Book/Comic Haul: Jan-April 2015

I don’t feel like I buy or receive enough books to do a monthly book haul. Most of the books I read I end up getting from the library. I definitely envy those of you with beautiful bookshelves lined with hard copies of your favorite books. I’ll get there some day. My collection will just take a little longer to amass.

I did get quite a few new books (and comics!) over the course of the last 4 months, though. So I thought I’d share my haul for the whole of January-April 2015!

BOOKS

IMG_2235

First up, this GORGEOUS edition of Neverending Story that my mom got me for my birthday! I’m so obsessed with it I almost don’t want to read it for fear of ruining it. I don’t think that will stop me in the long-run, though. I’ll just be suuuuuper careful.

The other two, I bought for myself – which I almost NEVER do, so yay! I picked up Throne of Glass and The Alchemist 25th Anniversary Edition on a trip to Barnes & Noble with my mom. I’m so, so excited to start reading Throne of Glass, since everybody and their mother is obsessed with it – I really just want to join that party. And this edition of The Alchemist is freaking gorgeous  with the cutout on the front cover & the deckle edge. I was too in love with the way it looks to pass it up. Plus, it’s on my Popsugar 2015 Reading List as a book that was published in the year of my birth. So, win-win!

Also, every single one of these fandom items has been acquired since December of last year, so I thought I’d throw them in the photo, too. You might think my Luna Lovegood wand is my favorite, but it’s actually Mr. Pointy. How many people do you know with a Mr. Pointy??

IMG_2226

Apparently I completely forgot about this as I was photographing my other books, but I picked up this copy of Fairest of All when we were at Disney World. I was really surprised when I took the dust jacket off to see the old hag underneath. I might leave the jacket off because I love it so much. I will admit that I was a little disappointed because we went to another shop immediately after I bought this & I found The Beast Within, which the first shop didn’t carry. I probably would have rather had that one, but I can always pick it up later 🙂

E-BOOKS

Oh! Let’s not forget about e-books! I do stock up on Kindle books pretty frequently, thanks to the Pixel of Ink newsletter! Yeah, ok. I didn’t realize how many e-books I get until I started compiling this list. Here’s everything I’ve added to my Kindle since January, in chronological order.

  1. Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice
  2. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  3. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
  4. The Memory Game by Sharon Sant
  5. Someone Else’s Fairytale by E.M. Tippetts
  6. The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton
  7. White Oleander by Janet Fitch
  8. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
  9. A Brush with the Moon by Raquel Lyon
  10. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  11. Insanity (Mad in Wonderland) by Cameron Jace
  12. Imperfectly Perfect by A.E. Woodward
  13. Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
  14. Wearing the Cape: The Beginning by Marion G. Harmon
  15. Riser by Becca C. Smith
  16. Queenie Baby: On Assignment by Christina A. Burke
  17. Modern Women by Ruth Harris
  18. Vampire in Denial by Dale Mayer
  19. Beastly by Alex Flinn
  20. Witch Hunt by Devin O’Branagan
  21. The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter by Jennifer Malone Wright
  22. Cress (Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
  23. Sora’s Quest by T.L. Shreffler
  24. The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger
  25. Me and my Ghoulfriends by Rose Pressey
  26. Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson
  27. Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman
  28. The Diviners by Libba Bray
  29. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  30. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  31. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  32. Lost Girl:Hidden Book One by Colleen Vanderlinden
  33. Airel: The Awakening by Aaron Patterson

PLUS, I signed up for Kindle Unlimited & added all the Harry Potter books to my library ❤ So, as far as new reading material goes, I’m not exactly hurting… Ha.

COMICS

IMG_2231

Moving into comics, I’ve got the 4 issues of Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1982) that I picked up at Newbo Con in February, plus the Vision and the Scarlet Witch: A Year In The Life that my brother-in-law got for my birthday. And then, of course, the Avengers 100th Anniversary Special #1.

To be honest, I haven’t read any of these yet. But I will. I promise!

