August Marvel Box

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  • Spider-Man comic
  • Spider-Man hat
  • Spider-Man Pop figure
  • Spider-man Fabrikalions figure

Not being a huge fan of Spider-Man myself, I ended up selling or giving away most of this. I imagine if you’re a fan, this crate would be awesome.

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August Loot Crate: Anti-Hero

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  • Archer t-shirt
  • Dark elf pin
  • Harley Quin Q-Fig
  • Kill Bill Socks
  • Hellboy red hand ceramic bank

I gotta start with the bank. It is super cool but tiny. I can’t imagine much money fitting in there but then again, I’m the type of person that uses those giant water jugs as a bank (don’t laugh… That change paid for a trip to Disney). I am honestly not a can of Archer but the Q-fig and socks are very awesome. It’s a shame Suicide Squad is why all this Harley stuff is coming out since I’ve loved her character since Batman: The Animated Series. Luckily, the cartoon is what the figure is based on; not the recent movie.

All in all? Not a bad box. I’m just a little shocked there weren’t more items.

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Finally Watched It: Over The Garden Wall Episode 2: “Hard Times at the Huskin’ Bee”

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A bluebird named Beatrice offers to guide Wirt and Greg to Adelaide of the Pasture (the good woman of the woods) and help them get home.

Again, I gotta comment on how frikkin’ beautiful this cartoon is. Greg seems to have the potential to be that annoying kind of derpy and Beatrice is awesome. As far as plot, this one is creepier than the last one. Those effing pumpkins are a town full of NOPE. It’s a little dark for young kids but for a warped person like me, I chuckled at several points. It is a fun show and I look forward to more!

Also, it’s really amazing shows like this can pack more feeling and fun into 11 minutes than some 3 hour movies. I’ve said that before and I’ll likely say it again because facts are facts.

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Lenni Reviews: “Like Heaven on Earth” by Jaime Samms

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*I received this book in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+.

*This review is cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.

Cobolt Winslow is involved in an unhealthy, long-distance relationship with Calvin Denvers. Calvin infected Cobolt with HIV, which cost Cobolt his dancing career in their ballet company as his body became too weak to put up with such strenuous activity. The only stable person Cobolt has come to rely on Malory Preston; a driver who works for Cobolt’s brother, Azure. As his health takes a turn for the better, Calvin comes back into the picture and Cobolt is faced with choosing between dancing and his growing attraction to Preston.

I cannot go any further without mentioning the naming conventions in this book. Yes, they are a little odd (at least for me) because it was like reading characters from a fantasy novel but this isn’t fantasy. I did get used to it as the book went on.

The relationship between Cobolt and Preston works and makes sense the way those characters are written; even if there are times where I felt Cobolt needed a swat of sense on the back of his head. If a character can frustrate you, he/she is well written.

Other than that, this book is short, sweet, sultry when it needs to be, but standard. Cobolt and Calvin’s HIV status is handled with maturity and not used as a crutch or a lame gimmick to make the characters act a certain way. The dancing was immersively written and the subtle nuances of stage culture were there but not as dark as something like Black Swan. I enjoyed it and by the end I was cheering for Cobolt but – and it’s likely my personal bias here – the attempts to make Calvin a sympathetic character failed miserably. It would take MUCH more than 204 pages for an abusive cheater to redeem himself in my eyes but this is certainly not the book’s fault. I’m betting since this is the third in the “Dance, Love, Live” series (and yes, this novel can totally stand on it’s own), I’m sure Calvin has or will get an entire book to himself to work out his issues. As for this book, a happy 3.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Relative Best” by Pat Henshaw

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*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

*This review is cross posted at Otakus and Geeks.

Zeke Bandy believes life’s too busy for love. He runs a historical hotel and sings two nights a week at a local saloon. Vic Longbow is in town involved in opening a branch of a brokerage firm and looking for some photos of his Native American ancestor. When they meet, Zeke and Vic discover they have a lot in common and friendship becomes more than they are prepared for.

I wanted to like this more but this was a pretty bland little story. Characters are tossed at you without enough detail so aside for out main beaus, you don’t get to know anyone. As a result, the drama in the book falls flat since they’re all strangers. Also, this is a pretty tame m/m romance. Other than hold each other and kiss, Zeke and Vic have a PG-13 relationship; so if that’s what you’re after with this book, you will be disappointed.

This is the 5th in a series of books from A Foothills Pride series and I don’t know if this story is better or worse than the others but it can be read as a standalone novella. At only 80 pages it’s wobbly on it’s own feet, but perhaps this premise would benefit from a longer book. As it is, the whole thing meanders to the conclusion without any real impact. I give it a 2.7 out of 5 for it’s competency as a written work even if it was flat.

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Lenni Reviews: “Tokyo Ghoul” vol 8 by Sui Ishida

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Now free of his tormentor, Ken faces off against the Aogiri Tree and ends up in a one on one showdown with Touka’s brother, Ayato. With Ayato back in focus, we get more backstory on his and Touka’s childhood and how the pair came to be so different.

In general, I think this series shines most when we’re dealing directly with the Ghouls. I’m probably missing plot points but I find myself skimming though the parts with the Investigators. They are just not as interesting to me.

