Book Reviews: Graphic Pencils

“I make a mean sandwich.”
She cooed, “I make a mean sandwich happy.”

Britannia
A Roman soldier is manipulated by the chief of the Vestal Virgins to become the first detective in history, unless the ancient Greeks had stories they didn’t bother to tell (long shot). Then Nero sends him to the British Isles to find out what’s going wrong, thinking it was actually his idea.
Starts with a history of the Vestal Virgins; seems like far too many of them were blonde. The story quickly moves to northwest Europe, with plenty of blood and gore, as well as magical Druids and devils, so it’s certainly not a straightforward history.
There’s this one panel of artwork that I find so spectacular—though I can’t explain exactly why—full width with a flying sword. You’ll know it when you see it.
In between the chapters are scholarly articles on the Vestals, centurions, Nero—was he really that bad? Yes and no—and Roman Britain.
3.5/5

Letter 44 V.1 $10 Trade Edition
Pseudo-Obama takes over for pseudo-Bush and finds out there are aliens in the asteroid belt who no doubt will invade Earth at any moment. There’s also a mission sent to check out the aliens, launched three years ago.
There’s some really good scenes among the expected storyline; the briefing from the scientist in charge, the three questions guy, for example, was brilliant. I laughed at the baseball breaking the White House window and scaring the Secret Service. Sending conspiracy bad boy on a tour of every embassy is such an awesome twist. And there’s a very cool artistic effect on the flash-bang.
I’m liking the way this is written, though the plot may be too much. Thought there might be something to the scene when General Johnson comes in for the briefing, since they’re talking before the secretary leaves. . .
The scientist repeating that all of them were volunteers is rather ominous. . .
Sadly it ends at a critical juncture; get another ten bucks ready for volume 2.
Almost 20 pages of dossiers on some of the players, creator bios dressed as White House correspondence, and ads for other books.
3.5/5

Small Favors: The Definitive Collection
A lesbian who can’t stop with the self-loving is told to cut it out—there’s a lifetime allotment of masturbation? Wonder if there’s an actual number (asking for a friend)—and is given a helpful little blonde imp to keep her fingers and dildos in check. Little Nibbel is also helpful in letting me know the next section is a dream sequence, so thank you! Plus she’s really cute, incredibly funny in her naiveté. She’s the best part of this, playing a big part in the stor, as well as defining the title.
For me the other best part was how the author wasn’t afraid to break the fourth wall of get meta. Something as simple as “Bet you had to shower after that one!” makes for a big guffaw. Even when the author doesn’t know where to go with the plot we’ll get a line like “Who was that girl on page 104?” I thought it was the neighbor, but I guess I was overthinking it. And I also wondered who was taking the photos.
Very explicit sex is depicted, which is for the most part fine, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that, had it been a man taking her so roughly rather than a blonde pixie with a strap-on, there’d be all kinds of protests. There’s a small interlude of Nibbel doing herself on a lightbulb that made me laugh so much. Spaghetti and wooden spoons just got a lot more sexy, but it helps if you have a Barbie-sized pixie playmate. And the safari story was extra hilarious, along with the dramatic cry of, “Alas, we are exposed!”
There’s about 15 pages of early sketches and outtakes at the end, the best feautring Nibbel playing Rock ‘em Sock ‘em. . . better yet, Nibbel being playfully attacked by the dialogue bubbles. . .
Most of it is done in simple black and white sketches, quite effective. When it at a certain point turns to color, it’s a little jarring.
It’s a fun read, if nothing else because it treats sex, especially lesbian sex, as fun. Another reviewer nailed it by calling this “innocent and lighthearted.”
4/5

The Life After V.1: $10 Trade Edition
Groundhog Day turns into a time travel back to what looks like 19th century England. Then things really get crazy. . .
Then Ernest Hemingway shows up. . .
My initial thought was “That lady sure has a lot of handkerchiefs. . .” Every little thing is controlled in this Orwellian world, so when he steps out of the usual routine to return the handkerchief everything goes crazy, and the story behind the story unfolds.
“I was talking to the dog. . .” Saw it coming, still made me laugh. The dog also does the best sideways-head-tilt puzzled I’ve ever seen in a two-dimensional character. Plus he’s a tease. . .
What kind of people are in charge of this crapsack world? “Let’s see if we can find someone taking a shower or something. . .”
You can see it in Hemingway’s face: “Surely you must be the son of god. . .”
This volume one finishes on a pretty big reveal.
Creator bios and ads at end.
3/5

;o)

Book Reviews: Hookers, Dogs, and Lawyers

“Don’t tell anyone, under penalty of noogie. . .”

