Oh Look, Krill!

Oh don't worry. Whales don't eat clownfish, they eat krill.


Why Yes, I Do Read Comic Books : Power Girl #1 – #12

I’m a comic book reader and I’m proud of it. I may not be a hard-core comic book reader like some of my friends but I do have my favourites, mostly everyone and everything related to the Bat-family.

A while back, Sarah introduced me to Powergirl (PG). I’ve seen her around and about the different Crises series but I don’t really know that much about her. I picked up A New Beginning, the trade paperback collection of issues #1-6 and immediately liked it. On Saturday, I managed to pick up Aliens and Apes, the collection of issues #7-#12, and I loved it even more.

A New BeginningAliens and Apes

So what do I really think of the series so far?


The art is amazing! I love that PG’s emotions are all conveyed in her facial expression. You don’t need the dialogue to know that she’s pissed off or worried. It’s all in her face.

The writing is not only hilarious but it’s very believable. The dialogues are smart, witty and I wish that more comics out there have amazing writing as this.

One of my most favourite parts in the volume 1 of the trade collection is the cameo appearance of the guys from The Big Bang Theory in Powergirl #4.

Photobucket

I thought that they looked familiar as I was reading it and it only hit me who the guys were a couple of seconds later. Howard was totally in character and he got shot down by PG most spectacularly.

Volume 2 of the trade collection also had some gems, like this interaction between PG and Vartox in #7.

Seduction musk

PG’s expression in that last panel had me laughing so hard in the train that I had to stop reading and control my laughter fits as the lady standing opposite me was giving me strange looks. See what I mean by her face being full of expression? She looks like she was going to hit Vartox in the face, which she did much later.

I totally enjoyed issues #1-12 immensely and I’m starting to love this series very much. At the end of issue 12, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, the writers and artist, left the series and were replaced by writer Judd Winick and artist Sami Basri. I’ve not read beyond issue #12 so I do not know how different the story line is like. However, I will most definitely pick up my copy of the next trade collection when it’s out in June, just so that I can make a comparison.

I’d totally recommend this to anyone who loves witty characters, amazing art and a really good storyline.


Guess Who I Write Like

I found this interesting analysis thing from Harlina’s blog and I thought I’d give it a try.

I plugged in everything that I wrote from the previous post and poof!

I write like
Cory Doctorow

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Truth be told, I had to Google who Cory Doctorow was but I have read the XKCD comics that reference him. It’s sad that as much as I love reading and sometimes writing science fiction, I don’t read as widely as I should.

I think it’s time to head on to the library and see if I can get a copy of his books.


The 4-Hour Work Week

The 4 hour work week

A couple of weeks ago, Dude bought me The 4-hour Work Week, after he’d been insisting, for weeks, that I must read it. He insists that it’s a really good book, with great ideas that he thinks we should try out and it would be great to be able to discuss it with someone else.

I’m almost done with the book and so far, I found that the concepts of the book to be interesting and a little mind-boggling. The author, Tim Ferriss, claims that instead of slogging for most of your life before enjoying retirement, you can have mini-retirements now and still make money because your income is totally automated and you rarely have anything to worry about.

As I read more of the book, I realised that people have done it and it worked out very well but as with everything that is life changing, taking the first step is always the hardest.


The book teaches you how to handle all the emails, phone calls and tasks in batches. I’ve been using the technique to write concise but informative (without being an info dump) emails and so far, my boss has been appreciative of it and it’s cut down the number of emails going back and forth. Currently, I’m trying to see how I can implement this batching of tasks, especially for the order requests.

The most interesting for me so far is how one can negotiate for a remote work arrangement, working effectively and more productively but not in the office. Unfortunately, the nature of my job doesn’t allow me for a remote work arrangement to work as most of what I do are very hands-on. I would very much would love to work away from the office and the lab but it’s hard to do when you’re in scientific research. Unless you’re doing field work, I guess.

The book also helps you understand or come up with a concept to help one start a business online and help you not only increase profits but also productivity without taking up too much of your time which can be used to do more interesting and fun things, like travelling. Interesting, yes?

I think that it’s a really good book for anyone who’s interested in making money and yet have more than enough time to enjoy it without waiting too late and then regretting.


A Better Library Experience

the sandman vol 1-3

A while back I mentioned that the library makes me cry and I’ve lamented to everyone who would listen how annoying it is to be at the library due to the running, screaming children whom their parents can’t seem to control. However, my last few library visits have been wonderfully nice.

Let me start with why I was at the library at the first place. In recent years, my reading material had changed, going from the usual genre of romance to various other speculative and genre fiction. Recently, I’ve taken to reading graphic novels and I’m so glad that the library has had an increasing number of graphic novels in their collection.


I have more than a few comic book fans among my Twitter list and they’re always good with giving suggestions for comic books to start on. One of those is Fray by Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.

fray

I’ve heard nothing but good things about the series and it just so happened that I found a copy at the library.

Another series that had a really good recommendation was Fables. I grabbed the first two volumes of the series and I was hooked.

fables vol 1-3

Now that National Library has an application on Facebook that allows members to check the availability, recommend the books and even make reservations, it makes getting books from the library a lot easier than it used to be. It definitely makes my library experience a lot better; not only do I get the book that I want but also, not spend too long looking for it and having to endure noisy children.


Meeting Gail Simone (And Crying)

When the guests lists for the Singapore Toys, Games and Comics Convention (STGCC) was released, my friends were superbly excited that Gail Simone was coming for the con. I’ve read her works and I love the way she writes, so I was just as excited.

