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Episode 07

Wow, did you guys miss me? It’s been a weird week, but things should be going better soon. As I mentioned in the show this week, we are trying to buy a house. I swear it shouldn’t be this hard. All we want to do is give someone a large amount of money. Usually people like money. The house we are looking at went into foreclosure between when we made our offer and now, so the house that we like is in limbo. So think happy thoughts for us. My apartment gets smaller by the day.

We have 5 books for you this week, since I made you wait so long.

The Twelve Vol 01
New Release

The Twelve Vol 01 Written by J. Michael Straczynski, Pencils by Chris Weston

This book was a surprise. I was expecting camp and silly, and I got a dark, deep story with serious and compelling characters. I am looking forward to the second half.

Wolfman Cover

Bonus New-ish Release

Astounding Wolf-man Written by Robert Kirkman, Art By Jason Howard

I liked this book for a lot of reasons, but I still feel like it feels a little rushed. Doesn’t stop me from enjoying the heck out of it, though. Oh, and the link from the picture goes to Kirkman’s blog. Usually I link to publisher sites, but Image’s site makes it pretty much impossible to have a link to a specific book. Kirkman is pretty cool anyway.

Conan Cover

Spider Woman Origin Written by Brian Michael Bendis and Brian Reed, Art by Luna Brothers

After my New Avengers binge a couple of weeks ago, I decided to grab this one to round out Jessica Drew’s story in my mind. I think this was a good story. The art didn’t wow me, but I thought it was interesting. It’s not as fun as the New Avengers, but it does offer some insight into her motivations, and there are some really cool fight scenes. I just don’t get why they had to start her out as a blond.

Stray Bullets Cover

El Capitan

Stray Bullets Vol 01 Story and Art by David Lapham

Ok. I give up. I’ve read it. I wrote a 3 pages in my fancy new Tara McPherson notebook about it. I talked about in this weeks show. I’m still not sure if I like it or not. I definitely respect it, but it squiks me out something fierce. You’ll have to read it and decide for yourself.

Other Side
New Release

The Other Side Of The Mirror Story and Art by Jo Chen

There are 2 books to this series. If you see them, go ahead and grab them both. The serialized story of Lou and Sunny really gets moving in the second book, and the short stories in that volume are also sweet and solid. Jo Chen also does beautiful painted covers. Her Runaways covers are some of the most beautiful things I’ve seen.

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Hey again. The weather is beautiful this week, and I am healthy again, so no weird “how fast can I get it recorded?” show this week. I’m posting this a little early because I get to go back out to the store and see if I can swap out the cash register computer for one that actually works. If you are one of my regulars, odds are that you have been in while it was doing its update thing. Everyday, usually around 2ish, the computer does a virus scan update, but the scheduler is locked behind a password that no-one seems to be sure of. So we have to wait while it eats up all the system resources and grinds sales to a halt. This happened recently at a really bad time. There were a couple of guys standing near the register and having a loud conversation about how much they hate the government, and what they’d like to… um…. do about it. In sort of graphic terms. This poor woman came in and just wanted to buy some Wonder Woman stuff for a present, and the computer seizes up. She’s standing there, looking more and more uncomfortable, and I’m trying to just appear calm and competent with all the loud nonsense coming from right behind her. Pretty quickly I gave up on the computer, and did the transaction by hand with a calculator. I told her if she needed her receipt she could come back for it. She looked me in the eyes, and said with desperate sincerity, ” I don’t need a receipt. I just need to GO“. So it’s time to do the computer switcheroo.

Dead Boys Detective Cover
New Release

Sandman Presents: Dead Boys Detectives Written by Ed Brubaker; Cover by Dave McKean; Art by Bryan Talbot and Steve Leialoha

Yes, I know. More Sandman stuff. It’s good though, I promise. This one came out in singles in 2001, and is just coming out collected this week. I really enjoyed this one with all it’s creepy darkness. There’s just something nice about ghost detectives that have play sword fights while dressed as Sherlock Holmes.

