9-11: Artists Respond, Vol. 1

9-119-11: Artists Respond, Volume 1 Will Eisner
Published: 2002
Pages: 196

This is probably not a book I would have picked up on my own accord – or rather, it’s not one that I would have gone looking for, but I was talking to my friend Denise, a fellow 00English teacher, about how she would like to use some of the images in the classroom and I was intrigued.

I’m not terribly (okay at all) politically minded and was a little concerned that the collection of comics contained within this volume would be more politically charged than I was prepared to deal with (particularly since this was on the top of the pile for my holiday reading). I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that the large majority of the comics and images – in fact nearly all of them, focused on the stories of individuals and their experiences. There were quite a few images that had me transfixed – by both the beautiful imagery and the message it contained, and there were even those that had me in tears.

The artistic style employed throughout this collection was extremely diverse, and I would have to say this was a large part of its appeal and, what’s more, one of its biggest strengths. With its large number of contributing artists, many of the submissions are shorter, one page images or strips being the norm and the occasional double or three page spread appearing throughout. I can certainly see what my friend was talking about regarding using it in the classroom, but it made for an intriguing personal read also. I highly recommend it, and will be tackling the second volume next.

Teaser Tuesday (Jan 17)

Teaser Tuesdays
Teaser Tuesday is  hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve  given!



Brian was moving from gargoyle to gargoyle with the ease of long practice when he heard the voices. He was so startled he almost lost his grip. (77)

A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin

Musing Mondays (Jan. 16)

Musing Mondays is hosting by MizB at Should Be Reading

What devices - if any - do you read books on? Do you find it enjoyable, or still somewhat bothersome? Or: If you only read the print books, why haven’t you chosen to read on any devices?


This is an interesting question for me as it is one that I still continue to think of often - mainly because while reading ebooks is a fairly new addition to my reading repertoire, reading online certainly isn’t and so I feel as though I’ve made the journey through reading devices.

I remember when we first got the internet on our home computer (and what an ordeal it was convincing my parents it was safe for me to use as I was still rather young at the time). I always enjoyed writing and had several friends who likewise wrote and so I spent a fair bit of time reading these on our family computer.

When I reached high school we upgraded our family computer and the old one took up a new residence - in my room. Oh how excited I was to have a computer of my own! Until I realised… computer yes, but internet no. How was I to continue my practice of online reading? (especially since now I was part of mailing lists and the like dedicated to the writing and reading of stories?) I quickly deviced a system however, involving a stack of about ten 3 1/2 floppy discs and many many txt files. I would fill them all up, read them on my own computer and then traipse back to the family computer to reload. Looking back now, I consider this my first experience of ‘reading on a device’ and it was one that I kept up for many years.

By the time I started university I had a laptop and the house had a networked internet connection so my floppy discs were retired. Uni however also came with an hour and a half bus trip to uni every day and it wasn’t unusual for me finish a book and not have packed a spare. Enter my ipod. Adapting my old system, I would save txt files and utilise the ipods note function, scrolling scrolling scrolling through many books (by this time I’d discovered Project Gutenberg). My highly portable ipod was my first ‘ebook reader’.

My poor ipod (which is still alive) gave way to my old Samsung phone  - which with it’s in-build QWERTY I adored. I remember being very excited as I read and wrote on my phone, gleefully thinking it a Star Trek PADD (yes, nerd, I know). Sooner or later however, my jealousy over the iphone’s far larger screen gave way and I traded my phone in. It was here that my ebook reading took flight and I spent a lot of hours squinting at my iphone.


When people started noticing the squinting (oddly enough around the same time I got glasses), it was suggested that I get myself a dedicated ebook reader which would be easier on the eyes. Being the tech lover that I was, I sacrificed some lightness (and a fair stack of money) to purchase an ipad and I haven’t looked back since.


I will always prefer a book over my ipad, but I cannot forget the plain convenience of having my ipad with me in my bag. Many many books at hand, more than I could ever fit in my bag. In built dictionaries and non-permanent highlighting. Note taking functions. Being able to pause my reading and do a little related research with the mere flick of a finger.

And you know what? I find that I read more with my ipad than I would without it. There have been many occasions that I’ve gone to bed without picking up my book first. You know what it’s like once your head hits the pillow - the last thing you want to do is get back up and turn the light on to retrieve your book. Much easier just to grab the ipad off my bedstand!

A Comic Afternoon

One of the things I like best about being a teacher is that I share a staff room with a large amount of nerdy people. And being an English teacher means that book recommendations are easily come by. While visiting a friend from work, Denise, she retrieved a book from her shelves telling me how much she enjoyed it and that I must read it. Always happy for a book to read (and entering the holidays with lots of reading time making it all the better) I tucked it under my arm to take home.

However it seems that Denise is a little like me when it comes to book recommendations – like me she gets a little excited when people are happy to receive suggestions. I left her house with 13 graphic novels in my possession and the promise of more when I was done.

I’ve been a little busy this holidays after all and haven’t had the chance to sit down and truly enjoy them. But today is a cold rainy day and I’m thinking that I shall settle down for the afternoon with a cup of tea and a collection of comics. What do you think?


