drawing and stuff takes longer to do. I also don’t care. I’ll borrow these from the library, but I’m not going buy a lot of graphic novels. I’m just not interested in spending a lot of money on a story that if, in written format, I could probably get in one or two books.

And I learned that I still prefer non-illustrated work. Graphic novels are definitely fun, but they have a place and a time for me. They’re good for me to read when I don’t feel like devoting the brain power to reading a non-illustrated work. The horror/scary themed ones I’ve read were mostly fun to read (Wytches aside), but they didn’t even come close to spooking me. Scooby Apocalypse is fun, but if it wasn’t for a lingering affection from watching Scooby Doo growing up, I can’t say I’d have ever sought it out.  I’ll read more of it in the future, but it just didn’t have the sci-fi bones I crave.

Overall…

Overall, I have to say that it’s been an interesting and positive experience reading graphic novels. I can no longer say that graphic novels just aren’t my thing because some of them definitely are. I’ve learned that even the graphic novels like Lumberjanes and Scooby Apocalypse are fun to read with my kiddo. Once I started enjoying them, it ratcheted up my enjoyment of reading them with her. We were both in stitches over Lumberjanes Vol 1. And finally, I’ve learned to appreciate the depths of what is available for people like me, who aren’t interested in superhero books but still want to read graphic novels.


What about you? Are you a graphic novel fan? What are some of your favorites?

Did you ever have trouble reading graphic novels?

Talk to me!

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Graphic Novels

T5W

Ooh, boy, this is a hard one for me. I, generally, can’t stand comic books, graphic novels, or comic strip collections. None of them do anything but give me a headache. With that being said, I have read some, and Miss L absolutely loves them. …So, we’re going to do a….

 

“Our” Top 5 Graphic Novels.

(Just click on the pics to be taken to the associated Goodreads pages)

Well, there you have it. Yes, I know the list begins and ends with Bad Kitty books. Honestly, its because the Bad Kitty books are the only graphic novels I can even come close to saying I enjoy reading.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I have a 6 year old who loves them, I flat out would happily never read another graphic novel for the rest of my life.

Kid’s Corner: The Bad Kitty Obsession

There is only one series that can overshadow with Miss L’s love for Calvin and Hobbes. This series is the one by which all other books are measured. It is….

BAD KITTY

We picked up our first Bad Kitty book at the local Half-Price Books (and to be honest, that’s where we’ve gotten all of them), and it was almost instant love on L’s part. Actually, it was pretty much instant-love on my part, too. I’ll happily admit to enjoying the Bad Kitty books. The way the author writes them makes them absolutely hilarious to read with Miss L while we’re snuggling on the couch.

An additional coolness factor (besides the great writing) is the author also includes legitimate tidbits about whatever the subject is. It might be how to tell if a cat is scared, or what the voting process is, etc. The facts are interspersed throughout the book in a sort of “Question and Answer” format.

The first Bad Kitty book we got was:

Bad Kitty Vs. Uncle Murray  is about Uncle Murray coming to take care of Bad Kitty and Puppy while their owners go somewhere special by themselves.  Lets just say… there’s some serious misunderstandings.

Bad Kitty Gets a Bath was our next acquisition. Title says it all. There were SO many giggles involved in reading this book. The binding is already looking a little shoddy from how well-loved it is.

Bad Kitty for President wasn’t quite the huge hit that the others were. However, it did introduce some new characters, including one that liked to read comic books. Any character who likes comic books is A-OK in Miss L’s world.
It was quite a while before any more books from Bad Kitty appeared at Half-Price books, but when we wandered in on one of our bi-weekly shopping trips, and found a new Bad Kitty book gracing the shelves, my child gave me the best puppy-eyes I’ve ever seen her pull. (Trust me, that little freckle-face can pull some good ones.) So…

Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty came home with us. Comics-reading cat was back. Bad Kitty was up to her usual antics. All was right with the world. Unfortunately, we didn’t hit it out of the park with our next Bad Kitty book, though.

You see, mommy didn’t pay attention when I wandered into HPB alone. I just saw a Bad Kitty book, grabbed it, and brought it home.

Its a cute book, but its literally about drawing Bad Kitty, and my child has absolutely no interest in illustration, so… lets just say its feeling a bit neglected on her shelf.

However, I atoned for my sin of bringing home a not very interesting Bad Kitty book when a trip to the local library netted us a copy of Bad Kitty School Daze.

I this is my second favorite Bad Kitty book. It shows Miss L that even though Bad Kitty has some…less than admirable behaviors… she’s still a good kitty at heart. Even if she’s not a cow. (Read the book to find out.)

Miss L is looking over my shoulder, and let me know that Bad Kitty School Daze is her favorite bad kitty book. (Kind of surprised, and now I feel obligated to get her an actual copy of her own.)

Then, today, while writing this, I googled the Bad Kitty books, and found out that there’s an actual website (Bad Kitty Books) and Bad Kitty Club you can sign up for. As well as a couple coloring pages and other activities you can use.

Oh,and I discovered there were some Bad Kitty chapter books we haven’t gotten yet.

Guess I know what two books are going on her Christmas list. If you haven’t had the pleasure of picking up a Bad Kitty book, I highly recommend you do so. They really are awesome books that are simple enough for the kids to read on their own, but funny enough you want to read them with your child.