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  • Austin Hamblin

Reads of the week 3/23/19

I've been trying to thing of some weekly blogs I could do which people might care about. This might not be popular, but I think it will at least be fun for me. I read quite a bit each week and this will give me a chance to reflect on the things I've read. One of my favorite things in the work is bull shit about comics and other media I've consumed so this gives me an excuse to do so even if no one reads it haha. I never wanted to do reviews to try and break into comics this will be a more informal sharing of what I liked about each book. You will NEVER see me shit talk any creator or comic on this blog.

Flash Volume 2 by Mark Waid

It wasn't until a few years ago I realized how much I love the Flash. It was the CW TV show which made me realized I loved his rouges gallery, as well as the character himself. I hadn't read a ton of comics with The Flash in them and wasn't sure where to start. I read the first five volumes of the New 52 run which I really enjoyed and then thought I would dive into the classics. I have always love Mark Waid's writing and have meet him a feel times in person and he has always just been a class act. One of the times I meet him he somehow didn't have a line so I was able to talk to him about digital comics for about twenty minutes, another time he did a live podcast recording (which they were unable to record) which was super interesting. My late cousin Al used to say The Flash on CW took everything interesting about Wally West and put it on Barry Allen. After reading these first two volumes I have to say he was right. This volume featured a mystery about how Barry Allen had returned from the dead (or had he) which was the slow burner story line over several issues. I kept trying to figure out what was going on and it had a very interesting payoff. I do plan on reading more of this run because I seriously enjoyed it. A lot of the times old comics don't hold up, but this one survives the test of time.

An annual which was in the collection was drawn by Phil Hester. Phil is a friend and another Iowa guy who has helped me out a ton in my career. I texted him this picture saying "I can't seem to avoid you even if I try." I also told him I hope to have a career like his someday. He has got to work with so many great creators (Jim Starlin, Robert Kirkman, Kevin Smith, Warren Ellis, etc.), almost every comic publisher, work on so many great characters, as well as creating tons of great characters of his own.

Over the past month or two I have been checking out tons of children's books from the library I work at. I did this as research because I had planned on writing some children's books. I have actually finished the script for one which is currently awaiting art and am going to start on another today. Snappsy The Alligator was pretty funny and really clever. The joke of the book was that Snappy was just going through his day and for some reason his life starts getting narrated (he can hear the narration). He starts getting in an argument with the narrator because he didn't ask to be narrated and the narrator complains because Snappsy isn't doing anything interesting. It is a cute book and I think kids would enjoy it. I might use this for story time at the library at some point.

I love getting things in the mail from Kickstarter! It's like a gift from my past self haha. I backed this project because of my friendship (I hope she considers me a friend) with K Lynn Smith. I first meet her about 3 years ago when I interned for Devil's Due and First Comics. At the time her comic Plume was coming out which I ate up. So when I saw she was illustrating a new project I backed it right away. At the time of backing I had no idea who Pat Shand was. Little did I know I had actually read a lot of his writing. He had done tons of things for the publisher Zenescope which I had enjoyed. I've since added him on all of my social media and holy balls does this dude hustle! Right now he has a book at Devil's Due, American Mythology, he's self publishing via kickstarter, and just getting shit done. Once he wraps up a kickstarter it seems like he has another one ready to go and he has a perfect track record of getting people their stuff. I think he is a creator to keep an eye out one. I think he is going to explode in popularity in the next few years. If for some reason he doesn't it certainly won't be for a lack of trying. Anyways now the the actually comics. I was sucker for this story because at it's base it's about the relationship between a misfit girl and her giant cat (it's like the size of an elephant). I have four cats of my own (General, Tobi, Pheobie, and Bella) so this hit at home for me. The universe is this odd kind of dystopian kind of not world. It is a universe I would like to see explored more.

For some reason General was in love with this comic. maybe the smell?

I loved this book and am going to have to check out more from this author. This is one of those stories which is not only clever and funny, but also has a message hidden inside. Every Tuesday Martha's family has green beans with supper and she never eats them, but her parents always do. One night the green beans show up to kidnap her parents because they have been eating green beans. At first she loves the idea of no parents. She gets to eat a ton of ice cream and stay up all night. Eventually she misses them and plans on going to the rescue. I'm not going to spoil the ending, but I seriously loved this book!

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