WFTM Podcast Episode 24.1: Black Cats & More Star Wars

We’re nearly back to our originally scheduled programming! Leslie returns to talk books and comics with Fernando. This week we talked about the future of JK Rowling’s writing, getting gift advise from the Random Penguin folk, the French comic Blacksad starring a man-sized black cat and Star Wars: Dark Disciple (because from here until the end of the year, every episode must include a reference to Star Wars).

Download it from the iTunes store here!

We’re now on Stitcher as well!! If Stitcher is your chosen app of podcasting choice, listen to the Working for the Mandroid podcast here

So what’s in Episode 24.1?

Where we just talk about books and comics!

News:

JK Rowling Talks the Future of Her Writing Career

Penguin Random House Hotline Will Help You Find the Perfect Christmas Gifts

What We’re Reading:

Blacksad by Juan Diaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido

Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden

What We’re Reading This Week:

Fernando: Planning to read Wolverine: Old Man Logan by Mark Millar & Steve McNiven

Leslie: Finishing up The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson and Alias by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Gaydos

Follow us on Twitter @WorkforMandroid and @fernborrego

Email your questions, concerns, thoughts and comments to WorkingfortheMandroid@gmail.com


Intro & Outro Music is “Robot Army” by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, provided via freemusicarchive.org through a Creative Commons License

WFTM Episode 21.1: Terrible People Doing Terrible Things

This week Leslie and Fernando discuss Scott McCloud’s expansive graphic novel The Sculptor before Leslie goes into a rant about thrillers about terrible people doing terrible things so readers can get enjoyment from schadenfreude. For news, we have book cover reveals, open submission period over at Angry Robot (if you have a scifi, fantasy or WTF novel collecting dust), and new Tolkien papers.

Download it from the iTunes store here!

We’re now on Stitcher as well!! If Stitcher is your chosen app of podcasting choice, listen to the Working for the Mandroid podcast here

So what’s in Episode 21.1?

Where we just talk about books and comics!

News:

Angry Robot Preparing for Open Door submission period - Dec 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016

New novella collection of Newsflesh stories by Mira Grant

risenewsfleshcollection.jpg
thelaststar.jpg

Map of Middle Earth annotated by JRR Tolkien found

What We’re Reading:

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

What We’re Reading This Week:

Fernando: Looking forward to finishing Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden

Leslie: Finishing up The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and move on to Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and Alias by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Gaydos (for real this time!)

Follow us on Twitter @WorkforMandroid and @fernborrego

Email your questions, concerns, thoughts and comments to WorkingfortheMandroid@gmail.com


Intro & Outro Music is “Robot Army” by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, provided via freemusicarchive.org through a Creative Commons License

 

WFTM Episode 19.1: Don't Trust a Roomba

Fernando and Leslie talk about some comic book news before delving back into Robot Uprisings and figuring out whether Beautiful Darkness is a book safe for children. Spoiler alert – it really, really is not.

Download it from the iTunes store here!

We’re now on Stitcher as well!! If Stitcher is your chosen app of podcasting choice, listen to the Working for the Mandroid podcast here

So what’s in Episode 19.1?

Where we just talk about books and comics!

News:

Superman Has a New Identity

Howard the Duck & Squirrel Girl Are Getting a Comic Crossover

Captain Marvel Is Getting Her Own YA Prose Novel

What We’re Reading:

Robot Uprising edited by Daniel H Wilson

·       Executable by Hugh Howey

·       The Omnibot Incident by Ernest Cline

·       Epoch by Cory Doctorow

·       Human Intelligence by Jeff Abbott

·       The Golden Hour by Julianna Baggott

·       Sleepover by Alastair Reynolds

·       Seasoning by Alan Dean Foster

Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët

What We’re Reading This Week:

Fernando: Locke & Key audio play and Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden

Leslie: Uprooted by Naomi Novak and Alias by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Gaydos

Follow us on Twitter @WorkforMandroid and @fernborrego

Email your questions, concerns, thoughts and comments to WorkingfortheMandroid@gmail.com


Intro & Outro Music is “Robot Army” by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, provided via freemusicarchive.org through a Creative Commons License

WFTM Podcast Episode 15: The Television Engine

Leslie and Fernando discuss the start of binge watching Empire and Black-ish, the lackluster summer of movies, what they’re looking forward to this fall on the big and small screens, the third volume of Lazarus, the steampunk werewolf hunters of The Shadow Revolution, and much more.

Download it from the iTunes store here!

We’re now on Stitcher as well!! If Stitcher is your chosen app of podcasting choice, listen to the Working for the Mandroid podcast here

So what’s in Episode 15?

News:

Netflix announced the November 20 as the release date of Jessica Jones and put out a teaser trailer

DARPA released some information about a robotic prosthetic arm that provides sensation and it’s awesome!

Funko announced the Smuggler’s Bounty Star Wars subscription box!

What We’re Watching:

We started binge watching Empire and Black-ish

A look back at the movies we enjoyed this summer and the ones we’re looking forward to this fall

What new and returning shows we’re looking forward to as the fall TV season starts back up next week (and Leslie learns she’s the engine driving most of their television watching)

What We’re Reading:

Lazarus Volume 3: Conclave by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark

We Can Fix It by Jess Fink

Little Robot by Ben Hatke (enter to win a copy here!)

