Everything is The Worst. [PINNED POST]

August 17th, 2017 4:06 pm by Kelly Garbato

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tweets for 2018-02-18

February 19th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-02-17

February 18th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-02-16

February 17th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-02-15

February 16th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @AriBerman: 33,000 gun deaths a year: let's make it easier to buy guns!
    31 cases of voter impersonation since 2000… ->
  • RT @summerbrennan: just so we're clear, a MAGA hat is the klan hood of the 21st century ->
  • RT @SelineSigil9: This copy of Alice in Wonderland was posted on Reddit, due to water damage it's grown spores and has actual mushrooms gro… ->
  • RT @dog_rates: This is Jacob. In June of 2016, he comforted those affected by the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Four months ago he f… ->
  • @AmbetterMO You guys really shouldn't send out the rewards cards before your system is equipped to handle them. I'v… https://t.co/rG4St1eIg9 ->
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tweets for 2018-02-14

February 15th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: Bingo Love by Tee Franklin & Jenn St-Onge (2018)

February 14th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Pretty much the perfect Valentine’s Day read!

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I receive a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss.)

Hazel and Mari met at a church bingo game in 1963. The girls became fast friends and, four years later, their friendship blossomed into something more. Before they’d had a chance to exchange even a handful of kisses, though, their secret was discovered, and the girls were forcibly separated by their families. Mari was sent to live down South, and both girls were forced to marry men chosen for them by their relatives.

Forty-eight years, eight children, and many grandchildren later, another chance meeting reunites the star-crossed lovers, giving each of them a second shot at happiness.

Bingo Love is such an achingly sweet and beautiful story, and I kind of love that its major imprint release is on Valentine’s Day. It made me laugh and cry – sometimes at the same time – and I’m not ashamed to say that the ending had me ugly crying onto my cat. The conclusion loops back into the beginning in a way that’s pure magic. (I actually had an a-hah! lightbulb moment when I realized what Franklin had done.)

The art is fantastically gorgeous, too: the colors, the outfits, the different styles of the times. Hazel and Mari are both fabulous AF: Hazel, with her oversized Iris Apfel glasses; Mari, with that bitchin’, DGAF white streak in her hair. This book oozes style, and it’s only fitting that Hazel takes the fashion world by storm for her second act.

Really my only complaint is that the dialogue sometimes feels stilted; unnatural, even … but don’t let this stop you from falling in love with the world Franklin and St-Onge built here. Bingo Love is a story that’s positively brimming with heart. Not to mention compassion and diversity. More, please.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2018-02-13

February 14th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: Pestilence, Volume 1 by Frank Tieri and Oleg Okunev (2018)

February 13th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

I’d almost rather have a zombie chew my nose off than read this again.

one out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for rape and misogyny. This review contains spoilers.)

DNF at 75%.

The year is 1347, and the Black Death is sweeping through Eurasia. Sent to dispatch a rogue crusader in a distant kingdom, a regimen of the Church’s army known as the Fiat Lux is summoned to the Vatican to rescue the Pope. Instead they are unwittingly drawn into a vast conspiracy involving zombies, religious dogma, and Jesus and Lucifer.

On the surface, Pestilence is a pretty cool idea: what if the Black Plague was actually a zombie outbreak? The plot line is surprisingly boring, though, and I only really cared about one character, who’s killed off just as he becomes interesting.

Worse still is the dialogue. If I had a dollar for every time “cocksucker” or “cunt” makes an appearance, I could buy an entire case of Daiya cheese. (At the 5% case discount, yes, but still: that shit is expensive!) I don’t have a problem with swearing, but here it’s pathetically overdone, as if it was written by a couple of ten-year-old boys who just discovered the f-word. There’s also some pretty gratuitous female nudity [side eye], as well as a full-page pillage-and-rape panel that’s both wholly unnecessary and obnoxiously insensitive [lighting this book on fire].

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tweets for 2018-02-12

February 13th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-02-11

February 12th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @paul_haine: Missed my train because I had to stop for ten minutes to talk to this dog https://t.co/E8kchjb5rK ->
  • RT @morningmoneyben: So our friends lost their sweet setter Pete today. He and some other dogs surprised a black bear while on a hike. Pete… ->
  • RT @BuzzFeedNews: The state of New York is suing Harvey Weinstein, his brother, and the Weinstein Company for failing to protect female emp… ->
  • RT @pdxlawgrrrl: 1. On February 9, 2017 a Portland police officer shot & killed 17-year-old Quanice Hayes. After Quanice was killed cops fo… ->
  • 3 of 5 stars to 30 Days of Night, Vol. 2 by Steve Niles https://t.co/wZxAm55Hnn ->
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tweets for 2018-02-10

February 11th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-02-09

February 10th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: Incognegro: A Graphic Mystery (New Edition) by Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece (2017)

February 9th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

“Assimilation as Revolution.”

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss. Trigger warning for racist violence, including depictions of lynchings.)

Zane Pinchback is a real-life superhero. But instead of a cape and leotard, he wears a suit and carries a hot comb and notebook. A light-skinned black man, Zane is an investigative journalist whose alter ego “Incognegro” pens a regular column at the New Holland Herald. Able to pass as white, Zane bears witness to crimes against African-Americans, including the wave of lynchings that swept the south after the Civil War.

