21 Days of Comics: #1-7

Introductory Post

LCSD 2015 Welcome To Showside #1

(Discontinue) Welcome to Showside #1

I was not feeling this  so I discontinued it. My mood, underwhelmed by novels aka five seconds from a reading slump, so my first 21 Day comic book had to be good/amazing. I could not suffer through something I did not like.


Jem #10-13

Neg: Feeling  underwhelmed by Dark Jem because they are not bad enough for my tastes.

Pros: Seeing Rio p.o.v (he was talking about how good a journalist he is but not good enough to know Jem=Jerica which makes me laugh). Number 13 in the series is what I have been waiting for since the entire Dark Jem happened. It made me realize not only was the true ummhm but also the fun of the series was missing in this Dark Jem thing. I only have one (well, two but it is #19 so can’t read it) comic left that I do not want to read it until I get the other ones.

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Red Wolf #1-2

This is all I have in the series so far. I enjoyed this the most out of the comics I have read(before I read Jem #13). I can admit that the plot is something you see a lot but it felt like they are doing something interesting with it so far.

I do not know about the horror of disfigured man being the villain but have to read further to see if that is where they are going with his character.

All New All Different Avengers #1

Neg: The stories were mostly bad/eh so it was not necessarily tough to get through but at points not really fun to sit through.

Pos: Funny moments (most of the writing was bad!!!), commentary about fan fiction, nerd culture, misogyny in fan culture, the good bad of fanfic writing.

Where is my momentum?

I just feel that I do not have something propelling me to read comics. I go on twitter, booktube, and etc most of the focus is novels. This is not a new problem or realization for me but it is still unresolved. It has not been helped by the fact that I read 3 out of 4 good novels in 2017.  I was not facing the really horrible stinkers/underwhelming until recently. Being underwhelmed brought me back to the thought of you are not a resident. I am a guest in fiction so I should not be unpacking (really getting into reading fiction). Originally I was supposed to only read 12 novels this year which actually with the way my reading is going I am staying true to this goal. Also, I think since I know I have to work harder to find good novels I put a lot of space into that.

I cannot put all the blame on novels without acknowledging the fact that there is also a feeling of underwhelming in comics too.  I need comics that excite/amaze so I can want to read more. If anything I hope that doing this 21 days of comics will make me get back into reading comics more.

(all images are from comicvine)

21 Days of Comics….

Looking at my goodreads 2017 ratio

47 books total

4 novels- does not bother me because novels are hard for me to finish

32 picture books- like wow

11 comics- usually my picture book and comics  reading are neck and neck.

It just shows I have not been reading comics enough this year which is a problem. So I decided to do something that has been on my mind to do for a while. I am going to do a reading of 21 comics in 21 days to get myself back into comics.

Dates 4/15/17-5/6/17 (it is ending on Free Comic Book Day)

So I purged/finished some comics in time to get even more comics

Rules

  • Physical copies- so there is a physical checklist of finishing/letting go of
  • Like > Testing- gonna try to focus more on comics I know/think I will like. So no comics that I own that I have a huge feeling I will not like but want to read to get rid of.
  • 21 Comics in 21 Days- I have not decided if I want to exclude volumes or not since I more than likely will only get single issues at free comic book day. If I count volumes then I have to think about if volumes count towards just 1 of 21 or more since they are multi-issues.
  • Challenges are not concrete- so I can complete 1, 2, or none if it comes down to it. More than anything it is about having fun. Also, I might add more challenges if I think of something cool.

Challenges

  • Finish an entire series
  • Pick a few from TBR Jar
  • Get up to date on a series

I learned my lesson from my last (challenge? readathon? I don’t know) thingy Before You Buy More Books. I am not going to do a concrete TBR but I do have some books I want to read in mind. Since it is starting today and I have not read a single comic yet… I will get started on reading my first comic.

T5W: SFF TBR

Recently, I have been in a mood for reading some science fiction (well, some of these are fantasy but I am more in a mood for science fiction. I think I actually may like sci-fi more than fantasy) books.

T5W Group  where meme originated can be found on the link.

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1. Unplugged

Humanity is split into the App World and the Real World—an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy and a dying physical world for the poor. Years ago, Skylar Cruz’s family sent her to the App World for a chance at a better life.

Now Skye is a nobody, a virtual sixteen-year-old girl without any glamorous effects or expensive downloads to make her stand out in the App World. Yet none of that matters to Skye. All she wants is a chance to unplug and see her mother and sister again.

But when the borders between worlds suddenly close, Skye loses that chance. Desperate to reach her family, Skye risks everything to get back to the physical world. Once she arrives, however, she discovers a much larger, darker reality than the one she remembers.

Status: Currently reading but waiting to get from the library. I already sampled the first three chapters.

What I like about Unplugged is that it has a dystopia that I feel is plausible. It has so many allusions to current day issues that black and brown people deal with and main character is latina. Also, this would be a good series to get into because the second one came out recently and the third  one comes out in December.

