Sunday, June 21, 2015

Murchie Plus Books: June 14th to 20th

The premise: I love my dog. I love books. I bring the two together by asking my long-suffering dog to pose beside every book I read, barring the stuff I get through Marvel Unlimited.

The photos: go live on Instagram as I edit them and appear here in digest form every Sunday.

Not pictured: I binge-read the final five volumes of NEW X-MEN (2004) last Sunday. Younger superheroes fascinate me. Many of these kids are powerful, but they're still learning how to be people. It's all terribly interesting.

Plus, a bunch of them die and/or or lose their powers on account of M-Day, so it also hurts. A lot. I mean, by the end of the series--spoilers coming up, depending on whether you adhere to my own Don't Worry About X-Men Spoilers policy--these kids are so fucking traumatized that they start inventing prophecies about their impending deaths because that's marginally better than dying for some senseless reason.

Ulp. Thank goodness I've read some stuff set after this and know most of them do make it through, even if they're never entirely okay.

I planned to start MESSIAH COMPLEX, an X-Men crossover event that includes the last two issues of NEW X-MEN, last night. Maybe I got to it; maybe I didn't.

A fuzzy grey poodle, Murchie, sits in a small dog bed with fuzzy beige lining. Beside him sits a white Kobo with Ms Marvel Volume One's cover on its screen. It depicts a brown girl from the nose down, one fist clutch before her chest. She wears a pink scarf and a black t-shirt with a lightning bolt on it. Atop the dog bed is a trade paperback copy of Volume Two, featuring the same girl punching a robber as she checks her phone.

Sometimes I'm a big meany who invades the sanctity of Murchie's tertiary dog bed in my quest for cute photos. Sometimes poor lighting and uncooperative dogs foil me.

At least neither of the books fell over and bonked him on the head this time. That's an improvement.

And hey! Here's a superpowered young person who's not horribly depressed! My library won the MS MARVEL, VOLUME TWO round of who-can-get-this-collection-to-me-faster. Sorry, Marvel Unlimited. Maybe next time.

I began with a reread of NO NORMAL (which Marvel kindly included in the Hugo Packet), then dove into GENERATION WHY. Y'all know I laughed my arse off at and geeked the hell out over Kamala's surprise team-up with Wolverine, and you'd better believe I squeed to high heaven over Lockjaw. Lockjaw is my favourite Inhuman. I hope he'll be with Kamala for a long time to come.

Murchie lays on a red tapestry comforter with his paws curled slightly in front of him. His facial hair is in disarray. Slightly behind him is a small, hardcover copy of The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy. Its cover features a drawing of a pale skinned girl in a red superhero costume. She stands with her hands on her hips.

Murchie's beard has gone wild. I sure hope THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY includes pointers for fangirls whose dogs are oh-so-slowly transforming into Cthulhu.

Whether or not it helps me with my dog-cum-Elder-God problem, this book is super cute. It makes me want to rush out and interact with other people who like stuff a whole lot. Some of the references are bound to become dated within the next year or two, but for now it's really cute and relevant and excitement-inducing.

I also appreciate how Sam Maggs includes sources from all across North America, yet uses Canadian terminology. For example, she writes about university campuses instead of college campuses unless she's talking about a community or technical college. It drives me crazy when Canadian writers treat American terminology as the default, or when they focus on the US for nonfiction and set their fiction in Nowheresville, USA because hey, stories are supposed to take place in America.

Nope. America is not the default. We're allowed to use our own terms within our own texts. We're allowed to write about our own history and set our stories within our own country. Any Americans who don't understand what they've read can use Google just the same as every non-American who's ever been confused over American cultural details.

...not that I have strong feelings on the issue or anything.

Murchie lays atop a leg wearing grey sweatpants. A pillow with the Union Flag on it sits behind him. His head tilts slightly to his left.

Um. That got kind of angry, even after I toned it down. Have this book-free picture of Murchie as a peace offering.

It's book-free because I didn't start anything else last week. In fact, both MS MARVEL and THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY date from Friday and Saturday. I spent the rest of my time with NEW X-MEN, as discussed above, and with TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, which I finally finished late on Friday evening.

This one didn't grip me quite as hard as THE GATHERING STORM--it had a lot of Perrin in it, and y'all know I'm back and forth on Perrin--but the last chunk more than made up for it. It was intense, even though it went pretty well how I predicted it would when I first read the series' fourth and fifth volumes just shy of two decades ago. Sometimes it's mighty satisfying to be right about something, even if you thought it was pretty obvious.

The lengthy wait probably helped.

Also: I got into Norse mythology 'round about the same time as I started the Wheel of Time, and I see what Robert Jordan did there with the the referential paraphernalia and the hands and the eyes. (I hope that's not too spoilerish. People have been very good about not spoiling the series' ending for me, assuming the person who tweeted at me last night was just joking [and damn, do I ever hope he was, because it is so rude to bring spoilers into someone's space ], and I want to extend y'all the same courtesy.) What I'm not sure of is why, beyond the obvious parallels-between-worlds angle. Guess I'll find out when I finally read A MEMORY OF LIGHT.

Which will happen this week. I'm not sure if I'm emotionally ready, y'all. I thought I just wanted to polish off the Wheel of Time and close that chapter of my reading life, but now I'm really aware of how much it meant to me when I was a young person, and how long it's been with me, and... well, it's emotional.

When I began my EYE OF THE WORLD reread a year ago, I figured this was the last time I'd ever revisit the series. It didn't seem to resonate with me anymore, so I'd learn how it ended and move on. The overall experience was certainly uneven--I loved the hell out of some of the books and found others a total slogfest--but it turns out it is, indeed, something I want to come back to in the future. I'll leave it for a fair few years, of course, but I look forward to seeing how the whole thing reads once I know how it ends.

A comics panel featuring a brown girl in a blue, red, and gold superhero costume. She hugs an enormous bulldog with a tuning fork on his forehead. The dog's neck bears a sign that reads, 'Hello my name is Lockjaw I like hugs.' The girl's caption reads, 'Who's a good doggie? Who's a good bizarro doggie?'

Let's close this weekly recap with Lockjaw, just because we can. Team Lockjaw For Life. I would hug him and hug him and hug him if he ever showed up in my neighborhood.

(And I've gotta wonder who made the sign around his neck. I like to hope Medusa decided to do it, but I figure she probably got Luna to handle the execution.)

Next week: A MEMORY OF LIGHT, for sure. Probably a new audiobook, too, as I've almost finished FOOL'S ASSASSIN. Possibly some new manga, since I tapped out of OURAN HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB after Volume Two. Maybe even some photographable western comics alongside my Marvel Unlimited fare.


  1. Lockjaw is so cute and I really liked the fangirl scenes with Wolverine. (I'll probably want a few selfies with him too in real life.) ;-) I hope your library is ordering volume 3.

  2. Ms. Marvel Vol 2 - Generation Why is a wonderful read. I had a lot of fun while reading it, and I surely recommend it to everyone. As you said, the pairing with wolverine was awesome, and Lockjaw... well... how can someone not love him?

    1. Exactly! I can't imagine a world where someone could meet Lockjaw and dislike him. He's the best.

      (Although I guess he could be pretty scary for anyone with a dog phobia.)

  3. It drives me crazy when Canadian--or any non-US--authors do that, too! I'm like TEACH ME YOUR WAYS, don't talk down to me!

    1. Right! It's insulting to Americans, since it assumes y'all have no critical thinking skills and aren't willing to look outside yourselves. I'm pretty sure that's not an accurate summation of the American mindset, no matter what stereotypes may tell us.

    2. Popularly evidenced by our sudden interest in the World Cup!