The Losers

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Favourite Non-Written Novels

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature created by GingerReadsLainey and hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. This week it’s all about your favourite non-traditional written books, so graphic novels, comics, manga, audiobooks and so on and so forth. So, this week I’m writing about my favourite graphic novels/trade paper backs (because I don’t live near a comic store so it’s easier to read the volumes) and by pure chance they are all from different publishers. In no particular order they are…

march-book-oneMarch by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
This graphic novel trilogy was pretty much the first thing I read this year and it’s my new favourite thing ever. It’s all about the Civil Rights Movement in America and it’s told through John Lewis’s eyes, what protests he was involved in, who he knew and all the hardships and successes. It is such a powerful and important graphic novel series, the sort of thing everyone should read.

 

 

fiveghosts vol1Five Ghosts by Frank J. Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham
Five Ghosts has a very Indiana Jones feel, especially as the main character is an archaeologist who searches for weird mystical artefacts. Oh, and he also happens to have a stone stuck in his chest that gives him the power of five different ghosts. The thing about Five Ghosts I really love is the art style, it’s like those old pulp fiction stories and it can be creepy and dynamic, especially when the ghosts make an appearance.

 

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TOP TEN TUESDAY: The Ten Movies I Can Watch Over and Over Again

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week. This week is a movie freebie so you can write about whatever you like, top ten all time favorite movies, top ten foreign films, top ten rom-coms, whatever! I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about the films I can watch over and over again and no matter how many times I watch it I never get bored.

lord of the rings elenasquareeyesThe Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003)
So while obviously The Lord of the Rings is actually three film I count the trilogy as one since it is one big story. Every December, as close to Christmas Eve as I can get it, I rewatch the entire trilogy in a day. It’s a little tradition I’ve been doing for over ten years and I can’t wait till it’s December and I can watch Lord of the Rings.

 

The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001)the mummy elenasquareeyes
I count these two as one film too because they follow so well from one another – plus there’s no third film. These films feature one of my favourite fictional couples and my favourite fictional family ever! The O’Connell-Carnahan’s with Ardeth Bey are just the best! The Mummy and The Mummy Returns are so much fun and full of adventure and I could never get bored of watching them.

legally blonde elenasquareeyesLegally Blonde (2001)
Elle Woods is a feminist icon and so is Legally Blonde. Whenever I see Legally Blonde is on TV I always end up watching it, I can quote so many lines and I adore the soundtrack. Elle Woods makes me want to work harder and to be the best I can be and I love getting that feeling every time I rewatch this film.  (more…)

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten Fictional Families I’d like to Celebrate Thanksgiving with

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week – I’m thinking I might not take part every week but just see if a week takes my fancy. In honour of Thanksgiving (which I know nothing about really because I’m a Brit) this week I’m going to list the ten fictional families I‘d like to celebrate with, these families are going to be from books, films and TV shows and my favourite trope of “Families of Choice” will almost certainly be making an appearance.

The Pevensies – The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Sure the Pevensies don’t always get along but they always come together and sharing a special dinner with them, and maybe some other characters like Mr Tumnus and the Beavers, would be nice.

The O’Connell-Carnahan’s – The Mummy and The Mummy Returns
This family is #familygoals. Rick may be the only American in the family so he might have to persuade his wife, son and brother-in-law to take part in Thanksgiving but I’m sure they would and then Ardeth Bay could join in too.

The Baggins’ – The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
Whether it would be a small dinner with just Bilbo and Frodo, or if Pippin, Merry and Sam were there too, it would be a great meal because Hobbit’s know their food and how to party. (more…)

Z is for Zoe Saldana

zoesaldanaZoe Saldana is the new Queen of sci-fi. She’s been a blue alien in Avatar (2009), Uhura in the Star Trek reboots and most recently the assassin Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy (2013). I think she’s great in all those roles – obviously some are more developed than others but she does a great job with hat she’s given.

Zoe Saldana can do comedy – as seen in Death at a Funeral (2010) which isn’t exactly a great film but it is a lot of fun and she can do action and drama, as seen in the (seriously underrated in my opinion) Colombiana (2011).