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2. The Between

When Hilton was just a boy, his grandmother sacrificed her life to save him from drowning. Thirty years later, he begins to suspect that he was never meant to survive that accident, and that dark forces are working to rectify that mistake. When Hilton’s wife, the only elected African-American judge in Dade County, FL, begins to receive racist hate mail, he becomes obsessed with protecting his family. Soon, however, he begins to have horrible nightmares, more intense and disturbing than any he has ever experienced. Are the strange dreams trying to tell him something? His sense of reality begins to slip away as he battles both the psychotic threatening to destroy his family and the even more terrifying enemy stalking his sleep. Chilling and utterly convincing, The Between follows the struggles of a man desperately trying to hold on to the people and life he loves, but may have already lost. The compelling plot holds readers in suspense until the final, profound moment of resolution.

Status: Currently reading – same as Unplugged except I am going to buy this one because it is cheap online.

Horror and fantasy!

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3. On the Edge of Gone

January 29, 2035.

That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter near their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time.

Then a last-minute encounter leads them to something better than a temporary shelter: a generation ship that’s scheduled to leave Earth behind and colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But each passenger must have a practical skill to contribute. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister?

When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?

Status: Haven’t started yet.

I moved it up my TBR because I think it would be fun to read it for autism awareness month. With the line “When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?” it is a sci-fi I have to read.

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4. Sorcerer to the Crown

Magic and mayhem collide with the British elite in this whimsical and sparkling debut.

At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, freed slave, eminently proficient magician, and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers—one of the most respected organizations throughout all of Britain—ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up.

But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large…

Status: Read the prologue but have not read further yet.

Black. Victorian. fantasy.

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5. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.

But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.

Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own.

Status: Still haven’t started yet.

A lot of sff books are doom and gloom so I like the idea of reading something hopeful. Having a book about exploring species, cultures, and worlds is appealing. I have not  read a book with any of these things since reading The Best of All Possible Worlds last year so I hope it is good.

Allegedly Readalong: Chapters 17-18

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Pre-reading Thoughts Before Final Chapters:

I get that there are no easy answers so it makes sense if the ending is open but I will probably not like it. Again, this I do not feel like talking thing with Mary is old on page 200/218.

Chapter 17

I can see they are trying make Mary’s mom three dimensional but eh.

Q: So Mary brother died of natural causes or what? And is that what made her mom become who she is today?

Q: How believable is Mary (as a nine year old) keeping the cross and burying it all without prints?

Like she knew she would have to testify now. Unrealistic! Also, you could have had this ready 50 pages ago when you first met the lawyers.

Q: So the whole Dr. Cross meeting was dropped or what?

Chapter 18

Okay, Dr. Cross meeting came through. Mom and daughter thing is annoying!

Q: Why is Mary changing her story now? Weak!

Ending (Initial reaction):

It feels like an unpolished mess in ways. She either (or both) could not commit to one true ending and/or could not create a future for Mary because “realism”.

Q: So all of this was a plot to be the perfect daughter for white people? So did she kill Alyssa or not?

Ending (after a couple of days and further thought. since I finished the book before I could finish doing these posts week by week I had the time to actually go over what I wrote while drafting them. It has given me greater perspective.)

I think that the ending makes sense now but I still do not like it.The story did build up the idealization Mary has of Alyssa and her family. In the earlier chapters I did actually find it weird how Mary was acting.

I was ranting to my brother afterwards saying having the main character hold something back from the reader is one of the things you just do  not do in a first person narrative. It is probably one of the rules of writing to not do (especially in the mystery genre).

Q: Do you think the story left itself open for a sequel?

Yes! There are so many unanswered questions left behind. The only thing she would have to deal with is this whole Mary doing this for this idealized image of Alyssa family. Basically, making it where Mary is guilty.

I am definitely going to do a review that talks that collects all (or most of) my thoughts on the book after having some time to think about the book as a whole.

Allegedly Readalong: Chapters 13-16

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Chapter 13

I forgot about Alyssa father. We are going to see more of outside reactions now (also, misogynoir). I guess it is good for her to make strides without Ted.

Chapter 14

I told you new girl is a psychopath.

Q: Why is Dr. Cross so creepy? Is she lying about files she has on Mary? How does Mary know her?

I think she met Mary as a child way before Mary could remember and will serve to fill gaps in Marys past. I do not think she is lying about the files she has on Mary. If anything the files “conveniently” disappeared some other way since everyone hates Mary.

Chapter 15

So sick of Mary hoarding secrets so the plot can continue!

I do not know how I feel about new girl turning into a villain.

Q: Can you get into school with a big criminal record?

I get running away thing but this plan seems (sounds) good on paper but not actually  good. I do not know if I completely feel either plan (Ted vs Lawyer). Long term if she wants to be a teacher or almost any professional profession she needs to be exonerated.

Chapter 16

Q: Are we ever gonna find out  who Mary real parents are?

Please Ms. Richardson do not adopt Mary baby!

