Friday, December 19, 2014

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff

Delilah Dirk #1. First Second (August 2013) Library
Lovable ne'er-do-well Delilah Dirk has travelled to Japan, Indonesia, France, and even the New World. Using the skills she's picked up on the way, Delilah's adventures continue as she plots to rob a rich and corrupt Sultan in Constantinople. With the aid of her flying boat and her newfound friend, Selim, she evades the Sultan's guards, leaves angry pirates in the dust, and fights her way through the countryside. For Delilah, one adventure leads to the next in this thrilling and funny installment in her exciting life. 
A little bit Tintin, a little bit Indiana Jones, Delilah Dirk is a great pick for any reader looking for a smart and foolhardy heroine...and globetrotting adventures.


Delilah Dirk is a fantastically illustrated story about Delilah Dirk, a strong, dangerous heroine traveling with a tea loving Turkish Lieutenant named Selim. I read this a while back but I remember loving the art in this comic. All the colors are bright and beautiful. Everything comes to life on the page. 

Delilah firsts meets Selim when she decides to rob his boss. She gets herself captured and promptly escapes and fights off all the men who think she can't do anything to them because she's just a girl. Well they never faced someone like Delilah who has a bit of a weird sense of life in general. She's this thrill seeking adventurer who will take anyone on til the death but she's a bit naive like that. She's not a very dynamic character but I think that was done on purpose. I actually read more about Selim and his desires to live a normal life. 

Selim struggled with wanting to become an adventurer like Delilah but he could never keep up. It was an interesting dynamic between these two. Selim never wanted to get in the middle of Delilah's thievery. He just wanted to be alone and drink his tea. He's really the complete opposite of Delilah before he gets a taste of action. I enjoyed exploring his character more than anything in this comic. 

It's been a while since I read this but if I were you I would try reading Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant on the art alone because it's simply incredible. There is a strong story following Selim and a lot of great battles with the two of them. What's not to like?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

Standalone. Macmillan (April 2013) Library
A vibrant, food-themed memoir from beloved indie cartoonist Lucy Knisley.
Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe—many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy's original inventions.
A welcome read for anyone who ever felt more passion for a sandwich than is strictly speaking proper, Relish is a book for our time: it invites the reader to celebrate food as a connection to our bodies and a connection to the earth, rather than an enemy, a compulsion, or a consumer product.

I love any book that has anything to do with food. To also read descriptions and see food being prepared in this comic made me excited and very hungry. Lucy tells her story of her love of food throughout the years. She grew up with two parents who were in the world of food and made sure whatever she ate was deliciously prepared. They frowned at her as she grew up and learned to love greasy, fast food. Lucy also loves gourmet type food and knew more about food than most children her age. She also grew up surrounded by her parents friends who were artists, chefs, and all those really cool, creative people. My family will eat the same things over and over again everyday so it's always nice to see and read about someone with a completely different view on the world even if it's only food wise.

There was so much of the author's life packed into this book. I was seriously impressed with how much information, stories, and yes, recipes were in this comic. Her stories could be very funny to laugh out loud hilarious. She wrote about her life in detail including her parents divorce which was told wonderfully and made me sort of sad. The only thing that I could say I didn't like was it felt a little like it dragged on. Like there was too much going on? Which I feel is a total contradiction to what I wrote earlier but there it is. There's still no denying that Relish had me wanting to try creating new, interesting things in the kitchen. I need that motivation to learn how to cook before I become my parents and cook the same things over and over again. *shudder*

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday: White Cat by Holly Black

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop, hosted @Pen to Paperwhere I post one book per week that has been on my wishlist for some time, or I just added, that I can't wait to get off my wishlist and onto my wonderful shelves.

Wishlist Wednesday

Cassel comes from a shady, magical family of con artists and grifters. He doesn't fit in at home or at school, so he's used to feeling like an outsider. He's also used to feeling guilty; he killed his best friend, Lila, years ago.

But when Cassel begins to have strange dreams about a white cat, and people around him are losing their memories, he starts to wonder what really happened to Lila. In his search for answers, he discovers a wicked plot for power that seems certain to succeed. But Cassel has other ideas and a plan to con the conmen.


           Why I'm Wishing

I know I'm late to the game with this one. I saw White Cat's sequel Red Glove's cover which I loved and I also saw it was by Holly Black so I got super excited. White Cat sounds like something I've never read or experienced before. Conmen, cats, and strange dreams - what a weird and interesting combination. I just have to try this book out. 

What are you wishing for this week?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag

Book #1. Top Shelf Productions (November 2014) NetGalley
With superstrength and invulnerability, Alison Green used to be one of the most powerful superheroes around. 
Fighting crime with other teenagers under the alter ego Mega Girl was fun - until an encounter with Menace, her mind-reading arch enemy, showed her evidence of a sinister conspiracy, and suddenly battling giant robots didn't seem so important. 
Now Alison is going to college and trying to find ways to help the world while still getting to class on time. It's impossible to escape the past, however, and everyone has their own idea of what it means to be a hero.... 
After a phenomenal success on Kickstarter, Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag bring their popular webcomic into print, collecting the first four issues, as well as some all-new, full-color pages!

I based all my decision making on whether or not to read this comic on the title and the cover. I've been thinking lately about what it means to be a strong female protagonist. Does it only apply to those characters who have great physical strength like Celaena from Throne of Glass or is there more to it? In the case of Strong Female Protagonist strength might not be all Alison Green can rely on to save the world.

Alison Green came into her powers at the age of fourteen. There were no prior warnings that she would become the most invincible and strongest woman in the world. That's the case with all of the superheroes and supervillains in this world. By a certain age you can just become something else entirely which would be really cool if everyone obtained powers that weren't burdens. One particular villain is this giant crystal/monster looking thing with sharp hands like swords that can even cut him. There's also this character that looks like a rat and another person who regenerates (who wants to live forever? - that's pretty lonely). So these powers are not always wonderful even for Mega Girl who took off her mask a long time ago. Alison Green wants to fight the bad guys but she realizes that just fighting villains won't save the world from poverty, hunger, and disease. So what's the point in trying?

I liked that this comic weighed in on right and wrong. There's a lot of shady things going on that makes you wonder whether being a superhero would just totally suck. Not even just getting a horrible power but what would happen if the government found out you had unbelievable powers? I wouldn't put it past them to take all those affected away into some secret place where scary things happen to you. I know there are other comics and movies that address this issue yet Strong Female Protagonist just puts it in your face. It can be a very brash, no nonsense comic like Alison Green herself with graphic violence and language. It can also be very heartbreaking and real which I really like about this comic.

A couple of things I didn't like were the graphic nature of this comic. I didn't really expect it however, that's not the problem - I just didn't like the constant in your face about all of it, all the time. I didn't like the little comments at the bottom of each page either. Some comments were interesting but most of them were distracting me while I read. I liked that this comic made me think about morals and brought the issue of how if we all tried this world would be a better place - superheroes, although a great fantasy, is realistically not going to solve any of our problems.