Wilson and Alphona – Ms. Marvel: No Normal

Ms. Marvel: No Normal (Ms. Marvel (Marvel NOW!) #1) by G. Willow Wilson (writer), Adrian Alphona (artist), etc.

Date read: 12-13 April 2015

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cover image of Wilson and Alphona's Ms. Marvel: No Normal

Paperback, 1 volume unpaged

Published 2014 by Marvel Worldwide

Source: Deschutes Public Library (TEEN GN MS MARVEL) [“Contains material originally published in magazine form as Ms. Marvel #1-5 and All-new Marvel Now! Point One #1″–Title page.]

Kamala Khan is a teenage girl from Jersey City just trying to fit in as an ordinary American kid. Being Muslim and Pakistani isn’t helping. But, then, becoming a superhero doesn’t exactly help in that regard either. Did you know superheroes can be grounded by their parents? There truly is little to no normal(ity) in Kamala’s life.

This volume chronicles the origin and backstory of the new Ms. Marvel.

This is the 48th book in my GN2015

Lucke – The Lunch Witch

The Lunch Witch (#1) by Deb Lucke

Date read: 11 April 2015

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cover image of Deb Lucke's The Lunch Witch #1

Paperback, 175 pages

Published 2015 by Papercutz

Source: Deschutes Public Library [LUCKE DEB]

I really enjoyed this. It took me about 35 minutes to read it. That includes doing a reasonable job of looking at the images; one must to fully follow the story. Well played in that regard.

I came across this book due to Nicola’s review in the Graphic Novel Challenge [see below].

I agree with her. Gorey is going a bit far. See Nicola’s review for a synopsis.

There will be more of these supposedly and perchance I’ll stumble over them later.

According to its OCLC record it is for ages 7-10. And certainly up; maybe anywhere up. A feel good story about friendship and doing the right thing despite bribery, training, disposition, or threat of punishment.

This is the 47th book in my GN2015

It also qualifies as “A book published this year” in the Another reading challenge for 2015

Moning, et al. – Fever Moon

Fever Moon, 1st ed. by Karen Marie Moning; adapted by David Lawrence; illustrated by Al Rio and Cliff Richards

Date read: 08-09 April 2015

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cover image of Fever moon by Moning, et al.

Hardback, viii, 184 pages

Published 2012 by Del Rey

Source: Deschutes Public Library LAWRENCE DAVID

I grabbed this off the shelf at the public library yesterday evening when we were early for librarian April Witteveen’s talk, “Manga: Japanese Comics Past and Present.” This event is part of this year’s A Novel Idea—Ruth Ozecki’s A Tale for the Time Being—events.

Image of Deschutes Public Library librarian April Witteveen starting her talk, “Manga: Japanese Comics Past and Present.”

Deschutes Public Library librarian April Witteveen starting her talk, “Manga: Japanese Comics Past and Present.”

April’s talk was quite good, by the way. I learned a fair bit about manga and I saw several interesting looking books, whether manga themselves or mange resources. And, no, Fever Moon is not manga [see 1st paragraph].

Contents:

  • Introduction by Karen Marie Moning
  • Prologue
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Behind the Scenes of the Fever Series
  • Original Character Notes and Sketches

I began by reading the Introduction, the Behind the Scenes … and the Original Character Notes and Sketches. I did this because the graphic novel is an adaptation of a world created in five novels (more now), The Fever Series: Darkfever, Bloodfever, Faefever, Dreamfever, Shadowfever. I know nothing of these books or this world, so I read all the “extra” material first and I believe it probably helped the graphic novel make more sense. That said, the story is reasonably well self-contained. The author has also written many books in The Highlander Series.

Fever Moon is set in Dublin, Ireland (as is the series, I believe). [The book took about an hour to read, maybe. Forty-five minutes? I’m not doing a half hour of research to write this.]

It involves Fae and a battle between the evil Fae and humans (in Dublin, anyway) where the wall separating the worlds has been dropped.

I enjoyed the story well enough and gave it 4 of 5 stars but I’m not going to track down the novels. They might be great but too many more ideas out there. That is, it did not grab me like Manifest Destiny.

It seems Del Rey asked Moning if she would like to do a graphic novel set in her world (Intro). She also got to pick her own artist; she chose Al Rio, who died before the book was finished. The artwork was finished by Cliff Richards. I did not notice any difference in style, although I am not entirely sure what “finished” fully fleshes out to. Nor is my visual literacy in the world of graphic novels all that refined.

