BTT ~ Do You Hafta Be So Graphic?!

Booking Through Thursday

Suggested by Vega:

Last Saturday (May 2nd) is Free Comic Book Day!

In celebration of comics and graphic novels, some suggestions:

– Do you read graphic novels/comics? Why do/don’t you enjoy them?
– How would you describe the difference between “graphic novel” and “comic”? Is there a difference at all?
– Say you have a friend who’s never encountered graphic novels. Recommend some titles you consider landmark/”canonical”.

For the longest time, I never gave graphic novels a serious consideration. To me, they were just kids’ books, just a glorified comic book. Not only did I refuse to read them on the grounds they were “books for dummies,” (after all, wasn’t it the mark of growing up? Graduating out of picture books and into chapter books?) but I avoided their whole section like it had a highly-contagious, IQ-lowering virus emanating from it.

However, a few months ago I started getting curious about them. It was about the same time I gave anime an open-minded look. I started walking by their area in the bookstore, then started looking at their spines, and even cracked a couple open before passing them up. Then, when Gwen’s school had a book fair, I came across Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives by Ellen Schreiber and finally bought my first graphic novel.

I had always found the few graphic novels I’d read a little confusing.  Who said what first is sometimes hard to tell, as the bubbles aren’t numbered, and often bump together.  So I sat down with Maggie (it was for her I bought the book) and began to read VK, determined to get through it.   And, after a few pages of working it all out, I started enjoying it.  They’re not the awful stupid-fying, “Dick and Jane grows up” kind of book I’d always accused them of being.

Still, I haven’t read many.  I’ve only read one other graphic novel, Robot Dreams by Sara Varnon.  Part of that, though, is there are just so many to choose from.  I do have one, a manga, coming from PaperBackSwap called Psychic Academy.  Also, since I like Neil Gaiman, I’ve put his Sandmanbooks on my wishlists.  I’ve also got the first Fruit Baskets on my wishlist.

As to which book I’d recommend, well… I’m kind of in that same boat with the hypothetical friend.  Maggie doesn’t like the traditional manga books because they open backwards… lol… it seems I’ve passed my book-prejudice on.  And besides, she says, they’re not worth anything in the Accelerated Reader world, which is her yardstick of book-value.  “Why read it if I’m not getting points for it?”  *sigh*

If you’d like to participate in Booking Through Thursday, click the button above 🙂

Edited to add:  I forgot about the Far Side book I recently read and reviewed, Night of the Crash-Test Dummies by Gary Larson.

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Wait, How Did You Find Me?!

Okay, I had so much fun doing the last search results post, That Brought You Here?!? That I wanted to do another.

When I was scrolling down my stats page, one of the search terms caught my eye, and I wondered if enough time had passed to post another.  It’s been over a week so… YuP! 😀  Here goes.  The search terms are in bold, btw.

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bad effects of eating your boogers ~ Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea… yeah!

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spray cheese ~ on cracker… eat immediately.

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sex with sleeping doll ~ I believe this is illegal, and you knowChatty Cathy’s watching and’ll tell everyone…

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william shakespeare (dr. faustus) ~ Dr. Faustus, meet William Shakespeare 🙂

compare anne frank to the book thief! ~ NO! I don’t wanna!

I won't do it!  NOOOOO!      NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!      You can't make me!

invention of “invisible shirt”~ Yeah, I’m selling them out of my invisible store, and they come with an invisible receipt. I guarantee all eyes will be on you when you wear the matching invisible pants. I’ll sell both to you and throw in a pair of invisible Nikes all for a visible $20 bill. 😀

gary larsen plant comics~ Personally, I plant vegetables and herbs, maybe a few annuals, but hey… to each his own. I wonder if any of his comics have been famous? Tom Arnold must of been a bad year for the old winyard, eh?

isabel ice custard ~ It’s the movie version of Custard the Dragon. When Isabel, Ink, Wink, Mustard and Custard are flying over the Andes on their way to a rugby match, the plane crashes and they are forced to do the unthinkable to survive. Custard kept crying for his nice safe cage, until Isabel couldn’t take it anymore and turned him into Dragon tartar.

half-blood prince’s comments on love pot ~ He said, “Dude… DUDE… duuuuuude…. ya gotta try this pot…. one long drag and you like… totally love everyone. *puff.. puff… blow* DuuUuuuUuDe! I love you, man!”

