Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Marked in Ink

This is a review of Marked in Ink by Megan Massacre.
I gave this book ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ 3 stars, I liked it.

Megan Massacre is a tattoo artist on NY Ink & America's Worst Tattoos.  If, like me, you are unfamiliar with those shows, NY Ink is a competition show to find the best tattoo artist and America's Worst Tattoos is a show where good artists cover up bad tattoos.  Megan Massacre has a very popular style of tattoos and has used her style to create this coloring book in hopes that both tattoo artists and tattoo fans will enjoy it.

Marked in Ink is full of delightful coloring pages done in various tattoo styles. There are all kinds of designs from sugar skulls, to animals, to geometric designs.  The designs have more lines than a tattoo generally would, this is to give you more to color when you are using this book.  There are some really cool pages in here.  There is a filigree bat that is pretty awesome, a heart made of waves, and some really detailed dream catchers that I just love!

There are a few things that bother me about this book though.  There are only two pages with text on the design.  One of them is a knife stabbing a heart with the text "Shot through the heart" which makes no sense with a knife in the image.  The other one is a ship being destroyed by a kraken with the words "lost my way" on it.  Again, the text doesn't fit with the image very well.  You can really tell that Megan Massacre really likes sugar skulls and day of the dead designs as there are more of those than anything else.

Some of the designs here are really amazing, others are less so.  As a coloring book they look like great fun to color, as tattoos there are very few I would want to have on my skin permanently.  That is definitely a benefit to having this coloring book!  All the fun of cool tattoos with none of the permanence of a tattoo.  Overall it was a decent coloring book.  It doesn't wow me but it isn't bad either.  If you like sugar skulls and day of the dead designs you will probably like this one a lot!

I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Cook Korean!

This is a review of Cook Korean! by Robin Ha.
I gave this book ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5 stars, I loved it.

Cook Korean! is a comic book with recipes.  It says it right on the cover and that is exactly what it is.  Ha drew beautiful comics throughout the entire book.  There are comics that show you how to prepare and cook amazing Korean food, there are comics explaining the historic and cultural significance of the food and other items draw in this book.  It is beautifully drawn and easy to follow.

This cook book is broken down into chapters for kimchi, vegetable side dishes, meat, seafood, soup, porridges, noodles, snacks, drinks & Korean fusion food.  You can start at the beginning or jump around to the recipes that interest you most. 

The introduction chapter gives you a quick rundown of the most common staples in a Korean pantry, the Korean table, the way to cook rice and a breakdown of Korea by region and most common foods.  It is very informative and accompanied by great visuals. 

Each recipe is chapter starts with a quick information page that explains what the foods in the chapter are, when they are eaten, how they are prepared and how to do it in America.  Each recipe has the English name of the food and the Korean name.  Each recipe has a clearly marked ingredient list as well as stating how long the prep takes, how the long the cooking takes and how many people the recipe will serve.  Each step of the instructions is accompanied by an illustration to show how to do something or what it should look like.

I have always been a little intimidated by Korean food.  It looks like it is complicated or takes a long time to prepare.  This cook book breaks down that illusion and shows you how simple it is.  Some things do take a long time to prepare but it appears that a lot of the prep time is actually marinading time where you don't have to do a lot.  I am really excited to give these recipes a try!  First though, I have to make a trip to the Asian grocery store for some Korean food essentials!

I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Gods Lie

This is a review of The Gods Lie by Kaori Ozaki.
I gave this book ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 4 stars, I liked it a lot.

 Natsuru Nanao is a 6th grader who lives alone with his mom and just moved to a new town.  His dad passed away when he was little and it is just the two of them.  Natsuru is a good soccer player but he doesn't like his new coach.  He skips his summer soccer camp without telling his mom and spends time with one of his classmates instead.

Her life is very different from his.  She is very responsible.  She does all of the housework and shopping for her household and takes care of her younger brother.  Natsuru enjoys staying with them and fits into their family really well.  There is a terrible secret in her house that could destroy everything, plus his mom doesn't know where he is and the soccer coach called her to ask about refunding the camp fee.  Everything is about to come crashing down on them and reality has an ugly face.

I really enjoyed this book.  The characters are multifaceted and endearing.  The art is wonderful and really moves the story along.  I highly recommend it.  It is really bittersweet and moving.  You should definitely check it out!

Pop Manga Coloring Book

This is a review of Pop Manga Coloring Book by Camilla d'Errico.
I gave this book ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5 stars, I loved it.

Camilla d'Errico is a widely acclaimed illustrator who has worked with Dark Horse, Sanrio, Disney, Hasbro & Neil Gaiman.  She has been nominated for several awards.  Her most well known works are her "Rainbow Children" oil paintings with huge eyes and melting rainbows. 

Pop Manga Coloring Book is an adult coloring book unlike any other I have seen.  It is full of gorgeous art that blends cute, creepy, surreal and beautiful all together.  Some pages you have adorable children with creepy monsters, others you have cuddly animals with sad, unsmiling kids.  Each page in this book is amazing.  There are so many little details in each illustration that you could sit and look at each one for ages before remembering that you are trying to color the page.  Many of the pages are done in a sketchy, pencil feeling style.  I love it!  It adds to the surreal feeling of the art and reminds me that this is an unfinished project waiting for me to add the final touches.  The pencil sketch feel adds a soft, home made quality that other coloring books lack, it doesn't feel mechanical or mass produced at all.

Camilla d'Errico has cute little mascots that accompany her work.  The mascot for this book is Ayako.  Ayako pops up periodically to tell you about a piece of art or to remind you that you can color outside the lines.  Pull of the slip cover and look both the cover of the book and the underside of the slip cover.

I love this coloring book.  It has an amazing blend of feelings in it.  It isn't just candy sweet art or super creepy.  It blends them together in a a unique way that comes out gorgeous.  I honestly can't wait to drag out my colored pencils and start coloring!  The only downside I see is choosing which page to color first!

I got this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.