Paper Garden Presents Hack/ Slash Omnibus


Title: Hack/Slash Omnibus
Author: Tim Seeley, Dave Crosland, Stefano Caselli
Publisher: Devil’s Due Publishing
Year: 2008
Number of pages: 300 pages
Type: Paperback
Genre: graphic novel, horror, humour, fantasy, adult, urban fantasy

Summary:
At the end of every horror movie, one girl always survives… in this case, Cassie Hack not only survives, she turns the tables by hunting and destroying the horrible slashers that would do harm to the innocent Alongside the gentle giant known as Vlad, the two cut a bloody path through those who deserve to be put down… hard

Review:
Firstly, Hack/Slash isn’t porn. I know the cover is misleading, as even I was a little hesitant to pick it up because of the way the heroine (Cassie Hack) was posed and what she was wearing. Mind you there is a severed clown head right beside her, so you would have to be in some pretty kinky stuff.

Anywho, back to business!

Hack/Slash is all about horror, but I don’t mean the computer generated monsters and ghost of this day and age. I mean, the corny, campy horror that involved plenty of make up and rubber. Cassie and her companion Vlad hunt down and massacre, usually with the help of a baseball bat that has nails sticking out of it, serial killers who rise up from the dead. They fight all the classics, including Chuckie the psychotic doll.

Basically, if you don’t like blood and gore, you are not going to like this one. If you can’t stomach the following photo, find yourself another graphic novel because this is nothing:

Oh, did I mention that Cassie is a freaking badass! She is tough, sarcastic, and will do anything for Vlad, who would do the same for her. He is also very cool being big, green, and Hulk-like minus the invincibility. I liked Cassie. She came from a screwed up family, including a serial killer for a mother, and had some serious issues, as one does when you spend your life travelling across the country, hunting, and killing undead serial killers. She also isn’t a typical heroine, in which I mean she isn’t an “independent” woman that needs some hot guy to swoop in to save them at the last minute and then they fall in love. God am I sick of those stories. Cassie has a sort of crush on this one guy, but that lasts a single issue. The only person who saves her is Vlad, and he is not getting anywhere near her pants unless he is doing the laundry.

She is sort of a mix between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Tank Girl.

Oh, remember when I said that this isn’t porn? It still isn’t, but there is some nudity… okay A LOT of nudity, but come now, with HBO and the Internet, you should all be used to some boob flashing… and lesbian make out scenes. Whatever.

Hack/Slash is funny, but in a cheesy, God-the-80s-called-and-they-want-their-material-back kind of way. I loved it just as much as I love horror and John Hughes movies.

Oh! I forgot to mention one little thing that I found a little annoying at the beginning, but then got used to it. The omnibus contains a bunch of stories, not all of which are drawn in the same way (there is one drawn like an Archie comic), and there are also little previews of stories that are really cool, but at the time I didn’t think they were going to be written. Luckily for me, they appeared in later omnibuses. Yay!

So, this may not be for everyone, but I loved it and I will keep reading it. Some people I know didn’t like it because they thought that it was too bloody or too much sexual content, but I found this series addictive and hilarious.

I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!

Michelle

Michelle’s Paper Garden Presents Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile


Title: Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile
Author: Bill Willingham
Illustrator:Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, Craig Hamilton, James Jean
Publisher: Vertigo
Year: 2002
Type: Paperback
Number of Pages: 128 pages
Genre: Graphic novel, fantasy, fairy tales, urban fantasy, mystery, folklore

Summary:
When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown. But when Snow White’s party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Fabletown’s sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf (Bigby Wolf), to determine if the killer is Bluebeard, Rose’s ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.

[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21326.Fables_Vol_1]

Review:
I love fairy tales and mythology. If I could spend all of my time studying and reading mystical magical stories of heroes and monsters, I would be the happiest person in the world. For this and many other reasons, I fell completely in love with Fables. The idea of taking my favourite storybook characters and tossing them into a modern setting was exciting and new (well at least it was when I first read Fables). The characters had to adapt to living in the modern human world, and those who couldn’t were sent to the Farm which is basically made up of talking animals.

I liked Bigby (the humanized Big Bad Wolf turned detective) because he reminded me of those hard drinking, short-tempered detectives from all those old movies my dad used to make me watch. I like that style, so I thought he was cool and the ridiculous lines he has fit that style. His backstory is pretty interesting and the y later explain why he can blow houses down with his breath. The jokes were a little lame, but I like cheesy stuff so I giggled and moved on. Snow White was not what I expected. I figured she would be the annoying, high-pitched damsel from the Disney movie, and instead I got a hardass ice queen. Oh and Prince Charming is a dick, but that’s to be expected seeing as he has married virtually all of the princesses in Fabletown.

