Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Spider and Her Web

Black Widow Vol. 1:
The Finley Woven Thread
written by Nathan Edmondson
drawn by Phil Noto

The road to atonement is paved with complications.

Black Widow is looking to make up for her past sins as an assassin for the KGB, but each step takes her deeper and deeper into a web of someone else's design.

This comic is such a spy thriller and I loved it.  Her missions were exciting and really interesting, especially, when we meet the main villain.

But what I truly loved reading?  Her time at home, her interactions with her lawyer and her thoughts. You get to really know Natasha in those moments and that's pretty wonderful.

Phil Noto's art is so beautiful and it fits the ever-changing landscape of Natasha's story world.  I wish he would draw Black Widow comics forever.  He has such a unique and fluid style. can really make a lasting impression.

Also? There is a cool and hilarious cameo in the comic.  How Natasha reacts to this Avenger made me laugh out loud.


Black Widow: Forever Red
written by Margaret Stohl

There isn't a full description of the book floating around right now. Details are small and short at the moment.

What we know so far is that the book will have a lot of details about Natasha's past and it will involve people she's formed an unlikely attachment with.

I'm a bit cautious of this title in that I've read some of Margaret Stohl's work and did not enjoy it.  But I am open to trying something new and different from her with this book.

Whatever Stohl writes, I hope that it stays true to the character's spirit.   From reading a bit about the project itself, it seems like Stohl does have a good grasp of her character so I am hopeful about it. Cautious but hopeful.

Over at the The Mary Sue website, there's a little more information on Stohl and this book.

Black Widow: Forever Red  is expected to be released October 13th, 2015.


Here's an interview with Margaret Stohl where she talks about the Forever Red novel.  Also, watch one of the gentlemen in the video make a mistake in labelling a certain comic as a "girl comic".  

Friday, June 5, 2015

Spotlight - Retelling Jane: RE Jane

RE Jane
by Patricia Park

In Flushing, Queens, Jane Re lives an unsatisfactory life and slaves away at her uncle's grocery store.  A half-Korean and half-American orphan, she wants more than the strict tradition she's endured for most of her life.

In an effort to escape, she applies for a job as an au pair to a Brooklyn family and gets the position.  Life with the Mazer-Farleys begins simply with caring for their brilliant Chinese adopted daughter but gets complicated with Ed Farley's attentions.

A family death takes Jane to Seoul and puts her feelings for Ed Farley on hold.  Finding family and struggling to figure out the culture, Jane begins to re-evaluate what she thinks is waiting back in New York for her.  She is a woman of two worlds.  Can Jane Re strike a balance between the two?


I really want to read this novel.

Not just because it's being called a retelling of Jane Eyre but because of the changes made.  I find it exciting that this Jane is a mixed race character and that she struggles with it.  I want to read the novel more to find out about her rather than what happens with Ed Farley.

I hope it is a novel that really focuses on Jane's discovery of self and of her own independence.   I would hate for it to be all about the romantic affair.


It's finally happened!  There's a Northanger Abbey web series and for once, I am not late to the ball.

It started today and will be updated every Thursday.  I am so excited about this because Northanger Abbey is my favorite Austen novel.  Elizabeth and Darcy are great but give me Catherine Moreland and Henry Tilney any damn day everyday for the rest of my life.

Anyway, the first video is pretty sweet (two videos are currently up).  We meet Catherine and she is everything I would imagine her to be as a modern woman.  I hope you will be tuning in each week like I will be.

Gif made by Maria

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Update on East & West

On May 14th, the East & West crew announced over twitter that they would no longer be carrying on with the webseries.

Sad news all around.

I was so excited when I first saw this series because I love North and South and  thought that it was Elizabeth Gaskell's time to shine online.  I completely understand why the crew had to stop and I wish them all the best.

Send them some kind messages if you can spare a moment because they did some amazing work in just 7 episodes.

Here's the last video they made.

In terms of the future?  I hope someone will pick up this story and try again.  It has so much potential and it is so beloved.

Gif by Celine

Blast from the Past: Taking Things Abroad

In this edition of Blast from the Past, I will be talking about the Students Across the Seven Seas book series aka S.A.S.S.  This series was printed from 2005 to 2010 and had 14 books in total.  Some of the locations for the novels were England, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Australia, Finland, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, and the Caribbean.  Just to name a few.  Most books were short but there were a few longer stories.  The longest book had 320 pages in it.  Here's a link to a list of all the titles in the series.

The Sound of Munich
by Suzanne Nelson
What I really loved about each book was the basic idea: an American teenager going abroad for school.  Each book opens with a S.A.S.S. application, which has been filled out by the main character.  It's our first and immediate chance in getting to know them.

I was in high-school when I began reading this series and I'd had some limited but rigidly controlled experiences with travel.  There's no wondering why I jumped to read the series.  I was bitten by the travel bug.  Figuratively speaking, of course.

The Great Call of China
by Cynthea Liu
I enjoyed each book's sense of adventure and each character's independence.  It was exciting reading about their time in getting to know other students and experience the culture of the country they were visiting.

Yes, inevitably, there was a romantic element in each book.   The girl would meet someone on her trip that she fell a little bit for.  Occasionally, the boy would be back home or the boy would be the reason they went on this trip. Each book would also deal with the fact that while the girls were leaving home, they would take some of their personal problems with them.

It is during this semester abroad that they would face those feelings of intense loss and insecurity.  They would address identity issues and problems of belonging.  The girls would learn how to make the best decisions for their lives.

There was excitement and adventure but also some interesting and insightful moments in this series. They were fun books and I hope if you find one, you'll give it a chance.