Category Archives: Graphic Novel

Mini Review: Skyward, Vol. 1 by Joe Henderson (Goodreads Author), Lee Garbett (Contributor), Antonio Fabela (Contributor)

Image Comics
Published April 18, 2018
136 Pages

One day, gravity on Earth suddenly became a fraction of what it is now. Twenty years later, humanity has adapted to its new low-gravity reality. And to Willa Fowler, a woman born just after G-day, it’s…well, it’s pretty awesome, actually.

You can fly through the air! I mean, sure, you can also die if you jump too high. So you just don’t jump too high. And maybe don’t get mixed up in your Dad’s secret plan to bring gravity back that could get you killed…- Goodreads

I liked this graphic novel but there are caveats. The story felt rushed. The idea that everything we know about gravity changes is a great concept that deserves time to develop. The scientific concepts within this book were brushed over leaving the reader to assume that it will be talked about later on. Spoiler alert, in this volume, they are not.

I slightly understand why writers choose to rush new comics because they are trying to sell the story so the reader will keep buying or requesting the story. It is a risky move that I don’t agree with but I understand. If the authors would have took just a bit more time on the

Although a brilliant woman, Willa is selfish and I have no sympathy for her, at least in this volume. She is a mess and wants things her way. When she doesn’t get it her way, she makes a way. And this is all good and gravy IF you have the full story as to why something is being done the way it is. I understand being bored. I understand wanting to do something different with your life and wanting to travel but Willa. . .  girl that was not the way to go.

A brief note on the artwork; its stunningly beautiful. You are sucked into this world full of brightness and movement. You want to know all about it, which is why this volume was disappointing.

Overall, I plan on reading the second volume because I am curious to know what will happen to Willa next and if she learned anything from volume one.

2 Pickles

Graphic Novel Review: Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts (Hungry Ghosts #1-4)

Berger Books
Published Oct. 2nd, 2018
128 Pages

On a dark, haunted night, a Russian Oligarch dares a circle of international chefs to play the samurai game of 100 Candles–where each storyteller tells a terrifying tale of ghosts, demons and unspeakable beings–and prays to survive the challenge.

Inspired by the Japanese Edo period game of Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai, Hungry Ghosts reimagines the classic stories of yokai, yorei, and obake, all tainted with the common thread of food.- Goodreads

If you do not recall, I am a very big fan of Anthony Bourdain. This man meant a lot to me and it still hurts that he is gone.

I avoided this book, even though I purchased it and left it on my shelf above my desk so I can see it everyday, I avoided it because I have been distancing myself from Bourdain to not think about his passing. So this review will be tough for me not because I will be bias but because it makes me think of him.

Anyway, I have conflicting feelings about this graphic novel, so let me tell you what I loved about it. The artwork was fantastic. I love love love Japanese inspired art and this graphic novel honored this art style with its colors and very fluid movements. Each illustrator, Sebastian Cabrol, Vanesa Del Rey, Francesco Francavilla, Irene Koh, Leo Manco, Alberto Ponticelli, Paul Pope, and Mateus Santolouco as well as color by Jose Villarrubia, deserve the biggest hype and recognition for the work that they put into this graphic novel. There wasn’t just a passion for art within their works but there was a respect and a appreciation for Japanese art.

What conflicted me about this graphic novel was the story. There wasn’t anything memorable about it. Basically each person has to tell a scary story and look in the mirror to see if they are possessed. Because each story is dark and gets darker, the room is weighed down with evil, therefore opening the door to something slipping in.

Love the concept but the story was not evil nor even remotely scary. Graphic? Yes. Unexpected? At moments. But the stories itself were nothing really memorable. But there was something that really bothered me. All stories had to be related to food. There were two women story tellers and one story can be considered about food if you stretch it but the other story had nothing to do with food (at all).

So it made me wonder. . . why? Why did the women in the book have completely off stories compared to everyone else? Both of their stories touched upon men doing really dumb things. They felt forced compared to the other stories and that bothered me.

Beyond this very noticeable thing and the fact that other than the two women stories none of the other stories contained women, I felt that compared to the artwork the intensity was not there. Its weird to say that the art didn’t match the words but that is really the case. The art offers something sinister or even unexpected where as the story was left rather dry.

They were okay reads but nothing I would say you need to go out and purchase now, which is unfortunate, given my love for Mr. Bourdain.

Overall, this is something to read in between read or if you are stuck in a layover and you happen to see a copy.

2 Pickles

Graphic Novel Review: Snotgirl, Vol. 1: Green Hair Don’t Care by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Image Comics
Published Feb. 28, 2017
136 Pages

Who is Lottie Person?
Is she a gorgeous, fun-loving social media star with a perfect life or a gross, allergy-ridden mess? Enter a world of snot, blood, and tears in this first collection.-Goodreads

Jumping right into this, the author tries to hard with Liottie. She is a influencer, a fashion blogger with million of followers and a reputation to hold as perfect and always on point.

