American Girl, keep giving us Dolls of Color for Girls of the Year.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Book Blather Book Reviews: Happy Birthday Samantha!

Choo-choo, Sam, it's your muthafuckin' birthday.1
So there I was, with a large pile of fabric to put together into doll clothes for pattern testing and a small pile of Megabloks to assemble for a review here.2 And then I said to hell with that at present and decided that we're going to do another book review. Because it's Samantha's birthday in a week or so and thematically appropriate to discuss her birthday shenanigans. So let's do that, as I ignore morons that be stealing my dolly pictures and trying to pass Marisol, Otters, and Naomi off as their own. Seriously, if you're going to steal pictures--and you shouldn't you little shits, what the entire fuck are you--you should probably not steal a picture with one of my first customs. And with  Otters--pentacle prominent as hell--from around 2007 or so. and with my backdrop of my apartment I'm still in. I took that picture before I got married. Get the entire hell out, children, no one has time for your mouthy bullshit. Moving on.

After the launch of the First Three Girls in 1986, the second sets of things and books came out in 1987--around the spring, setting the odd ways of releasing for a while where only half a collection came out to start and the second half came post holiday. Because reasons. So in early 1987, out came Happy Birthday, Samantha! Complete with exclamation point. Are you excite? You'd better be, every birthday book until Kaya has an exclamation point. Pleasant Company (well, Ms. Rowland), having gotten rid of Susan Alder post book two for all that subversive class discussion and capitalism hate and only using Maxine Rose Schur for Samantha's Surprise, needed to get a new author to cover the last three books. So they pulled in Valerie Tripp, who had written the Molly books, and had her do the last three books.

Valerie Tripp is probably the author who has written the most books for American Girl in, like, ever.  She's going to come up over and over again on these book blathers, because she wrote a lot of the books. In fact, I'm not sure if she's written anything major other than AG books.3 Her AG series include all of the Central Series for Felicity, Josefina, Molly, Kit, Maryellen, and--as it's coming up now--the second end of Samantha. Plus all the Hopscotch Hill Books and the upcoming WellieWishers series. Her writing is hit and miss for me a lot--some of it tends to be very formulaic, which is likely due to AG requirements. And I've been known to harp on the way she writes for AG. She's not my fave of the AG authors by any means,4 but in ways she is a fairly decent author.  I'll be nice. First internal illustrations by Nancy Niles, second by Dan Andreasen. In the Beforever Volumes, this is Chapters 1-5. I will continue using the old numbering system until I get to Ellie's books, whereupon I will still break them up into "books."5

Just like Samantha Learns a Lesson, this is one of those books that gets overhyped when people don't actually go back and read the books and instead are going off Childhood AG Nostalgia. Into the book, and I shall pop the childhood bubble you've been carrying around for some time. Cause AG was never as radical as you want to think it was.  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: Late April Mini-Mod and TropiKenna Burst of Sunshine

Hanging out at the AG Store with my girl.
First of May, First of May! Outdoor humping starts today!1 Okay it's the Second. Look, it's close enough.

April I had ambition, man. And then my body said "fuck you in particular heaux" and my mind jumped in to join the beatdown. Chronic illness! It fucking blows. Also one of my damn favorite artists, Prince, died2 and Drama happened and the build up of things all coalesced into a storm that rained me out and I ran out of everything. To the point of tremors. It took me two days to restock the shelves with new Can. But I'm trying every day. I'm working on one major project for my Etsy which is actually fun to do, sorting out another to start later on, trying to clean more, and lining things up hopefully. Saving up for DeeDee is going successfully, I would like to take good pics of the MegaBloks sets I purchased and put them together nicely, and Lemonade is freshly squeezed and good. (And I don't mean the drink I mean the Beyoncé album.) Also my garden is growing well, I went to the Tulip Festival up north, and I'm working on a quilt. So y'know, the good and the bad.

Also New Gang Member Alert! Up there is Li-Yue "Lorelei" Soo. She sometimes goes by Lori, is Chinese-American, originally from California, and loves musicals, crafts, and the 1950s aesthetic so she and Ellie have become the closest of friends. Her idol is Phillipa Soo (no relation) who rocks the role of Eliza Schuyler in the Hamilton musical and she will soon be reviewing the outfit she's wearing, the Jumper and Boots Set, and displaying some awesomely designed outfits.

That being said, let's talk about new things; this Thursday was a small release for AG. No BeForever goodies, two Bitty Things, and mostly small others. Notably, there's nothing for the Bitty Twins for the fourth time. They haven't got anything at all since last June; that's almost a year without anything at all. I suspect--but don't hold me to it--that they are on their way out to make room for a new AG line named Wellie Wishers, a set of all vinyl dolls with wellies (rain boots) that are more of the 5-8 range that AG is sorely lacking in covering since the retirement of Hopscotch Hill. Will I bother to get one of the Twins? Likely nah. They're not my thing. The black Wellie Wisher, though, has a chance. Let's see the price point.

To the new things.