New Avengers Cover


New Avengers Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Ok, so I kind of read the entire run of New Avengers this week. I was just going to pick one up, read it, review it, and get on with my day. Instead, I read volume after volume until I got to the end of Vol 7 and realized that now I am caught up with where I started reading the singles with Secret Invasion. So obviously I really liked it, but there’s a little too much ground to cover to easly sum up what I read. I will say that I really like the team dynamic that we see with Captain America, Iron Man and Luke Cage feeling like the core power structure. I also really liked the ongoing drama around Spider Woman. And I now have a total comic crush on Luke Cage. So. Yeah. I hit this one hard this week, and really liked it a lot.

Conan Cover
Dark Horse

Conan Vol 01 The Frost Giants Daughter & Other Stories Written by Kurt Busiek ; Art by Cary Nord & Thomas Yeates

Hmmm. So parts of this I really liked. And parts of it made me uncomfortable. It is a great story in the barbarian tradition. The art is gorgeous and easy to follow. Unfortunately, all the women are either throw away plot objects, coniving devil women, or harem girl slaves. Conan even tries to rape one of them. So, while I thought the book was beautiful, and the stories well told, I kept getting squicked by the sort of misogynistic use of women in the story. I will probably read the next volume just to see where the story goes, but right now, I don’t think I would recommend it to most of my female customers. Men: sure, ladies: not so much.

Black Cat Cover


Black Cat Vol 01 Art and Story by Kentaro Yabuki

This one is not really a fair review, because it’s the first volume in a 20 book series (13 so far in US). I intend to continue this one, so we will talk about it again. I was pleasantly surprised with how serious the story was. Having just flipped through it before it looked sort of silly, but having now read the whole book, I find that it has some really human characters with complex histories and motivations. The bounty hunter plotline makes the part of me that loves Cowboy Bebop happy. I do think the anatomy of the male characters is a little strange, giving them grown-up looking bodies, but sort of tiny, kid proportioned heads. I got used to it after awhile though.

Alright. Wish me luck on the computers. I’m giving it about 50/50 odds that I’ll be able to get it done with no major deal-breaking hang-ups.

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This week is brought to you by Fred Meyer brand decongestants. I have a nasty ear infection, and it’s making me feel like I have a permanent hang-over. On top of that, the high was 107 F in Spokane today. Since I have to turn off the air conditioner and the fan to record, you get a quick and dirty podcast this week, with a small cameo from my cat.


Simon Dark Cover
New Release

Simon Dark : What Simon Does Written by Steve Niles; Art and cover by Scott Hampton

This was really great. I remember reading The Crow when was 17, and this gives me the same kind of joy. It is a dark mystery, but the main character has no memory, and the innocence of a child. This is one I will be following.

Welcome Back Frank Cover


Punisher Welcome Back Frank Written by Garth Ennis, Pencils by Steve Dillon

Andy left me a note telling me to read this one. According to him, it’s better than sex. I don’t know that I would go that far, but it’s definitely a good read. I love it when Ennis and Dillon work together. Yeah, we gotta cover the Preacher.

Books Of Magic Cover

Books Of Magic Written by Neil Gaiman; Art by Art by John Bolton, Charles Vess, Paul Johnson, and Scott Hampton

Yay, another great classic from Neil Gaiman. I warned you I was kind of a fan-girl. I read this ages ago, before I knew who half (or most) of the characters were. Reading it again was totally different, and way cooler. That said, this is a good book to introduce new readers to a bunch of the cool magic using characters in the DC universe. It was followed up by a really great series of the same name, but sadly, most of that is out of print.

Grim Peddler Cover


Tales of the Grim Peddler Art and Story By Lee Joung-A

I’m always a sucker for retellings of classic stories, and this book was no exception. The art is beautiful and clean, while still having a delicate intricacy that is perfect for stories like Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid. Lee gives the stories a creepy twist that really works. Another winner from an excellent Korean artist.

Ok, My decongestants are totally wearing off, and I’m calling it a night. Thanks for listening to my bleary ramblings.

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Hello to the little handful of readers from Europe! How on earth are people in Berlin finding me?

I hope I don’t sound too tired this week. I have spent pretty much all day recording, first engineering for my friends, the band Sidhe, and then with this. I’m going to be editing in my sleep tonight, but it’s totally worth it.

On to the Comics!

Foolkiller Cover
New Release

Foolkiller: Fools Paradise Writer Gregg Hurwitz, Pencils Paul Azaceta

Wow. Um. This was awful. I know that there are people out there that are going to like this book, but I am not one of them. The whole thing felt kind of like Punisher fanfic done by that kid in Jr High that everyone is afraid is going to snap. The art is good looking though, so points for that.