The cover art is beautiful! The art beyond that is pretty good, but of a different style.

The actual story is okay and the murder is meh, but I liked the book anyway, mostly because I kept fan girling over characters.

Okay, the only problem I had with this series is that by the fourth volume I had already figured out who the Adversary was. I am not gonna spoil anything for you, but it’s a little obvious.

I give it a 4/5

Nostalgic Tales: Shiver

Title: Shiver
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Type of Book: Paperback
Genre: romance, urban fantasy, young-adult, Paranormal–>werewolves

Ahhh this book, wow let’s start. When thinking back on this particular story I actually do have a black in my file cabinet, its folder is filled with tattered paper work. Nevertheless I manage to gather some details.

Our main cast Sam and Grace a pair of lost souls each pinning for the other, or at least Grace doesn’t know she is pinning for Sam, because they’ve met long before when Grace was attacked by wolves as a child, who were tearing at her but for some reasons she remembered the one wolf who was watching by…the one with the yellow eyes. Since then a major obsession was created, so much so that it was ruining her social life.

*sigh* poor girl, they can never keep obsession and reality separate. Anyways, I would assume such an event would make one lead a very stressful life, maybe with a flinching after bite, but not Grace. Full on: I love you we’re meant to be! Especially when she figured out he had human parts under all that fur.

Another interesting fact, remember that number one rule where all werewolves transform with the moon or even sometimes they can do it at will, well this time it’s all about the cold. Poor pups gotta get all hairy when mother-winter comes along.

The whole story itself is OK, Grace doesn’t have anything going for her. Her parents are too obsorb in themselves to really notice her, her friends…I’m still not sure is they’re really friends, are drifting away. As soon as Grace meets Sam he becomes her whole world, so much that she goes into mass depression/panic-mode at the mere thought of losing him. Sam himself is very passive himself just because you never really know how he really feels and Grace tries really hard to make him feel sometimes it’s a little too much.

Did I mention that he even rejects having sex with her because “he wants to do it right?” yet, he has no qualms with sharing a bed with her and living in her home without the consent of her parents… so many tilting-head motions happen with this guy.

There is some drama in this story, a rogue werewolf who wasn’t supposed to be one and an old flame-but not really-although she claims she is.

Redeeming qualities for this author is the way she write I did like very much and the way she describes the COLD made me feel I was never going to see spring and summer. So if you decide to dive into this, it’s slow pace, characters are rather dull with their own angst issue and it may take you a long long time before finishing it. So good luck on reaching the end…p.s. there’s a sequel but I rather stay away from that. The ending of the first book is conclusive so why add more?

Grading: 3/5

Meli<3

Michelle’s Paper Garden: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Title: Neverwhere

Author: Neil Gaiman

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Year: 2003

Type: Paperback

Number of Pages: 370

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Horror, Fantasy, Adventure, Contemporary

Summary: When Richard Mayhew stops one day to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London pavement, his life is forever altered, for he finds himself propelled into an alternative reality that exists in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.

[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14497.Neverwhere]

Review:

Slight rant before beginning: that is a ridiculously short summary. The Time Machine had a longer summary than that and the book is half the size of Neverwhere. Hmph.

This is one of my favourite books. Thank you, that is my review.

I’m just kidding! Okay so this book is weird. Basically, there is a whole hidden world under our world and each station of London’s Underground is something different. How cool is that?

The main character, Richard, is a little annoying because he doesn’t really do much, but there is an array of better characters in the book like Lady Door who can magically open doors anywhere and the Marquis de Carabas who is my favourite character. Lady Door is clever and a strong female lead. Thank you for the strong female lead. I am so sick of reading about damsels in distress. Give me a girl who can hold her own. Marquis is odd and a little two-faced. The only reason he even helps Door is because she will have to owe him a favour. The villains of Neverwhere were creepy and twisted and gave me the heebie-jeebies. They love blood and torture. They are a pair of sick cookies and they will stop at nothing to kill Door. I loved them, especially after reading American Gods where the villains were less than scary. (That is a review for another time)

As for the story, you have to go in knowing that it is going to be weird. Think world of Alice in Wonderland or Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and with about the same level of randomness. Question nothing and all will be well, though the world building is very impressive; it almost seems plausible if magic was a real thing and all. Anyway, the world and the eccentric characters fascinated me and the story kept me hooked.

Oh a word of caution: Stay away from the graphic novel and the miniseries.

5/5

Like I said, this is one of my favourite books. Neil Gaiman is godly and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you will find true happiness.