Archive: January 2018

tweets for 2018-01-20

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

tweets for 2018-01-19

Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Book Review: Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks by Jim Mahfood (2017)

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Hard pass.

two out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss. Trigger warning for sexist and racist language, as well as rape jokes/threats.)

DNF around 33%.

This is my first exposure to the Grrl Scouts series, and it quickly became apparent that my expectations were way off base. Instead of a rad girl gang of feminist besties, kicking ass and taking all the things, what I got was a rather disjointed story about a bunch of women treating each other like shit, sometimes – but not always – in the pursuit of a pair of cursed extraterrestrial socks.

The artwork is easily the book’s best feature; raw and unpolished, it has a street graffiti feel to it. I loved it even when it veered from weird into straight-up confusing (e.g., the fight scenes).

The general plot line isn’t even that bad, or at least going on what I read of it. The dialogue tries a little hard to be uber-hip and campy, but it’s at least good for a laugh now and again. What I didn’t love – what caused me to throw in the towel – was the constant use of racist and sexist slurs (cunt, twat, the n-word), as well as the odd rape joke/threat. It’s like Mahfood tried his best to be as “un-PC” as possible. What a rebel! Gag.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2018-01-18

Friday, January 19th, 2018

tweets for 2018-01-17

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

tweets for 2018-01-16

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

Book Review: Three-Fifths a Man: A Graphic History of the African American Experience by Sid Jacobson & Ernie Colón (2018)

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Essential Reading

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free ARC for review from the publisher, Hill & Wang.)

– 4.5 stars –

This is actually the second graphic novel by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón that I’ve read in as many weeks – though it didn’t quite register until I was several chapters in. I won a copy of their previous book, The Torture Report: A Graphic Adaptation, in a Goodreads giveaway; and, while I ultimately recommended it, this was due more to the book’s Very Important subject matter than its successful execution. Heavy on text and with a flow that proved hard to follow, The Torture Report was a bit of a slog.

While Three-Fifths a Man: A Graphic History of the African American Experience is similar in style and form to The Torture Report, the narration is infinitely more succinct, engaging, and intuitive. I can count on one hand the number of times I got lost between panels; and, though this still isn’t ideal, it’s a huge improvement over The Torture Report, which led me astray on nearly every page. The chronology also makes more sense, with fewer time jumps; when Jacobson and Colón do flit back and forth in time, it’s in a way that feels natural and doesn’t confuse the reader or disrupt the narrative.

Don’t get me wrong: Three-Fifths a Man is still pretty heavy on text, but given the breadth of the topic, it never feels tedious or repetitive. This sits in stark contrast to The Torture Report, where everything after the first third of the book felt like a bad case of déjà vu.

The title perfectly encapsulates the content of Three-Fifths a Man: from the beginning of African slavery in the so-called “New World” to the birth of the Movement for Black Lives, this is a graphic history of the African American experience. Jacobson and Colón cover a pretty stunning range of events in a mere 179 pages, including but not limited to the trans-Atlantic slave trade; the Civil War; Reconstruction; the rise of the KKK and other white nationalist hate groups; Jim Crow; WWI and the great migration; the Depression and FDR’s The New Deal; WWII, and the (gradual) opening of the US military to black soldiers; the rise of the Dixiecrats; the New Reconstruction and the Civil Rights era; Reagan’s War on Drugs and the advent of the New Jim Crow; the beating of Rodney King and the focus on police brutality and racism; and ending with the election of our first black president, Barack Hussein Obama (and I absolutely do not include his middle name as an insult here).