IMG_2229

So I read the first 4 volumes of Saga in trade from my library and then made sure to get it on my pull list at the comic book shop. I actually ended up with 2 copies of issue 25 because mine was back-ordered & I couldn’t wait – so I ordered one from eBay.  Totally worth it, though. I’m so in love with this series. I just read issue 27 last week and, while it slowed things down a LOT from the previous issues, I do think it’s a necessary lull & I still love it.  I’m not even gonna get into it, because I could write an epic saga about my love for Saga. And that’d just be saga-ception. Which sounds dangerous. (I fangirl so hard over Fiona Staples)

IMG_2230

I have heard incredible things about The Wicked + The Divine, so I ordered the first trade & put it on my pull list. I haven’t started reading the trade yet, but I did thumb through & slobber over the artwork by Jamie McKelvie & Matt Wilson.  I don’t think I’m going to start reading until I get my hands on issues 6-8, so I can just binge read the whole thing in one sitting. 🙂

IMG_2233

Last, but most CERTAINLY not least, is my itsy bitsy Spider Gwen collection (ha. I’m funny). Right now I have the Edge of Spiderverse collection and Spider Gwen #1 & #3. I’ve been waiting for issue 2 for what feels like FOREVER. But once it comes in, it is GAME ON for me and this series. I actually read the first Spider-Verse issue – the Spider Noir one, and I really enjoyed it. That was officially my first “Superhero Comic” that I’ve ever read. eek! I know. I’m a total newb. Oh well, can’t stay that way forever!


So, there you have it. That’s my entire comic collection, plus every book I’ve acquired between January & April. I’m actually already off to a good start on Books for May – maybe I’ll end up with enough to justify a May Book Haul – that would be just lovely 🙂

How about that list of Kindle Reads, though? Anything in there that I should definitely pay attention to? I’m reading Ready Player One right now, but there’s a lot of good stuff floating on my Kindle that I had completely forgotten about!

Until Next Time ❤

Advertisements

Comic Newbie: My First Comic EVER

I’ve done it. I’ve popped my Comic Book cherry. And I am completely hooked.

While I bought the first 4 issues of Vision & The Scarlet Witch at NewBo Con a couple weeks ago, I still haven’t read those. My first foray into comics ended up being one that came highly recommended from multiple sources & doesn’t even have anything to do with superheroes. Seriously, who knew there were comics NOT about superheroes? Ugh. Noob status.

Saga

I’m really glad I started with Saga. I feel like it really opened my eyes to the possibilities in the world of comics & showed me that comics are NOT just for kids who are obsessed with superheroes. I mean, this comic is FOR ADULTS. I actually got kind of concerned by the mature subject matter because the copy I read came from the Library and I thought all the comics were stored with the YA Lit. I was super relieved to find that they only house Manga in the YA section & all the comics/ graphic novels are actually on the 2nd floor with the movies & nonfiction. Seriously, no 12-year-old who is perusing the YA section should be able to get their hands on this (at least in my opinion). All that said, I am entirely obsessed with this series. I’ve only read the volume one so far, but I have 2-4 at home, just waiting for me to pick them up & devour them.

Let me start with the reading experience. I did read a little manga back when I was in high school. I had a boyfriend who was really into Japanese culture & we watched a ton of anime & read manga pretty much exclusively. It was never really my favorite. I enjoyed it, but never found that story that really hooked me in. I was mostly doing it so he’d like me more. But that experience made reading this comic pretty natural for me.

I love that I can get through so much content & narrative in such a short period of time. The first volume took me somewhere around 30 minutes to read completely due to the lack of descriptive language. That’s a huge benefit for someone who hates to pick up a book unless I have hours to devote to making some serious progress in the story. Comics don’t need all that frilly language to describe what’s going on, because it’s all presented visually, which brings me to the artwork.

saga art

Oh my god. I’m a former art major and I cannot get over the beauty of the illustrations in this comic. Fiona Staples is now very high on my bucket list of people to meet before I die. The colors are vibrant, even during dark scenes and there is so much expression in the characters’ faces that it’s practically like watching a movie. Every single panel is its own unique work of art & I love having all of that at my fingertips. The visual drives the narrative which, again, is completely enthralling.

saga5

Brian K. Vaughan is one hell of a creative dude. This world he has created is full of magic and mystery and romance and brutality. It is not idealized. It feels like a world that could actually  exist in some far-off reaches of the universe. It’s easy to root for the main characters on their journey because it’s so easy to identify with them on any number of levels. I’m keeping things vague for those who haven’t read it, but Alana is quickly becoming one of my favorite female fictional characters of all time (holy alliteration, batman!). And I love that the whole thing is being narrated by Hazel. It’s a really unique perspective and I love her sassy attitude.