Serena’s Plight
. . . turns out not to be a plight at all.
A recent high-school graduate—barely—is offered a business deal by an ex-boyfriend who got into an Ivy League university: she becomes a paid companion—as opposed to out and out whore—he’ll be her pimp, and they’ll both make a lot of money.
This was much better, much more than I anticipated; so much more than just the sex. Love the main character and her sense of humor. I was surprised by her insights, of which there were a lot, as this was first person. Obviously I’ve never wondered what a young call girl thinks of, but the author made me like the character, care about her.
It’s also great how she cares about her boys, helps them with their social anxieties and disorders, especially Bartholomew and James. She’s almost like a therapist with benefits. More than anything else, she’s a good person. Her biggest problem is a couple of her would-be johns are mean to her; she got spoiled by the first couple of nice boys.
It’s not often a book leaves me pleasantly surprised. I look forward to the next.
There’s one booboo: near the beginning Sam says he received a scholarship to be on the wrestling team at Cornell, but Ivy League schools do not award athletic scholarships. But that’s the only nitpick. It doesn’t end in a cliffhanger, but there’s definitely a “to be continued.”
4/5

Fifty Nifty Facts about Dogs
Like the one about cats, this is basically a printed version of a slideshow you click on from Facebook. Dogs stick their heads out cars for the odors? For me that was the most interesting one, along with noseprints for dogs=fingerprints for humans
A few were fun, most were general knowledge. No big.
3/5

Doubt
A newly minted lawyer who used to be a hacker gets an impossible first case: “prove something no one has ever proved before—that GMOs have the capacity to kill people.” Facing an opponent that will kill to win, she has to find a murdered scientist’s paper and then a witness while facing threats from within as well as without.
The great lead character is the best part of a book that could have been serious and dour, but thankfully is peppered with humor. My favorite line was the little kid who admits, “I haven’t pooped since Denver.” Most of this takes place in Los Angeles—the Huntington and UCLA are mentioned—with trips to Vegas, Northern California, and the east coast, though there isn’t much time for sightseeing when you’re being hunted by assassins.
Perhaps one too many twists at the end, but overall just the right amount of suspense without becoming overwhelming.
4/5

Moral Defense
The second in the new series by Marcia Clark, featuring an amazing lead character: a bend-the-rules defense attorney who’s always taking on more than she can chew.
The main case involves a family being murdered, with only one survivor, who is now her client, partly because it’s so high-profile but mostly because it’s personal for her. Another job has to do with a loose end I remember from the first book, so glad to see it picked up here. There’s a couple of other threads as well, so it helps that she has two able and funny assistants. More importantly, a lot of writers would have made the cases tie together at the end, which I always find too much of a coincidence to buy, but thankfully that doesn’t happen here.
What often makes a good book despite other problems—which is not the case here, just an example—is the lead character. It takes skills for a defense attorney to be on the run from gangbangers, drug dealers, and crooked cops all at once, and none of them had anything to do with the primary case. When she stops at In-n-Out I love her even more.
So this was great, but maybe a little less great than the first. This one was a little too convoluted, especially at the end, but still well worthwhile.
4/5

;o)

Book Reviews: X Files, Sherlock, and Serial Killers

In honor of absolutely nothing, there will be no opening joke in this review. You’re welcome.

The Complete X-Files : Revised and Updated Edition
No doubt done just after the nick of time of the series’ return, this retrospective is a nice trip down memory lane, but not much more than that.
It starts out with tons of photos, and carries on throughout. They don’t look all that great in digital, but they get the job done. The best part is that every episode gets at least a paragraph, though nothing in-depth. There’s really nothing wrong with this book, but it pales in comparison to similar ones on Twin Peaks, Back to the Future, and so on that I’ve read recently.
3.5/5

The Whole Art of Detection
This book is a series of short stories set in the Sherlock Holmes universe, and trying very hard to read like Arthur Conan Doyle.
Holmes and Watson take turns in the first two chapters telling each other stories to get them out of the doldrums; the buddy vibe is well done. At other times this writer overdoes it, putting in extra stuff not needed; doesn’t have the economy of Doyle. Most were good mysteries, but the one about the twin brother was woefully obvious. The last one had Sherlock narrating, and just like Doyle’s version, it’s the weakest.
3.5/5

