Hoop Crazy!

I bought a REAL hula hoop a while ago, and have been busy learning tricks and how to hoopdance.  It has been an amazing adventure and wonderful discovery... I have lost weight and gained confidence.  I feel beautiful and at ease with my body and the way I can move... it is much like meditating for me.  I can go outside with my music and my hoop and be one. 
write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us (v. 2)The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye (v. 1)
The Walking Dead is a graphic novel series written by Robert Kirkman.  It is an apocalyptic series- dealing with zombies and the end of the world.  It is also an amazing social commentary.  As of now, there are 13 books in the series, each following the main character Rick that we meet in book 1 when he awakes from a coma to find the world ruled by zombies.  I know that to a lot of people zombies seem silly and stupid- but this series has been raved about for years (since 2006).  Joe & I decided to pick it up and give it a try at the recommendation of pretty much everyone who has read graphic novels.  So far, we have purchased volumes 1 & 2.  We plan on getting the rest as time goes on, but they are an investment at $10+ a piece.  So far after reading both volumes, I am hooked.  It is a black & white comic series, with crazy good art.  Tony Moore is well known for his art... and I must say that this series in NOT for the weak stomached or faint of heart.  If you like horror, this is for you.  If you're squeamish, well.... not so much.  The books aren't necessarily scary- but the images are quite graphic.  Zombies are pretty nasty.  If you can look past the sometimes frightening images, you will see an amazing social commentary developing.  So far I have meet quite the cast of characters, and they are all going through the same situation... but the greatest part of this book (as well as the reality of society) is that each person responds to said situation differently.  Emotionally, physically and socially they all act different- just like society would as a whole if something like crazy-end-of-the-world-mass-destruction happened.  I also enjoy the book simply because of the subject matter.  No, not the zombies (I am actually a zombie-movie-hater... so Im surprised I like the series) but the government involvement / conspiracy theory / end of the world / social norms themes. I have always been a conspiracy theory type person, and fully believe in being prepared for what may come... but I won't get into my theories here.  If you want to talk about that, message me.  But alas, I digress.  The series is entertaining so far, and Im already chomping at the bit to go back and buy volume 3.  I totally feel like a kid again... I can remember when Stephen King's The Green Mile came out as a SERIES and in 6 separate books and you had to wait for the next one to come out... this was back in '96 when I was 11 and reading Stephen King (yeah- wow.) and saving my allowance to get the books as they came out every month and a half.  This series is like that for me now... (not a common thread through the series, just the feeling of saving to get the next book in the series).
Since I stumbled upon The Walking Dead a little late, I didn't realize until now that they are going to make a mini-series or something for AMC in October of this year.  I think that could be cool... but who knows- many things turned to the big screen fail.  The video below is a bit of info about the AMC project.  I hope that even though this genre may not be your cup of tea, you check it out... at least for the sake of venturing into the graphic novel section at your local bookstore.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Marvel Illustrated- Pride & Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice (Graphic Novel)
The other day while Joe & I were out and about, we stopped into a comic book store.  Not my scene (or so I thought) but Joe loved comics when he was a kid.  As an adult, both of us have read a few graphic novels.  Joe has been more intrigued than I have, but I still enjoyed the few marketed towards adults that I read.  My experience with graphic novels were based more on what my students would read or those that I could use to supplement a lesson.  I also recognized that many graphic novels were geared more towards men and boys- there is a lot of killing, fighting, classic comic heroes, and busty sexy women.  Now, I have nothing against these types of stories- in fact I like many of them.  However, it does not subscribe to the majority of women.  When we walked into the store, I was amazed at how many comics there are!  Then, my eyes were drawn to the graphic novel section... I picked up a few and perused while Joe wandered around.  Unsatisfied with the male-dominate graphic novels, I wandered into the "new comics" area.  To  my surprise, I see Sense & Sensibility sitting on the shelf.  Thrilled!  Floored!  I asked the owner if he had the first volume- they didn't.  They had volume 2 of 5.  Disappointment.  Ahhh, but then the owners girlfriend pipped up- "Hey, did you know that Marvel did Pride & Prejudice first?".  Excited again.. I asked if they had it.  Nope.  Well, at least I knew they were out there.  Joe bought a graphic novel about zombies (a series of 13+ graphic novels called The Walking Dead.. which is actually quite good so far! Another post on that later).  At the comic store, they didn't have volume one of Joe's graphic novel either.. I guess this is standard fair at comic stores- you do a lot of ordering to get it in for your customer.  We ventured to B&N on the off chance that the ever-expanding graphic novel section might hold volume 1 of Walking Dead and/or Pride & Prejudice.  Annnddd... they had both!  They also had a section of Stephen King novels that were turned into adapted graphic novels.  Joe got Walking Dead volume 1 and volume 2 and The Dark Tower: Gunslinger Born (book 1 in The Dark Tower Series).  I was able to find Pride & Prejudice.  I was super excited to get it home to read... the girl at the comic book store said she was a huge Jane Austen fan and that this Marvel adaptation was phenomenally.
The anticipation grew as we drove home because the book was wrapped in plastic.  Once home, I tore into it.  I read it cover to cover and was in the Austen zone the entire time.  Nancy Butler did the adaptation- and thankfully so.  A romance novel writer and a lover of Jane Austen, she made this graphic novel true to the story.  Think SparkNotes meets art gallery.  The novel was extremely true to Austen's novel, with the same language as well.  The artwork was stunning- beautiful bold colors and sharp images that really bring the characters to life.  I have never been so annoyed with Mrs Bennet than I was after watching her face twist and turn with the words she said in the frames of this graphic novel.  The Bennet girls are stunning- Lizzy is a beautiful creature brought to life.  Darcy is pretty sexy too.  The novel hits on all the major events and cohesively brings together a shortened classic.  In the back of the novel, the 5 original Marvel comic edition covers are displayed in their intended beauty.  Since this was originally a comic distributed in 5 installments, I see now that Sense & Sensibility will be the same.  In a few months we should we able to get it as a bound graphic novel. 
I have to admit that I was amazed at this discovery.  I was unaware that Marvel was now turning its attention towards classics, as well as a female reading audience.  In the line of Marvel Illustrated, you can find The Iliad, The Man in the Iron Mask, Treasure Island and The Odyssey, among many others.  Published in Fall of '09 as a bound graphic novel, Pride & Prejudice is *hopefully* just the beginning.
write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow