Friday, June 15, 2012

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Kick-Ass 2 by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.

Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl are back and their tooling the f@#k up and taking to the streets to face against Red Mist (now known as The Mother Fucker) and his army of bad-ass villains.

Only a few months have passed since the first book's ending. While Dave Lizewski trains to better himself as a superhero, Mindy Macready struggles with a normal life. Inspired by the events in Kick-Ass, several citizens are inspired to don the mask and fight alongside the hero. But a world of superheroes is nothing without a challenging nemesis. Embittered by the slaying of his father, Red Mist organizes his own team by gathering people from all over the world to take down Kick-Ass, Hit-Girl, and their superhero brethren. How far will each side go to live up their comic book fantasies? Who stands in the way? And will Mindy have to break a promise she made in order to save the city?

Maybe it's the fact that Kick Ass 2: The Movie hasn't even begun pre-production - I'm only assuming here - but this book is way better than the first one. Way better than anything I ever read by Mark Millar. If I could, I'd marry this book. That is, if I didn't know there was a third book on its way. A go-between that occurs after Kick-Ass but occurs before Kick-Ass 2 entitled Hit-Girl. That's right. Our favorite preteen slaughtering superhero is getting her own book!

I'm await it eagerly. I might not even want to wait for the hardcover.

You can pick up your copy of Kick-Ass 2 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Until next time, happy huntin'.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kick-Ass by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.

So I purchased Kick-Ass on BluRay the other day. It was at discount. Included digital download and the DVD. Awesome, right? Right. As I watched it for the seventeenth time, I came to a shocking realization. I've never read the comic book. Egads! What sort of fan boy am I? A terrible one, that's what! I hopped on Amazon and saw that Kick-Ass 2 was available for pre-order (it's on sale now, by the way) so I picked up that, too. I don't know where this money is coming from because I have a two-month-old and I'm not supposed to do this impromptu shopping anymore. Damnit! I still managed to hit checkout.

Remember when I read Wanted after being convinced to after watching the movie? Remember how I said that when it came down to it, you're better off watching the movie? Remember how much I hated myself for saying that? Well, get ready for take two of that. Yes. With Kick-Ass, you're probably better off watching the movie instead. That is, unless, you like the gritty realism the book contains.

Mark Millar's not about the Hollywood ending. Not about the whole Hollywood beginning, either. In Kick-Ass he presents something in-your-face, and is not afraid to hold the sugarcoating. Sure, there are times when I felt the story just dragged - which is a feat as it only contains seven chapters - but it has something the movie doesn't have - realism. Wait, I said that already.

And if Millar's realistic take of a bored teenager turned superhero doesn't appeal to you, then the blood and grit of John Romita, Jr. is - for lack of a better phrase - to die for.

So okay, it might not be the best graphic novel you'll ever read. But goddamn, is it one worth reading.

Kick-Ass is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. While you're at it, pick up a copy of Kick-Ass 2.

Until next time, keep on huntin'.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Breast by Philip Roth

I first met David Kepesh a few years back - way back when I was still in college. My creative writing professor, Rene Saldana, Jr. turned on to reading a John Gardner collection of essays on writers and writing. He discusses Philip Roth's novel, in which David Kepesh wakes up one day to learn he has become a giant breast. I jumped onto the internet and bought the first copy I found that was inexpensive. Hardback. Good price. Moving on.

I read it then continued on to reading The Professor of Desire and The Dying Animal. Both equally wonderful reads.Nothing, however, compares my first experience reading The Breast.

Last week, I reread the novella for the second time. And like Kepesh states, when you read a favorite novel later in life, you find things you didn't see before. I never questioned Kepesh's transformation. I read the novel rather literal. Here was a man who followed his lustful instincts in life who gets transformed into a breast. No big deal. 

The question I find myself asking, was Kepesh just crazy?

I won't go into too much detail because it's such a short book, but it's a must read for fans of The Metamorphosis.

The Breast is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

Friday, June 1, 2012

Two Children's Books

Taken during peace time
For those of you not following the blog, I work in the Children's Department of the local library. Because I'm also the father of a two-month-old, colicky son, I don't have much time to read big boy books anymore. This blog has suffered greatly because of my job and my new role in life. It's worth it, believe you me.  When I do get a sliver of chance to read, it's usually when I'm shelving books at work. So if this morphs into a children's book blog, well, so be it.

I've read a few books already, come to think of it. None of them seemed worth mentioning outside of I Want My Hat Back, but I still haven't figured out a way to review that book and give it justice without giving away too much. Because I've never reviewed children's books before, I sought advice from Cover to Cover. The irony, of course, is that I have not time to read that book.

Well, here goes nothing.

The Boy Who Cried Ninja by Alex Latimer

Alex Latimer delivers a comical spin to the classic "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," all the while keeping its intended moral. In it, Time has a problem. He's telling the truth but his his parents still punish him for all the things going wrong. Is it his fault the truth is so fantastical? Why is it so hard for them to accept that a ninja finished the last of the cake? Or that a sunburned crocodile broke the TV antenna?

Let's be honest, the title drove me to the book. I couldn't help it. If a children's book contains the "ninja" or "zombie" in the title, I'm picking it up. 99.9% (thus far) I put it right down. But Latimer offers us something great. Something that parents would have fun reading to their little ones and readers as old as third-grade (possibly older, but I'm winging the age recommendation here) can relate to. On the plus side, children will adhere to the message of telling the truth no matter what. I think that's something we can all relate to, no?

I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll

Think Monsters, Inc. Got that image? Well, this is better than that. The fact that it's a book sends it over the wall.

When Ethan checks under his bed, he learns that Gabe - his monster - has gone fishing. Ethan grows worried. How will ever fall asleep knowing a monster - his monster - isn't hiding underneath the bed?

Amanda Noll shows us a camaraderie between a boy and his monster that charms the  heart. It's funny and an enjoyable read. And it just might be the proper medicine for the boogieman blues for the little one. Let's not forget the message of excepting no substitutes when it comes to one's best friend (or in this case, best monster).

You can purchase both books at Amazon and Barnes and Noble using their respective links below:
Until next time, happy huntin'.