Outsider
In this sequel to Insider—as you might guess from the title—the Exodus End tour continues, this time with the emphasis on Reagan, the new rhythm guitarist, and her relationship between not one but two men: the guy who plays rhythm for the opening act and her bodyguard.
Enjoyed the first one so much I was looking forward to this one, and was so glad to find Toni, the main character from the first, is in this one too. This story takes place concurrently with the other, particularly the big plot twist involving Toni.
This one is slower to get going, as the start is all long talks and three-way sex; nothing wrong with that, just wished there was more to it. Eventually it does pick up, with scandals and misunderstandings and families and a lot of soul-searching between the three. It is an unusual romance, with unusual sex scenes, but like the first its draws are the humor and the behind the scenes look at a rock tour. Don’t think it was quite as good as the first one, but still enjoyed it a lot. And as before, eagerly awaiting the next one.
4/5

Bitter Moon
The fourth in the series featuring FBI profiler Roarke and serial avenger Cara, though this one is quite different from the previous three. It almost felt like an interlude in the main plot, with Cara’s origin story featured and better explained, showing how she became a protector, or revenger.
As with the previous books, it switches chapters between the two protagonists, in this case between Cara as a teen—suspected of more murder—and Roarke looking into that cold case. So with that there’s a lot of new characters, the most intriguing being the nun; never thought I would like a religious Batman dresser, but this is no ordinary bride of Christ.
At the end of each book I wonder where the next one is going to go, and I’m always surprised when I read it, doubly so in this case, as adult Cara doesn’t show up at all. Neither does Roarke’s team, though that’s to be expected, as he’s on leave. There’s a few calls to Singh and the techie, but that’s it.
4/5

;o)

Book Reviews: Erotica Edition

I have incredibly simple tastes when it comes to food.
Okay, women too.

Blame
In the world of competitive beach volleyball two women end up falling for each other, despite their pasts and neuroses conspiring to screw up the relationship.
The writer has drawn some excellent characters, with witty dialogue abounding. I’m sure she had a ton of fun with stuff like the sawing babies in half line. There’s also some psychological stuff that’s pretty fascinating, especially the reason for a past lover’s suicide and how religion played such a big part in it.
Now comes the bad/ridiculous stuff. The author posits that someone could come in never having played volleyball and becoming this good in a couple of years. Not possible. It’s an insult to all volleyball players who spent years honing their craft. The whole premise is ridiculous, and unnecessary in this story. Even worse are the simple volleyball mistakes. Apparently she didn’t know the last set only goes to 15, and you have to win by two.
So this is a tough one. On the one hand, there’s the typical lack of communication that so many romance authors think is necessary for a good story–quite the opposite–and in this case it’s taken up a few orders of magnitude. But on the other foot, it’s hard to fault Tatyana for her silence. For her guilt, yes, and Kris is just as screwed up. Can’t help but think that if either had been brave enough to see a psychiatrist, they would be living happily ever after a long time ago. It’s almost like they enjoy their guilt, are addicted to it.
Other than their neuroses, I liked the characters, but in this case it wasn’t enough.
3/5

Communication Skills
A woman who describes herself as strong ends up falling for a dominant jerk and gives in to his every whim, even sacrificing all she’d been working for to please him.
A third of the way through, I’m not liking it, but I can’t figure out why. By the end I was simply tired of this relatively short novel, especially with her closing gambit to prove her submissiveness. She shouldn’t have gotten respect for what she did against the overly prideful dom.
I’ve read other such stories before—strong woman realizes she’s submissive—but something didn’t ring true about this one. I wish I could put my finger to it, but it just seemed off. I simply didn’t find any of this convincing.
2/5

Bordello of Vampire Pleasure
Three shorter stories are put together here, all taking place at the titular establishment. In the first a woman wants to get over a breakup by playing at being a dominatrix, while in the second a man ends up being dominated. As you might expect, in the third they end up together.
The sex is surprisingly uninspiring, probably due to the lack of variety in the writing style. It seems like every sentence started with “he” or “she,” giving it absolutely no flow. Sentences like “Her naked torso had curves he wanted to explore” make it sound more like a report than fiction. At one point there was “shuttering” in pleasure instead of “shuddering.” I’m guessing no editor was used.
If this was meant to be a love story. . . no, that wasn’t convincing either.
2/5