After escaping, Ken decides to go off on his own because he’s determined to get stronger. I’m intrigued to see how exactly he’s going to do that. Will we see all of it or will Ishida just cut back to months or years later to when Ken returns and he’s all super?

I do have the anime on standby and I’m tempted to cheat and watch passed this point but I won’t I’ll be good and wait.

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Lenni Reviews: “Yona of the Dawn” volume 1 by Mizuho Kusanagi

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*I received this book as a fun little bonus but I’m reviewing it anyway. YAY!

As princess, Yona has lived a charmed life. After the tragic passing of her mother, her father – King Il – spoiled her. After a lavish party for her 16th birthday, her father is murdered in an act of betrayal, Yona is forced to leave the palace – the only home she has ever known. On the run from enemy forces, Yona must find a way to survive and for the first time face terrible adversity and uncertainty.

Yona is your typical fiery redhead princess. She’s a little quirky, a little spoiled, but at the same time, she’s not one of those princesses that kicks and screams like a brat about what’s happened. She’s grieving for her loss but not being unreasonable about it. Yona is crying, dazed, but moving forward; a real reaction that makes me empathize with her more. A lot of characters will flip out unreasonably hysterically so they are almost annoying. Yona isn’t like that so far.

As a first volume, it ends in the perfect place to want the next one but not give you that cut short cliffhanger. As for the art, it’s typical shoujo style; idealized, pretty, and flowing. I think I could get into this series. 3.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Ten Count” volume 1 by Rihito Takarai

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*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

*This review is cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.

Tadaomi Shirotani works as a secretary for a CEO while suffering from germophobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. One day, his boss is nearly hit by a truck and a young man named Riku Kurose; who is a therapist, saves the man from being killed. Kurose notices Shirotani’s condition and offers to help him work through it. Kurose has Shirotani make a list of 10 things to get over in order of discomfort from least to most. Shirotani is only able to come up with 9. They make a deal to meet regularly to work through the list then Shirotani will come up with that 10th item, but he finds he develops more than just a friendly attraction to Kurose.

Unlike a lot of yaoi manga with an M rating, this first volume is very innocent. Our two main characters meet, get to know each other, and slowly build what will likely be a deeper relationship. There’s an author’s note in the back expressing concern that readers will be disappointed with the leisurely pace but I like it. The art is beautiful, the writing on point, and I think I would like to see Shirotani and Kurose take their time so I can enjoy their story. 4.5 out of 5.

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Finally Watched It: Batman: The Killing Joke

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Based on the graphic novel of the same name, this feature was touted mainly for its R rating.

And I don’t think that rating was even earned. To me, this is PG-13 level curses here. And the very random sex scene wasn’t even graphic!

First off, I was not impressed with the animation quality. It was fairly standard. With all those other DC animated movies out there, I expected better.

Secondly, this isn’t so much “Batman: The Killing Joke” as it is “Batgirl: Batman: The Killing Joke.” I do NOT understand why the first half an hour or so of this exists because it would have been overall better to cut the whole damn thing.

Thirdly, this is the most sexist portrayal of Batgirl I’ve seen. According to the movie, she’s been at the vigilante scene for three years, right? Three years and she still feels the need to whine to Batman that she needs to prove herself? She still gets triggered by some random trash talk a lowly mobster throws at her? He asks”Where’s your boyfriend?” so she can squawk “He’s not my boyfriend!”, he makes jokes that she’s on her period, they write her so she gets mad when he calls her cute… This isn’t Batgirl. She’s every lazy female and sidekick stereotype poured into a batsuit. I was screaming at the screen and rolling my eyes.

Fourthly? You snagged the “swear to me” line? *sigh

And lastly, the back story of why those freaks in the carnival were working with the Joker would have been a bajillion times more interesting than this Bats in the City nonsense that filled the first half hour. They even gave Barbara a pet gay best friend; which was a trope I thought we had thankfully grown out of.

If you skip all the Batgirl stuff, it wasn’t bad, it was just ok. Mark Hamil and Kevin Conroy are of course as excellent as always and the adaptation of what was actually IN THE GRAPHIC NOVEL was entertaining. But by the time they got to the story in the book, I was so pissed, I found it hard to enjoy the rest.

Next time? Stick to the book, guys.

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Lenni Reviews: “Tokyo Ghoul” vol 7 by Sui Ishida

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The crew at Anteiku mount up and go after Ken; and well shit the Gourmet is back.

Yay?

And the Investigators are around so the 11th ward becomes a war zone.

But the meat (bad pun) of this volume is Ken. Yikes… Just wow. Left to Yamori’s twisted idea of fun, Ken is tortured for who knows how long until he breaks. Yamori drops the little tidbit that the doctor who implanted Rize’s organs into Ken has done these experiments before and there are more like Ken around but Ken himself is the real star of this volume. He couldn’t really find a place as a human or a Ghoul. No matter what, he’s apart from everyone.

I did wonder how Ken’s transformation into resident badass was going to be framed. Let’s face it; he’s a character in a manga. That transformation is inevitable. I thought they were going to frame it as a bunch of people dying around him and triggering the change. Loss is usually how these things happen but this wasn’t exactly the case: Ken is just put through absolute hell. What is done to him is so painful and barbaric, it turns his hair white.

And they haven’t even escaped yet! That’s in the next volume I guess.

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