The Shadow Revolution by Clay and Susan Griffith

What We Predict For the Next Week:

Fernando: Still playing a lot of Madden and looking forward to television starting back up again.

Leslie: They’ll finish up Empire and enjoy it. She’ll finish up Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson and it will end in a cliffhanger that will drive her bonkers. Scorch Trials the movie will be in their viewing future.

Author Blog Tour: Little Robot by Ben Hatke

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop of Ben Hatke's blog tour for Little Robot! A million thank yous to First Second and Macmillan for having me on this tour to celebrate this gorgeous and captivating graphic novel/picture book. We love robots here at Working for the Mandroid, so Little Robot was right up our alley. Below you will find my review and hang around to the end to enter to win your very own copy of Little Robot. To see the entire blog tour lineup, check out Macmillan's website here.

Little Robot
Ben Hatke

First Second
I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Released September 1, 2015
Graphic Novel | Children's Book | Robots!

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

When a little girl finds an adorable robot in the woods, she presses a button and accidentally activates him for the first time. Now, she finally has a friend. But the big, bad robots are coming to collect the little guy for nefarious purposes, and it's all up to a five-year-old armed only with a wrench and a fierce loyalty to her mechanical friend to save the day!

#1 New York Times Bestselling author Ben Hatke brings his signature sweetness to a simple, moving story about friendship and overcoming fears that will appeal to readers of all ages

This book, you guys! This book! It broke my heart and pieced it back together again in the 25 minutes it took me to slowly read through it. Then I spent another 20 minutes flipping to my favorite panels to stare at the captivating and colorful illustrations while I got lost in this world of robots and friendship. Little Robot is the epitome of making a picture book for children that is as emotionally impactful and enjoyable for adults.

We follow our protagonist, a little girl who is seemingly isolated through much of the day as she goes on an adventure. She’s very curious, highly imaginative and very smart. She travels through the lands around her house, poking at animals and exploring. She finds a tool belt and a box that’s washed up on the shore of a river. Inside is the most adorable robot ever. Through the course of 134 pages of beautiful illustrations, she and her new robot fan discover the power of friendship, the pain of betrayal and the gratitude of forgiveness and compassion.

All with maybe 30 words and assorted robotic sound effects in total in this book. It’s a stunning piece of art that is perfectly executed and makes me ridiculously giddy to witness. Our protagonist is a little girl of color who can fix and build machines. She is made of compassion and love, and our new little robot friend is the perfect receptacle as she teaches it how to walk, the joy (and fear) of cats, and what it means to be a true friend. I love how smart and capable this nameless girl is, and how awkward and scared she is when it comes to other human children. She overcomes fear to save her friend and her friendship helps create more helpful robots along the way.

Little Robot is an imaginative and colorful adventure. I can’t wait to share this book with my niece and nephew. This would be a great book for someone just on the cusp of learning to read or any child that loves colorful pictures with the imagination to tell themselves a story. Ben Hatke has create something beautiful and fulfilling with Little Robot and I hope every child (and their parents!) gets a chance to experience it.

About the Author

Ben Hatke is the author and illustrator of the New York Times-bestselling Zita the Spacegirl graphic novel trilogy and the picture book Julia's House for Lost Creatures. He lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and their boisterous pack of daughters. When not writing or drawing he jumps around a lot, practices archery, and sometimes breathes fire. Ben posts stories, art, and comics online at BenHatke.com.

Find Ben on: 

Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

 

Sound like something you'd love to? Enter in the Rafflecopter below to enter a copy for yourself! The contest will run until midnight on September 24 and the winner must have a US shipping address. Good luck!


Mr

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on the blog tour for Exquisite Corpse, the newly released English translation of Penelope Begieu's French graphic novel. I'm so happy to be working with First Second books to promote Penelope and this quirky little graphic novel. After my review you can enter to win your own copy of Exquisite Corpse. Also check out the other entire schedule for the blog tour over on First Second's website here.

Exquisite Corpse
Penelope Begieu

First Second
I received a finished copy of this book from the publisher in return for being part of the tour.
Released May 5, 2015
124 pages
Graphic Novel / Modern Fiction

Find it on Goodreads (though the blurb gives away things!)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

Zoe isn't exactly the intellectual type, which is why she doesn't recognize world famous author Thomas Rocher when she sumbles into his apartment... and into his life.

Zoe doesn't know Balzac from Batman, but she's going to have to wise up fast because Rocher has a terrible secret and now Zoe is sitting on the literary scandal of the century.

So that is the blurb on the inside cover of the book First Second sent over to me, not what is on Goodreads. I felt like the Goodreads blurb gave away the twist that made Exquisite Corpse really interesting, so if you want to know about it, click on the Goodreads link above.

I didn't know much about this book prior to agreeing to review it other than it involved an author and potential had some writerly themes. I just really wanted to work with First Second books, so I was game for anything they needed from me. Between the title and the tagline - "Dying to be an author." - I thought this book involved zombies, which is in my wheelhouse.