I enjoyed it. Very quick read. Recommended for fans of The Fever Series, fans of Fae and human struggles. Fairly mature: sex, rape, desire.

This is the 46th book in my GN2015

Collins and Rayner – Road to Perdition

Road to Perdition (#1) by Max Allan Collins (writing) and Richard Piers Rayner (art)

Date read: 01-02 April 2015

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cover image of Collins and Rayner's Road to Perdition

Paperback, 302 pages

Published 1998 by Paradox Press

Source: Deschutes Public Library (COLLINS MAX)

Gritty gangster noir in a memoir-ish vein. Capone, Nitti, Ness and many others, although not directly their story. Is the basis for the 2002 Tom Hanks movie.

Just learned that there are more of these. Five in Goodreads. And my public library has #1 (this one) and #5. Oh. And the 2002 Tom Hanks movies based on it. ::sigh:: Glad I thought I was done.

I enjoyed the story well enough and wouldn’t mind probing a bit further but there are also other stories out there. If they become available to me at some point I may get back to it. Otherwise, not enticed enough to work at getting them.

Recommended for fans of noir, gangsters, ’30s Chicago (and Midwest), and so on.

This is the 45th book in my GN2015

Dunlop – Portland Beer: Crafting the Road to Beervana

Portland Beer: Crafting the Road to Beervana by Pete Dunlop; intro by Angelo De Ieso

Date read: 26-30 March 2015

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cover image of Pete Dunlop's Portland Beer: Crafting the Road to Beervana

Paperback, 143 pages

Published 2013 by American Palate, a division of The History Press

Source: Own

Contents:

  • Foreword, by Angelo De Ieso
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Prologue
  • 1: Beginnings: Weinhard’s Beachhead
  • 2: Wrong Way: Road to Prohibition
  • 3: Prohibition: An Unwanted Disaster
  • 4. Repeal: Happy Days Are Here Again
  • 5: Long Shadow: Blitz-Weinhard’s Decline and Legacy
  • 6: Changing Times: The Origins of Craft
  • 7: Crucial Element: The Brewpub Revolution
  • 8: Building Beervana: Craft Beer Goes Mainstream
  • Epilogue. Why Portland?
  • Appendix I. SB 813 (Brewpub Bill)
  • Appendix II. Beerology [glossary]
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Author

I started and read a good bit more than half of this in Portland last week. I own and have read one other book in this series, Bend Beer, by my friend Jon Abernathy. I know that Jon used Dunlop’s book as a model, and a good one it is.

Pete Dunlop is well-qualified to write this book. He’s been in Portland since 1989, has a masters degree in history, has taught high school journalism, and has worked in marketing communication [author bio]. You can find his Beervana Buzz blog here.

Easy. Quick. Informative. Dunlop offers reasons for “Why Portland?” but knows (and demonstrates) that it was/is complex and there are other possible ways to tell the story.

Highly recommended! Not just for fans of Portland beer and breweries but for anyone interested in some of the issues that led to the most breweries in a “single” location.

If you like beer and history then borrow this book from somewhere and read it. Or, of course, buy it. I did.

This is cross-posted at my other blog, Bend Beer Librarian, because that’s my beer blog.

This is the 20th book in my Traditional Chesterfield armchair

Dingess, et al. – Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny. Volume 1, Flora & Fauna by Chris Dingess (writer), Matthew Roberts (penciler & inker), Owen Gieni (colorist), Pat Brosseau (letterer)
Date read: 01 April 2015
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cover image of Dingess, et al. - Manifest Destiny

Paperback, 1 volume unpaged
Published 2014 by Image Comics
“Originally published in single magazine format as Manifest Destiny #1-6.”–T.p. verso.
Source: Deschutes Public Library (DINGESS CHRIS)

I quite enjoyed this twisted take on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Sadly, it is currently underway, so I got into it a bit too soon to get it from the library quickly. May have to buy the next volume. And. Then. I’d have to wait for even more. ::sigh::

Just called my local comics shop, Pegasus Books, and they’ll make sure to get it if it isn’t actually there. Fair enough.