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Then there are a few Vampire ones:

where can i read vampire kisses blood~ Anywhere you want, dawg, as long as you buy something every couple hours so the don’t think you’re loitering, home slice.

cheap: vampire kisses: blood relatives ~ This would be the Redneck family reunion slash speed dating slash wedding version.

read vampire kisses vol 2 free ~ Dude… it’s called the LIBRARY.  If that’s not free enough for you, I don’t know what to tell ya.  Get the audio book?  Except it’s a manga book.  Have someone read it for you, then transfer the memory into your brain…  It’d probably have horrible side-effects, and you’d probably grow a tail and develop a tic, but it’d be free.

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And… of course… there are all of the BOOGER searches, some of which made me swallow my tongue…

is it dangerous to eat your boogers?  Yes, that’s why you look left, then right, then left again before taking a nibble… oh, wait, that’s crossing the street.

how to eat boogers ~ Now… mind you, I’m no expert on this, but it seems fairly straight forward…  freshly picked, breaded and deep-fried and served with marinara sauce, right?

cure smelly boogers ~ Dude!  Stop sniffing your gym shoes!  Get some Odor-Eaters or something!

im 18 and still eat boogers, and 20 years old and eats boogers why~ Seriously, an even better question is WHY did GOOGLE think I knew the answers?!

throw poo ~ okay… here you go…

I'm throwing POO at you!

What are some of the weird search terms that have led people to your blog? Or what’s the oddest search you’ve ever done?

Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives vol. 2 by Ellen Schreiber

Title: Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives volume 2
Author: Ellen Schreiber
Illustrator: REM
Paperback:
Publisher: TOKYOPOP
Publish Date: 2008
ISBN: 9780061340826

Almost two months ago, I visited the book fair at my middle daughter’s school. With me were Gwen, it was her parent-teacher conference we had just finished, and Maggie. Knowing Maggie’s love for the anime cartoons, and pretty much anything Asian really, I pointed out a few of the Manga books. Of the books available, she picked Vampire Kissesbecause, unlike regular Manga, it opens and reads left to right like any other western-civilized reading material… regular Manga opens and reads right to left, making the average American feel as if the book is backwards or defective; some kind of misprint. So today I am writing my first review for a Manga book 🙂

According to the Anime Critic website’s glossary, Manga is:

The Japanese term for comic book. In Japan, manga are targeted at all age groups and cover a wide range of genres. This is in contrast to Western comics which are typically based around superhero themes.

Vampire Kisses Blood Relatives volume 2 is a continuation of the first book (unfortunately, we’ve not found volume one anywhere) in which Raven, the goth heroine, and Alexander, teenage Vampire hero, meet and fall in love. In volume two, they are already in love and kiss a lot in the book (which always brought a loud “EwWwwWWw!!” from Maggie, followed by giggles, then her looking back at the panel again, and giggling some more).

In this book, we meet Claude, Alexander’s half-vampire sexy cousin, and his gang. He has come from Romania to Dullsville, that’s the name of the town Raven and Alexander live in, to steal their grandmother’s vial of whole vampire blood. The construct of Vampire Kisses is that vampire blood will turn a half-vamp into a full vamp and a human, like Raven, into a half-vamp (and make her immortal).

Claude pushes this angle to try to get Raven to betray Alexander’s trust and give him the vial, telling her how, when she’s a half-vampire, she will be able to really share a common bond and a deeper relationship with Alexander. In the meantime, Alexander struggles to work out a plan that will get rid of Claude without giving him the blood.

It was a lot more interesting an pleasurable to read than I had thought it would be. The illustrations are edgy and modern, Raven in her goth gear and Claude with his lip ring, and it has a fun comedic quality to it. We laughed at several silly events… like a lot of Japanese-style animation, Vampire Kisses‘ characters become Chibi-looking caricatures of themselves until they regain their composure. The fact it was about vampires appealed to me, and I think one of my next mangas will be Vampire Knight… and Fruit Basket for Maggie.

Still uncertain of my feelings about manga, and having nothing to compare it to, I’m going to give Vampire Kisses Blood Relatives volume 2 by Ellen Schreiber 3 out of 5 stars.

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