Hi! I'm Author & Illustrator, J.D. Holiday.
What's on my (smorgasbord! :) blog! ~MT SHOWS: The Authors' Words & Characters Gone Mad, Independent Publishing News -- news from the book business ~ IN A NUT SHELL ~ :Articles about Writing and Art ~ :THE BOOK REPORT & :THE BOOK REPORT CLASSICS ~ Interviews With Authors and Illustrators ~ ARTWORK & Works In Progress ~ :Old Movies ~Shows on Red River Radio
Truth, As Strange As Fiction: Man With A Gun by JD Holiday
I kinda knew it would implode. If anything, I'm shocked that it lasted this long and that his wife didn't storm off, or try to kill him and then storm off, or storm off vowing to kill him. I also think the whole Shiklah/Dracula idea was bullshit in the beginning, so I didn't like bringing him back.
Overall, it was just funny, though, and I particularly enjoyed the banter between Deadpool and Spider-Man. I wanted to write a longer review, but I very suddenly don't feel like writing that much about Marvel.
Can I lose myself in Vision, in the days that weren't Secret Empire.
Thank you for not turning Superman into a Nazi. (Although Red Son, although that was very clearly an AU. Thank you for not turning him into a Nazi in the regular verse, then telling us all how amazing this is, and trying to get real people to dress up as nazis.) Thank you for offering a non-politicized option since apparently the only other options seem to be leaning far to the left or far to the right.
Thank you for focusing on characters and exciting stories and well drawn comics. (And as much as I love Jim Lee and his details, I find myself far more drawn to Daniel's work as a penciler: a little smoother and less busy and I love the way he portrays Harley Quinn.) More than that, I love the writing: the reason that Waller is going to Lex Luthor, for one. I was surprised not only at what she wanted from him, but also why she wanted it. It should have seemed obvious, but the storyline was dropped for a while and I thought even Waller wouldn't do this, even though they were setting it up from last issue. I thought someone would talk her out of it, a certain superhero would discourage her, something, but not this...
Things are going to get so, so interesting for the Squad. And I plan to be there when they do. This issue also seems to be the first one that isn't broken up into two parts - and while it worked when they were doing background, at least for me, a lot of fans complained. I don't know if that's what stopped them because they continued breaking it up, which I found a distraction when it seemed like they were really trying to tell one story in two parts once they'd dropped the backstories. The real problem was that the two halves didn't necessarily line up as neatly as the writer tried to make them, at least not for me. But with one, clean story, Williams has upped his game, and I'm finding myself most excited for this series for now.
This is set during World War Two and the problem is that Cybertronians have not been out in the open since then. The thing is this is an AU, and I've known that since far before buying this. It's not canon, but it's been called the best of this particular crossover - which, yes, has been done multiple times, all in comic book format.
That being said, I've wanted to get this before now - and to this. It's not in the library system, was out of print for a while, and back then the used copies were going for at least fifty dollars a pop. So when I saw this on sale for six dollars at Comixology, I grabbed it and ran. I mean, Jae Lee! Jae Lee draws the transformers! And not only that, every single source I'd read said that the story was excellent as well.
It didn't disappoint. I'd been saving this for a rainy day, but when Char reviewed a Gunslinger graphic illustrated by Jae Lee, I was reminded why he was such a shining star in the graphic novel world. HIs illustrations are painterly, emotive, and just stunning. So, yeah, I really wanted to see what he would do with one of my favorite franchises. Despite reading all about this, I either didn't know, or forgot, that one of my very favorites - Grimlock - was in this. And he plays a rather significant role, which is saying something: much of the Transformers mythos is, sadly, not about Grimlock. He starred in a couple episodes of Animated, was in some G1 - but not as much as I'd have liked, and has a starring role in Robots in Disguise, the new TV show. He also has some clout in the IDW universe, as well as starring in the Transformers Beast Hunters comic tie-in to Transformers Prime. But really, not much overall. Even in IDW, he's mostly coming in for an issue or two, then leaves. Maximum Dinobots, the miniseries about the Dynobots, was one of his larger roles there, so I didn't really expect him in this. (Some of the G1 comics feature him and the Dinobots heavily, but again, not as many as I'd like and I find them inferior to IDW.) It was a pleasant surprise.
Grimlock is also in character:
He talks like Grimlock and he acts like Grimlock - for the most part. He's a little more friendly with the meat than I'd like, but my favorite Grimlock is IDW: he's mean, and he only cares about the Dynobots. (And once they go into actual dinosaur mode, they do call themselves the Dinobots, but I like Dynobots: it makes them feel less... meaty.) He's dumb, but smart enough that readers question whether or not he's just playing dumb so when people underestimate him, he can crush them. He's quick to anger and brutally ruthless - which is why the other Dynobots turn on him at one point. And I never found another Grimlock I found hotter. (Which worries me on some level, but... there you go! I also realize I like fictional bots that I would be... wary about in real life, so I'm allowing myself some fantasy wiggle room.)
Not only that, but if you look at Robots in Disguise, there are some continuities where Grimlock is more meat-friendly. G1 Grimlock got fairly close with Spike's son Daniel. And we're talking about fellow warriors here, so if anything, Grimlock would have respect for them. When they lead him to some Decepticons to smash, well, how can he not like them?
Proof that the Joes know what Grim wants.
Well, it didn't quite happen that way - but I wouldn't point that out to Grimlock if it keeps him thinking of the Joes as friends! Not only that, he listens, he learns, and he uses their logic against them at one point.
To which a Joe says this:
Predictably, the Joes and Autobots create real friendships, ground in the shared desire for peace and the brotherhood of combined experience in war. That binds them together. The Cobras and Decepticons snipe at each other, all while trying to undercut one another's power. Basically: this is all in character, at least for Transformers. I know almost nothing about the Joes continuity. I assume it's all good since such care was taken with the other side, though. The story basically is that Cobra uncovers the Decepticons and the Joes uncover the Autobots. From there, it's waging a world war, trying to incorporate those elements.