Synopsis:

Star Wars-style action collides with Game of Thrones-esque drama in this original sci-fi/fantasy epic for mature readers, as new parents Marko and Alana risk everything to raise their child amidst a never-ending galactic war.

Fiona Staples - Saga Illustration

First Panel of Vol. 2 – I already sneaked a peak & it’s GORGEOUS

Saga, Vol. 1 gets  a glorious 5/5 stars on Goodreads & an unprecedented 11/10 stars in my heart. Can’t wait to get into the next volume. Not to mention all the other comics this has led me to check out from the library. Here’s what’s coming up on my list:

I have all of these for the next 3 weeks & can’t wait to get into some different styles of comics. I’ve taken to carrying one with me instead of my Kindle. 🙂

Do you have any suggestions for a newbie to the comic world? I’m ready & willing to learn!

Until Next Time ❤

OGF Signature

NewBo Con 2015

newbocon

Well, this post was a little slow in coming to fruition, but I wanted to put together a quick recap & review of NewBo Con 2015 in Cedar Rapids, IA.The convention was held on February 7 at the NewBo City Market in the New Bohemia district of Cedar Rapids. It only ran from 10am-6pm, but in that time saw over 3,500 visitors.  This was the first year for this con and, in my opinion, it was a remarkably successful event. There were a lot of things done well – especially considering the whole event was organized by a single person.

I have to say, I was pumped for this event & waiting in anticipation for MONTHS. Like, since it was announced in October (I think that’s when it was?). Going to Wizard World Minneapolis last year was what really jolted me back into obsessing over all these things I love – and even got me thinking more & more about comics in general. I was thrilled to hear that Cedar Rapids was getting its own convention AND that it was free admission, making it easy to convince everyone I knew to at least consider going.

If you can’t sense my enthusiasm about this event, you’re completely blind. So, without further ado, here are some of the highlights from NewBo Con ’15.

10931124_424545504374669_533385001896723359_n

*sidenote: I was trying to corral my 4-year old daughter in the morning & my slightly inebriated friends in the afternoon, so I didn’t take any photos. Most of these photos were hijacked from the NewBo Con Facebook page*

The Venue

Newbo1-890x432

NewBo City Market is a great venue – and It was the perfect choice for the first year of this event. NewBo has a huge following of people who visit every single weekend. These non con-goers increased attendance and (I can only assume) sales for the vendors just by letting their curiosity bring them over to the convention side of the market. I think this was an incredibly smart decision on the part of the organizer to tap into a demographic that normally wouldn’t have any interest in attending such an event. Really, it was mutually beneficial because peckish con-goers could just walk across the market to any of the regular (exceptional) vendor locations & get a drink, snack, or a full-blown meal. Top-notch choice for year one.

DSC_3344

Unfortunately, the size of the venue was not adequate to support the amount of interest this event generated from convention vendors.  There were a total of something like 30 spaces available and 80 interested vendors had to be turned away. That’s huge. I know they’re looking into bigger venues for next year, making the name “NewBo Con” & the totally rad logo now obsolete. Collector’s item. Doneski. I’m just really pulling for the new “Cedar Rapids Comic Con” to be held at our new Convention Center. There are multiple spaces that would be suitable to the event and I just feel like it’s the right place to host the event going forward. Unfortunately, cost could easily affect the likelihood of this happening, as I know the organizers want to keep the event free for the foreseeable future.

10372757_309742045855016_442659663216128125_n

Bye, bye, logo </3

Vendors

The downside with the way this event was organized was that all vendor spaces were first-come, first-serve. I get it. That seems like the right way to do things the first time around. I just feel that we ended up with too little variety in the limited number of vendors that were set up. Don’t get me wrong – the majority of vendors were awesome & their products were well-curated and/or well-crafted. I’m not here to bash on anyone, but I will say that there were a few items for sale that really caused me to raise an eyebrow & I hope there’s some level of screening for next year’s vendors. Here are a few of the stand-outs for me:

I know I’m (incredibly) biased here, but I genuinely feel that Geek City Games had one of the best booths. I could barely walk up to the table at a few points throughout the day due to the crowds gathering around to check out the merch. They had games, collectibles, omnibuses (omnibi?), boxes upon boxes of comics, and even had 2 guest vendors sharing their space. It was really well organized & the displays made everything easy to find. Good work, boys!