My favourite film starring Zoe Saldana is The Losers (2010) – I could wax poetically about The Losers because I love the film and the comic a ridiculous amount. Zoe Saldana plays Aisha, the daughter of a drug lord who is a total badass and can take on the Losers and the bad guys and come out on top.

Infinitely Polar Bear (2014) is released later this year in the UK and I can’t wait to see it. It looks funny and sweet yet also possibly heart-breaking. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it when it has been shown at film festivals.

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Top Ten Favourite Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week – I’m thinking I might not take part every week but just see if a week takes my fancy. This week is all about favourite heroines – most of mine are bookish ones but there’s a couple from films and TV shows too.

alana-01Alana from the Saga series by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Alana is a Landfallian who fell in love and had a baby with a solider from Wreath – they’ve got a Romeo & Juliet kind of deal going on but they are far better at communicating so neither of them have died yet. Alana will do anything to protect her daughter but at the same time she is also impulsive and sometimes jealous. She’s also a former solider so she can handle just about anything that comes her way.

Lucy Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Lucy is so young and full of belief and wonder at the world around her. I love her faith in Narnia and in her family and how she grows to become quite courageous over the course of her adventures. (more…)

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Top Ten Books I Read In 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week – I’m thinking I might not take part every week but just see if a week takes my fancy. I read a lot more this year than I thought I would and a lot of what I read has been really good. So this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is the perfect time to look back at what I’ve read and pick out some highlights. I reviewed some of these books I’m going to mention, so if it you want to find out more about what I thought – just click the link and you’ll get to my review!

Young Avengers Vol 1: Style > Substance – Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelviephoto 1 (2)
Young Avengers really kicked off my comic book reading this year. I had read a few volumes towards the end of last year but this year I’ve read a lot. Young Avengers is a lot of fun and the story arc was very easy to get into even though I only knew one or two characters from the team before I started reading it. If you like teenage superheroes saving the world while having relationship dramas and having great banter – Young Avengers is for you.

Vicious – V.E. Schwab
I’m always intrigued about people with powers and I loved the take on that in Vicious. All the characters are interesting and no one is just a cardboard cut-out of a hero or villain. (more…)

REVIEW: Young Avengers, Five Ghosts, Hawkeye, Wolverine and the X-Men and The Losers

I’ve been reading a lot of comics this year so thought I’d do a five mini reviews of some of the series that I’ve read so far. Some of these reviews are for individual volumes and others are for a complete story arc.

Young Avengers – Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie photo 1 (2)
Like with most Marvel/DC comics there have been numerous incarnations of different characters and teams. This run of Young Avengers is the most recent and the team consists of Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Wiccan (Billy Kaplan), Hulkling (Teddy Altman), Kid Loki, Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr) and Miss America (America Chavez). I love every member of this team and the writers do a great job of introducing each character to readers who may know nothing about them or their powers without too much needless exposition. I only knew Kate Bishop from Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye series so I was new to all the other characters but soon figured it out.

The main “big bad” is the Mother who can bring the Young Avengers dead parents back to life, though they are not how they remember. Besides all the action stuff, at the heart of Young Avengers is the relationships between the characters. Wiccan and Hulkling are in a relationship that has its rocky moments and then they are a group of teenagers that are often reluctant friends – especially with Loki as no one really knows how much they can trust him. Young Avengers is really funny and the art is gorgeous – the story goes across three volumes and it really is a lot of fun. 5/5

Five Ghosts Vol.1: The Haunting of Fabian Gray – Frank J. Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham
Five Ghosts is very Inidana Jones-like and it is awesome. Fabain Gray is a treasure hunter who after having an encounter with an artefact called “The Dreamstone” is possessed by five literary ghosts and granted access to their unique abilities. Those five ghosts unnamed but it can be guessed that the archer is Robin Hood, the wizard is Merlin, the detective is Sherlock Holmes, the samurai is Musashi, and the vampire is Dracula.

There’s a mystery surrounding the Dreamstone as Fabian tries to work out how to use these ghosts powers while continuing to be an infamous treasurer hunter and also trying to help his sister. The art is gorgeous and more realistic than some of the superhero stuff I’ve read, and it’s reads like an action-adventure film as Fabian travels to deserted temples and jungles. It’s a very cool book. 4/5.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Comfort Movies

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week. I’m thinking I might not take part every week but just see if a week takes my fancy. Today we’re talking about other types of stories!