Shattered Sapphire
Third in a series where several women are kidnapped to serve as sex providers for wealthy men, held for a year and then given a lot of hush money and sent home. The first one was pretty good, but I missed the second one.
In alternating chapters between the two leads, we have the one girl who actually treats her sexual captivity as a dream come true and the owner of the brothel falling in love. Strangely, the story starts after the year is over and she’s been released, and is of course disappointed to be going home to her disapproving family.
She’s a fantastic character, a free spirit when it comes to sex, yet still girly enough to buy a stuffed animal and name it. He’s much more human here, as he’s finding out himself, but still a rich jerk.
Unlike the first book, which was very erotic, there’s very little of that here. Strange that the one character who actually went into the situation enjoying sex and wanting to be there has so few sexual encounters written about her.
The romance isn’t much better, as there’s very little of it. Despite the flashbacks, I know I wouldn’t have understood any of this relationship without having read the first book, so it’s imperative to read that beforehand in order to see how it came about. Yet even with that I find it hard to believe they fell in love.
2/5

;o)

Book Reviews: Very Graphic Novels

“You don’t like me, do you? Would you photograph me?”
“I would charge you a million dollars.”
“Wow!”
“Per photo.”

The Zodiac Legacy #1
Each animal of the zodiac has superpowers, and when a megalomaniac figures out how to harness those powers, his employees rebel, taking some of them for themselves to fight him. All this backstory info drop is for the benefit of the new computer expert the bad guy is trying to hire, but it comes off a bit ham-fisted, and the pacing doesn’t get any better.
Meanwhile, the good guys are looking for a new HQ on Tiger Island, a place so modern it has holodecks, which is where they are when they’re attacked. The battle takes up most of the rest of the story, though of course there’s a twist at the end.
It was tough to figure out who was on which side; when the Dragon finally showed up I had to go back to the beginning, where each zodiac animal was listed, to make sure I had it right. Might have to give this a little slack as it’s the introduction to a new series, but there were still things I thought could have been done better.
As for the artwork, there’s plenty of bright colors. Other than that, not much I can say about it. There’s a newsletter and artist bios at the end.
3/5

Cat vs Human Fairy Tails
The cover shows a blonde princess with a Rapunzel braid surrounded by kittens and actually saying “Squeee!” She also says it when a prince shows up. I’ve never known anyone to actually SAY it rather than just written, so that’s unusual right away.
The title is misleading. Goldilocks, the Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, and many others don’t have any kind of fights with the kitties, quite the opposite. It’s all meant to be cute for kids, and it is, unless you have one of those tots that questions everything. Most stories end on a positive, if forced, note. Jack and the Beanstalk had a good twist, as did Sleeping Beauty. The Little Mermaid looks happy, but c’mon.
3.5/5

Oh Joy Sex Toy V. 3
When the intro starts with the salutation of “Dearest perverts,” you know this isn’t going to take itself too seriously.
This is mostly reviews of sex toys, graphic in the original sense of the word: as drawings. I had been wondering how well the male sleeve cleaned up when the other shoe dropped; definitely agree with his thumbs (or other body parts) down on that one.
A character from Star Trek shows up. Wall-E makes a cute cameo too, so these people aren’t just sex geeks. Good. There’s even a public service announcement on an STD between reviews. And when one review is short they talk about TV shows.
There’s a report from a sex party; I would go just for the soda, snacks, and massages. The chapter on the woman freaking out at her first uncircumcised penis was a bit of an eye opener; had no idea that was such an issue. Probably the most interesting chapter was the conversation on how they were invited to be in an actual porn movie, going through the pros and cons.
English class tidbit of the day: “labia” is plural; “labium” is singular. And as always I laugh when people get “psychosomatic” and “psychic” mixed up; at least this time it was on purpose.
They say goodbye while riding on a giant snail; don’t wanna know what that’s about.
The book proper ends around the two-thirds mark, at which time there are guest strips. For example, a woman has sex with a creature made out of ice cream. Nice fantasy; that must be the female equivalent of the guy who wishes his one-night stand would turn into pizza. Another seemed like just a long ad for Grindr. The couple who get hurt doing fantasies on their anniversary was funny. There’s an old-fashioned public info piece where an old researcher is trying to lecture and write while getting a blowjob. “Rectum’s a funny word.” “It sure is!”
So this got silly a few times, but that’s perfectly okay. If there’s one downside to it it’s the large size; there are so many vibrator reviews in one edition that it was easy to get overwhelmed. The artwork is done to be funny, and it is.
4/5

