I forgot how very much I love Alison Bechdel and DTWOF. I first read this comic as a teenager on planetout, and it was my first real glimpse at adult...moreI forgot how very much I love Alison Bechdel and DTWOF. I first read this comic as a teenager on planetout, and it was my first real glimpse at adult queer couples. Going back and reading it now, as an adult, made it all the more hilarious. The characters are all loveable in their neurotic, totally human ways. The stories are fantastic; Bechdel has that rare talent to write stories that switch from hilarious to absolutely heartbreaking quickly, and more importantly, well. I have the utmost respect for an author that can have me laughing one moment and near tears the next. This collection does not have ALL the DTWOF strips, but it has all the important story arcs, and there is no confusion from the ones that aren't present. A word of warning, remember this comic is not in fact finished but on "indefinite hiatus" so keep that in mind when you get to the end and not everything is neatly tied up!(less)
It has been a long time since I've so thoroughly enjoyed a book. I devoured this one. And this is even on the heels of disappointment that the book do...moreIt has been a long time since I've so thoroughly enjoyed a book. I devoured this one. And this is even on the heels of disappointment that the book does not in fact have werewolves in it as the back cover may lead one to believe.
There are no werewolves, but the things this book DOES have make it well worth the read. Our main character is a genetically modified super human (her father was a "wolf-man" .... but not how one would assume), in a dystopian United States setting, she boxes, there's a snarky offbeat church, and boxing.
Oh, and the main character is a lesbian.
YES. So much win all around. I don't know how I didn't manage to have this book thrown at me earlier. Loup is an amazing main character; her personality is fantastic and interesting (she feels no fear!) the side characters too are well sketched out.
This book is masterfully written. The author knows how to flawlessly build suspense and keep it there, and the right amount of humor, heart and loss to toss in. While the world building isn't as strong as it could be, it doesn't need to be.
Some interesting insights into how the people of the United States, predominately the religious right figureheads, who insist their vision of morality...moreSome interesting insights into how the people of the United States, predominately the religious right figureheads, who insist their vision of morality be forced onto others are fundamentally unAmerican via limiting one of the basics of our nation, The Pursuit of Happiness. While interesting, not quite as funny as I was hoping it would be from Dan Savage. It felt like preaching to the choir when I was reading it. Hopefully those who are not part of the choir pick it up.(less)
Fascinating. Marriage is not even close to what you probably thought it was. Especially not Christian concepts of marriage. Those squawking about gay...moreFascinating. Marriage is not even close to what you probably thought it was. Especially not Christian concepts of marriage. Those squawking about gay marriage not being traditional (and heck, those on the other side of the debate) should take a gander at this work. Super academic, but accessible and interesting as well.(less)
Amazing read. So many women we hear about as heroes all the time (such as Susan B. Anthony!), with lesbian inclinations, and we never hear about them....moreAmazing read. So many women we hear about as heroes all the time (such as Susan B. Anthony!), with lesbian inclinations, and we never hear about them. I never get to hear their history which is so affirming for me. This book is incredibly important.(less)
So, I was super excited to read this book. I mean, the main character is a blacksmith that fights in the SCA and is a lesbian, and the whole plot revo...moreSo, I was super excited to read this book. I mean, the main character is a blacksmith that fights in the SCA and is a lesbian, and the whole plot revolves around Norse mythology. It's like either I wrote a book or someone wrote one for me, right? Well, sort of. So let me tell you what I didn't like about it, and then I will exclaim its virtues, because there is some pretty awesome elements. There are some mild spoilers, but none that give away the ending or anything.
I really wanted to like this book more than I did, but it has some issues. One gripe is it's not well edited. There's little errors in it, like typos (ie; a character called Rolph is typoed as Ralph at one point.) Little editorial mistakes like that. C'mon now, this is a published work, and if it was distracting enough to catch my attention, it should have been caught in the editorial process. It's not like this is a self published vanity press book.
But overall the biggest problem I have with this book is twofold and related. It's not paced well, and honestly? I was excited to read a book with a lesbian main character that wasn't ABOUT her being a lesbian. No such luck, entirely I'm afraid. The author felt it was necessary to make this character have to overcome a conservative fundamental past to be herself. Sigh. And it's not particularily well developed, so we have this half ass plot point where she occasionally goes "oh noes, I'm queer!" I get that the character is supposed to be portrayed as a little insecure in herself in general, and a huge part of the plot is her finding the confidence in herself necessary to fight the dragons, but doing this through a "I-kind-of-dislike-myself-for-being-queer" plot that seems to make no sense with an already unconventional character was weak and annoying. This struggle also slowed down the pacing of the book. The whole first half has her bumbling around doing nothing too exciting other than doing stupid things that are just frustrating to read (wtf was that bar scene about? Seriously, I understand why it happened plot wise, but Sarah's motivation was nil. That's not good.)
I also loathe the cover, but know that's usually not the author's fault. But Tor publishing dropped the ball on the editing too, so wtf Tor? Get it together.
ANYWAY, now, I don't want to make it sound like this book is complete doo-doo because it's not at all. There are some very shining moments. The second half of this book is pretty great. Once the action starts, it's great. Pitts can write excellent battle scenes (and I do wonder if he plays in the SCA. I feel like it's a kind of battle perspective that can only make sense if you've been there, but either way, it's well done.) They are clear, exciting, suspenseful, and he pays attention to what battle tactics make sense. This may be lost on some non-SCAdians, but the image of those modern day warriors busting out onto a real field of battle was just fantastic.
There are also a fun array of characters that show up, and the modern interpretation of the Norse myths is fantastically done. The shape shifting dragons are fantastic, as are the other beasties and figures that show up. Also, it seems Pitts seems to have gotten into the swing of things by the end of this novel. He has set up an interesting backstory that was frustratingly never covered in the first book, but will have me picking up the second book at least at the library.
Overall, the problem I have with Black Blade Blues is it feels like it is the prologue to the actual story. The elements that do shine are fantastic, intriguing, and well done. There's just too much fumbling around to get there. I recommend the read since it's a unique enough story that there's not a lot out there like it, but I know I'll be getting the rest of the books from the library instead of buying them.(less)
This is one of those books that so thoroughly explained how I often feel. Loved it. More people should read it in order to think about gender/how gend...moreThis is one of those books that so thoroughly explained how I often feel. Loved it. More people should read it in order to think about gender/how gender is fake.(less)