Wednesday, November 2, 2022

IWSG and Happy Book Birthday, Welcome to the 'Burbs by Matthew Cody!

Every 1st Wednesday of the month, writers get together to express fears, concerns, and offer hope as well as encouragement or whatever else their hearts desire. This group was birthed by the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh and has grown into a thriving, broad community with tons of possibilities. Check it out here!

I especially excited to join in with these co-hosts this month:  Diedre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford, and Diane Burton

And this month's question is...
November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

Yes, I have participated in the past, but since I'm usually attacking middle grade manuscripts, shorts, and such, the 50,000 words isn't always the goal. And, honestly, I usually don't or barely make my goal, anyway. While the extra shove is great, this constantly writing doesn't fit in my life schedule, yet. So, while I find it a great way to motivate writers, it hasn't been super helpful for me.

But just because it hasn't yet, doesn't mean it won't be in the future. So, I'm keeping it in mind and seeing what will come.

What about you? Are you a NANO winner, or have you given it a go? What were your experiences?


It's Happy Book Birthday time! I do love to celebrate, and today's read will take care of that nicely. This is the 4th book in the Cat Ninja series, a graphic novel packed full of adventure and excitement...or so I'm told. Nope, I have not visited the Cat Ninja before nor any of his friends. So, I'm diving in a little late to the game, but I have a feeling that won't be a problem.

Ready for some excitement and fun? Then, let's  

Cat Ninja #4
by Matthew Cody
Illustrated by Chad Thomas
and Warren Wucinich
Andrews McMeel Publishing
Middle Grade Adventure / Graphic Novel
160 pages
ages 8 to 12

Everyone’s favorite feline superhero is back for even more hilarious adventures set in the Cat Ninja-verse. Catch up with Cat Ninja, Master Hamster, and the rest of the family as they face...the suburbs!

When Dad buys a new house outside the city, the kids are less than excited about new neighbors, backyard barbecues, and quiet, tree-lined streets. And they’re not alone—a summer in the suburbs is enough to make Cat Ninja miss the villains of Metro City!
Our hero and his family feel like fish out of water when they arrive in Peaceful Valley, but it won’t be long before Dad’s new neighborhood reveals its scaly, golden underbelly.
This volume includes:
Five full-length comics
One bonus Cat Ninja Tale



This is my first Cat Ninja book and...let's just say it's quite the ride.

Dad has bought a house in the suburbs, which means a move from Metro City to a quieter area. While there is a bit of rough adjustment (friends, area, and such), most neighbors are friendly enough, but when one brings over a pet fish as a present, the adventure begins. The fish is a henchman for the evil Godfather (fish-mafia), and when Mr. Squeaks disappears, Cat Ninja needs to face down the threat. But there's more to the mafia than meets the eye. 

Although the fourth in the series, this book can be picked up and read on its own without too much trouble sinking in. The reader does get a chance to discover the newness of everything, since the family is just moving into the new neighborhood and has some 'new' beginnings themselves. The situations do ring a bit of familiarity for anyone having to find new friends and steering the waters of divorced parents, but that's not the main thrust. This one is all about action and fun and intrigue and...well, super-spy adventure.

The illustrations are bright and bold or carry just the right amount of secret dimness, letting the atmosphere of each situation come across nicely. It's wonderful to see the characters in action with all of their various personality quirks. Even the bad guys shine, especially since there are additional panels to give a little backstory on each one. And the text gives what is needed and lets the illustrations do the rest. The entire thing does end with a bit of a the next book won't be a stand-alone? We'll see.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit, but then, it's not hard to adore ninja cats, clever hamsters, and the rest of the crew. 

And here they are...

Matthew Cody is the author of several popular books, including the award-winning Supers of Noble’s Green trilogy: Powerless, Super, and Villainous. He is also the author of Will in Scarlet and The Dead Gentleman, as well as the fantasy series The Secrets of the Pied Piper. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and son.

Chad Thomas first picked up a pencil in 1983, decided to draw cartoons in 1988, and finally started getting paid for it in 2005. He loves his family, comic books, and Star Wars, and he will let his children beat him in checkers, but never in Mario Kart. He has worked with a number of publishers in the comic industry on books such as TMNTStar Wars Adventures, and Mega Man. He has also illustrated several children's science and learning activity books.

Warren Wucinich is a comic book creator and part-time carny who has been lucky enough to work on such cool projects as Invader ZIM, Bright Family, Courtney Crumrin, and Cat Ninja. He is also the co-creator of the YA graphic novel Kriss: The Gift of Wrath. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas, where he spends his time making comics, re-watching 80’s television shows, and eating all the tacos.


Natalie Aguirre said...

NaNo doesn't fit with my schedule either. Glad you enjoyed the Cat Ninja book.

Nick Wilford said...

The 50,000 words can be a series of shorts, poems, or whatever, it doesn't all have to be one book. So it might still fit with the stuff you do. Cat Ninja looks a lot of fun!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You never know when you'll write something longer. Or a series!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's never fit into my life schedule either.

Allie Bock said...

Cat Ninja sounds really cute. I've never won Nanowrimo. I always sign up and just work on my own pace. Good luck with your WIP.