Fan Art Friday: Cowabunga Clone Troopers

Welcome back to our Star Wars coloring book club, where Kiri at Star Wars Anonymous and I color the same image every month to compare and contrast.

This month I decided I was tired of coloring everything in a symmetrical pattern, so I wanted to do the four Captain Rex clone trooper helmets all different colors.

For some reason, an inspiration immediately sprang to mind: my childhood heroes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Four helmets, four Ninja Turtles.  The more I looked at the picture, the more I liked that idea.  The circle in the center even kind of looks like a turtle shell.

Thematically, it works really well also.  The Ninja Turtles may be an American creation, but they are inspired by the culture of Japan, just like Star Wars.  The style of the helmets of Vader (and consequently the storm troopers) seem partly inspired by Japanese samurai helmets.  Obi-Wan’s sojourn on Tatooine seems much like the life of a ronin.  And most specifically, the Kurosawa’s movie The Hidden Fortress was a huge inspiration to George Lucas when making the movie that would come to be known as A New Hope.

This one was pretty quick and fun; maybe not one of my favorites, but I enjoyed it.  And for the record, Michelangelo is the best Ninja Turtle.  Cowabunga!


Sunday musings: reading and TMNT

I’ve been doing lots and lots of reading lately, and I’ll have some reviews up in the near future, I hope.

I’m next in line for Skin Game from the library–I put my name in the queue as soon as it was ordered!  I’m very excited to see what Harry Dresden will be up to.  I really recommend the Dresden Files to anyone who likes fantasy, especially urban fantasy.  Unlike most series, the quality has not at all dropped off over the 14 books; it actually improves after the first few.

There has been some serious power creep over the course of the series, but I actually don’t mind it, because unlike, say, Dragonball Z, there are actual, life-changing consequences to the choices Harry makes.  Harry makes huge sacrifices to do what he has to do.  There is no reset button, for any of the characters, which keeps the stories feeling fresh and interesting as they explore new areas of both character and magic.

There’s also a lot of Star Wars references.  Which is really all I need.


All the reading I’ve been doing has got me thinking about how the order I read books affects my opinions of them.  I don’t just mean within a series (should you read The Magician’s Nephew before The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, for example).

When I recently read several books in a row, I was surprised at how it helped me clarify my feelings about certain ones, through comparison to other books I had just read.

I had just finished reading Insurgent, and then Allegiant, when I picked up Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.  And was blown away by the prose, characters, and world-building.  I stayed up until 3 or 4 in the morning to finish it.  It was one of Those Books.

I had liked the Divergent sequels fine when I read them; they weren’t bad.  But Seraphina put them in perspective.  I saw immediately that they had been lacking.  Or maybe, they put Seraphina in perspective.  In Seraphina, I found that spark, that compulsion, that total immersion that distinguishes “great” from “good.”

I then read two books about high schoolers falling in love.  The Fault in Our Stars was an enjoyable book.  It told a good story, with a good tone and well-developed characters.

Reading Eleanor and Park, however, was like hearing myself describe how it felt to fall in love with my now-husband when we were teenagers.  It hit me emotionally in ways that TFiOS never did.  I wanted to stay in that book, on the bus with Eleanor and Park, as long as I could.

You may have noticed that when I do book reviews, my ratings are based on gut reaction; mainly, do I want to read this book over and over again?  Reading these books all in close succession I don’t think fundamentally altered my opinion on them; it simply made my gut feelings clearer in an interesting way.


This post is already way longer than I meant it to be, but I promised TMNT.  I went to the grocery store today like a good adult to buy things like vegetables and found that Kraft Mac & Cheese was on sale.  The kind with the shapes.  And they had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shapes.

So naturally I bought some.  There were four different boxes, one each with a different turtle, and I absolutely tried to make sure I got one of each.  My husband pointed out that they are all the same on the inside, but that is really beside the point.

But I got home to discover that I had bought 2 Leonardos and no Raphaels.  Alas.  Luckily, Raph is my least favorite.  My turtle preference goes: 1) Michelangelo    2) Donatello   3) Leonardo   4) Raphael

It’s not even Sunday anymore, so now I’m going to post this and go to bed.  Expect a Galápagos photo tomorrow, and book reviews soon.