Sometimes it’s not that you feel sad or really down, you just don’t really feel like anything – I call these my bleugh days. On those days I just want a movie that will be an easy watch and a comfort movie. So here are my favourite comfort movies – some of them could be seen as an odd choice for “comfort” but there you go. All links go to the film’s trailers on YouTube.

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Love Julie Newmar (1995)
This film makes me feel good for a number of reasons. It stars Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze & John Leguizamo – three awesome actors, it passes the Bechdel test with flying colours and is funny and all about women helping other women.

Transformers (2007)photo 3 (1)
With Transformers you can just switch off and enjoy the silliness and the explosions – which is something that definitely helps when I’m feeling a bit down. My favourite part of this movie (and the sequels) are the soldiers Epps and Lennox played by Tyrese Gibson and Josh Duhamel.

Footloose (1984)
How can you not end up with a smile on your face when you hear Kenny Loggins’ Footloose?! The plot of the film is a bit silly (what with a town banning dances, music and fun) but I love the friendship between Willard (Chris Penn) and Ren (Kevin Bacon) and it’s just a happy film.

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Should graphic novels/comic books count towards my reading goals?

IMG-20140605-01034On Tuesday I finished reading The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan on my kindle. I liked it a lot and thought it was very atmospheric and creepy and now can’t wait for the TV show (I’ll continue with the trilogy at some point but I don’t feel as if I have to read them right now) So after finishing that I was thinking about what I’ll read next. I’m not reading loads right now (since I’m supposed to be writing my 15,000 word dissertation) but it is nice to be able to switch off the academic part of my brain and read for fun. I was considering The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson which I’ve borrowed from my mum but I don’t really fancy something so long (and possibly dense) right now. Thinking that led me to the comic books/graphic novels which are sitting on my shelf. I went to Orbital Comics a few weeks ago and bought four more comics so considered reading one of them.

My pick is The Losers Book Two by Andy Diggle and Jock. I read the first book a few months ago and fell in love with everything about it (it probably helps that I love the movie) and I wanted to continue the story straight away but unfortunately my go-to comic store is in Central London and it takes me about an hour to get there.

As I start the second book of The Losers I wonder if I should be taking note of when I read them like I do with regular books. Comic books may have pictures and fewer full sentences than a novel but they still take time to read. Since the start of this year I have read four comic books – the first The Losers book and all three volumes of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s run of Young Avengers – but I didn’t add them to my Books of 2014 list. I know they’re not novels (and originally that was only for novels) but I’m finding that I can get a lot of enjoyment from comic books as well. I don’t think the medium is any less than 300-page novels, it’s just a different way to tell stories.

So I think I’ve decided I’m going to add the comics I read to my book list – I may not count them to my goal of reading 12 books this year but at least it will still be noted when I read them. I suppose one way to look at it is that often trade paper backs of comics and graphic novels are included on reading websites such as Goodreads – so if it’s good enough for Goodreads, it’s good enough for me. A comic may not take as long as some novels to read, but they can certainly take you to new places and get you involved with the characters and the story – Young Avengers vol. 1 made me laugh out loud. So the next thing I’m going to be reading for fun when I need a break from the dissertation is The Losers and I’m very much looking forward to it.

(This blog got away from me a bit and turned into a weird train of thought…)

Getting into Comic Books

I have always loved comic book movies and TV shows – I adored X-Men: Evolution, Teen Titans and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and I got my dad to take me to see Spider-Man when I was 10 years old and have since gone to see just about every Marvel and DC movie in the cinema. So I love these characters, I love the films but I had never gotten around to trying the source material – the comic books.

Now don’t give me that “fake geek girl” nonsense because I have nothing to prove. Everyone has to start somewhere, and if the start is from the TV shows or a movie then that’s fine, and it’s also perfectly fine if they never feel like picking up a comic book in their life. Wikipedia is perfect at filling in the blanks of a characters backstory anyway.

My comic collection (minus Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon 'cos that's at home)

My comic collection (minus Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon ‘cos that’s at home)

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