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2018-01-15

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

tweets for 2018-01-14

Monday, January 15th, 2018
  • 3 of 5 stars to The Witch Doesn't Burn in this One by Amanda Lovelace ->
  • RT @Zordauch: @GeekyLyndsay The tendency to use traffic signals as a metaphor for consent and dudes' tendency to think that yellow means "f… ->
  • RT @GeekyLyndsay: Dudes I wanna clarify something for you here. When a woman gives you a soft no ("I don't think so" "not right now" etc) a… ->
  • RT @andizeisler: A list of the teen-sex movies that I grew up on in the late 1970s/ 1980s. Keep in mind: Every one of these was considered… ->
  • RT @Independent: Orangutans observed using same medicinal plants as humans to treat joint pain in world first ->
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tweets for 2018-01-13

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

tweets for 2018-01-12

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

tweets for 2018-01-11

Friday, January 12th, 2018

tweets for 2018-01-10

Thursday, January 11th, 2018
  • RT @KhaledBeydoun: Myth: "Black films aren't as profitable."
    Reality: ⚡️ “Black Panther's advance ticket sales have set a new Marvel recor… ->
  • RT @brianstelter: 3pm: President Trump repeatedly brings up Hillary Clinton at a joint presser.
    9pm: Kellyanne Conway says "we don't care… ->
  • RT @MusingsOfAGirl: If everybody that sees this could PLEASE share it I would be so grateful.
    We are preparing for Elliott's 2nd heart sur… ->
  • RT @annieelainey: Okay, so based on some responses over on FB, in case you didn't know, it is LEGAL in the United States to pay someone 33… ->
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tweets for 2018-01-09

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Book Review: Cry Your Way Home by Damien Angelica Walters (2018)

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Walters is at her best when she’s playing Frankenstein with fairy tale tropes.

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Library Thing’s Early Reviewers program. Trigger warning for violence against women and suicide.)

Once upon a time there was a monster. This is how they tell you the story starts. This is a lie.
(“Tooth, Tongue, and Claw “)

Don’t be fooled by the breadcrumbs in the forest. This is not a fairy tale.
(“A Lie You Give, and Thus I Take”)

You won’t catch me in my underwear. I sleep in my fucking coveralls.
(“The Serial Killer’s Astronaut Daughter”)

Between the oft-quoted “Once upon a time there was a monster…” line (reproduced above; I just couldn’t help myself!), and the deliciously dark story titles, I was practically frothing at the mouth to read an early copy of Cry Your Way Home. Alas, this collection of short stories – an eclectic mix of science fiction, fantasy, fairy tale retellings, and the stray piece of contemporary fiction, all bound by a fierce undercurrent of feminism running throughout – is more of a mixed bag than I’d hoped. There are a few gems here, but also a good many underwhelming and ultimately forgettable stories, too.

The collection opens on a strong note with “Tooth, Tongue, and Claw,” easily my favorite of the bunch. A mix of Beauty and the Beast and The Handmaid’s Tale (or perhaps “The Lottery”), the story ends with a surprising twist that’s as satisfying as it is lurid. A mashup of various fairy tales/spin on the entire genre, “A Lie You Give, and Thus I Take” is equal parts beautiful, chilling, and cautionary. While I think Walters is at her best when writing in this wheelhouse, I also quite enjoyed some of her science fiction; “The Serial Killer’s Astronaut Daughter,” “Take a Walk in the Night, My Love,” and “The Floating Girls: A Documentary” are all worth a read or two or three.

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2018-01-08

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

tweets for 2018-01-07

Monday, January 8th, 2018

tweets for 2018-01-06

Sunday, January 7th, 2018
  • RT @BreeNewsome: I did a thread yesterday on the white liberal notion of getting "back to normal" after Trump & why this is a problematic n… ->
  • RT @fbhutto: Musab Tamimi, 17, shot dead by Israeli forces in a village north of Ramallah. He was a relative of Ahed Tamimi, currently in j… ->
  • RT @DSA_LosAngeles: Los Angeles has led the nation in officer related shootings for two years in a row, and DA Jackie Lacey hasn’t done a d… ->
  • RT @ParkerMolloy: Obama: [said “I” during his speeches sometimes]
    Pundits: “He’s SoOooOoo arrogant!”
    Trump: “I’m a very stable genius who… ->
  • Click To Give at The Animal Rescue Site via @po_st ->
  • (More below the fold…)

tweets for 2018-01-05

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

tweets for 2018-01-04

Friday, January 5th, 2018