On the opening day of the convention, I met with Joelyn and we headed to the con to meet Sarah who was already there as a volunteer, so that I can pass her my copy of Wonder Woman: The Circle so that she can help me get it signed by Gail Simone the next day, just in case I miss the signing session.

As we were walking around the hall, looking at the different booths, Sarah said to me, “Turn around.”

I turned and there Gail was, standing and talking to people. We went up to her and asked if she would mind signing my comic book. I handed her the book and burst into tears. It was so embarrassing for both Gail and myself. It was the biggest fan girl moment of my life.


I seriously did not expect the tears and I was so damn embarrassed, but Gail was such a good sport. She signed my book and even let us take a picture with her.

Me and Gail
Photo courtesy of Seriously Sarah

If you clicked on the picture to embiggen it, you’ll see that I still have the tears in my eyes when we took the photo. Fangirl much?

Anyway, I managed to arrive at the con on time for Gail Simone’s signing session. As I was queueing up to see her, she walked by and I started crying again. It was mucho embarrassing but I got my tears under control by the time it was my turn and managed to tell her coherently that even though I don’t have anything for her to sign that day, we, the HSWG, had something for her instead. We passed her a copy of Happiness At The End of the World and Bubble G.U.M., signed by all the writers involved so that she can have something to remember us by (as if having a crying fan handing her comic book to get signed isn’t memorable enough).

me and gail 2

So, it was the most awesome thing to happen to me that weekend. I really hope that she’ll come back soon and that we don’t have to wait another four years for us to see her again on our shores. I can promise that I won’t cry the next time I see her. Really!


The Launch For Books And Writing

Bubble GUM NaNoWriMo Kick-Off

It’s that time of year again when the local NaNoWriMo chapter have their annual Kick-Off Party.

Where it’s at: National Library, Multipurpose room (basement 1) at 6.30pm (till 8.30pm)

Theme (Yes, we always have a theme): Superheroes! Come dressed up as your favourite graphic novel character, both heroes and villains. Not compulsory but it’ll be fun.

Who’s invited: Everyone! Ok well, not everyone but everyone who’s doing NaNoWriMo, readers and comic book lovers.

We’ll kick things off with the year’s NaNoWriMo party, getting to know the newbies who just joined this year, catching up with veterans and we’ll have cake. There’s always cake at the kick-off and it’s never a lie.

Other than the Kick-Off, the Happy Smiley Writers Group (HSWG) is launching a new book, Bubble G.U.M. This book took us more than a year to write, edit (especially editing) and get it published. I’m so, so glad that it’s out.

So what is the book about, you ask?

It’s a sci-fi novel, set in Singapore in the year 2045, where the world as we know it is gone and the girls have to do NS. There’ll be meta-powers, mutant seabass, dolphins and bikinis as part of the NS uniform. Get the books to find out more.

The books will be going at $15 at the launch. Get it then before they slap on the RRP of $18 when it goes for sale online and in the bookstores (who will then slap on a GST charge). If you haven’t gotten Happiness At The End of the World, you can get it then too. It’s also going for only $15.

So come on down, meet the writers, buy the books and have some cake. We’re really friendly people.

Kick Off
Here’s an official poster to the event. Click to embiggen.


Books To Add To My Ever Growing Pile Of To-Read Books

I love books. If you haven’t realised this by now, you must have just started reading this blog or you just don’t know me very well. On top of loving books, I also hoard them. I have multiple plastic storage boxes full of books that are read and a few more boxes filled with books that I have yet to start reading. This, of course, doesn’t stop me from wanting and adding more to the already growing pile.

With one of the local book stores having a sale (when is it never having a sale?), I might just drop by to check if they have the books that I want.


1. The Malay Archipelago
This book was actually introduced to me, in passing, during my Evolution & Phylogeny class when we were discussing about Darwin’s theory of evolution. I’ve never been that much interested in studying evolution in depth, so it wasn’t until this class that I discovered that it’s actually a lot more interesting than I thought it was.

Anyway, the book was written by Alfred Russel Wallace who was a naturalist who lived in the South East Asian region back in the 1800s. Basically, the book is like a chronicle of his travels, his scientific research and his observations. I’m very interested in reading on how different the region must be like more than a century ago and if we can still find at least a tiny speck of what was seen back then if we travel through the region.

2. Blameless
The third book in The Parasol Protectorate series. I’m still currently reading Changeless, the book before this, but my friends are bugging me to quickly finish it so that I can get on to the third book, just so that we can squee about it together. The ladies I hang out with don’t squee very often and it’s usually over books and from the previous books, this series is very squee worthy.

On top of wanting to know what happens in the next book, I wonder what Madame Lefoux will be wearing in the next book. That lady has the most outrageous and yet amazing outfits in the book. Or at least I think so from the image I have of her in my head.

3. The Phoenix Transformed
This is the third book in The Enduring Flame trilogy. I’ve been waiting at least a year for this book to be out in paperback and as of yet, I have not seen it in the book stores. The story takes place a thousand years after the events of The Obsidian Trilogy, which is one of my most favourite trilogies by Mercedes Lackey.

There are dragons, mages and magic in this series. Unfortunately no unicorns, which I miss since the unicorns in The Obsidian Trilogy have such distinctive personalities that make you wish you had one as a friend, though you had to be chaste and celibate to even come close to one. Tough, huh?

I realised that I have not included a romance novel in a reading list for quite some time now. Truthfully, I’ve not actually found one that made me impatiently waiting to read it. Lately, it’s been the fantasy and the science genres that has been grabbing my attention. Is this what it means to have a maturing taste in reading? Or not?