This book is not about zombies.

Instead for the first 2/3rds of this very colorful and comically illustrated graphic novel, we're treated to a relationship drama starring Zoe, a discontent 22-year-old who has no direction, no goals, and no drive to create a better life for herself. She's stuck in a deadend job as a booth babe, where she has to be nice to disgusting men that constantly hit on her and are inappropriate at best. She goes home each night to an unemployed slob of a boyfriend, who does little more than watch tv, scratch his junk and fart in bed.

It's a dismal life until fate introduces her Thomas, a hermit writer who happens to be a world-famous author. Suddenly there is light and goodness in her life, even if it does mean moving into Thomas's lavish apartment and never really leaving. It's better that getting grabbed by strangers at conventions and living with a man who doesn't seem to care if you even come home.

Then one day Zoe learns Thomas' secret, and the book changes from relationship drama, kicks into hyper speed and becomes something a little more twisted. The final third speeds by quickly until I was cheering at the ending. Penelope Begieu knows how to take a straight forward story and suddenly make it much more.

This book feels very French to the point I figured it had to be a translation without knowing it for a fact when two characters are casually smoking by page 6. There is also casual female nudity, though never gratuitous, and various sexual relationships are treated as nothing special. Overall it has an atmospheric nature to the storytelling that felt unusual yet incredibly refreshing to read.

The art itself is more towards the Sunday comic strip style of big eyes and generally simple shapes, and most cases colors are used in a muted palate. The occasional splashs of color reflect changes in Zoe's mentality, while her time with Thomas in his hermit lifestyle start to become monotonous. It's a very straight-forward art style that assists the story without taking away from the narrative style.

Without the twist, Exquisite Corpse probably wouldn't have been for me. It was all very simplistic relationship drama until then, but sudden Penelope Begieu twisted the entire story, flipping her characters upside down and creating even more drama that really livened up the entire story. This was a fun, quick read with a quirky personality that I'd recommend, especially for people not into comics but willing to give the non-capes-and-types variety a try.

 

Enter to Win a Copy of Exquisite Corpse by Penelope Begieu

Thanks to First Second, we have a hard copy of Exquisite Corpse to give away. This contest is open to anyone with a US mailing address and will run until May 15.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comic Review: Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction & David Aja

Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon
Matt Fraction & David Aja
Marvel Comics
Released March 19, 2013
136 pages
Comics / Superheroes without Superpowers

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

The breakout star of this summer's blockbuster Avengers film, Clint Barton - aka the self-made hero Hawkeye - fights for justice! With ex-Young Avenger Kate Bishop by his side, he's out to prove himself as one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes! SHIELD recruits Clint to intercept a packet of incriminating evidence - before he becomes the most wanted man in the world. You won't believe what is on The Tape! What is the Vagabond Code? Matt Fraction pens a Hawkeye thriller that spans the globe...and the darkest parts of Hawkeye's mind. Barton and Bishop mean double the Hawkeye and double the trouble...and stealing from the rich never looked so good.

Because boomerang!

I would leave that as my review, but then it would only make sense to someone who has read this first volume in the latest Hawkeye series. If you’ve been hanging around Working for the Mandroid, you probably realize I’m a DC kind of girl. Most of my superhero comic reading has been various lines in the Batfamily, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Teen Titans and other assorted heroes from DC Comics. My exposure to Marvel has really been limited to the movies that have come out over the last few years, but everywhere I looked, people were saying that Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye series was pretty awesome. So I took a chance.

And I giggled like a fool while reading it on an airplane. This book is so much fun. It doesn’t have all the doom and gloom that seeps out of the pores of DC or the vapidness of the current Green Arrow series (comic, not television show). Clint Barton is great, but Kate Bishop, who I had no exposure to before, stole the book for me. That she is just as much Hawkeye as Clint makes me a very happy not-usually-represented-well-in-comics girl. The final issue in this collection is a bit of an origin story of how Kate took over the name Hawkeye from Young Avengers. Now I have to pick up Young Avengers.

Each issue opens up with a scene of Clint in trouble with the captions “Okay --- this looks bad…” before turning back time to tell exactly how Clint found himself getting shot at or falling from a building. It’s so much fun to read about a character without superpowers, who is fearless and reckless in the name of doing what’s right. There is danger and stakes are high with assorted big bads and twist upon twist, but it’s all so much fun and full of exciting adventure.

The art by David Aja is extremely distinctive and the roughness is a fitting match to the difficult situations that Clint often finds himself in. Many of the sequences are saturated in purple. Clint’s apartment is purple, his clothes are purple, his car is purple, and Kate’s get-up is purple. Everything is purple and it’s very striking, unlike anything I’ve ever seen in other comics.

My Life as a Weapon was a great introduction into the current Marvel universe. Even though it has the tie-in to Young Avengers, I didn’t feel like there was a black hole of history that I was missing to truly understand the weight of the story. I’d easily recommend this to people looking to get into comics, but might be wary of superhero continuity. I know little about Hawkeye, but now I want to read everything he’s ever been in. Or at least everything Matt Fraction has written.

Also… boomerang!