Mary is being real dumb about meeting Ms. Richardson thing. I get that it may have had to happen for plot reasons but ugh.

Overall

We had a lot of “realistic” conclusions- Ted having to be distant.

I feel I am going to be disappointed with the ending since it is more than likely going to be open ended. It will not solve anything thus making Allegedly a contemporary and not a mystery.

Personally, I wanted them to get more into the actual court proceedings. If they don’t drop this bomb with mom (that mary has been hoarding from reader even though this is first person story) it will probably get a star knocked off.

Allegedly Readalong: Chapters 9-12

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Chapter 9

Q: Does new girl have a plot with lawyers and/or Kelly? Did Kelly do crimes on purpose?

I think she did it on purpose.

Questions Marys mental stability.

Interesting that Mary is friends with the white (innocent) girl. Again, thinks about the questionable race stuff in this book.

Chapter 10

I feel like the lawyer is exploiting Mary.

(We finally get the events of what happened with Alyssa according to Mary)

Q: So what was all this about Mary blacking out? The story and some of what we read do not match.

File:Broken Heart symbol.svg

Ted has a point! Remember he has no experience and a record of doing the horrible crime he has done. It is real that he would get involved into some shady stuff to have somewhere to stay.

Q: Did Ted low key say he is a pimp?

Chapter 11

Word of the day: Exploitation

Mary is not getting any money for anything that profited off of her. If Allegedly says anything it says something about the exploitation that happens on these murder cases.

I do not like Alyssa mom (I get it and all). Nonetheless, I do not like Alyssa mom. So she thought Mary did not do it but she still carried on letting Mary go to jail. She really made me mad.

Chapter 12

The reality is that even if she is found not guilty people could still not believe her. Mary could still deal with condemnation especially since she is a black girl.

All these people do not care about her. The only people she had in her life have left her in the cold. Her mom let her take fall for a crime she did not commit. Alyssa mom just let her take fall even though in her heart she felt she did no do it. It made me feel like so any black woman/girl would do.

Mary very much mythicizes Alyssa mom and white people in general- dad is white savior, Alyssa mom is greatest mom ever.

What I do not think we are going to get answers to:

  1. Who is Mary father?
  2. What did the other girls do?
  3. Does her father know about her?
  4. Does her mom even know who her father is?

What we have left to cover in book:

  • trial
  • all reveals/reactions of people

Q: Do you think the portrayal of mental illness is done well? A lot of books use it for short hand=criminal.

The story overall has been a mix of hopefulness with dose of  “realism”.

Allegedly Readalong: Chapters 5-8

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Chapter 5

Q: Why did Mary’s mom kill Alyssa?

I want to know more into Alyssa’s family.

Q: What did Alyssa mom see?

Q: What does “I didn’t mean to throw her” mean?

Q: How is stirring things back up going to go?

Chapter 6

We get a bit of the public view  of Mary’s “alleged” crime. There were activists and stuff which felt current.

Q: What is life like for a famous killer after serving their time in real world?

Alyssa was bruised before death according to mom.

I like the idea of Mary getting someone beyond Ted.

Commentary on Push (or Precious) by Sapphire was interesting. Push has been such a controversial book for its representation of black women (and black men).

Mary has an anger inside her. It makes sense seeing everything she has gone through but you know it is one of those red herring she may have done it moments.

Chapter 7

Showing actual  psychopathic killer which matters because they do exist in foster care systems too. The scary thing is that they are there alongside the non-psychotic killers.

Q: Is the girl trying to kill Mary dark skin? That is questionable since Mary is light skin (possibly biracial). It feels like all the white/light skin people so far are good while the poc/dark skin characters are bad/against Mary.

Q: So what did Kelly “new girl” do?

Chapter 8

Q: What is Alyssa and Mary relationship again? The way Mary talks they had more than an acquaintance relationship.

Doubt (for me ) is casted on Alyssa mom from this chapter. Think about it all we know from Alyssa mom point of view is from second person information so Alyssa death could have been a set up (between Alyssa’s mom and Mary’s mom).

There is still reasonable doubt if Mary still did it or severity of what she did. She blacked out and the story is still side stepping what happened that night.

I like the idea of restorative justice more than just throwing people in jail.

Q: Are the lawyers exploiting or not?

Beautiful landscape lake - Public Domain Picture
Ted+Mary

 

Q: Does Ted have the right to explain? What could have happened?

(I have a theory but I will keep it for now.)

Q: Who is Mary father? We learn that he is n/a on the birth certificate so either Marys mom does not know or she just did not put it on there.

50% Feelings:

Pros: naturally brings up race in a way that black people would bring it up

Cons: Allegedly has q

uestionable things in terms of certain things (such as colorism). Lack of transitions can be annoying and confusing (I cannot tell if it is because it is an ebook)

Randomish Thoughts:

I wonder if Mary being isolated is about being a self-insert /more relatable to teens (middle to upper class teens) than a more hardened (by system/world) kid.