And it does it beautifully if you don't mind too much WWII aspect. (Which I don't; I'd prefer it that way. There are some hints like when a Joe hopes that people have been enslaved in Europe. When Optimus Prime becomes suspicious, and narrows his optics and asks 'you hope they've been enslaved?' the Joe answers that the other option is their all dead. There are hints of the horrors, but nothing that's concrete. The closest is Bruticus, a combination of human and Cybertonian technology, arguably a more concrete knock at Nazi science and 'medicine', but alternately simply there for the narrative.)
It's more about wartime and what happens to soldiers, and yes there are limitations in what human technology can do at this time. That seems less important than the bonds that are created, and the anger that is stoked, and the conflicts of peace versus power. It all read like a natural progression to me, as well.
I was happy to see Cobra Commander and Megatron in this battle for power. Anything else would have been a slap to Megatron's face, a misuse of his character. The Commander gains control of the Matrix early on and uses it to browbeat Megatron in submission; when Shockwave defers to Megatron, the Decepticon leader rebukes him, knowing what the Commander could do otherwise. This, I believe, led to Megatron not only allowing the Commander to use Shockwave so brutally - payback for that insubordination, as well as denying the Cobras further use of Shockwave's might - but in him allowing other abuses to regain his own station. Again, an absolute dick move, and just what Megatron would do: he doesn't believe it will hobble him in the fight against the Autobots, and he would absolutely lash out at someone who tried to control him as the Commander did.
Basically, yes a perfect crossover. Jae Lee, I should point out, illustrated this a while ago. While I find all his artwork lush and gorgeous, I prefer his later work. I also feel this is fair to say; his early work is better than what I could do on the best day of my life, but as he evolved, I think he strengthened his art. This is still some of the most lovely Transformers artwork I've seen, and the grittiness fits the period it's set in, too.
Two more comments.
Ravage looks brutally efficient and I love it:
Scarlett rides Bee at some point and noticing the awkwardness asks if anyone's driven before. He's pretty much silent and she's like 'aw, adorable.' Later on he says this:
Primus, there has to be porny fanfiction about this. Please, please, please let there be porny fanfiction about this. This makes it a new ship: Scarlett/Bee. Yes, please, yummy!
On The Book Report:
And The Whippoorwill Sang
by Micki Peluso
I love this heartwarming family tale, ‘And The Whippoorwill Sang by Micki Peluso!’ It is beautifully written and I could not put this book down.
It is about a large family handling the constant changes in their lives as the grow up and the heartbreaking lost of one young daughter. The story is part family struggles; part lost, and part romantic comedy. Think a touch of the TV show The MIDDLE’s Mike and Frankie.
Micki Peluso’s descriptive style as well as her description of emotions and places add charm and meaning to the story. She defines each of her children and family members well. I feel that I really know this family.
When I got this book I was worried about how I would be emotionally while reading it having lost members of my own family. I rarely read non-fiction. But in truth, I was able to fully relate and see parts of my own life that would have been upsetting, now with clarity.
Find Micki Peluso at: http://mallie1025.blogspot.com/
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates:
I love American history: the good, the bad and the total ugly! Now I have found kids are not taught most of it. When my daughter was in high school she never learn, amount many historical facts, who Alexander Hamilton was and the great part he played in starting this nation, ty United States of America. She is now forty so I fear this lack of teaching American history, the Good, the BAD and the truth of both, have not be taught to a few generations.
Barbary States of North African practiced piracy for money. U.S. merchant ships were being boarded and raided by these pirates for personal gain. The young nation was near impoverish do to debts incurred from their war of independence for Great Britain. And up to this point, before the war of Independences, the United States had been under the British flag and British paid the bribes to the Tripoli/Barbary countries.
This history account shows how appeasement does not work. Some enemies only understand strength. This book is a timely account about USA history and how strength is needed to face enemies who hate our freedom and would take it from us. This fact-based history book gives a great overview of a war most Americans don't remember or have not been taught at all. ~JD
A Short Look at Typewriter History. NO, Really! In A NutShell.
Guest Blogger: Carmela Dutra Interview with Lise Chase
REVIEW by Fran Lewis of Janoose and the Fall Feather Fair: J.D. Holiday and Luke Brandon Winski
Janoose picture books are out! The NEW version of JANOOSE THE GOOSE and JANOOSE AND THE FALL FEATHER FAIR. http://jdswritersblog.blogspot.com/2016/11/my-janoose-picture-books-are-out.html
An Interview With Carmela Dutra, an Award Winning Author http://jdswritersblog.blogspot.com/2016/09/an-interview-with-carmela-dutra-is.html
~ Paper Towns, written by John Green
Short Stories: Stories And Imaginings For The Reading Spot by JD Holiday
Larry Elder Quotes
~ Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale
The Book Report: Review of Toby by Hazel Mitchell! http://jdswritersblog.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-book-report-review-of-toby-by-hazel.html
Rescue dogs can be afraid and need time to adjust to their new home and family. Toby is a good example of how a dog can wriggle his way into the heart of a family using their cute personality. I'm impressed by the boy's hard work with Toby before his Dad can decide that maybe Toby isn't the right dog for them.
The boy learns responsibility as he works with Toby and we see his love for the dog, and his compassion that Toby needs to adjust. With the delightful and vivid illustrations, also done by the author, we see the bonding process that goes on between them.
Toby is a cute, engaging story about friendship and love that forms between a child and a dog. This book is well worth the addition to any child's, classroom or library shelf. 5 STARS!