Lenni Reviews: “Manfried Saves the Day” by Caitlin Major & Kelly Bastow

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Steve’s life has really turned around since the first book. He makes a living off his cartoons, he has a great girlfriend, and he’s finally happy. But when his girlfriend’s man shelter is in danger of being bought out, Steve may be stretching himself too thin trying to keep up with his deadlines and help Manfried compete in a man show to win prize money to save the man shelter.

Much like the first, this book is just too cute. You get the classic “raise money to save the *insert thing here*” plot but it’s refreshed by having tiny men as pets instead of cats. It may be a predictable plot but the adorable art makes this a worthwhile read. I absolutely enjoyed it. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Manfried the Man” by Caitlin Major & Kelly Bastow

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Steve works at a tech support call center and has very few friends as close as his pet man, Manfried. He wants to be a cartoonist but he hates his job and he’s one of the last single cats his age. But when he ends up fired and loses Manfried, he unintentionally goes viral in his search for his best friend.

I enjoyed this little switcharro where the cats are in the human’s position and visa versa. The idea of people as pets, without being dystopian horror, was a nice funny diversion. Unless you are particularly prudish and don’t wanna see a lot of cartoony naked men, this is an adorable little story. 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Ice Cream Man Vol. 1: Rainbow Sprinkles” by W. Maxwell Prince, Martin Morazzo

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This comic is a horror anthology based around our title character who is obviously a demon of some sort. It’s trippy and surreal but sometimes I got this feeling the book is trying too hard. I want to like this more than I do but after finishing it, I didn’t feel anything. I wasn’t creeped out, disturbed, or scared in the slightest. The only reason I would continue this series is to find out what happens to the demon in the long run. Overall, it’s just meh. 2 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Zojaqan” by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Nathan C. Gooden & Vittorio Astone.

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

In this time jumping tale, grieving mother Shannon arrives unexplained in another world after the sudden death of her son. When she arrives in this strange world over and over, she has unforeseen impacts on the alien culture developing there.

While this book looks really pretty and interesting, it all felt incomplete and ultimately unsatisfying. I was intrigued by the concept but I didn’t feel like Shannon was learning anything as the book went on. It tries to be deep but maybe with more length, this book would have achieved what it was going for; a mother forced to deal with her child’s death through her journey in this developing world.

Mild spoilers: It was also infuriating how she kept fucking up this species. It all left me more frustrated than entertained. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Days of Hate Act One” by Ales Kot & Danijel Zezelj

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review

Set in the USA in the year 2022, America is now a police state and teeters on the edge of civil war. Divorcees Huian and Amanda are on opposite sides; with Amanda in an extremist terrorist group and Huian and her family under surveillance due to her prior association with Amanda.

This graphic novel is a hard read, and not because it’s particularly disturbing, it’s a little too on the nose. Touching on rampant alt-right conservatism and equally extreme leftist terrorists using violence to combat them, this book feels like it’s trying to be V for Vendetta but coming off too preachy. While still sinister and foreboding, there’s this lack of depth that keeps it from being perfect. I do want to read more, however, to see how everything shakes out. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Bettie Page” Vol. 1 by David Avallone

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is recommended for older readers.

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

In this collection of “secret diaries,” we follow our femme fetale, Bettie Page, as she dodges the cops, secret agents, and cult members all while trying to make a living as a model and movie star of B movies with aliens… All while helping beat the bad guys.

This book is a whole lot of cheese and I kinda love it for that. I am an absolute sucker for pin-up art and all the guest art and the comic itself is lovely to look at; even with the batshit crazy ideas. However, there’s this sensation of being in a glitter bomb; shiny, pretty, but confusing in all it’s bright colors and movement. At the end, I had to re-read it all because I didn’t remember what exactly happened. Gotta give it a 3 out of 5 for that but it sure is pretty.

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Lenni Reviews: “POS: Piece of Sh*t” by Pierre Paquet and Jesús Alonso Iglesias

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is suggested for older readers.

In this autobiographical story, we follow Pierre as he struggles to start a publishing company. His constant companion through the highs and lows, loves, and losses is a scraggly dog named Sonny.

The art in this memoir is beautiful and is perfect for it’s touching story. Pierre is trying to do things right but ends up making crappy choices; leaving him lonely in life overall. In a way this book and Angel Catbird have a great deal in common when it comes to the underlying message of how to treat our pets but instead of silly puns, we get a tear-jerking story of how our pets truly are our family and how their love impacts our lives. If you enjoy stories that touch your heart and involve our furry companions, you will enjoy this story of how one guy just tries to be less of a POS.

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Lenni Reviews: “Black” by Kwanza Osajyefo and Jamal Igle

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

In this what if story, humans start developing various superpowers. But only black people.

I really wanted to like this but I think this book was trying to tell too many stories in too short a time. We follow Kareem as our introduction to this world and several interesting concepts are shown to us through him but WAY too many of them and WAY too many characters. Kareem meets one team, then there are prisoners, then there’s another team, then there are rebels, then there are agents of the government involved, then they’re fighting, and then I am confused. I mean WOW what a premise but it needs more time to show it’s full potential. As it is I have to give it around a 2.7 but man, if the creators here reissue this story in a more detailed way? I am totally down.

Man would I like to see how they would approach multiracial people… How much “Black” do you have to get to develop powers? Do you get muted powers? Is the manifestation of powers what eliminates the ability to pass? Hey, contact me, authors. I have some ideas… XD

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Lenni Reviews: “Monstress” vol 1 by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda

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Maika Halfwolf is looking for answers. Obsessed with her search, she will even allow herself to be captured by a sadistic woman who performs experiments on Arcanics like Maika. But it is all worth the risk for Maika to learn the secrets behind the brand on her chest and her magical powers.

The setting here is a heavily stylized steampunk and high fantasy mashup colored in a dark palate to reflect the danger and twisted nature of this world. The art deco style is beautifully detailed and is lucky to be backed by great characters and a well written story. It’s not a happy story at all. This is a dark fantasy where magic users with no ethics will dissect children for their power, ruthless public executions take place for purposes of propaganda, and our main hero is more than willing to step over your corpse to get what she wants. But it’s gorgeous, compelling and I can’t wait to read the next one. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Spinning” by Tillie Walden

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We follow Tilly through her ice scating years as she struggles with growing up, coming out, and generally trying to figure out what to do with her life.

These graphic memoirs are really frustrating in a way because you see these talented kids with shitty parents and shitty friends trying desperately to find some sort of foothold in their lives. But I guess that’s the point, for these stories to get told and we can learn from them. But the mom and best friend in me bristles at the crappy people not helping our main character.

Putting my soapbox aside, this is an interesting read. I like the story, even if it gets slow sometimes, and I enjoyed learning all these things I never knew about figureskating. I can’t say this book is for everyone due to those moments in the story that are slow but I give this a solid 3.5 out of 5.

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