jaebility: (da //  alistair <3)
Manifest Destiny by KcDStudios

Required reading for any Capable/Nux fan. This fanzine is absolutely adorable! So one of the many reasons I love Nux and Capable together is how supportive and gentle they are of each other. Kacie/KcDStudios art style captures the sweetness of the characters and their relationship - Even the squabbles between Capable and Slit over Nux are cute. Choosing a favorite story/picture is hard... Maybe the one with a chibi Capable playing guitar, since musician!Capable is my jam, but really everything in this fanzine is great. They deserve happiness and in this zine, they get it.
jaebility: (zelda // battle)
A Toast to the Future by juliettdelta
Slit/Toast, romance, world-building, post-canon fix-it, 23/?? (incomplete)
juliettdelta is another author that writes consistently amazing fic. This one is probably my favorite because the world-building is so fascinating. Gastown and the Bullet Farm are really great - creepy and horrible, with juliettdelta’s own unique spin on those places and what happens there. And Toast! And Slit! I really love how they’re both trying so damn hard, sometimes struggling or even fighting to get what they can out of the harsh environments that make up their lives. But they always remain interesting and sympathetic. I think they can both be difficult characters to write, but juilettdelta nails it.
jaebility: (beatles // paul in glasses)
Wifed by redcandle17
Slit/Toast, romance, humor, post-canon fix-it, 17/17 (complete)
redcandle17’s Slit/Toast stories are always awesome so it was hard to choose just one to rec, but I’m currently obsessed with “Wifed.” It’s a funny premise: Slit gets trolled by the women when he “gets” Toast as his wife, but then the story progresses and the two learn more about each other. I really like the way their relationship develops without them losing their core personalities. Also there’s this one line: Toast says about Slit, “The worse something is, the more he believes it’s true.” That really encompasses the absurdity of the War Boys, and it’s cute and sad and ridiculous all at once, and dammit do I love these guys.
jaebility: (nyc // strawberry fields)
Night Like This (Fanzine) by kotteri

Everything about this fanzine is beautiful. There's something in kotteri's artwork that captures the pathos of the characters, gives them a dignity and and even a sweetness despite their brutal circumstances (and actions). Each of the stories is touching, but I think my favorite is the one where Nux sews up Slit's cheek after he's been injured.

So the MMFR fandom has all sorts of different explanations for his scars. In this one, a young Slit already has a scar on one side of his face. I totally agree with this headcanon - god, it's so sad and awful to think someone cutting through a child's face like that. And god, what does that do to a person? And to think that it happened to him twice? Anyway, so back to the comic: Nux finds Slit is at the organic mechanic after his second terrible injury. The scene is sad, but poignant - Nux takes the needle and thread, and sews his partner's face back together.

The War Boy system is righteously fucked, but there are bits of their humanity that their society hasn't yet stripped away. And kotteri's art does an amazing job at showing that.
jaebility: (random // persona 3)
We've been hauling in books by the bagful - Not only did we raid the bankrupt Borders, but when we were in Connecticut last week, the cheapo bookstore in town was closing and we managed to find some good tomes among the crap.

And I bought Borders' ebook reader, the Kobo! Got it at a huge discount. I figured that as a librarian-in-training, I needed some experience playing with an ebook. ...So uploading and reading fanfic is totally like homework. Totes. What I like about it: I dunno... That I can read fanfic on it? What I don't like: It doesn't really turn off, at least not as "off" as I'd like. Also, sometimes the "ink" of the previous page doesn't fade all the way. Also turning the "page" takes about half a second too long. not a big deal, but I'm used to being in control of my book and don't like having these limitations.

What I've been reading
Heartless by Gail Carriger - I'm only half-way in, but so far it's not as enjoyable as the earlier books. Too much Alexia being pregnant, not enough of her kicking ass. And she can certainly do both, by it seems like every piece of dialog, every description... She's so fat! She eats so much! Babies everywhere!

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald - Adorable. I love this genre. MacDonald inspired Tolkien and Lewis, among other. Just downloaded the sequel.

Hushed Voices - A collection of essays on human rights violations. There's so much shit in the world that goes on unnoticed.

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Kowal - Not as good as Jonathan Strange, but I burned through this books. Main character Jane was a sweetheart, if a bit of a milquetoast.

