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Sunday, 7 May 2017

Free Comic Book Day and other ways to spend a weekend.

The first Saturday in May each year is Free Comic Book Day. On this day, comic producers send special taster comics to comic book shops to give away for free... the idea is to get new people into reading comics and graphic novels. What usually happens is long queues of comic book fans queue up to pick up the taster for their favourite series, and try out some new series'.

Apart from living with two comic book fans, the Peter Grant books I've been reading, has two graphic novels which fit between books 4 and 5, and I've just started reading book 4, so, as we do every year, we went into Liverpool to visit the two big comic retailers there (Worlds Apart and Forbidden Planet) where we picked up some free comic books, and bought some others.


I tried a few of the tasters (and I did pick up the two I was after, but I haven't finished book 4 yet, so I won't talk about the Rivers of London ones yet).

I started with the Doctor Who story. We're with Peter Capaldi, but the story involves flashbacks which take in Christopher Ecclestone, David Tennant and Matt Smith. It's a nice short story, and it's well done. The speech patterns are well written and are in the voice of each respective Doctor.

Buffy is very short (there's another story in the same book), it's a nice story.

Riverdale is apparently based on a tv series, it's not one story it's two backstories of characters of the tv show and has photographs of the actors in it. It has promise.

I didn't enjoy Guardians of the Galaxy as much as I was expecting, I think we've been spoiled by the films now, however, it was a good story and I recognised the characterisations from the writing.

Finally, Wonderwoman - I recognised the story from the trailers of the forthcoming film, but it was a good introduction.

There was a second story at the back, The Defenders, which (for those of you with netflix) is Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Daredevil... I warn you, this isn't an origin story and there are spoilers ahead of where we're up to on netflix! And it ends in a cliffhanger and a half...
If you are not a regular comic book reader, you may not know that comic books are age rated - not like DVDs, but more as a guide, not all comics are suitable for children. The ratings are;

E or A - Everyone or All Ages - similar to a U on a DVD.
T - Appropriate for most readers, may not be suitable to some, especially younger readers. similar to a PG rating on a film.
T+ - Suitable for most readers aged 13 and above
Parental Advisory - Like a T+ but may have aspects suited to more mature readers
MAX - Mature content. Comics with this rating will not be sold to young people.

We've also been to the cinema, twice;

Obviously, we've been to see Guardian's of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (12A) 4/5
We have been looking forward to this one, and it didn't disappoint! Personally, I thought the first film was a little better, the first sound track was a little better, and although I can see why they didn't, they didn't use the best riff, of the best song on the new soundtrack... Yes, it would have pulled you out of the narrative, and it would have been more about The Chain than the plot, but still, hearing the intro and not getting the riff? I can't help but be a little let down. Without spoilers, the film is strongly themed around family, and has some moving plot points, which are well done, as well as some laugh-out-loud comedy, both visual and one liners, and in our screening, a group of teens at the front applauded at the end. I think that proves it wasn't just us that enjoyed it. There are 5 mid and post credit scenes, at least one of which is a teaser for Thor: Ragnarok, due out in November.

LittleBit and I also went to see A Dog's Purpose (PG) 4/5.
The premise of the film is that this is a film, from the perspective of a dog, trying to work out what life is all about. If you haven't already heard about the film, spoiler warning: the dog doesn't have just one life, and in order to have multiple lives... well, it has it's weepy moments. We really enjoyed it, but we would recommend taking tissues with you. Overall, it is uplifting, and it definitely has some comedy moments.

I finished reading Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch, book 3 of the Rivers of London/Peter Grant books. Another 4/5. Being hyper-critical, this one had a few pacing issues, but, the plot was engaging, and as the others have been, it's comedy gold. I laughed out loud a few times, just glad I wasn't on public transport at the time!

Our cooking adventures this weekend started with a fakeaway. We made a healthier (and cheaper) version of a doner kebab. We found a few versions of the recipe online, and it wasn't perfect (will anything match up without a heavy night in the pub first?) but it was good!

We slowcooked it for 4 hours, and then let it rest in the foil while we made a salad and sourced some chips and mini pita breads. I won't share the recipe this time, as a) we used someone else's recipe and b) I think it needs some tweaking. We'll definitely be trying this one again though.

We continued to brunch - we made eggs benedict, royale and florentine but with a healthier option instead of hollandaise sauce. Each being a variation of toasted muffin, poached egg and sauce with something else. Benedict is either ham or bacon, royale is smoked salmon and florentine is spinach. Instead of a buttery hollandaise sauce, we had creme fraiche with honey and dill mixed in. It tastes divine, and even using the full fat creme fraiche, it's still much healthier than a hollandaise - it's also much easier to make! No pictures because by the time I'd poached enough eggs for everyone, we were ravenous and it was swiftly demolished. This is a firm family favourite though, so I'm sure I'll have pictures again soon.

And then, having finally purchased a shiny new lawn mower, filled the green bin and done a tip run after cutting back some overgrown bushes, we (I say that as though I did any of the actual hard labour - I held a bin bag open, but limpy-old me did very little else) took full advantage of the sun and newly tidied garden and had a barbeque, which again, I had very little to do with - I did put things on skewers whilst sat at the table before Beloved cooked everything. We even managed to catch up with the ice cream van (still no idea why it's called a 99, but I'm happy to eat one anyway), and enjoy home made faux-jitos...

Non-Alcoholic Mojitos


  • Fresh mint
  • Sugar syrup (we use elderflower cordial)
  • Lemonade/Sprite/7-Up
  • Lemon & Lime
  • Ice
  • A Straw


Muddle (which means bruise with a spoon or other stirring implement apparently, I lack cocktail making equipment and proper terminology, we manage) the mint leaves in the sugar syrup.
Fill the glass with ice and then add the cut up lime and lemon, squeezing slighty to release the juice.
Top up with lemonade (or lemon and lime flavoured alternative), add a straw and enjoy!

For an added twist, we sometimes add frozen raspberries. Adds a new flavour and keeps the drink colder for longer!

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