TITLE: THE MUG LIFE
BY: PATRICK THOMAS
PUBLISHED BY: PADWOLF PUBLISHING INC.
REVIEW COPY PURCHASED BY REVIEWER
REVIEW BY IDA VEGA-LANDOW
It’s been a while since I wrote a review of any of Patrick Thomas’ works. The closest I came was my review for “Release The Virgins” on June 10th, an anthology by Michael Ventrella to which Patrick contributed a short story, “The Running of The Drones”. That was done with his usual flair. Now here comes another volume in the Murphy’s Lore After Hours series, in which we learn of the misadventures of Murphy’s motley crew of gods and monsters, along with pixies, demons, immortals and just plain folks along for the ride.
Our man John Murphy tells us two tales in this assortment of stories about the mug life (whether he’s referring to the mugs he fills at Bulfinche’s Pub or the mugs who work and drink there is anyone’s guess). The first one is about an angry man who shows up at Bulfinche’s with his two kids and a gun, determined to repay his ex-wife for taking his kids, the house and half his pension. Murphy manages to defuse the situation with the help of his co-workers and the Mayan death goddess Ixtab, who specializes in suicide, and was there to counsel another customer suffering from terminal cancer. The second story takes place on one of Murphy’s rare days off, when he goes to a mall and runs into Jason Cervantes the cross-dressing cop and Bubba Sue the gremlin, who are now dating. The three of them end up at a lingerie shop, where they have to defuse another bad situation between an angry young woman with a bomb strapped to her chest and one on her ex-boyfriend’s. Don’t waste your time feeling sorry for the guy; he screwed her over badly and even got her deported to Mexico to end their relationship, and she doesn’t even speak Spanish. Two prime examples of love’s labors lost.
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Title: Release The Virgins
By: Michael A. Ventrella, editor
Published by: Fantastic Books
Review copy sent by Publisher
Review by Ida Vega-Landow
This is the second best book I’ve ever read that was written on a dare. The first was “Frankenstein” by 18-year-old Mary Shelley, after she and her future husband, the poet Percy Shelley, spent a wet summer at the Villa Diodati in Switzerland with their friend Lord Byron, where it wouldn’t stop raining. They spent most of their time reading ghost stories in front of the fireplace during all those dark and stormy nights, which inspired Byron to suggest that they all write a ghost story of their own. Poor Mary spent many sleepless nights wracking her brain to come up with a scary story, until she had a nightmare about “a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he had made; her dream later evolved into the novel’s story.”[Wikipedia, “Frankenstein”]. I think we all agree that Mary Shelley won that competition.
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Despite the press meet starting at 5:15pm, the guests stated that they will stay the full hour for us which is really awesome of them. The first opened with the guests introducing themselves. From left to right, Soojin San (Saeran, Unknown, Ray), Young Sun Kim (707), Producer Sujin Ri, Ho San Yi (V) and Kyuhyuk Shim (Yoosung).
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The second year of Otakon in Washington, DC was a weekend filled with fun surprises. There were guests of all media from culture with the Shinto Priestess Kanawa Kuniko to Man-at-Arms, cosplayers Serena Dejesus to production with Square Enix Producer Kimura Yasutaka and Studio Trigger President Otsuka Masahiko. Highlighted guests were Conductors Arnie and Eric Roth for the Distant Worlds orchestra with the esteemed composer Uematsu Nobuo and a treat for us all: Cheritz developer, Sujin Ri with the Korean voice actors from the popular, Mystic Messenger mobile game. There was alot to take in, alot to reminiscence, creating a weekend we will not soon forget.
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The host opened the panel with a call to cosplayers to join the staff for photos at the end of the panel. They also plugged the boxsets available at the booth. The limited edition is available online which includes the Barbatos gunpla. After introducing the guests, they asked them to talk about how long they have been in the industry.
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Before Uematsu came out the staff instructed the audience to sing out the Victory fanfare when Uematsu comes out. We really tried, but it was so scattered since we didn’t get the cue. Either way, the energy, love and joy at being able to hear from Uematsu was felt from the fans.
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Since Distant Worlds started in 2007, I’ve been to all their concerts in the New York area. And every concert has been a wonderful experience of music, animation and story. A celebration with fans of music and game. But for Otakon to host the concert was a rare treat for attendees. And it was even rarer for me to be able to take photos to memorialize the evening after only savoring with my eyes and ears for so long.
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TITLE: FIERCE: The History of Leopard Print
BY: Jo Weldon
PUBLISHED BY: Harper Design, An Imprint of HarperCollinsPubishers
Review copy provided by author
Review by Ida Vega-Landow
This book is dedicated to “the BIG Cats, the people they INSPIRE, and the people who work to preserve their lives and HABITATS.” But it’s intended for all you wild things out there who love to wear leopard print. It’s a historic study of the vivid, spotted fur of a beautiful beast whose strength and independent nature inspired women, who are usually the downtrodden, powerless members of society, to be strong and fearless too.
Being a livelong lover of leopard print myself, I have worn it in every way possible. My favorite loafers and sneakers are leopard print; so is a well-worn pair of high heels, along with one of my mock turtleneck tops, a short-sleeved blouse and a pair of stretch pants. Of course I have a leopard print nightgown, and a sleepshirt, as well as pajamas. I also have a leopard print bra, for which I have yet to find matching undies. I laugh to scorn the conventional notion that women over fifty shouldn’t wear leopard print. I’ve worn it more often since I turned fifty. I use it as an accessory, to set off my favorite clothes. I don’t think I’d have the nerve to wear head to toe leopard print, though certain celebrities, from Peg Bundy of “Married With Children” to Pat Benatar, who regularly performed in a leotard or catsuit, are not shy about doing so.
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Anime Expo kicked off the summer with the biggest Japanime bash of the US. Every year they get illustrious guests from Japan from creators, producers and seiyuu as well as famed musical guests. There was a ton of things going on including Deku’s seiyuu Yamashita Daiki with the My Hero Academia movie as well as seiyuu Yuki Kaji with the premiere of Attack on Titans season 3. For music lovers, there is the 3 days of Anisong with Cinderella Girls live, May’n and the famed composer, Yuki Kajiura. Couldn’t see everything and this is only a glimpse into the weekend…
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The concert opened up with May’n singing Chase the World to the screams of the fans. The upbeat tempo started the crowd dancing. May’n had her own crew of backup dancers along with the band. She greeted the fans in English. “Are you ready to make some noise? Come on, Los Angeles!” *fans cheer* It was awesome to see May’n feed off the energy of the fans. “There are so many people! I have alwys wanted to meet you guys. Tonight, let’s make a big memory. Let me hear your voice!”
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