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Book Review – Where’s My Shoggoth September 23, 2012

Posted by hatlentore in Books, Comics/Graphics Novels.
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If you’re wondering what a Shoggoth is, you’ve never ready any books by H.P. Lovecraft. This new book bu Ian Thomas and Adam Bolton, is about a young boy that’s lost his pet Shoggoth. The story is inspired by the writing of Lovecraft and does it justice. There is also a hint of Suess in the rhyming that takes place through the story.

Despite what it sounds like, this is not really a scary story or horror tale. It pays tribute to elements of Lovecraft while not really touching more then a little on the true meaning of the creatures mentioned. The boys wanders through the night looking for his Shoggoth and meets up with other creatures of the night.

The real gem of this book is the illustations. They are really beautful and creative.
So is it Right for Kids? I would say it is. My 7 daughter says “It’s a good book and I really like the pictures. The monsters are cool. It’s a really, really good book. It’s not scary.”

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Graphic Novel – Pearl of Pandaria September 23, 2012

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For those parents and kids that play World of Warcraft, they will no doubt be familiar with the Pandaren, a mysterious race of beings that are loosely based on the Panda Bear. The Pandaren are very much based on Chinese myth and legend. The expansion to World of Warcrat, Mists of Pandaria, is due to be released on Sept 25th. This book ties directly into the game and introduces a few new characters, the Pandaren history and some background.

The story is about Li Li Stormstout, a young student who comes from a line of adventurers who left their homeland long ago to explore the world…and she wants nothing more than to chase that dream. But when Li Li runs away to find her famous uncle Chen, how will she survive? The story meanders through many of the locations that are familiar to players of the Warcraft game or any that read the novels or comics. It is a story of adventure, excitement, with mystery and intrigue tossed in. Li Li is trying to find her unce and sees oblivious to the dangers, instead enjoying the journey. Meanwhile, the guardian that was sent to protect her and bring her home, Bo, is so focused on the possible dangers that he fails to see the beauty around him.

It a well written story and touches on many elements of the game and other media. The art is beautiful and colorful. It captures the various areas of the game world and evokes the feel of being there.

Is it right fr kids? I think it’s great for kids of just about any age that like adventure stories. Older kids will get more out of it and if they have played World of Warcraft, that will be even better for them. Much younger kids, say under 5, won’t get much of the story and there are some parts that would be a little scary.

Comic – Lookouts #1 September 15, 2012

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Image if you will, a society much like the middles ages you’re read about and seen portrayed in movies and on TV. Now imagine there was an organization like the Scouts that educated the children in woodraft, ecology, hunting and similar pursuits and was call Lookout. Throw in some fantasy elements, such as strange creatures and some magic. Now you have the new comic series called Lookouts from the minds of Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulic, better known for the popular gaming website Penny Arcade. A couple of years ago, the created a few short pages of this series to judge their audience on how well, they would like this idea. It was very popular and they have developed it since then into this series and found a publisher in Cryptozoic Entertainment.

The story begins with a family travelling late at night along a forest road. They meet with a sphinx who asks them a riddle. If they answer correctly, they may go on their way, if not, they may not continue and will be punished. As first the children are fascinated by the Sphinx but when it turns on them, thet are confused and frightened.

Change the scene to a forest village market with a group of young children walking through it. They are led to meet with a village elder to be assigned a task in the forest. They are told of the sphinx that is rumoured to guard the road and are assigned to deal with it. But first their leader thinks they need a test to be sure they are ready to deal with something as cunning and dangerous.

The story is engaging and unique. I really liked the idea when I first read about it on the Penny Arcade site but was disappointed that they only had a short story. Now that this book it out, it’s going to be one I pickup regulary for the kids. It’s well written and the illustrations are bright and detailed. I enjoyed the story and am looking forward to the next chapter.

Is it right for kids? I would say it’s right for kids that in grade 1 and up. It’s not a scary story and there is no violence that is shown on panel. Older kids that are tired of the typical Super-hero stories should enjoy this.

Comic – Snarked #11 September 15, 2012

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   Snarked is a relatively new series in the comic world from a creator that has been around a while and has done really great work before.Roger Langridge has worked on other titles such as The Muppets and done great stories. He’s artwork is colorful and imaginative.

Snarked is loosely based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. To be specific, the characters of the Walrus and Carpenter. The are on a epic quest under the command of the Red Queen’s children, Princess Scarlett and her younger brother Rusty. They are in search of the Red King, who has gone missing. They have so far eluded the royal advisors and set sail on a voyage in search of the Red King. While on that journey, they meet several familiar characters from Wonderland including the Chesire Cat.

The story is a bit difficult to get into right off the bat as it helps to have read the issue(s) before but it’s still an entertaining read and the art is nice to look at. Langridge has crafted a deep story with wonderful characters so it’s worth checking around for earlier issues either online or at your local comic store.

Is it right for kids? It is but those kids should like reading and somewhat fantastic stories. This isn’t a comic book like your typical ‘done-in-one’ superhero story. There is an investment in time to be made but it’s worth the effort.

Expanding my options. September 12, 2012

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I haven’t been on here in a long while but wanted to get back to this kind of blog posting as Facebook itself isn’t ideal for it. So I’m reactivating this link and blog and will be posting stuff here again. I want to be able to more easily add links and images to reviews so that the content is better and more informative.