zombie mama book reviews

so…getting a chance to work with wet, messy ink while being attacked on all sides by an invasion of creatures i created myself…getting a chance to make art while being cannibalized by toddlers (well, that’s what it feels like sometimes)…long story short–i haven’t been able to ink any pages because my kids are nuts.

however.

i did get to read this book, Sharp Teethby Toby Barlow.

sometimes while nursing incessantly needy babies, sometimes, i get to read. or sometimes i just hide away with a book and listen for the screams to hit that certain pitch that means i absolutely must return and take away any sharp or blunt objects.

i picked up Sharp Teeth at the library. i always check out the display tables–themed by bored librarians. this one was a table for an independence day celebration where they picked books that had red covers, white covers, and blue covers. nothing but the red cover put this book on a table where i had easy access to just grab it as i wrestled kids toward the check-out desk. i grabbed it, probably thinking something deep & stimulating like, “huh, i like dogs,” and shoved it in my bag where it hung out through a couple of relocations to temporary homes until i finally pulled it out and opened it a couple of days ago.

upon seeing that the text was all in verse form rather than prose, i almost put it right back in my bag.

for someone who dabbles in really bad poetry, i can be pretty biased and seem to have an aversion to verse.

maybe realizing this, i gave the words a chance to prove they weren’t going to be annoying. and they weren’t! they were a story, written like a poem, but still a story. and a really good story. this first book by Toby Barlow impressed the crap out of me. murder, intrigue, werewolves, some feel-good dysfunctional romance, and a somewhat complicated plot with a variety of characters that wasn’t too difficult for a mother of four to follow. i didn’t feel forced into liking or disliking any of the characters. i wanted characters to survive (i wasn’t rooting for their death like i was when i watched that god-awful film Blair Witch Project). at a certain point i was unable to put the book down & had to neglect my horde until i had finished the book.

oh! and it is a book with a werewolf theme that isn’t one of those annoying jump-on-the-bandwagon-and-write-a-book-about-werewolves-or-vampires books. it feels original. refreshing even.

in the “ps” of the book there is a conversation with the author. he comments that someone described the way his book was written as a graphic novel without pictures.

huh.

maybe that’s why i liked it so much.

also! i have thought about doing books with more text & less pictures (but still with pictures)…& my style of poetry is more like a story than a lyric…and i also like to dabble with mixing genres…. hmmm. maybe i can borrow some inspiration from this.

now…if my children would just let me create something other than more children!

my homework

per wikipedia:

Historically katana (?) were one of the traditionally made Japanese swords (日本刀 nihontō?)[2][3] that were used by the samurai of feudal Japan.[4] Modern versions of the katana are sometimes made using non-traditional materials and methods. The katana is characterized by its distinctive appearance: a curved, slender, single-edged blade with a circular or squared guard and long grip to accommodate two hands.

so there is a curve! i did have that right. even though i wasn’t drawing it quite right…. and the handle is supposed to be able to be held with two hands. i have been doing my handles too short. this will be fixed in future pages. madonna the katana will be drawn more accurately. there is always a margin of error with my drawings, being that i skip the pencil & go straight for ink.

historically, i have been terrible at research. i am getting better with age & my desire to be more accurate. when i was younger, i had to luxury of saying, “fuck that,” to most things. now i am reaping what i sowed. live & learn, folks. research. i should have paid more attention to what a katana was–being that i chose such a specific weapon. i didn’t. so now i have some inaccurate pages. but, fortunately, my comic is still young. there is a lot that might change.

like who is telling the story?

on the first couple pages of this comic, it seemed to be that moses jones was narrating the story. however, the narration moved to a third person stance from there–and was told in dialogue only. in the pages to come, i was going to have story being told in ways other than dialogue, using narration. i need to figure out–is moses telling the story? or a separate narrator?

so! i need to practice drawing katanas. and i need to figure out who my narrator is.

and, of course, i need to get my ass in gear & draw page 30. i dug up the short story on which i am basing the next several pages. now i just need to figure out out what goes in which panels…after i figure out the narration, that is.

ps. when i googled “katana” my last posting of moses jones: apocalyptic mama was the second entry on the page after wikipedia. did google do that just for me, or does that happen when anyone googles it??