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First Second

Bite-Sized Comics Review: RELISH by Lucy Knisley

Comics and MangaKristina PinoComment
relish lucy knisley cover.jpg

Relish by Lucy Knisley

This is the sort of bits and pieces, slice of life memoir that stirs up all kinds of fond memories of food in my family's kitchen growing up. Being Cuban, that meant lots of plantains, pork, beans, and rice, and delicious desserts like arroz con leche, flan, and torrejas, among other things. In Relish, Lucy shares stories of her childhood and beyond which relate to food. In some cases, she shares stories that revolve around family meals, and in others, discovering great foods in places like Mexico (and what was going on in her life at that time). Sprinkled in between chapters, she shares excellent recipes that'll have your mouth watering. Seriously, depending on how you organize your bookshelves, you might be equally tempted to sort this in with your comics or your cookbooks. If you have a "the best [insert dish here] I've ever tasted in my life was at...." story, then this book is for you. If you have a "when I was a kid, I used to love eating [insert fun and possibly gross food memory here]..." story, then this book is for you. Basically, if you like food, this book is for you. 

Linky Things: 01/13 - Indian Disney Princesses, Ghibli Film Foods, and Food Illustrations

LinksKristina PinoComment

[Alright, this isn't even in the realm of late on Friday Things, so let's have some almost mid-week linky things today. Things have just been hectic - whoops.]

On Books and Comics:

I'm not one way or another about Elizabeth Gilbert but I love this cover reveal video for her next book.

New book coming out by First Second, and it looks great. It's called Dragons Beware! and it's being released in May. This book is part of a series. I've never read any of it, but I want to now.

On Disney:

e.l.f. came out with a Jasmine-themed beauty collection. Get it at Walgreens in stores or online.

A pal of mine brought my attention to this great documentary of four artists who worked on Sleeping Beauty and how different their takes are on a single tree.

AMRIT Photography is working on a Disney Project involving capturing Disney Princesses in Indian style. The series is called Once Upon a Bride, and it's stunning.

On Film:

Charlize Theron found out that her male co-star in an upcoming film is being paid more than she is, and she wasn't having it. Successfully renegotiated for equal pay. LOVE.

This video is super long, but someone went and recreated 47 foods based on Ghibli films and it's super impressive.

Stuff I wrote here and there:

On Panels: 6 Side Characters In Comics Whose Stories Should Be Told.

On Panels: The First Ant-Man Teaser Is Out and I have Questions (also: do read the comments, they're awesome)

On Tomopop: Toy Review: ArtFX+ Arkham City Batman (also, shameless plug/reminder I posted a hi-res, clean gallery of my photos on this site as well.

On Panels: Art Roundup: Character Spotlight on Riddler.

Other:

10 Great Adventure Trips That Give Back published on NatGeo is about making your dollars count when you travel. Not in the frugal sense, but in the "support locals" and ecotourism and saving forests and stuff.

Gorgeous illustrations styled with food by Anna Keville Joyce. (h/t BoingBoing)

Sir Ian McKellen is beyond adorable in this George Ezra music video.

[See you soon with more links]

Bite-Sized Book Reviews: HEIR TO THE EMPIRE, THIS ONE SUMMER, and CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC

Books, Comics and MangaKristina PinoComment

I don't think the three books I'm looking at this time around could be any different from each other, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn

It was a long time coming, but I've finally started reading the Thrawn trilogy! This book takes place five years after the events of the last Star Wars film (at the time of writing, that's Episode VI) when Leia is pregnant with her and Solo's twins, and Luke is trying to figure out how to become a better and stronger Jedi so he can lead and teach others. We meet a few new characters, including the kick-butt Mara Jade and the super strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn, from whom this book trilogy gets its name. I guess I should also clarify this book is classified as non-canon now.

Thrawn is hell-bent on destroying the New Republic with the goal of restoring the Empire to glory. It's well-paced and fun to read, and the author really has a great sense of the characters. If you enjoyed the movies, you should have no problems diving into these and actually seeing the scenes play out in your head.

Being the first of a trilogy of books, it should be obvious that Thrawn is no chump. The danger he poses to the main characters feels real and bears a lot of weight because you know their problems aren't over with the first book. Very exciting, because we know that they're going to pull some fab narrow escapes and fancy maneuvers to get out of each scrape. And that's one of the things I love most about Star Wars.

This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

This graphic novel was gifted to me by my fellow Rioter and Panelteer Brenna, who got me as her gift exchange recipient person. I pretty much started and finished it on the very day it was delivered to my door.

Rose and Windy are pals who see each other every summer at this beach-side cottage getaway along with their families. They're 15 in this story, which makes them a little too old for some things they always enjoyed doing, but too young for some of the teen-age/new adult/parental drama that's going on. The book has this quiet sort of atmosphere to it - it's hard to explain, I just felt "quiet" reading it. It isn't colorful and the panels are hand-drawn and everything has this awesome mix of manga-like toning and brush strokes like an ink painting.

There is and there isn't an over-arching plot: there's stuff going on, but the focus is more inward, more on the two main characters and how they're dealing with all the stuff going on around them than the events themselves. And of course, how they help each other deal. The book touches upon some of the bigger issues that plague teens at their age, like sex and gender, as well as the different kinds of relationships they may have with their parents.

Great book about growing up, and gorgeous presentation by First Second and everyone who participated in its design.

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

I picked this up at my village library because, more than anything else, I was surprised to see it there. Being in Japan, and out in the countryside, a lot of the books in the English language section are either cook books, picture books, children's fiction, some middle grade and young adult, and a good chunk of classics. I didn't expect to see fiction about a stylish London girl who is up to her eyeballs in debt because she can't resist shopping despite being a financial journalist and really knowing better. It seemed fun and random enough that I grabbed it.

I've seen the movie adaptation once, a long time ago, and I was surprised to find that the book was much kinder to the protagonist. At least, my vague memory of the film is I spent a lot of time cringing and feeling really embarrassed for her, but I liked this book version much better. Rebecca is quite silly and easily distracted most of the time, but I enjoyed her internal monologues and day-dreaming. Fine little fluff, easy to read, had some laughs.

Don't jump into this expecting anything deep or some complicated plot - it's a fun read and things just kind of happen. The entire thing is written in the present tense, which I'm not really used to. I mentioned before I picked this book up because it surprised me to see it at my local library, but there's more: I also grabbed it because I like to drop wild card books that I normally wouldn't into my reading pile now and again. Variety is the spice of life, right? Anyway, am glad I picked this one.