  • Blue Monday, Vol 2: Absolute Beginners - Chynna Clugston-Major
  • Blue Monday, Vol 3: Inbetween Days - Chynna Clugston-Major
  • Blue Monday, Vol 4: Painted Moon - Chynna Clugston-Major
  • 9-11: Artists Respond, Vol. 1 - Will Eisner
  • 9-11: Artists Respond, Vol. 2 - Will Eisner
  • 9-11: Emergency Relief - Will Eisner
  • Y: The Last Man, Vol 1: Unmanned - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, José Marzán, Jr.
  • Y: The Last Man, Vol 2: Cycles- Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, José Marzán, Jr.
  • Y: The Last Man, Vol 3: One Small Step - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, José Marzán, Jr., Paul Chadwick
  • Kingdom Come - Mark Ward and Alex Ross’
  • Wolverine: Origin - Paul Jenkins
  • Superman/Batman: Absolute Power - Jeph Loeb, Carlos Pacheco, José Merino
  • Superman/Batman: Supergirl - Jeph Loeb, Michael Turner, Peter Steigerwald

Online Reading

Being the start of a new year, I naturally compiled my years reading stats for 2011. The thing that stood out for me more than anything is the huge decrease in my reading numbers. Not just in total books read - I knew that already, knew that my reading time had more than halved. But my page numbers count is still less than I would have expected.

So I started thinking about what would count for this. And the answer was obvious: that darn pesky internet worming it's way in. How many hours do I spend reading blogs, travel articles, journals for uni, and yes, biggest of all for me: fanfiction. How many pages upon pages do I read here. These never make it onto my reading count as I have never counted it as 'reading'.

This year I've decided to roughly track just how much I read online (forgoing things like twitter, facebook and the like). And you know what? I read a heck of a lot of online data! Given that most printed pages of a paperback book have an average of 350 words per page, I have already read... wait for it...

683 pages of online data

That's a whole book! And a rather large one at that. I'll continue with this study to see what it numbers out to at the end of the year - I'm really rather curious!

Books Read in 2011

  • Baum, L. Frank - The Life and Times of Santa Clause
  • Benjamin, Melanie - Alice I Have Been
  • Cleary, Beverly - Beezus and Ramona
  • Cohn, Rachel and David Levithan - Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
  • Collins, Suzanne - The Hunger Games [x2]
  • Collins, Suzanne - The Hunger Games II: Catching Fire  [x2]
  • Collins, Suzanne - The Hunger Games III: Mockingjay  [x2]
  • Congrave, Timothy - Holding the Man
  • Dunford, George - The Big Trip
  • Hanff, Helene - 84 Charing Cross Road
  • Hoggart, Simon and Emily Monk - Don't Tell Mum: Hair-Raising Messages Home from Gap-Year Travellers
  • Kitamura, Satoshi - UFO Diary
  • Logue, Mark and Peter Conradi - The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy
  • Marsden, John - Tomorrow 2: The Dead of the Night
  • Marsden, John - Tomorrow 3: Third Day, The Frost
  • Marsden, John - Tomorrow 4: Darkness Be My Friend
  • Marsden, John - Tomorrow 5: Burning for Revenge
  • Marsden, John - Tomorrow 6: The Night is for Hunting
  • Marsden, John - Tomorrow 7: The Other Side of Dawn
  • Marsden, John - Ellie Chronicles I: While I Live
  • Matheson, Richard - I Am Legend
  • McDonald, Megan - Judy Moody #1: Judy Moody
  • McDonald, Megan - Judy Moody #2: Judy Moody Gets Famous
  • McDonald, Megan - Judy Moody #3: Judy Moody Saves the World!
  • McDonald, Megan - Judy Moody #4: Judy Moody Predicts the Future
  • McCarthy, Cormac - The Road
  • McGraw, Eloise - The Moorchild
  • Mitchell, Todd - The Secret to Lying
  • O'Malley, Bryan Lee - Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life
  • O'Malley, Bryan Lee - Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 2: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
  • Murray, Todd and Jenn Brisson - Rubber Rocks and Apple Boxes
  • Picoult, Jodi - House Rules
  • Rhue, Morton - The Wave
  • Riordan, Rick - Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse
  • Rosoff, Meg - Vamoose!
  • Sapphire - Push
  • Shanower, Eric, Skottie Young and L. Frank Baum – The Marvelous Wizard of Oz
  • Stead, Rebecca - First Light
  • Stevenson, Seth - Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World
  • Thomson, Alexa - Antartica on a Plate
  • Willingham, Bill - Fables, Vol. 6: Homelands
  • Willingham, Bill - Fables, Vol. 7: Arabian Nights
  • Willingham, Bill - Fables, Vol. 8: Wolves
  • Willingham, Bill - Fables, Vol. 9: Sons of the Empire
  • Willingham, Bill - Fables, Vol. 10: The Good Prince
  • Willingham, Bill - Fables, Vol. 11: War and Peices

Total Books Read: 49
Total Pages Read: 12, 373
Total Authors: 34
New Authors: 18