The story opens on 23 May 1804 on the Missouri River with the party hopefully a day or two away from La Charette. According to the Timeline of the Lewis and Clark Expedition they passed the village on 25 May. So this really is beginning at the beginning. I am not going to check the full-on historical accuracy but having lived in Sioux city, Iowa for two years I am well aware of Sergeant Floyd [Yeah, yeah. I don’t know why they’re always big phalluses either].

The story line in this collection of the first 6 issues only covers another 5 or 6 days. This could get quite interesting. It could also go on for quite a while. I guess this title, while I still enjoy it, will be my direct monetary contribution to the comics industry. Otherwise, I do get most of my graphic novels from the library or read them on the Internet, or both. So I’ll quit complaining.

I re-read this 3 April to get a better feel for the story. I paid much better attention to the artwork this time and was richly rewarded. The detail is exquisite both aesthetically and also in the way it is used to tell the story.

The text on the back cover refers to “Captain Merriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark” but within the story they are both always referred to as “Captain,” if a title is used. Although York does refer to Clark as “Master.” The first is on page [7?] where Sergeant Parker bursts in and says, “Captain Lewis! Captain Clark! You need to see this!”

When Charbonneau and Sacagawea arrive Lewis states,” I’m Captain Lewis. And this is Captain Clark. You must be–” [?].

According the Lewis and Clark Expedition article it was Captain Lewis and Second Lieutenant Clark. Interesting. I wonder if they truly did just refer to him as “Captain.”

As for especially incredible images, see the flower picked by York [11?], the storyline of the large bird shot by Clark [4-5?] and the other places the bird then shows up. There are many, many other examples.

And just who, or what, is Sacagawea? And the baby?

This is the 44th book in my GN2015

Atkeson – Oregon III

Oregon III by Ray Atkeson. Text by Richard Ross

Date read: 15-29 March 2015

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cover image of Atkeson's Oregon III

Hardback, 160 pages

Published [1987] by Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company

Source: Deschutes Public Library (OVERSIZE 917.95 ATKESON RAY)

This is the third installment in the Oregon series of photo books by Ray Atkeson put out by the Graphic Arts Center Publishing. I wrote about Oregon II here and about Oregon, My Oregon here (not part of this series but extremely related).

The text is by Richard Ross, whom the back flap describes as:

“a familiar figure to television audiences. for thirty-four years he gathered and wrote news stories, delivering them nightly from the anchorman’s chair, first in Seattle and then in Portland.

With two score and seven years of interviewing experience, Ross set out to meet and write about the people of Oregon. Oregon III, a tribute to the people and the land, is the culmination of his journey around the state and is his first published work.”

This volume fixes one of my gripes with previous ones. Its sections are organized geographically: Oregon Coast, Columbia River, Western Valleys, Cascade Range, Central Oregon, and Eastern Oregon. All of the photos are in color.

Each section is preceded by several pages of text by Ross which profiles the people he met in each region. The text for the first section, Oregon Coast, left me dreading the rest “blah blah this person blah that person.” It was boring. Thankfully the Columbia River section and a couple others were far better. Those seemed to be more historical (Columbia River) or in some other way of interest to me (Central Oregon; also more historical).

No idea who wrote the captions but it is possible it was Atkeson himself.

From the funnier side of life, in the Central Oregon section:

“As for the housing market, Bob [Chandler of Bend Bulletin] says he just hired a new city editor from San Jose who bought, for $90,000, a house that is better than the one he sold for $200,000. Bob says, “You can get the best bargains in housing in the United States of America in Bend, Oregon” (129).

While, in the photo caption on p. 134, we are reminded that “Bend, with a population of just over eighteen thousand, is the county seat of Deschutes County, ….”

Um. Yeah.

The Eastern Oregon section displays a horrific insensitivity:

“This is the land once claimed by Chief Joseph as the ancestral home of his Nez Perce Indians, and one look at the scenery, no less than spectacular, will show you why the Nez Perce fought so long to keep this land. …

Grace Bartlett, whose father owned the Bend Bulletin for several years, is in her seventies and lives right across the road from her daughter’s ranch. Grace has written a lot about the relations between the Nez Perce Indians and the settlers. After the Nez Perce War and the Bannock-Payute uprising in 1878, people really started moving into this part of the country. They were mostly stockmen and farmer—vigorous people with no money, but willing to face real hardships. She says, “This is very rough country to survive in. The weather is very severe and unpredictable. It took people with a grew deal of intelligence as well as ‘guts’ to make a go of it here”” (145).