Godzilla: Oblivion
A scientist in our world creates a portal to another dimension—one where monsters rule supreme! An expedition goes into this universe, where hope has died and Godzilla is the unrivaled King of the Monsters. But what happens when a baby kaiju hitches a ride back to our original, monster-less dimension?
The exposition is quick and clunky. That’s why Godzilla is top dog; moving on. As you’ve guessed from the title, there’s only one way to get rid of the monster that came through the portal and is eating up East Coast cities. Nukes don’t work, so send out the quickly improvised tech! Plan after plan goes wrong, otherwise it would be a short story.
“I got a bad feeling about this.” That’s the one Han Solo quote you never want to hear.
At least I can say I wasn’t expecting that ending, which I felt was a cop-out. The artwork was fine, the story not so much.
2.5/5

;o)

Book Reviews: Spanking, Shakespeare, and History

Back from three weeks of shooting sports and dodging mosquitos and party animal athletes. What’d I miss?

“Is she your new crush?”
“I object to the use of the term ‘new.’”

The Hand of Vengeance
In 2560 A.D., on a planet far away, a human doctor in a Without Borders situation gets kidnapped to save the rebel leader. Her plane is shot down and she has to survive by following the orders of the alpha who took her. Sparks of many kinds ensue, especially on her posterior.
First of all, an interesting setting for an erotica novel. On the other hand, having a stubborn educated woman forced to do what the hulking soldier tells her to is a situation rife for spanking punishment, which had become a big niche lately. Unlike some stories, there’s actual sex involved too.
Perhaps I’ve read too many of these lately, for I found the spanking parts boring. What makes this book a bit more interesting is the world building, unexpected yet welcome as a diversion, even if the plot has been done before. There’s plenty here besides the sex, is what I’m trying to say.
3.5/5

Strange History
This book is published by the Bathroom Readers’ Institute, which is basically all you need to know. Yup, this is one of those books you put next to the toilet to entertain yourself or your guests while busy doing other, more biologically necessary things.
This follows no pattern; might as well simply open the book to a random page. It does live up to its name, and is often funny. Some of these anecdotes are eye-opening, others made me wonder which tidbits were left out. But more than anything it supplied some moments of fun, which is all one can ask from such a tome.
4/5

Who REALLY Wrote Shakespeare?
I’ve written on this very question on this blog before, so no surprise I checked this one out. However, all those previous books were much better than this one, and I really should have taken notice of the way REALLY is capitalized in the title, as it was a foreshadowing of amateurish things to come.
With it being done first person, it’s hard to remember this is fiction. And with the writing so clumsy, it might have worked better in non-fiction form. Often the dialogue was too cutesy, bordering on cheesy. A good pun makes you groan; a bad one leaves you exasperated, and there was far too much exasperation here.
I remember writing a paper in high school where I was so glad to have it done I simply turned it in without rereading and revising, and this has the same feeling. There are so many times Jenny says, “That’s right,” that I almost felt like it was a running joke gone bad (I’m guessing the author never watched A Bit of Fry and Laurie). Their discussions, which take up most of the book, are always interrupted for food, usually with the same speech.
Despite the fact that the info dumps are for the most part done okay—though an overabundance of them that made the names too hard to keep straight—the writing itself fails stylistically. It’s quite irritating to have the dialogue mention the characters’ names every paragraph, as though it wasn’t obvious whom they were addressing from the previous passage. In addition to that, there’s so many useless moments of “said,” “answered,” “replied,” without adverbs. I would advise that an author read their words aloud to make sure they sound like a real conversation, because it sure didn’t here.
As far as the reasoning behind the theories, the arguments were presented so painstakingly—more my pain than his—that I wanted to skip ahead rather than worry if I got his point, which is new for me. As I said, I’ve read other books on this subject, so I know that some theories and facts were ignored here. All very frustrating, not the least when near the end it switches to a different narrator.
And then it ends on a strange sequel hook. . .
1.5/5

His Little Lapis
Oh wow, another spanking story! Yet like the one above, it works because of its setting, this time the wild west town of Culpepper Cove, just as uncivilized as all mining towns in history.
A former governess who is now a submissive whore falls for the mayor of the small town. He falls for her too, but he can’t be seen with a prostitute, right? He tries to repress his desire and of course fails miserably.
What makes this story different is the addition of the mayor’s niece, a precocious child who tugs at the fallen woman’s heartstrings. On the sly she teaches her to read, mostly with a children’s book she wrote herself. This leads into situations that force the mayor to take a deeper look at this woman, after spanking and having sex with her, of course.
All in all, a sweet little story in the setting of spanking, but ultimately not about it.
3.5/5

;o)

Book Reviews: A Strange Mix, and Lindsey Stirling

Overheard at Coffee Bean:
“C’mon, she’s wearing pink! How hot could she be?”