Batman Tales o/t Demon Cover


Batman Tales of the Demon Art by Neal Adams, Irv Novick, Dick Giordano and others

This collection of short stories was dense and rich with the old school Detective gumshoe goodness. I wish I could say that the cover made more sense. I had this book on the counter for a couple of days last week as I tried to find time to read it. People kept seeing the flung out Robin and the broken-hearted Batman on the cover and going “Ooh! What’s this?” Robin only appears in 2 of the stories in the book, and he doesn’t really get enough page time to be given that level of cover exposure. He’s got great gams though.

Sandman P&N Cover

Sandman Vol 01 Preludes & Nocturnes Written by Neil Gaiman; Art by Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones, III; Painted Cover by Dave McKean

Reading this book was like having dinner with an old friend. This was my first graphic novel, back when I was a little grunge/goth teenager. Now that I am a grown-up person, I have the posh Absolute Edition. Wow. The new coloring is amazing. They updated the colors and shading and it’s way less garish than my old paperback. If you have the $$ to drop on the fancy ones, go for it. No matter what, everyone should read these. If you have not yet, consider it your homework.

Nightmare Inspector Cover


Nightmare Inspector Story & Art by Shin Mashiba

Yay! More great manga! Like last week’s excellent books, I read both of the available volumes in one sitting. The books are short story collections revolving around a “dream eater” He helps out clients with thier arcane and sometimes spooky problems in exchange for the dream or nightmare that is the root of thier problem. Which he then eats. Cause he’s a dream eater. Some of the stories were creepy as heck, and some were dark but sweet. I look forward to Vol 03 of this series, which should be out soon.

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Girls Don’t Read Comics, now with theme music

Special welcome to Matt Watson and Sami and Jesse and Swiss. It’s so nice to hear from friends, and know that someone is listening.

This is also an exciting week, because this is my first week as an official Itunes Podcast. I know it’s not that huge a deal, there are thousands of free podcasts on Itunes. But if you do a search in the store for Girls Don’t Read Comics, my show comes up. And that makes me happy.

I had a lot of fun reading this weeks books:

Thor Vol 01 Cover
New Release

Thor Vol 01 Story by J. Michael Straczynski , art by Olivier Coipel

This was actually my first experience with the comic book character Thor. I grew up reading mythology, so the Norse god of thunder is a familiar figure to me. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but what I found was a good looking book, with a cool story and a lead character that I felt I could really understand. I can’t wait to read more, but now I’m behind on the issues. I’ll just have to wait for the next collection.

Young Avengers Vol 01 Cover


Young Avengers Vol 01Sidekicks Writer Allan Heinberg Pencils Jim Cheung

I admit, before Secret Invasion, I hadn’t really spent any time with any of the Avengers titles. I had a customer wax poetic about this one a few weeks back, so I thought I’d give it a go. I really dug it. I liked how they didn’t know what they were doing at first, really. I bought that they were young and inexperienced and it worked for me. I look forward to spending time with these, and now I need to go back and read Avengers Disassembled. Darn.

Heavy Liquid cover

Heavy Liquid Story & Art by Paul Pope

I read this one based on a recommemdation by Matt (not the Matt above), manager at the main Comic Book Shop. I’m really glad he put it in my hand, because I probably would not have read it otherwise. I really don’t care to much for the color, but everything else is so very good. I love a good tale of a dark future, and I love some noir tastyness. This delightfully combines the two with a raw-edged visual style. In the podcast I keep saying it’s intense. It’s intense.

Hollow Fields Cover

Seven Seas

Hollow Fields Vol 01 Story & Art by Madeleine Rosca

I almost feel bad playing favorites, but I had a lot of fun with this book. I actually read the Vol 02 right away, and when I finished it, I was dying to read the Vol 03, but I have to wait for it to ship. This is a great all-ages rated story. It’s probably better for girls than for boys, but you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it. I got the same sort of kick out of this that I got out of Harry Potter, but in a much smaller dose. I’m going to make it a goal to send it home with someone this week. If you have time, click the picture, and go read the sample at the publisher’s website.

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