Rosie Winter series by Kathryn Miller Haines - Love love love love. Rosie Winter is a frewuently out of work actor living in NYC in the 1940s. She's smart and hilarious, but also a flawed and believable character. Fights crime, dances poorly in choruses, drinks up a storm. I've devoured the series and can't wait for the next book.
jaebility: (tutu // krahe & tutu)
The Alientist, Angel of Darkness, and The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr - I burned through The Alienist on the train. It wasn't high lit, but the crime and the setting were so different and so interesting that I couldn't put it down. I picked up the other two books, but apparently The Alienist was a fluke. Angel of Darkness featured the cast of Alienist, only instead of being a hard-boiled, experienced group of super sleuths, they spent the entire book being idiotic. Italian Secretary is a Sherlock Holmes novel. And again, the characters - the unflappable Holmes and the capable Watson - rolled around in hysterics. Big disappointments.

Used and Rare by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone - A quaint, charming book by two rich assholes. This is a good foray into the book collecting world and mindset. As learners themselves, they explained the crazy vocabulary, the strange habits, and the undeniable appeal of book collections. They start small, buying books for $10, which as a perpetually poor student is usually my budget, and eventually work up to putting down hundreds of dollars on rare editions. I read the whole thing in one afternoon, and when I finished I flipped to the back cover to read about the authors. They're two yuppies living in Westport, Connecticut - one of the richest, whitest towns in one of the richest, whitest states. So worrying about costs, being intimidated by snobby auctioneers, all that was bull. The book was enjoyable, even if the authors are obnoxious.

Ash by Malinda Lo - It wasn't as much of a disappointment as Silver Phoenix, which was the last YA I read, but I still found Ash lacking. Aisling, the main character, was more milquetoast than heroine. And the lesbian romance felt tacked on and rather pointless. Meh. It was a meh sort of book.
jaebility: (tutu // bad writing)
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler - Dark and depressing and incredibly awesome. Butler's view of America's future hits hard, and as I walking through the hot, damp, crowded subways yesterday morning, I started worrying the accuracy of her foresight. This book cracks you down before it beings to tentatively build you back up. This is what The Road wishes it could be.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte - It's interesting how many Anne Bronte shares with her sisters, and just as interesting is how much they differ. Helen could get preachy, but her determination and strength made her a fascinating - and feminist - character.

Far From the Maddening Crowd by Thomas Hardy - Another book with an interesting female lead. Aaaand another book from the 1800s. Maybe it was the setting - an idyllic countryside - but this book was almost like reading poetry. Loved it. Also loved the ending. Hardy's treatment of Blackwood was an interesting twist on stereotypically feminine passions.

Behold! A Mystery by Joan Smith - Meh. It had all the makings of a succesful novel. Set in Victorian times? Tradition manor-house murder? Female narrator? All checks. But somehow things fell apart. Jess was smart and brave in the face of the crime, but the novel kept undermining her. Also: Punishing kisses. HATE HATE HATE.

The Duke Returns by Eloisa James - Another meh. James' is a competent writer, but I'm not as into romances about nobility as I was as a teen. In fact, I actively dislike the genre. Wah wah I'm filthy rich and have lots of sex. I'd rather read about the maids or the blacksmith. The most interesting part in this book was when the hero had to deal with the sewer system. If shit's more fun than sex, then you're doing it wrong.
jaebility: (knt // sparklez)
Last year at some point, I went to a con and came home with a free big selection of upcoming comics published by Yen. I flipped through most of the comics unimpressed until I found One Fine Day. Fast forward to last week; I had a coupon from Borders and happened to pass by their manga/anime section as I looked for a book. Volume one of One Fine Day! That coupon went to a good use.

When I say that OFD is cute, I mean it. This comic is adorable and sweet from start to finish. Magician No-Ah has inherited an old house, and the comic follows the daily life of the house's inhabitants - Not just No-Ah, but also kitten Guru, puppy Nanai, and baby mouse Rang. Characters switch from human to animal forms without explanation; each form is adorable. Sirial gives no explanation to this nor draws attention to the change, which was fine with me. The art style is perfect for the stories - breezy and loose. Some scenes are simplistic, but the sketchy design fits with the gentle feel of the stories.

My only complaint is the quality of the physical book. Del Ray and Toyko Pop's graphic novels have spoiled me; the paper and the cover are flimsy and already showing signs of wear. There no are extras, no notes from the translators or sneak-peeks of the upcoming volumes.

But that's the only flaw, and the quality of the art and the stories make up for this imperfection. Sometimes I just need a break from it all - OFD is like a breath of spring air. Sweet without becoming saccharine. I haven't found much on Sirial on Google, but I hope s/he continues to produce comics. I'll definitely get the third book when it comes out in September.

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November 2016

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