Monday, August 18, 2014

Comic of the Week #4

Marvel Fanfare Vol 1 45

Marvel Fanfare was a glossy style publication that featured standalone stories, generally outside the continuity of the standard titles. This issue (#45) was an all artwork issue- no story, just artwork for a bunch of the Marvel characters. I just liked the cover- Marvel had a sense of humor back then, and it often showed up in cases like this, and Asst. Editor's Month (when the editors were supposedly all gone and the asst. editors ran wild)- stuff like that. And hey- characters smiling occasionally.

Here's the full spread. Notice Kitty phasing through the floor...

File:Marvel Fanfare Vol 1 45 Wraparound.jpg

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sunday Post #57

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

This week was kinda crazy. I've read a few books in the last few weeks but the reviews are slow to go up. I did finish The Wild Dark Flowers and the review will be up later this week. I have some more Bookstore Spotlight posts coming along down the pike too The Michigan Renaissance Festival starts this weekend, and while we're not there for opening weekend, we will be soon. Looking forward to getting back! 

This weekend is also Gen Con, and I'm sorry to be missing it. Gen Con is the biggest convention in gaming and is always a blast. I'll be back next year for sure- but yeah I'm having a little con withdrawal, not being there. 

I'm a little behind on COYER, but will have some reviews up this week they are piling up a bit. 


Bookstore Spotlight- Schuler Books 
Comic of the Week #3 - Iron Man edition
Sunday Post #56


Comic of the Week - this one should be fun on Tuesday
Review: Guardians of the Galaxy/ All New X-Men: The Trial of Jean Grey- on Thursday. This was fantastic by the way. 
Review: The Wild Dark Flowers - on Friday 


The Counterfeit Lady (The Victorian Bookshop Mystery, #2) 

 All-New X-Men, Vol. 4: All-Different

The Counterfeit Lady by Kate Parker
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne- I saw this edition at B&N and had to have it.  Guardians of the Galaxy: The Complete Collection - ugly cover but I'm liking the Guardians series at the moment, so going to go back and read these 
All New X Men Vol. 4 All Different- loving this series 


The Captain America: Winter Soldier DVD and Blu-ray are coming soon, and we're starting to get snippets of what will be on the release.  


Check out Fantasy Mao Maker Anna Meyer's awesome website/ blog

This week the Bronze Age Babies asked Who's The Best Depiction of a Marvel Character In Film? There are some great (and funny) responses to this one- and some good picks too! 

GenCon is in full swing (and I'm not there!), and there's some great coverage here at Zack's 2014 GenCon blog. Check it out! 

Trolldens have the usual cosplay goodness, including GenCon cosplayers. And here

Here's a great video spotlighting a great independent bookstore- Schuler Books (which I spotlighted last week). You really get a sense of how nice the store is (and the song's not bad either!). Enjoy! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bookstore Spotlight- Schuler Books

Schuler Books is an independent bookstore chain with location in Grand Rapids and Lansing, MI. They are very large and well stocked, with a selection every bit as good as a national chain. Schuler's is a lot like Barnes & Noble- they carry just about everything. I've been to two of their three locations and it's a very relaxing way to spend some time and explore books. They also have cafes in their stores, and a music section as well. They have a vert active author event schedule, and also host game groups and writers groups. This Spotlight will focus on the Grand Rapids store, although I'll talk a little bit about the Lansng location that I've been to as well.

Schuler's is a great place to spend some time if you're a booklover. Not only are they very well stocked, but the stores are large, the cafes are nice and they have a good childrens section. The cafe serves sandwiches, paninis as well as the usual assortment of snacks, coffee, Italian sodas and all that. The cafe in Grand Rapids is nice and comfortable, with a fireplace- much nicer than my local B & N.

Here's a link to the cafe menu. Soups, quiches... good stuff. Schuler's also has an extensive used book section, and even print on demand with the Espresso Book Machine(you can read all about it here). Book club members get 20% off the club selection, and the have a great variety of author events and monthly get togethers, including Italian and Japanese conversation group meetings.

I've only been in one of the Lansing locations- at Meridian Mall, but it is nice as well. I've been to an author signing there, they have a nice little author nook. Both of the stores I've been to are very inviting and a great place to spend part of your day.

Schuler Books is locally owned, and although they recently closed two locations in Grand Rapids, they also recently acquired Nicola's Books, a well known bookstore in Ann Arbor.

Here's a cool video featuring Schuler's.

