Comics Roundup: February 2018

The best of the comics I've been digging into lately--starring strong, interesting, flawed female leads. | Book reviews by

I’ve been reading a lot of comics over the past few weeks, and I’ve found some that I really enjoyed. I discovered that most of my favorite comics are published by Boom! Studios (Lumberjanes, Adventure Time, Giant Days, and Goldie Vance are all theirs), so I’m really excited to explore some more of their series. (Note: Because I’ve read varying numbers of issues for each of these series, I’m just writing a brief summary of the series as a whole, rather than trying to give a specific rundown of each issue’s plot!)

Giant Days

Three college girls overcome boy troubles, finals, and childhood enemies, making each college event an adventure.

I’m loving the female characters and their college mishaps in this series! The girls are very different from each other, which makes them a lot of fun to follow, but it also creates tension within their group. I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of this series. It brings back memories about the crazy adventures of college, while also coating all the boring parts with a layer of fun and silliness.

Rating: Pretty Darn Good


A group of girls at summer camp discovers that there’s more to the camp than meets the eye–in fact, there are a lot of magical creatures and adventures to discover.

The continuing adventures of the Lumberjane girls! I read several issues of this series previously, and I really enjoyed it. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to read the most recent issues, as I had forgotten some of what happened in earlier issues. But this is still one of my favorite comics ever.

Rating: Pretty Darn Good

Goldie Vance

Goldie Vance, a young valet at a hotel in Florida, is constantly getting wrapped in mysteries.

Goldie is constantly getting into trouble investigating mysteries when she’s supposed to be parking cars, but that’s exactly what makes her fun to follow. The old-fashioned Florida resort is a great setting, too.

Rating: Pretty Darn Good

Paper Girls

A group of rough and tumble girls discover a possible alien invasion during their route and have to fight to stay safe.

This series is a bit harsher than the other comics I’ve been reading lately. There is more swearing and more content that is… not for kids. It feels similar, really to the other Brian K. Vaughan comic I’ve read. I did enjoy reading it, but I’m not sure if I will continue the series.

Rating: Good but Forgettable

Gravity Falls

Dipper and Mabel end up spending the summer at Gravity Falls, fighting wacky monsters while hanging out with their weird Grunkle Stan.

This was okay. I’ve never seen Gravity Falls, although I’ve heard the show is very good, so maybe I’m missing something? I’ll probably read the next collection in the series, just to make sure. It just doesn’t come across as quite as funny or clever as I’m sure the TV show was.

Rating: Good but Forgettable

Mini Reviews: Adult Fiction and Nonfiction

A hodgepodge of mini reviews of the latest adult fiction and nonfiction books on my list. | Book reviews by

Along with my glut of NetGalley ARCs and Newbery books from the library, I’ve recently read a lot of adult fiction and nonfiction books that have somehow come across my path. I haven’t reviewed them before because most of them haven’t left much of an impression, so I decided to offer them as a sampling of mini reviews. Enjoy!

The Gifts of Imperfection

This is my first Brene Brown book (although I’m familiar with her TED talks). She has been recommended to me by friends with wonderful taste in books, but I’ve never gotten around to her work until just recently. This book is a fairly short but thorough look at the results of Brene’s research into shame and resilience, and it offers insight into how to live a life with grit and perseverance that will lead to joy. Unfortunately, this book didn’t leave much of a lasting impression on me, but I’m definitely interested in reading more of Brene Brown’s work in the future.

Rating: Good but Forgettable

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

This is a graphic memoir about the end of the author’s parents’ lives. If that sounds depressing, well, it is. I would definitely not read this book if you and your parents are in the same situation, unless you’re looking for something cathartic. The book offers an interesting look at the various emotions and struggles (from trying to convince your parents to get the help they need to filling out gobs of paperwork to trying to scrape up enough funds to pay for their care) that come with this period of life. I’m not sorry I read it, but I’m not sure I would recommend it, either.

Rating: Good but Forgettable

Gone Girl

Okay, so I know I’m the last book lover in the country to have read this book, but I finally got around to it. For a long time, I thought I would never pick it up. It just didn’t seem like my type of book–I usually stay away from psychological thrillers because they creep me out. But my roommate owns a copy, so I picked it up one day and finished it in only a couple of days.

To my surprise, I wasn’t too creeped out by the story or the characters. I found it fascinating in a train wreck sort of way. The book really shows you the extent to which two seemingly normal people can go in order to destroy each other. I wasn’t super shocked by the twist in the middle, but the story and characters were strong enough to hold my interest anyway. So if you’re avoiding Gone Girl because the twist has been spoiled for you and you don’t think the story will hold up without it, you might want to check it out anyway.

Rating: Good but Forgettable

Saga, Vol. 1 and 2

Super big warning: These comics have a fair amount of illustrated sex scenes. You can skip over them, but please be aware!

That said, I did enjoy the first two volumes of Saga. This was another thing I picked up from a roommate’s shelf because I had heard good things about it, even though I didn’t think it would really be¬†my cup of tea. I’ve read one volume of comics before (Neil Gaiman’s Sandman), and although I enjoyed it well enough, I don’t think I’ll put much effort into finding the next volume. I feel the same way about Saga. It’s an interesting SFF story, and I did enjoy the art, but I don’t know if I feel invested enough to seek out volume 3.

Rating: Good but Forgettable

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