Season’s Greetings my jolly, yuletastic Bookbaggers!
Sorry I have been AWOL since my last update. Initially I didn’t do an update because nothing had really happened challenge-wise what with the end of War & Pages and the wrapping-up of New Books November, but I was going to still share my experiences of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary and other goodies I have acquired before and after. That was the plan last week, however at work we are winding down to the christmas break which has been a bit hectic and exciting, so blogging has sort of fallen behind the couch of things-to-do.
But! I am back and will at least do this last challenge update before my chrissy holidays begin
I have lots of exciting things to share with you but firstly here’s a quick wrap-up of New Books November:
- New Book November successfully included at least one book/graphic novel from all 4 piles (Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read; Books-Borrowed-From-Libraries; Books-Borrowed-From-Others; and Graphic Novels) and 6 books/graphic novels were chosen, which is a great result
- I still haven’t started The Living Dead anthology or Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde as I’ve been so distracted, however since I will have a lot of time on my hands I can enjoy them before Christmas
- I have only read one chapter so far of Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger but I was giggling throughout so this is another one I’ll sink my teeth into before xmas
- I finished Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow – Wonderland last Saturday and I absolutely loved it! The story was a really interesting sort-of stand-alone which saw Willow journeying to another dimension of sort in order to restore magic to her world. As you can imagine from the title, there were Alice in Wonderland elements to the story, such as a cryptic man-sized caterpillar, but mostly it was its own exciting and insightful story, especially for fans of Willow and her struggles with magic. The art was absolutely stunning and definitely enhanced the vivid setting.
- I also finished Death: The High Cost of Living, last weekend (on Sunday) which was another sort-of stand-alone in a world I love. It of course followed the character of Death from the Sandman comics as she spends one day as a mortal on Earth, as she must do every 100 years to understand the struggles of the people she takes everyday.
- I also started and finished FreakAngels #1 on Sunday which was fantastic! It was set in a post-apocalyptic world and focused on a group called the Freakangels – 12 people born at the exact same moment 23 years before, who despite their parentage have the same pale skin, purple eyes and powerful psychic powers which they were forced to use to end the world and start anew. The first volume was nicely mysterious, giving away little tidbits of information but keeping major plot points for later on. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next volume!
- This challenge was also fun because I had my mascot – Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales which I polished off on Sunday (sunday was spent almost exclusively reading comics :D) I thoroughly enjoyed it and it has been a big highlight of this challenge, and of the year
- Overall it was a really fun challenge that allowed me to choose recently bought, borrowed or published books without cheating
Now onto the excitement that was Who Day!
As I said in my last update, my best friends and Official Jar Chooser, Sarah, and I had been invited over to my workmate, Scott’s place to stay up until the wee hours to watch the 50th at the same time as Whovians the world over. We started our day/night of fun by meeting in the city centre where Scott presented Sarah and I with our own Who Day 2013 lanyards that he had made especially for the occasion (thus awarding him many cool points) before we headed to the ABC Shop where they were having a special 50th Anniversary event with lots of Doctor Who loot for sale, a costume competition, a quiz and other fun activities. None of us were in costume except Scott wore a shirt with the TARDIS on it and I wore my 10th of Hearts shirt from Teefury:
So we knew the costume comp wasn’t really for us, plus we wanted to get going fairly quickly to start our day of movie watching, so me and Sarah quickly filled in the quiz (we got all questions right with minimal cheating :P) and perused their wares. Scott went away with a fabulous TARDIS cushion, Sarah got a Sylvester McCoy era DVD (her first and favourite Doctor) and a cute TARDIS-shaped soap dispenser and I got a cute TARDIS book light which has a normal light and a UV light to revel hidden messages written with the included invisible ink pen; a Tom Baker era DVD, Masque Of Mandragora; and a book of course! – Who’s 50 which covers 50 episodes/story arcs that are must watches
We then bussed to Scott’s neck of the woods, had lunch at his local shopping centre food court then headed back to his to start our exciting viewing extravaganza! Scott had plenty planned for us before the 50th anniversary episode so we got cracking with the Star Trek Next Generation Movie – First Contact, which I had never seen before and Sarah hadn’t seen since it came out when we were kids. I was amazing on Blu-ray and on Scott’s impressive TV and was an awesome way to start the festivities! Next we watched a doco that Scott had kept a secret – Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope – which followed a few very different sets of people going to San Diego Comic-con (two artists hoping to break into the industry; a comic book seller hoping for good business at the con to keep his business afloat; and a troupe of master cosplayers) and interviewed a whole bunch of con regulars and newbies, fans and professionals alike. It was also fantastic and me and Sarah were both by surprised how much we were rooting for the artists, sellers and cosplayers to succeed! After those few hours of sitting we went for a welcome walk with Scott’s adorable Corgi cross German Shepard, Fudge and had top-notch bento at a local Japanese place before settling in for the evening’s entertainment.