Tired of toiling away in obscurity, Zane is ready to retire Incognegro for good. That is, until his editor assigns him a case that he cannot walk away from. A white woman – a prostitute with gang connections – was found dead and dismembered in Tupelo, Mississippi. A sheriff’s deputy has gone missing. And an angry mob is ready to pin it all on her boyfriend/partner, Alfonso – a man Zane knows well. It’s up to Incognegro to figure out who really killed Michaela Mathers … before another innocent man’s life is violently ended.

Loosely inspired by the life of Walter Francis White, who worked for the NAACP as an investigator and went on to lead the organization for 24 years,Incognegro is a must read. The artwork is brilliant; the murder mystery, compelling; and the historical fiction aspect of the book, both educational and heartrending. I found the blend of fact and fiction quite masterful; the whodunit plot line distracts a little from the horrors of racist violence, making those scenes a little easier to process. (“Distract” doesn’t quite feel like the right word – since the different threads of the story are so intimately linked – but it’s the best I can do.)

Though Incognegro is primarily about racism – the social construction of race; white supremacist groups then and now; racist violence at the turn of the century, and how that informs contemporary culture – Mat Johnson also explores gender and sexism. I’ll admit, when Zane patronizingly admonishes his friend Mildred that “darling, this is not really a discussion for a lady,” I bristled. Visibly, I’m sure. While certainly appropriate for the age, I was rather annoyed that Johnson let this sexism stand unchallenged. I was pleasantly surprised, then, to see it called out explicitly in the discussion guide. Better still is the murder mystery’s big reveal, which includes one of my favorite plot twists of all time.

And the closing panels? Pure perfection.

Originally published in 2008, this 10th anniversary edition includes a forward from the author, as well as reading group/discussion guide and sketchbook. Following the book’s re-release is a prequel titled Renaissance. If it’s half as good as the original, I need it like yesterday. I can only hope that this is the start of a regular series.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2018-02-08

February 9th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-02-07

February 8th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-02-06

February 7th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: Comics for Choice: Illustrated Abortion Stories, History and Politics edited by Hazel Newlevant, Whit Taylor, and O.K. Fox (2018)

February 6th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

#shoutyourabortion, now in graphic novel format!

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss.)

In the editor’s note, Hazel Newlevant explains the genesis of Comics for Choice: Illustrated Abortion Stories, History and Politics:

Comics for Choice was sparked by my outrage at the clinic closures and suffocating restrictions on abortion rights in states like Texas. It is not enough for abortion to remain technically legal; it is a moral imperative for abortion care to be accessible to all who need and want it. The right to abortion is the right to bodily autonomy, and to determine one’s own life path. When our 45th president was elected, and the future of abortion rights seemed more uncertain than ever, I couldn’t wait any longer. The very next morning, my co-editors and I set the wheels in motion to create the book you now read.

The result is, sadly, both relevant and timely; in the words of badass old broads everywhere, “I can’t believe I still have to protest this fucking shit.”

The anthology brings together more than sixty contributors – including women (and some trans and nonbinary folks) who have had abortions; women who were born after their mothers chose to terminate a previous pregnancy; reproductive rights advocates; clinic escorts; abortion doulas; and other feminist activists – to share their stories about abortion. Comics for Choice aims to destigmatize abortion, birth control, and family planning (but mostly abortion) by sharing personal stories from those who have undergone the procedure, as well as historical context, scientific information, and (in an especially touching piece by Jennifer Camper and Katie Fricas) a memorial to those murdered by anti-choice terrorists in the United States.

Like many anthologies, collection is somewhat uneven. Unlike most anthologies, the breadth of voices is also the book’s greatest advantage: if nothing else, Comics for Choice underscores the fact that abortion cuts across myriad lines – race, class, politics, sexuality, even gender. One in four women will undergo an abortion at least once in her lifetime; countless others will be forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term due to unequal access. Comics for Choice gives people from divergent backgrounds the chance to share their stories, sometimes pairing artists with regular folks to better convey their experiences. Representation matters, and the editors have taken care to make this mantra the backbone of Comics for Choice.

As for my favorites, one piece that stands out – and will probably haunt my dreams throughout the Trump presidency – would have to be “Horror Stories” (as in “Do It Yourself Abortion Horror Stories”) by Jennifer Camper. Simple yet horrifyingly effective, the one-page comic portrays fourteen methods of DIY abortion with stark and chilling brevity. Dr. Cynthia Greenlee and Jaz Malone’s portrait of Dorothy Brown, Tennessee’s fist black woman legislator (“They Called Her Dr. D”), follows “Horror Stories” and provides a nice, fist-pumping counterpoint.

Mick Moran shares her experiences as an abortion doula in “Bearing Witness,” which had me convinced that abortion doulas must make the best, most empathetic friends ever. The last comic, Vreni’s “Nothing Feels Real (an abortion diary)” is also one of the most powerful contributions, offering an intimate look at funding, undergoing, and recovering from a surgical abortion.

Perhaps the most surprising piece, for me, was “Abortion Trials.” Based on transcripts of abortion trials from the post-WWII era, Rickie Solinger and Rachael Morrill explore how women were routinely slut-shamed and demonized – “thoroughly degraded and humiliated” – often for public entertainment, and when they were not necessarily the ones on trial. In many cases, it was their doctor’s own defense attorney dishing out the abuse.

Comics for Choice isn’t always an easy read, but it’s a necessary one – and a much-needed addition to the swell of women’s voices that continues to rise into 2017 and beyond.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2018-02-05

February 6th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-02-04

February 5th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-02-03

February 4th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato