May 21st, 2016

Empowered

Psssst! Wanna read something fun? ;-)

Just discovered that Adam Warren is now republishing "Empowered" online, one page per day starting with volume one (the print series is currently nine main-series volumes, plus a volume of outside-the-main-plot short stories, with volume ten currently in production). Since some pages fall into NSFW territory I'm gonna link you to the cover image for volume one rather than the shorter homepage URL which takes you to the to the most recently posted page (and anyway, you're going to want to start at the beginning, right?)

I love "Empowered". This series is the poster child for not judging a book by its cover ... Adam Warren has been writing/drawing something amazing over the past decade. It's simultaneously a spoof and a serious criticism of the conventions of mainstream superhero comics, an often snarky commentary on how female characters are perceived and portrayed in those same comics, and a powerhouse superhero comic in itself which is like nothing you've ever read before. with some of the most amazing and multi-dimensional characters I've ever read. It got a hefty load of serious under what looks like a fluffy surface. The first few stories might have you wondering about my taste and alleged sanity in saying all this but trust me. Read every page. Don't skip. Because you gotta start with the set-up and I'll warn you now that Warren plays the long plot game and today's trivial throwaway detail can be the seed of a major plot several volumes later (kinda like "Babylon 5" where clues to what was to come were often planted in plain sight in early episodes). Stick with it and hopefully you will, like me and all the other fans, find you're suddenly hooked on these characters and their lives and relationships and are dying to know what happens next.

Bonus reading with this page-a-day freebie is Warren's own commentary on each page as he looks back on these early days; the background info he's providing is interesting.

Hope you're willing to try "Empowered". And that you like it. :-)
The Librarian

An odd visitor

Just got startled into full alertness by a loud thump and glass rattling. My first thought was a bookcase or something had fallen over in the apartment above mine, but I checked my balcony and discovered ...
DSCN0904_20160521_800

A female spruce grouse isn't something one normally expects to find on one's third floor balcony ... they're not notable for being high fliers. Most likely she took off from somewhere on the far side of the courtyard ... the slope is steep enough that the top of it isn't very far below me (my building marks the downslope boundary of the courtyard). She was standing and took a couple of steps when I first checked so I don't think she's injured, just a little disoriented and possibly confused by the bars of the balcony railing. Their spacing is more than wide enough for her to get through but it just may take her a while to figure that out. Will keep an eye on her and do something about taking her down to ground level later if she doesn't manage it herself.

Edited to add: went back to the balcony to check after posting this and she's scooched under the railing and perched on the very edge of the concrete, so she's clued in and able to take off whenever she wants.

Second edit: I just got to see her take flight so all is good. :-) She explored her way right to the very corner of the balcony and got under the railing again there so that she could get her wings spread for flight before launching. That was my only concern about her being able to get off the balcony herself ... grouse aren't drop and then flap birds, they need to be able to spread their wings and do a downflap first and that wasn't going to be possible in the mid-balcony spot where she had originally got under the railing unless she leaned out far enough to overbalance and fall.