Our next viewing was The Cabin in the Woods, an unconventional horror flick from the genius mind of Joss Whedon along with fellow buffy/angel writer Drew Goddard. I had always meant to see Cabin in the Woods, as had Sarah and within the first few minutes I think we were both thinking the same thing: “WHY HAVE WE NEVER SEEN THIS MOVIE BEFORE.” It was truly epic and amazing, one of the best and most original horror films I have ever seen and definitely one I will now need to find for my collection. If you’ve never seen it and you’re a Joss Whedon fan, or a horror movie buff, or a fan of good movies in general, do yourself a favour – see this movie ASAP! With still many hours until our beloved 50th Anniversary episode we then decided to get into the Who mood a bit by watching Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide a 2 hour special which chronicled every regeneration as well as key villains, companions and gadgets from the show. After that it was getting to be pretty late and with a couple of hours still before the 50th ep we were all stating to lag. As a preventative measure we went for a film full of action and scary stuff to shock us awake if we started to nod off – World War Z. It was a pretty good disaster/horror movie which differed from the book (which Sarah and I both read recently after borrowing it from Scott) but not in a way that annoyed me – they were their own entities and as a zombie movie this was genuinely terrifying and creepy. Suffice to say it kept us awake until the main event!
I don’t think I have to say that the 50th Anniversary episode – Day of the Doctor – was AMAZING. We all had fangirl/fanboy moments throughout, laughed and gasped and cheered, and I know that I teared up on multiple occasions. I won’t give anything away in case you haven’t seen it, but as a Whovian I was definitely chuffed And we made it all the way through to morning without falling asleep or dying so that’s an achievement!
Despite being proud of our efforts and feeling not that shabby we all agreed a power nap for a few hours was in order before we ventured out for breakfast, so we kipped until 10ish, had some much-needed coffee and prepared ourselves for a final outing. But, before we headed off Scott had a lovely surprise for us – a goodie bag of presents for the two of us including a couple of DVDs, 2 audio CDs (one Doctor Who story and one Torchwood!) and a graphic novel. immediately we split the DVDs between us as one was the final season of The L Word (mine) and the other was an anime (Sarah’s) and I latched onto the graphic novel as it had been one I had eyed out whilst perusing comic stores with Scott previously:
However, I will loan it to Sarah once I’ve finished if she so desires The CDs have gone to Sarah as I had the lion’s share, but I’ll be borrowing them off her also. It was such an unexpected gift that me and Sarah were quite touched – the day/night itself was gift enough, presents on top were just icing on the cake We ended our adventure by getting a big breakfast of pancakes, bacon, eggs, hash browns and ice coffees all around in the city centre once more, before me and Sarah headed back to mine to talk about what a fantastic time we had for the rest of the day. It really was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a really long time.
In other news I’ve made a couple more exciting purchases, as I do.
The Friday before Who Day Scott and I went to a local comic place, Comiczone where I got some very exciting things:
Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere by Mike Carey (writer), Glenn Fabry (artist), Richard Horie, Tanya Horie (colourists) and Todd Klein (letterer); The Crow: Skinning the Wolves by James O’Barr (writer/artist) and Jim Terry (writer/artist/colourist); and Telling Tales a CD of Neil Gaiman reading some of his short stories with accompanying orchestral music for ambience
Then we went to Kaleido and I bought 2 books:
And I also got a few of their bookish badges:
Then this week I popped into Kaleido again to pick up a book I had on order:
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter which I have heard great things about and, come on, Alice AND Zombies? I know I’ll love it
That’s it for now my faithful Bookbaggers I may be notably absent for the rest of the year as I enjoy my holiday and gear up for Xmas, but I promise I will drop by with little bits and bobs when I can and then I’ll be back to do my annual awards!
Until then I’ll just leave you with one of the funniest parts of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode, as a taster:
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