Friday, July 31, 2009

Fables 7: Arabian Nights (And Days) by Bill Willingham

Fables Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (And Days)In Fables 7: Arabian Nights (And Days), Fabletown realizes they need to make alliances with the unconquered Arabian Fables in order to maintain and protect their community in the mundane world. However diplomatic relations are not only strained by cultural differences, but also by a genie in a bottle.

Meanwhile we are also told a story about a forbidden love between a wooden soldier and his nurse and what they must give up to be together.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Hansel has been in his forever home now for almost a month. We hope eventually he will be able to relax and settle in to his new environment.

Hansel On Back
Hansel On Chair
Hansel in Basket
Hansel On Lap
Hansel in Bed

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hellboy 7: The Troll Witch and Others by Mike Mignola

Hellboy 7: The Troll Witch and OthersHellboy 7: The Troll Witch and Others by Mike Mignola is again based on several myths and folktales. The first story has Hellboy confronting a Penanggalan, a Malaysian folklore version of the vampire. The Hydra and the Lion was created with his daughter whose favorite creature at the time from Disney’s Hercules was the serpent water beast, Hydra. An interesting modern day twist on the legend of Hercules that even leaves Hellboy scratching his head. The Troll Witch is based off a Norwegian folktale about two sisters but with a slightly different ending than the original tale.

The Vampire of Prague was based on a puppet Mike Mignola and Guillermo de Toro fell in love with when scouting out locations for Blade II. Attached to the puppet was a booklet telling about the legend of the gambler ghost of Prague. Mike Mignola said for the most part he stayed faithful to the gambler legend but took the liberty of also turning him into a vampire since supposedly there are few vampires that haunt Prague. Interestingly, P. Craig Russell illustrated this story.

The last story Makoma, that he stumbled upon in an Andrew Lang Fairy Book, is a tale told by a mummy in the New Your City Explorer’s Club. Mike Mignola also does not illustrate this one but instead by Richard Corben.

Also included in this addition are the stories, Dr. Carp’s Experiment and The Ghoul. Then in the back is a small preview of all three artists’ sketchbooks, Mike Mignola, P. Craig Russell and Richard Corben.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Having to share...

Husband may be right again, we need two beds...

Sleeping Beauties
Sleeping Kitties
Hansel and Gretel
Kitties in Bed
Kittens Sleeping

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gretel's New Basket

Our little girl turned 5 months yesterday and is not so little anymore. She had out grown the round wicker basket that I keep on my desk for my writing companions. When my husband and I were out this last weekend I looked for a bigger replacement and found a nice square one that I thought would work nicely, but in the aisle my husband spotted a bin of small dog beds that he thought she would much more prefer. Since we had a coupon % off our purchase we got both. I hate to admit it, but I believe he may have been right...

Gretel's new bed
Gretel Sleeping
Gretel's new basket
Comfortable GretelI LOVE my new basket - thank you Daddy!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hellboy 6: Strange Places by Mike Mignola

Hellboy Strange PlacesI am a latecomer to graphic novels but I am totally enjoying Hellboy. I love how he weaves old folktales and mythology throughout the stories building them up to a great crescendo and then a somewhat sarcastic Hellboy kicks butt. In Hellboy Volume 6: Strange Places, the first story, The Third Wish, is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. Hellboy travels to Africa and after listening to stories of a tribesman, hears voices summoning him to the ocean. Needless to say, the mermaids in this story would not win any auditions with Disney.

The second story, The Island, was inspired by the Sargasso Sea stories by William Hope Hodgson. According to the author notes at the beginning of the story, Mike Mignola started this story a couple of times but ran out of gas. He goes on to say he created Hellboy in 1993 and had been keeping a lot of his secrets, but then along comes the movie and up pops the Ogdru Jahad waggling their tentacles all over the big screen. He figured if we were going to see them, might as well not only see the real version but their origin in The Island.

This time at the end in addition to a peak inside his sketchbook is the first 8 pages of the first version of The Island. Quite different than the final story that was published in 2005.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fables Volume 6: Homelands by Bill Willingham

Spoiler alert for those who haven’t read the previous volumes of Bill Willingham’s Fables series.

In this volume, we follow Boy Blue’s journey back to the Homelands where he seeks revenge for the death of his best friend, Pinnochio, and the imprisonment of his long lost love, Little Red Riding Hood. Through the use of a magic cloak not only does Boy Blue find out the true identity of the Adversary and the story behind his empire. Meanwhile back at Fabletown they welcome the Jungle Boy’s, Mowgli, return. We also find out that Prince Charming enjoys throwing a few twists and turns into the plot line.

A bonus in this volume is a 2-part story of Jack Horner’s movie adventures in Hollywood.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Fairy “Tail” of Kittens

Well, it actually started more out like a Grimm’s fairy "tail", but I am foreseeing a happy ending (I hope).

Here is the back-story on this “tail.” On the day we lost our beloved Trixi, I saw a red tabby in the neighbor’s driveway, which struck me odd because I had never seen this cat before, in fact, we never see cats roaming loose in our neighborhood. Then the following day my husband was out doing yard work, turned around and there was the same cat standing in front of him. They stared at each other for a few moments then the cat turned and wandered off. We have never seen it since.

My husband took that as a sign that our next cat should be a red tabby. I have had cats through out my life, but never a red tabby or a male. Of course being blessed with a calico for the last 19 years, I grew very partial to that particular short-hair domestic. That is why when we went to the Buddy Center last April (just to look) and happened upon a little calico kitten, it only took a second for her to wrap us around her little 2 month-old paw and we were hers.

However, my husband was still convinced the red tabby was a sign and after all, since our little calico was named Gretel, she needed a Hansel. Unfortunately, I am not sure Gretel got the word. After being an only kitty for 2 months and the center of our universe, I really think she felt that Gretel could be a solo cat act.

Needless to say, things were quite chaotic with Hansel’s homecoming from the Buddy Center. At first it was the cat fights followed by one dejected little calico that was no longer getting all the attention because of the new little red rat. Oh, and let me tell you, a dejected calico can totally break your heart.

To try to make this long “tail” a little shorter, we now seem to co-exist a little better. Hansel LOVES his big sister and has to go and do everything she does. Gretel still not so much on the new brother, but I am hoping she will eventually forgive us. Mom here is run ragged now trying to appease two kittens vs. one.

Any hoo, I guess he is off probation and a keeper, so here is Hansel....and Gretel.

Hansel and Gretel
Hansel and Gretel
Hansel and Gretel

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Sandman Volume 10: The Wake by Neil Gaiman

Sandman Volume 10: The WakeAt the end of The Sandman Vol 10: The Wake, Neil Gaiman writes that he has always been bad at goodbyes, but I thought he did an excellent job in this last volume of Sandman by doing what he does best, telling stories. This was not at all how I thought the series would end, you would have thought by now I would have known that Mr. Gaiman would not do the obvious or even the next couple of obvious. Instead he ends with four unique stories of a surreal wake, an undying friendship, a Chinese sage travel through the dessert with a kitten, and William Shakespeare’s final obligation to The Sandman. Intriguing tales with the wonderful imagery of Michael Zulli, Jon J Muth, and Charles Vess (who also illustrated the Blueberry Girl). I procrastinated reading this last volume in the series because I did not want it to end, but I guess I was being silly, as I will never stop having dreams.

P.S. Don’t worry, nothing happens to the kitten.