Comic of the Week #3

Iron Man #118- what can I say about this one? Tony Stark gets thrown out of the SHIELD helicarrier and has to try and don his armor before he falls to his doom. Something about rogue SHIELD agents and all that... this was from the creative team of David Michelinie and Bob Layton, who first depicted Tony Stark as an alcoholic. That would continue in later stories and even in the movies- for that and just the sheer fun of these stories I think Michelinie/ Layton have to be considered the definitive writer/ artist team.  

Oh, and this is from the time when Iron Man carried his armor around in his briefcase! 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sunday Post #56

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Another week, another good but busy one. I had a guest review from my daughter and a couple of feature posts. I'm hoping to have another Bookstore Spotlight this week as long as I can get the post finished. I have to say the features have been fun and a nice change of pace. 

I saw the Guardians of the Galaxy movie and loved it- check out my review. Marvel hits another one out of the park. I'm ready for some more Marvel cosmic at this point.  

I have a COYER review or two coming up this week, need to link up and see what I've been missing on the linky. Have a great week! 

Last Week:

Movie review: Guardians of the Galaxy 
Saturday Snapshot #8 
Guest review: The Cupcake Club Winner Bakes All - my daughter's take on a very fun book
Bookstore Spotlight: Horizon Books
Comic of the Week The Silver Surfer


Comic of the Week #3 
Bookstore Spotlight: Schuler Books on Tuesday
Review: The Wild Dark Flowers (maybe)
Review: Avengers The Legacy of Thanos 
Review :Through The Door - Friday


The Wild Dark Flowers: A Novel of Rutherford Park


The Counterfeit Lady (The Victorian Bookshop Mystery, #2) Guardians of the Galaxy/All-New X-Men: The Trial of Jean Grey

The Counterfeit Lady by Kate Parker   
Guardians of the Galaxy/ All New X-Men: The Trial of Jean Grey 


Nice review of We Were Liars over at I Wish I Lived in a Library 

Finley Jayne (and fellow Michigander) has a Reading Highlights post- this week she talked about The Waters of Michigan and man eating bugs. Check it out! 

Karen over at Bronze age Babies asks are we living in ther golden age of Marvel media? I think we are. And they also have a great post this week on an early Guardians of the Galaxy story- and soundtracks too! If you've seen the Guardians movie you know the soundtrack is good- click here for some other good choices. My faves... Dazed and Confused and Breakfast Club. 

So how was your week?

Movie review: Guardians of the Galaxy

The five Guardians, sporting various weapons, arrayed in front of a backdrop of a planet in space.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie I wanted to like, but didn't think I would. To be honest, the trailers were not a good sign for me. As a kid I have fond memories of picking up Guardians of the Galaxy comics at the party store or up north, so I was disappointed to see the movie go with the newer team. It's not the team I grew up with, so naturally I was skeptical. Well, I liked it in spite of myself. A lot.

The movie starts a little slow (I thought) and seemed a little lame at first. It picks up though when they all get together on Kyln, the prison planet or whatever it was, and by the middle of the movie it's firing on all cylinders. I was not really liking the whole Chris Pratt/ cockiness thing at first, but he grew on me, and by the end he won me over. I liked the interplay between Drax and Gamora- I still think the older version of gamora is more mysterious and dangerous, but whatever. She won me over too. I expected to hate Rocket Raccoon but ended up liking him too- go figure! And groot stole some scenes!

It was nice to see lots of nods to Marvel fans- little things, like Cosmo the dog and the fact that the Collector's assistant was Carina (in the comic his daughter is Carina). Lots of Easter eggs for the hardcore fans. And a Celestial- just seeing that brief shot of a Celestial passing judgment on a planet- woot! Also, seeing a fairly obscure character like Nebula get screentime was cool

Knowhere was awesome too- which brings me to the visual effects. They were great- finally a good sci fi movie with awesome visuals and a fun story. I want more movies like this- set in deep space with lots of cool ideas. The cosmic side of the MArvel Universe has always had so much potential, so many good stories- and they hit it out of the park here- something I didn't expect.

I'm not super familiar with the new stories, although I'm catching up- but these characters grew on me after a shakly start. This is a fun movie- go see it.

Saturday Snapshot #8

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads.

To participate in Saturday Snapshot post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a link to your post at Melinda's site. Photos can be old or new, and be any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes. How much detail you give is in the captions is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online. 

This week I have a few pics to share of the Leelanau peninsula- west of Traverse City MI. The drive up along the west side of the bay is beautiful, and the area has little towns and wineries and all kinds of things to see. 

First- a peek of blue! 

Sun dappled water 

Leland, MI- also known as Fishtown. A tourist village that still has some commercial fishing operations... and a legacy of historic fishing shanties that are now shops. 

This is a view of Glen Lake from the top of the sand dunes- notice the boats on the water (if you clickto see a larger image).