Book Expo America 2009 – Part 2

Reported by Linda Yau and Jilly Gee
Photographs by Linda Yau

Sorry for the epic delay, folks! Co-contributor Linda will find a way to verbally punish me, rest assured!

It was Friday through Sunday that the Exhibition Hall was open to attendees. Within the Exhibition Hall, attendees were able to see the appearances of authors and celebrities, all the while fighting through crowds of other people to get somewhere.

Weeks before the show, there was an announcement of which authors were set to be making appearances, and for this I was quite excited. There were big names, such as Julie Andrews. Mary Higgins Clark, Meg Cabot, and Nicolas Sparks, which were ticketed events that I didn’t get to see. However, there were about 40+ pages of authors actually appearing, so I was mostly in the Exhibition Room on Friday, waiting. Autographs were separated into “Traditional” and “In Booth” sections. I actually got to see Anthony Zuiker, creator of hit television show CSI. I also waited to see A.J. Jacobs, and let’s just say that I was really pleased to meet him. I also got to meet Marie Etienne, face to face for the first time. She is the author of a previous book I reviewed, Confessions of A Bipolar Mardi Gras Queen.
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Book Review: Avalon: Web of Magic – All That Glitters (Book Two)

Avalon: Web of Magic – All That Glitters (Book Two)
By Rachel Roberts
Illustrated by: Allison Strom
Published by Seven Seas
ISBN-10: 1-933164-67-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-933164-67-0

Review by Kris

Before I jump into the synopsis and review of this book I have to thank the fans of this series. When you read the comments posted after my review for Avalon: Web of Magic – Circles in the Stream (Book One) you'll see that I got thoroughly spanked because of my idiocy and ineptitude. I did make some mistakes and I am very sorry for that. Emily does follow some of the dogs that she is taking care of into Ravenswood when she runs into Adriane. When I initially read the book I thought she wanted to ask the girl who brought in the cat if she knew what was hurting or killing the

local animals. Another thing I made a mistake on was the fact that Ozzie was never a magical creature and his spell didn't backfire. It was the Fairimentals (very magical creatures made of air, earth, water or fire and live in the magical world of Aldenmore) who disguised Ozzie as a ferret to protect him. When I read these books, I read them all together so many things mushed together in my brain and I misrepresented some of the story. So I must apologize to both the author and the fans for my mistakes and I hope I get this review right, and if I screw it up again don't hesitate to straighten me out! Also to the one reader who was upset I didn't mention Stormbringer, I had planned on doing that in my review for the third book, so have no fear, she'll get her time to shine.

Now on to the synopsis and review of Avalon: Web of Magic – All That Glitters (Book Two)!
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Manga Review: Train Train vol. 2

Train Train vol. 2
Story and Art: Eiki Eiki
Published by the Doki Doki Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN13: 9781569700976
ISBN10: 1569700974

Review by I-hsiu Lin

Pursuing his dream of becoming train operator, Asahi Saruta had joined the staff with four hot ‘guys’ at Minami Kitazawa Station. But things aren’t as simple as taking tickets, making announcements and reciting timetables. The cute but financially broke Asahi has to deal with the bills, his pet prairie dog (who is possibly going through mating season) and sexual harassment attention from his over affectionate senpais.

A life as a station staff at MK definitely isn’t easy at all. Deputy Akita can tell you that! Open volume two and perhaps you’ll discover the answer to the main question…just who is the station master?
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Yaoi Review: breath vol. 3

breath vol . 3
Story and Art: Chifumi Ochi
Published by Yaoi Generation
ISBN-13: 978-0-9821880-2-6

Review by Kris

Review originally appeared at Manic About Manga at Check it out!

In one of my favorite SpongeBob Squarepants episodes is where SpongeBob and his best friend Patrick are waiting next to SpongeBob’s mailbox with baited breath for a much-anticipated package. As soon as the mail fish’s truck is spotted they start doing a happy dance until the mail fish makes his delivery. You’re probably wondering how on earth a SpongeBob Squarepants episode and a review for a yaoi manga have anything in common. Well me waiting for this third volume of breath by Chifumi Ochi was much like SpongeBob waiting for his package!
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Book Review: Obscene Interiors

Obscene Interiors: Hardcore Amateur Decor
By Justin Jorgensen
Published by Baby Tattoo Books
ISBN-10: 0-9729388-0-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-9729388-0-8

Review by Kris

Each species on earth has developed a way of attracting a mate. Be it peacocks and their beautiful tail feathers, the sage grouse and their magnificent mating dance, or even the bighorn sheep with butting horns to prove their strength. For humans we have developed the ability to accessorize and decorate not only ourselves but our surroundings as well. With these tools in our arsenal and the prevalence of the internet you would imagine that finding a partner has never been easier. Well thanks to Justin Jorgensen and his eye for design and quick wit for commentary he has scoured net for personal ads to provide a no nonsense look at some of the absurd and embarrassing rooms that people live in.
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Comic Review: Bound By Law?

