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Nicola Mansfield RSS Feed (Ontario, Canada)

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The Dumbest Idea Ever!
The Dumbest Idea Ever!
by Jimmy Gownley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.40
60 used & new from $1.22

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Inspirational!, October 23, 2014
This review is from: The Dumbest Idea Ever! (Hardcover)
This is the first time I've actually heard of this author but I'm going to be looking for his other work right away. This is an outstanding and inspiring memoir of the author in Gr. 8 & 9 Catholic school. Two pivotal years in his life when he learned who and what he was going to be. A fascinating and inspirational story of a teenager who becomes a cartoonist at the age of 15, yet it deals with all the normal highschool/teen realities: first date, starting high school, making new friends, losing old ones, teenage angst and getting a swelled head. Anyone who likes to draw or even doodle around will fall into this story and feel exhilarated. It made me feel excited for my children, that they can do anything if they are passionate about it. Jimmy is such a lovable character and his wit and humour is deadpan, I really didn't want the book to end. He's a kind, good-natured guy but just like anyone he can have a nasty side and at a certain point gets an ego that goes out of control making him a real person. There are a few author graphic memoirs out there now for teens but this is one of the most genuine I've come across. My 14yob enjoyed it very much as well.


Comics Squad: Recess! (Comic Squad)
Comics Squad: Recess! (Comic Squad)
by Dav Pilkey
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.19
62 used & new from $3.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Anthology From Popular Authors, October 22, 2014
Fun anthology of short stories by popular children's graphic novelists. I've read all these authors before and found it a delight to read these stories. Some are one-off shorts while others are further adventures of favourite characters such as Baby Mouse and Lunchroom Lady. The stories are all held together by the common theme of recess; with recess featuring prominently in some and and simply in passing in others. I enjoyed each story, each being a perfect example of the author/illustrator's work. I went into each one looking forward to the treat and was not disappointed, however, if the reader has not read any of these authors these stories are bound to have you searching for their other books. Good Show! And the back of the book assures us that a sequel is in the works. Yeah!


Vinland Saga 5
Vinland Saga 5
by Makoto Yukimura
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.97
51 used & new from $13.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Best Volume Yet!, October 19, 2014
This review is from: Vinland Saga 5 (Hardcover)
Thankfully this complex manga starts with a brief characters and 'story so far' introduction page. This volume starts with the beginnings of a whole new phase. If it were a TV show, this would be season 2. Without going into too much detail, Thorfinn no longer has his revenge and is working in the fields with his first ever friend. He has some antagonistic moments and reveals his past to this new friend. At first he just wants to die but upon realizing he doesn't really, he starts to ask himself what is it that he should live for. Meanwhile the battle between the Danes and England continues on. The English have a few more Kings but Canute keeps up the battle and has become battle hardened, sly and crafty. He's even grown more manly, looking very different now. We finish Vol. 9 with Canute finally becoming King of England. Then comes the second half of the book, Vol. 10 and OMG! Absolutely fantastic! Thorfinn takes a turn. This is a violent volume but its theme is rebirth; Valhalla is examined against the Christian concept of Hell and oh man, as a Christian myself I found this chapter utterly amazing and full of Christian allegory. I can't wait for the next volume! I also read the author interview at the end of this book (which I'm usually not interested in) because it started with Yukimura's interest in theology. Intriguing.


Zombillenium, Vol. 2: Human Resources
Zombillenium, Vol. 2: Human Resources
by Arthur de Pins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.10
58 used & new from $8.03

5.0 out of 5 stars Love Zombillenium!, October 19, 2014
I love this series! A comedy paranormal spoof with a serious plot makes it total fun! All characters are back from last time, some fading into the background others remaining major players. Sirius, the skeleton is the centre of attention when he is captured by skinhead villagers and a family with an interesting son adds to the Zombillenium family in more ways than one. A few funny pop culture references make for a grin but mostly the characters are simply lovable while being monstrous and devilish. We venture into the bowels of the amusement park and see where employees who've been fired go. I love the surprise ending and can't wait for the next volume! The art is bright and captivating. The only problem I can mention is the books just end too soon with only an average of 50 pages each.


Invincible Days
Invincible Days
by Patrick Atangan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.31
44 used & new from $9.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Childhood Vignettes, October 19, 2014
This review is from: Invincible Days (Hardcover)
A lovely collection of vignettes by the author of his memories, mostly of his childhood in the eighties. Though the author presents as a Catholic Asian immigrant, the tales can, for the most part, be nostalgic to anyone who remembers the complexities of being a child. These vignettes are often bittersweet and there is a morose air throughout the book especially when midway the topics start to focus on the stroke and eventual death of his 97 year old grandmother. In fact death is a main theme throughout as there are many episodes which involve pets and eventually each ones death and the author's response. Most of the memories come from the author, however, a number have been passed on to him by friends and family and are noted as such. The artwork is adorable and cute reminding me of Japanese children's illustration (not manga, but picture book illustration). Various animals represent the human in each tale and this cuteness balances the melancholy mood of the book's theme which presents moments in childhood which seem pivotal as an adult looking back. This would make a wonderful gift book for any adult but will be especially enjoyed by those who fit one or more of the demographics: Catholic, Asian and/or immigrant.