So the Nez Perce weren’t people, nor were they intelligent, nor did they have guts. What. The. Serious. Fuck!?

Anyway. I still much prefer Atkeson’s black and white work, at least as presented in Oregon, My Oregon or more narrowly in Ski & Snow Country.

This is the 19th book in my Traditional Chesterfield armchair

Bollers, et al. – Watson and Holmes: A Study in Black

Watson and Holmes: A Study in Black (1st ed.) by Brandon Perlow, and Paul Mendoza (created by), Karl Bollers (writer), Rick Leonardi (artist chap. 1-4), Larry Stroman (artist – Epilogue)

Date read: 29 March 2015

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cover image of Bollers, et al.,  Watson and Holmes: A Study in Black

Paperback, 1 volume

Published December 2013 by New Paradigm Studios

Source: Deschutes Public Library (PERLOW BRANDON)

I enjoyed this quite a bit but don’t have much to say about it. Two African-American men, Watson is an Afghan war vet and Holmes is a PI, investigate a missing girl and several newborns left in dumpsters around New York City.

Quick read. Recommended for fans of Holmes or of urban fiction/mysteries.

This is the 43rd book in my GN2015

Pedrosa – Three Shadows

Three Shadows (1st American ed.) by Cyril Pedrosa; translated by Edward Gauvin

Date read: 24-26 March 2015

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cover image of Pedrosa's Three Shadows

Paperback, 268 pages

Published April 2008 by First Second

Source: Deschutes Public Library (PEDROSA CYRIL)

This story is beautiful, haunting, and heartbreaking. It is a story of love, sacrifice and denial. Does it work in the end? That is for you to decide.

There may be (probably is) some larger moral here but I tend to miss those sometimes in these sorts of things. Then again, one often needs a couple reads of, say, a philosophical treatise to get its overarching point. And that’s OK.

Either way, whether or not I missed something—or only missed telling you—I quite enjoyed this quick read.

This is the 42nd book in my GN2015

Pilot Butte Update 3

My last Pilot Butte update was in Pilot Butte Update 2 on March 1st. We left off in week 9; here we are in week 13. The last 3 weeks have all been less mileage than week 7 or 9 but they are over 8 miles, which is my target.

  • Week 7     16.19 mi
  • Week 8     8.96 mi
  • Week 9     13.77 mi
  • Week 10    9.71 mi
  • Week 11    9.74 mi
  • Week 12*    11.42 mi

* See below for why week 12 has an asterisk.

Century Club

All of this walking has led from being 30% done with my 1st Century Club in the last update to today’s 50%!

Photo of my Pilot Butte Century Card half full 24 March 2015

It is only March 24th and I have already completed half of the 50 trips around to “equal” 100 miles. 😀

Running

On the 18th of March (* week 12) I set out to do some easy intervals; that is, do some jogging for short stretches alternating with longer walking. I had done that once back a week or so previously.

I wore my new tights, strapped on my running shoes and CamelBak and headed out. I did use Map My Run and recorded it only within the park, which is where I ran. I walked to/from the park.

I ended up running the entire way. Just under 1.8 mi. Seriously kicked my rear end, especially that back half, and somehow I even ended up with a negative split.

I mentioned it on Twitter and got congrats from, and had a short conversation with, two women runners and friends who inspire me. Means a lot to me that they noticed and commented.

Here are a couple images from May My Run; two are from the mobile app and one is from the website.

Screenshot from Map My Run of trail run at Pilot Butte 18 March 2015

From Map My run app

Screenshot from Map My Run of trail run at Pilot Butte 18 March 2015

From Map My run app

The same is shown in another format. And the website [sorry, only a screenshot of one part] has this nifty thing that moves the marker, in sync, around the route both on the map and on the elevation and pace graph.

Screenshot from Map My Run website of trail run at Pilot Butte 18 March 2015

From the Map My Run website (Can be embiggened by clicking.)

Anyway, I am quite pleased with myself and look forward to when I can go running again. Also to finishing my 1st Century Club. Can I do the back half even faster than the first? A negative split, in effect. I bet I can.

I’m not looking for congratulations or kudos of any kind but I documented some of my Pilot Butte exploits here already, and I want to do a better job commenting some on the changes moving to Bend entailed. I have not done a good job of that at all. By meeting both those needs and posting it here I can be reminded of how damn good this felt. To me.