A to Z Toys & Collectibles was right next door to Geek City & instantly captured the attention of my husband & friends. They seemed to have a great selection of vintage collectibles, as well as some new items. Now, I know nothing about vintage toys & whatnot, but the boys sure seemed impressed, so I give you a thumbs-up, A to Z Toys & Collectibles!

Candle Light Press. Now, I didn’t get to chat with the guys like I would have liked (again, due to the inebriated state of certain companions and general tomfoolery afoot) but these guys had it going on ALL. DAY. LONG. scores of people walked up to the booth, chatted, and walked away with mad stacks of comics. I’m gonna need to get my hands on some of those in the near future.

Lastly, 515 Comics seemed like a pretty awesome vendor. I didn’t even glance at his booth until the end of the day & I saw what turns out to be my favorite item I couldn’t buy that day (because he was sold out). It was this glorious shirt, and I am ordering it very, VERY soon.

beard-thumb

I also bought this pretty cute steampunk necklace and a Rainbow Dash keychain (for the kiddo) from another vendor, but alas, couldn’t find any information on the shop responsible for such cute tchotchkes. Womp womp.

Conclusion

Overall, I was SO impressed by this event. It was incredibly well-organized and just made me happy to spend my Saturday there. There are clearly a few improvements that could be made for subsequent years, but I’d say for its very first con, Cedar Rapids gets a 10/10.

If you live anywhere in the Midwest (or farther, I’m not here to pigeonhole you) and are looking for a fun, casual convention – check out the Cedar Rapids Comic Con webpage & sign up for email updates so you can come visit in 2016!

 

Until Next Time ❤

OGF Signature


 

CURRENT OBSESSIONS:

  1. Book: The Duff – Kody Keplinger
  2. Comic: Saga, Vol. 2 – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
  3. Music: Talking Dreams (Album) – Echosmith
  4. TV: Gilmore Girls, Season 7
  5. YouTube: Lauren Fairweather
  6. Blog: The Book Nosher

Newbs.

Well, here it is. A blog 26 years in the making.

I’ll be honest – I have no idea what I want to write about. I am only just beginning to accept my own idiosyncrasies, as I have spent much of my life doing and being what is expected of me or what might please others. I’m not here for pity; this is meant to be an outlet of self-discovery. How deep, huh? Everything I write sounds cheesy and ridiculous. Guess that’s why they say that writing is a skill to be finely honed over time? That could be total bullshit, but I guess we’ll know soon enough.

So, I guess I’ll just get into it.

I’m calling myself the Obsessive Girl Fan because that’s the best way I can describe myself. I’m a fan. Of life, literature, film, art, you name it. I’m a fan. Yet, I’m not certain I would call myself a FANGIRL. I have no qualms with the term or people who identify with the term; I simply don’t identify with it myself. I feel like a person needs to have a near-encyclopedic knowledge of a topic or subculture before justifiably being labeled a Fangirl/boy. In no way do I have this level of knowledge about anything. Thus, why I identify as a girl fan. Hooray, semantics! Maybe someday I’ll get to full-on fangirl status.

A little about me:

I’m a 26-year-old wife and mother born and raised in Iowa.  Before we get too far, no. I do not live on a farm & I know literally nothing about agriculture. There are cities here. I live in one. Got it? Good.

As mentioned before, I have a pretty diverse list of interests & hobbies, but my most current obsessions include: reading, Gilmore Girls, makeup, YouTube, and comic conventions (though I’ve only been to two). I bought my first comics this weekend & I have a feeling it’s going to become a regular deal. It helps that my brother-in-law works at a comic book shop… he’s an enabler.

I’m really excited to finally have this creative space I’ve been craving for so long & I hope it helps me connect with some of you out there who share my interests!

Until next time ❤

[#ogf]