Bound By Law?
By Keith Aoki, James Boyle, and Jennifer Jenkins
Published by Duke Law School, Center for the Study of the Public Domain
ISBN-10: 0974155314

Review by Kris

The law is a confusing thing. And more money that can be made, more laws are created to protect that information. In Bound By Law? we are introduced to documentary filmmaker Akiko. She wants to create a documentary about New York City. But with copyright protections, trademarks, and rights to the public domain can Akiko walk this field full of landmines unscathed?
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Shojo Review: Gaba Kawa

Gaba Kawa
By Rie Takada
Published by: Shojo Beat Manga
ISBN13: 978-1-4215-2259-3
ISBN10: 1-4215-2259-4

Reviewed by Lauren Lapinski

When someone says “shojo manga”, the image that usually comes to mind is of high schools girls, pretty boys, and huge helpings of romance. Gaba Kawa is no exception to this rule, while adding a somewhat supernatural twist, another element becoming coming in the genre. The main character, Rara, is a demon who has come to the human world to wreak havoc, drag human souls down into the pits of darkness, and other lovely things like that. The last thing she’s supposed to do is fall in love with a human, which, anyone at all familiar with the shojo genre can guess, is exactly what happens. Continue reading “Shojo Review: Gaba Kawa”

Book review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
by Jane Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith
Published by Quirk Books, Philadelphia, PA 2009
Distributed in North America by Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA
ISBN 10: 1594743347

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

As a longtime lover of Regency Romance, I thought I would hate reading this satirical version of “Pride and Prejudice”, after Seth Grahame-Smith finished adding his touch of Gothic Horror to the well-loved romantic classic. Surprisingly enough, it turned out to be readable; not only romantic, but funny! Especially in parts where Grahame-Smith expands upon Austin’s sometimes overblown prose to the point where you suspect him of having watched one too many episodes of “Month Python’s Flying Circus”. Continue reading “Book review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”

Graphic Novel Review: Stolen Hearts

Stolen Hearts: The love of Eros and Psyche
Written by Ryan Foley
Illustrated by Sankha Banerjee
Published by Campfire Press
ISBN: 978-81-907829-9-9

Review by Linda Yau

The story of Eros and Psyche should be well known to Greek mythology enthusiasts. This is the love story of Aprohdie’s son finding his own true love. For those who don’t know the popular name of Eros, he is Cupid – that cute baby always prevalent on Valentine’s Day.
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Millennial Generation Hero Interview with Daniel Debowy, M.D., Ph.D.

On July 23, 2009, I attended the “Comics Arts Conference Session #5: Fan Power” at Comic Con San Diego. I was attracted to the words “fan power,” thinking it might be about squeeing fangirls and glowering fanboys, and wound up with more to think about than I’d anticipated. This interview is the product of my ruminations on Dr. Debowy’s talk and the questions I either didn’t think of or was unable to ask at the panel.

Ginger Mayerson: If I understood your talk at Comic Con, the millennial generation hero wins by not engaging in the competition and sacrificing himself. The way our society in the U.S. is now, how would new leaders emerge based on this new myth?

Daniel Debowy: The key here is that the millenial generation hero competes, but avoids traditional conflict with the prior generation. This is not to say that the values of the prior generation go unchallenged. In fact, it is precisely by avoiding conflict on the prior generation’s terms that the Millenial Hero advances real change. This can sometimes be by avoiding a fight, as Peter Petrelli does on Heroes, when he refuses to take sides between his older brother and his father. Or it can be by fighting back in a novel fashion, as Peter does when he assists an “underground railroad” for fellow super-humans in response to his brother initiating mass arrests and detentions. At Comic-Con, I highlighted the most striking novel form of protest in the Millenial hero, sacrificing self and/or power. This is what Luke Skywalker does at the climax of the Return of the Jedi. It is what another protagonist on Heroes, Hiro Nakamura, does at numerous points in the series. This is not the same as giving up the quest, so self-sacrifice can only occur if the hero is already an inspiration to others, and heroic action continues after the hero has given up his/her powers.

New leaders might occur in the real world, using such mythic themes, by inspiring others to carry on the torch even if they are killed, and then continuing to campaign for their cause despite losses or risk to self. This dynamic did not just start in the last 30 years, but it could become more prominent, even within leadership roles that have traditionally been unitary sources of supreme power, such as presidencies, super-celebrities, and military leaders.
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