Monday, March 27, 2017

Tales from the Bookshelf: Comics, Comics, Comics

This month has been all about reading comics on Hoopla. I've known about this service for months now, but didn't bother downloading it until recently. Don't be like me - get it now! If you're a comic reader and not using the Hoopla app, you're really missing out. They also have ebooks, audio books, movies, music, and shows - however I've found their comic selection is the most impressive. Hoopla is not run through your library (meaning they don't just carry the same stuff your library carries), but you will need a library card to sign up. The only downside is that they limit the amount of materials you can borrow each month; but it's all free so can I really complain? My account allows me to borrow 6 titles per month, but this number will vary depending on which library your card is from. Here are the titles I read this month!

Jughead, Vol. 1
👽👽👽👽 (4 stars - err, aliens)

Riverdale High provides a quality education and quality hot lunches, but when one of those is tampered with, JUGHEAD JONES swears vengeance! Well, I mean, he doesn't "swear." This is still Archie Comics after all.

This is a volume I wanted to get the last two times I was at the comic book store, but ended up being persuaded to get other volumes instead (those being Archie vol. 1 (review on that here!) and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina vol. 1, both very good). I figured the library was more likely to get this one in at some point so I could wait for that, but they never did. Luckily Hoopla had it, and lots of other Archie comics, if that's your thing.

If you're a Jughead fangirl (like meee) then you will love this series. If you're not, I'd say it will be enjoyable for you, but not quite so much. I say this because the storytelling has some faults, but if you're enjoying the other aspects of the story enough then those faults aren't as prevalent. It was a little hard to follow at times. There was a bunch of mini stories hidden within one big story arc, and the main story often got lost in the shuffle. If you used to read the original Archie Digests then you'll recognize this format. So it isn't bad, seeing as I read those digests for years and years, but I was kind of hoping it'd be a bit different, and similar to the treatment everyone got in the new Archie series, but less Betty/Veronica drama. In a way this felt like the Jughead Digests, but with an updated look and not $3 in the grocery store checkout line. I don't feel the need to own this volume, but I'll definitely be reading volume 2!

Alex + Ada, Vol. 2 & 3
👽👽 (2 aliens)

Tensions rise between humans and robots in this sci-fi/drama set in the near future. Alex took a huge risk to unlock Ada and it seems to have paid off - Ada can now think for herself and explore life as a sentient android. As Alex and Ada spend more time together, they become closer. But as restrictions tighten on androids, Ada feels unsure about her place in Alex's life and the world.

I started this series last year, when I found vol. 1 at the library. For whatever reason they never decided to get the rest of the series, even though there was only two more volumes and they had already been out for awhile by then. So when vol. 2 showed up on my recommended reading on Hoopla, I was surprised! I had forgotten I needed to finish this series.

Unfortunately, the rest of the series wasn't very good. In vol. 1 Alex goes back and forth on if he should "unlock" his android, Ada. But now that she's unlocked it gets kind of boring. She has to sit around the house all day so no one suspects she's sentient. Then they go through the typical "I have feelings for you - but I can't - your a robot!" spiel. Later in vol. 3 there's some robo-politics involved, but that's boring too. Maybe because I'm just getting tired of reading about politics >_>

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 3: Commercial Suicide
👽 (1 sad alien)

After the detonation of FANDEMONIUM the gods-as-pop-stars of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE try living in the long dark shadow. Team WicDiv are joined by a stellar cast of guest artists to put the spotlight on each of the gods. The multiple Eisner Award nominated series continues in the only way it knows how: darker, weirder, faster. Don't worry. It's going to be okay.

I need someone to tell me why they like this series, because I know a lot of you do. I read volume 1 and 2 and was like, "these are ok, but I don't love them" (I really like the character designs, though). So I started vol. 3 and now I'm not sure if I even want to continue this series. I understand it was sort of a weird time for the series, with all the guest artists and everything, but I dunno guys. Learning more about what happened to Lucy was cool, but that's about it. All the different art styles was so distracting - I couldn't focus on what was going on. Plus one of the few reasons I kept reading this series was to see what happens to our girl Laura - who isn't even in this volume. It's mostly just filler to give you a little backstory on the Gods - and even then they don't actually do a whole lot.

What I'll probably read next:
- Jughead vol. 2
- Paper Girls vol. 1
- Sex Criminals vol. 3

(All on Hoopla, naturally.)

What have you been reading lately? What are your favorite resources for comic book reading?

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