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Book Review: Cowboys and Aliens by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg (Graphic Novel)

Book Review: Cowboys and Aliens by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg (Grahic Novel)Summary:
In the American Wild West, invading aliens show up, intent to colonize the planet and enslave or destroy the humans.  The warring white settlers and Native Americans must put aside their own battle for control of the land and defend it from offworlders.

Review:
This was given as a gift to me, because when the movie Cowboys and Aliens came out in 2011, I was super into the idea of two of my favorite things being combined–a western and scifi.  A friend gifted this to me, and it languished on my TBR Pile for years.  I finally picked it up, and while I enjoyed the read and the art, I did not enjoy it as much as the movie, finding it to be too heavy-handed and obvious in its message, as well as a bit too stereotypical in how it handled its Native American characters.

The art is bright and colorful with easy-to-follow panels.  The book opens with a clearly laid out parallel between the colonizing alien species and the white settlers in America.  It’s clever to make a group actively colonizing another group suddenly the victim of colonizers themselves.  However, the direct juxtaposition jumping back and forth between the two visually is too heavy-handed.  Readers know about colonization on our own planet.  Just tell the story of the aliens and let us see the white settler characters slowly realize that they’re doing the same thing to others.  Instead, the readers are shown several times both the parallels between the two and one of the white settlers suddenly dramatically realizing the similarities in the situations.

The Native American characters aren’t horribly handed, however they are treated a bit too much magically for my taste.  Thankfully, how they help fight the aliens mostly comes from ingenuity, not magic.

Both of those things said, the aliens in the story are diverse and interestingly drawn.  Seeing Native Americans and white settlers battle the aliens with a combination of their own gear and stolen alien items was really fun to read.  Just not as much fun or as well-developed of a plot as it was in the movie.

Overall, this is a quick graphic novel that would be a fun read for either hardcore fans of the movie or those interested in the basic idea but who prefer graphic novels to movies.

3 out of 5 stars

Source: Gift

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Counts For:
Bottom of TBR Pile Challenge

Friday Fun! (Birthday BBQ)

August 5, 2011 8 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  One thing this summer has shown me is that your summer is as fun as you make it, and that largely has to do with who you surround yourself with.  Now that I’ve been living in Boston for a longer period of time, I’ve come to have a wonderful circle of friends who just make everything more fun.

Last weekend was my party for my birthday.  I held it at the end of the month partly so I could have a Cowboys and Aliens theme, but also partly because no one ever seems to be around on my actual birthday since it falls right next to a big national holiday.  A friend treated me to the matinee of Cowboys and Aliens, and you guys it was AWESOME.  I don’t think anything could make this wild west and scifi loving lady happier than wild west meets aliens.  Well, the addition of Daniel Craig’s very fine ass didn’t hurt matters at all either.  This is a movie I would go to see in theaters again, and I never do that.

After the movie, the same friend helped me prep for my bbq.  I made homemade veggie burgers, which were completely a smash hit.  We also made pasta salad from a cookbook my dad gave me that featured an olive oil/lemon vinaigrette instead of mayonnaise.  That was also a huge success.  There was also grilled corn on the cob, strawberries, PBR, and goldschlagger.  All in all an excellent bbq.  After some friends departed, others arrived, and we went out to a local pub for drinks.  My friends enthusiastically got me some of my favorite drinks (white russians and cosmos).  It was such a chill party full of lots of girl talk and ending with some fun flirting.  It’s things like that that make being in your 20s really fun.

I already announced my plan to throw a party in the fall with a Japanese theme, largely influenced by my recent acquisition of a vegetarian sushi cookbook.  Given the percentage of otaku geeks among my friends, the excitement at the idea was pretty high. 😉  What can I say. I love hostessing and party planning.  It makes me happy.

This week also saw me finally able to return to the gym after being laid low by first a summer cold and then a sprained ankle.  I managed to only gain 1 pound in my week and a half out.  *phew*  The first workout back was hard, but fun, and I’m glad to be getting back into the swing of it.

I haven’t fully decided what’s on the plate for this weekend, but I know it’ll be fun, because it’s the weekend after all.  Happy weekends all!

Friday Fun! (Family Visit and Blood Pressure)

July 29, 2011 4 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  I hope your weeks have treated you well.  Mine has been incredibly busy (I feel like I’m always saying that in these posts……)  My brother and his family were in town taking their daughter to participate in a research study at Boston Children’s Hospital, so I got to hang out with them for an evening.  My niece and nephew have both grown so much!  My nephew (who is four) was very intrigued by my cat, and since his family has dogs, I got to explain to him the differences in interacting with a kitty versus a doggy.  He eventually got the idea that cats scare easily and he had to approach her quietly.  Then she let him pet her, which was adorable, because she hasn’t ever seen a miniature person since I adopted her (I don’t know about previously).

My brother also brought along a box of presents for me from my daddy, which included the most adorable father/daughter cookbook.  (Plus tons of kitchen gear. I’m a bit obsessed with cooking).  It also had presents for my kitty.  She completely flipped out over them.  I have yet to let her try the toy that blows catnip laced bubbles.  I think that particular toy might call for some video, lol.

I also had two job interviews this week plus a doctor’s appointment (routine), which kept me running around the city like a chicken with my head cut off.  It also meant a got a lot of kindle time though.  At my doctor’s appointment, I finally got an updated blood pressure reading.  Back in January, my blood pressure was extremely unhealthy, so much so that they wanted to put me on blood pressure medication.  Heart disease runs in my family, and these stats freaked me out.  So I made a lot of changes in my lifestyle–both eating and exercise level–in the hopes of fixing my blood pressure without meds.  Well at the doctor’s this week my bp was 110 over 80, which is really excellent and healthy!! Yay!! 🙂

My weekend is mostly going to be consumed with prep for the party I’m throwing that I’m super-excited about.  Also seeing Cowboys and Aliens, which, um, is kind of part of the party.  Don’t worry though, I’ll definitely squeeze some reading and writing time in.  Happy weekends!