Marx
Marx
by Corinne Maier
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.16
44 used & new from $10.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Primer on the Subject, October 15, 2014
This review is from: Marx (Hardcover)
I really liked this. The history of communism is a fairly recent interest of mine (only a few years worth of personal study) especially that of China and Russia. I haven't read much on Marx yet and found this an intriguing primer on the man. The book is very well written. Usually when I start a book of this sort the author will show themselves to be leftist very clearly early on but Maier never sides with Marx and tells an almost unbiased story. Every thing that Marx thought was abjectly good or just wonderful about his vision of communism is countered by a reasonable thought from his detractors, showing both sides of the story here very well. It is a short book written at about a teen level so does not get too indepth. But Marx's main area of expertise was economics and a lot of time is spent on his ideals that Communism will fix the economy of a Capitalist society and that revolution is the only answer to making that change. I like the art which is done in full colour but black and red are the predominant colours making one think "red" communist. This has let me get my toes wet on the subject and piqued my interest in reading more in this direction.


Fish (Nobrow 17x23)
Fish (Nobrow 17x23)
by Bianca Bagnarelli
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $9.79
30 used & new from $5.22

4.0 out of 5 stars Death & Grief, October 15, 2014
This review is from: Fish (Nobrow 17x23) (Hardcover)
Wow! Not what I was expecting. A very deep, dark and depressing tale of death and the accompanying feelings of grief and fear. The story's main character is a 12yo boy and his cousin but this is not a children's book by any means. The comic has adult language and themes. The story doesn't have a plot but follows a boy whose parents died a year ago in a car crash over the course of a few hours. He is most likely depressed and has thoughts of what dying must feel like. Not having been allowed to see his parents when they were found two weeks later washed ashore has had an effect on him. But now when a missing girl washes up he rushes to take a look and the ending causes some thought. The art is simple and unpretentious with a cold colour palette of blue violets that fill the air with the chill of death. Only certain types of readers will appreciate this melancholy tale.


Stolen from the Garden: The Kidnapping of Virginia Piper
Stolen from the Garden: The Kidnapping of Virginia Piper
by William Swanson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.30
24 used & new from $14.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Read, October 15, 2014
Something about the description of this book piqued my interest, though I'm not sure what. I read a lot of true crime but this is the first time the case has not been about a serial killer or at least a murder. No. Here we have a fairly simple crime. A wealthy socialite is kidnapped in the 70s, a ransom note for $1,000,000 is sent, the money delivered and the woman found, scared and disheveled but unharmed. What follows however is a very long and twisting case. It goes cold, until 7 years later an arrest is finally made, but then that is when all the strangest parts of all happen. I enjoyed the book well. It's written in an easy to read style, The author is more than respectful to the victim and her family. Included are pages of actual court case testimony and a few pictures. I had never heard of this case before; probably because many high-profile kidnappings happened during this time period (including Patty Hearst). But this is an absorbing and interesting case and Swanson has presented it in a compelling read.


The Seven Deadly Sins 4
The Seven Deadly Sins 4
by Nakaba Suzuki
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.33
64 used & new from $6.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Volume 4, October 15, 2014
A great volume with a bit of everything. Picking up where we left off, a large portion of the volume is devoted to the issues between King and Ban with King's dead sister. They've entered the land of the dead and a Holy Knight follows them there for an epic battle. Not everyone comes out unscathed and we've had some revelations that bring the side working against the king clearer to our understanding. Elizabeth's sister enters the picture and we learn all is not right with the Holy Knights. Apprentices are becoming amazingly strong, fast, and others are disappearing. The volume ends on a delicious cliffhanger, then goes on to give us a bonus story of Ban's background with Elaine. PS, Diane the giant is my favourite character. Good stuff!


Green Arrow Vol. 5: The Outsiders War (The New 52)
Green Arrow Vol. 5: The Outsiders War (The New 52)
by Jeff Lemire
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.74
47 used & new from $9.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, October 15, 2014
All right, now this is awesome! First off there is some crossover within the DCU which was lacking with Vol. 4. Here we start with a Zero Year issue and have a cameo by Batman and further on in the main story Katana shows up and joins in the battle. After the Zero Year, we go back to the main story and most of the volume takes the story arc about the various Outsider clans, along with story of Oliver's dad and brings it to a conclusion. A very gritty, satisfying storyline. Then the remaining issue goes back to the Richard Dragon/Clock King underworld story which has been lightly running though Lemire's plot so far and brings it to a cliffhanger ending as we meet all the villains in Dragon's gang. Excitingly good stuff!!


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