Isis Orb
Last week I reviewed a collection of Pearls Before Swine and thought I’d gotten my recommended yearly allowance of puns. So why did I pick up a Xanth? Am I that self-destructive?
In this fortieth entry in the series, we get a guy called Hapless, who is well named at the beginning, but the fact he’s willing to learn belies that. One chapter in and he’s already lost the only girl he’s ever had a chance with; Hapless indeed. He’s forced to take a quest from an ornery magician, picking up companions along the way, especially a bunch of hot babes he quickly falls in love with. Everyone wants a wish granted, although not all of them will need the magic of the Isis Orb to make it come true.
Yes, it’s as silly as expected, and thankfully fun. Nothing groundbreaking, of course; would you expect such a thing in the fortieth installment of a series? Perhaps overlong; by the end of the story Hapless had forgotten about Cylla, and so had I.
Feline never kept her promise of hunting down the rat. . .
4/5

The Only Pirate At The Party
For those of you familiar with violinist Lindsey Stirling’s hyperactive—but always cute—cheerfulness and enthusiasm, this is a distilled and bottled version of all that sunshine in concentrated form. Right off the bat she explains why it’s good to be a pirate, though not when your mom tells you to wash the dishes.
As expected, this is basically in chronological order, a good idea as we see the development of that giant personality through childhood. I’m frankly amazed by how much she remembers of those years; it’s probably just me, but I hardly remember anything from that age. Plus her father seems to have recorded every moment of her life, if you’ve ever seen the video playing during one of her concerts. The Tooth Fairy story is the best, especially her kid rationalization as to why her friend got more money than she did.
That kind of quirky thought process is showcased throughout the book, but once she gets to a certain point she also opens up about her worst moments, especially fighting an eating disorder and depression. I can see a lot of people recommending this book to those currently suffering, to let them know they’re not alone.
But the bulk of this book showcases her humor; she can even be sarcastic without sounding snarky, which is not easy. One chapter is about her experiences with alcohol and drugs; it’s as long as this sentence. If you’ve seen any of her personal videos on “The Tube,” you’ll find her just as silly here, and that’s exactly what I was looking for when I picked this up. Nothing better in a book—or a person—than a sense of humor.
The biggest laugh of many was when she thought she heard escrow and got it completely wrong. {Escrow ≠ escort.}
4.5/5

Sex Hell
New Jersey
Semi neurotic girl in New Jersey who doesn’t enjoy sex with her boyfriend makes a dumb deal with a bad witch to spice things up in the bedroom. Too bad she didn’t specify with who. . .
The gist of it: “I’ve got a desire to be younger, okay? And you’ve got a desire to have better sex. And for a small price, I can fix your problem. All I want is a little bit of your youth. Gimme about ten or twenty years; let’s call it fifteen. In exchange for that, I’ll fix your sex life. No more awkward fumbling around. No more faking orgasms— oh! oh! oh! And no more having to do anything you don’t want to do.”
And that’s before we’re introduced to Suzy Spitfire. The good news: the price gets talked down. the bad news: there’s a catch on the back end, of course.
The best thing going for this book is that there’s plenty of humor, especially when the Road Trip with Benefits hits the highway. Despite her silliness, I like Debbie, although that comes with the realization that, had she existed in real life, she’d be dead several times over. This also has one of the strangest antagonists ever, but considering all the sex, violence, and demons, the tone is incredibly light and fluffy. It’s a fun read, and that’s all that matters.
4/5

Bloom County Episode XI: A New Hope
Wow, I remember Bloom County from when I was in college. Then it stopped and I never gave it another thought. It took a plea from Harper Lee—sorry for the rhyme—to bring the strip back, although I’m guessing Donald Trump had something to do with it too.
And just to make things as meta as possible, Opus has woken up from a 25-year slumber, though no one seems to have aged. Even Bill the Cat is still almost alive. There are three or four strips and then a Sunday special, with some having quotes from fans.
Yes, as expected there’s Trump right away, now known as Stormtrumper. There’s a baby on social media; that’ll end well. A penguin would indeed make a great support animal, if you can handle the stink. But no, Young Han Solo would never wear a red bowtie.
There wasn’t anything particularly new here—names of new politicians and trends plugged in, of course—but that’s a good thing.
4/5

;o)