I get it. This is what the world is now. There are so many people, so many different networks of fashion, make-up, food and books that a photo is worth a thousand words and it needs to be as perfect as possible because it opens the door to  new opportunities. The thing about focusing on that or even using it as a foundation is it because it can become an overkill really fast. It makes the surrounding characters fake and undependable, which sucks becuase they help drove the character.

But Lottie isn’t really a likeable character. She has servere allegeries, which causes snot to run down her nose in the most exessive amount possible. She hides this becuase she wants to be viewed as perfect even in her private life. This is fine. It adds depth to Lottie but only for a limited amount of time. She gets annoying and dull.

However, what the author does, which makes me want to read volume two, despite the low rating I gave this book, is the mystery. Lottie meets someone who she considers perfect. That someone has a weird obession with Lottie but it is very light. None the less, this person causing events to roll that not even Lottie fully understands what has happened or is happening. This mystery aspect of the book, is why I want to keep reading.

What the heck happened and why? Those are important questions that begin to change Lottie’s reputation and private world. This is why I want to keep reading. I’m intrigued by this girl and the new characters that are being introduced.

As for artwork, it top work. The colors and the difference in each character stands on it own and it doesn’t look forced at all.

Overall, I am giving volume two a read for the mystery and maybe there will be some character development. I hope so. I hope hope so.

2 Pickles

 

Graphic Novel Review: Wolf, Vol. 1: Blood and Magic (Wolf #1) by Ales Kot, Lee Loughridge (Colourist), Matt Taylor (Illustrator)

Image Comics
Published Nov. 11, 2015
144 Pages

Los Angeles, California: Antoine Wolfe, a hard-boiled paranormal detective with a death wish, has to cope with sudden responsibility for an orphaned teenage girl who might be the key to the impending apocalypse. The road to hell & back begins.

Enter the World where myths & reality meet. . .- Goodreads

Lately I have been coming across and issue with graphic novels written by white writers that have African American leads. I love the diversity but the issue is the first comic books lack a decent story. It is as if the author doesn’t know how to tell the story and therefore write a weak one, either testing to see if the public will like it or just not exactly sure how to tell the story.

Wolf is an interesting story; where myth meets reality. I love the concept and for the most part this particular volume isn’t a bad start to what can be an amazing story.

Wolf, himself, is a bit dull. There really isn’t much to him but at the same time, I am curious to know him because you know nothing about him other than his “ability.” There isn’t enough information or personality for me to like him but there is enough to make me curious and because of that I will read the second volume.

The story, overall, feels incomplete. Yes, I am aware that this is a series but even in the first volume you should feel some kind of satisfaction, something that makes you feel this isn’t a story that is being made up as you go along (no offense). It didn’t feel like a complete thought and the author was trying too hard to make it relevant, “hip” for teens or whoever.

Artwork was good; exactly what should be expected in a graphic novel. Overall, I do plan on reading volume two but hopefully it is better than volume 1.

 

2 Pickles

Graphic Novel Review: Funérailles 1: Fortunate Sons by Florent Maudoux

Ankama Editions Published May 7, 2013 80 Pages
Ankama Editions
Published May 7, 2013
80 Pages

In this society if you are not perfect you are not worth living. When a solider of a lower class falls in love with a woman in high society, the union is a perfect fairy tale. And union created a perfect child, destined to rule the Kingdom, while his twin brother a threat, who is toss away. 

Although pigs have eaten parts of this unwanted child, he is saved and lives for the most part a healthy life. When two boys meet, it sets the stage for events that will change their kingdom.

It is unfortunate when you find a series that you get completely into and find out that there are only two volumes….

At first I was skeptical because it appeared to be a cliche Romeo and Juliet if they would have gotten married. But it wasn’t like that at all. This graphic novel is dark, it is detailed, there is nudity, there is blood. It is perfect in a every twisted way.

What I loved most about this is how the backstories weren’t dragged out. It didn’t feel forced into the story nor did it take up the entire first volume. It was key to everything however, it felt less of a flashback and more of a this is what is happening now. Everything tied together with seamless transitions and I didn’t feel as if the author didn’t know what they were doing or that this was a first of their kind. You can see the care in the plot and it matches the artwork.

I can’t say that I had an issue with any part of this book. It is deep on the level that the higher class has a certain perception of how things should be and nothing will stop them from keeping their ideas and making it work. This highlights the darker side to this as well as science. Because science, specifically human anatomy, is strong with this graphic novel.

I enjoyed it but it isn’t for everyone and I would only recommend it to those who do not mind the dark, dull colors and violence.

4 Pickles

 

Graphic Novel Review: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys (The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #1-6) Gerard Way, Shaun Simon, Becky Cloonan (Illustrator)

Dark Horse Comics Published May 7, 2014 160 Pages
Dark Horse Comics
Published May 7, 2014
160 Pages

The Killjoys fought against mega-corporation Better Living Industries years ago costing them their lives in order to save a little girl. Today the Killjoys followers live in the desert while BLI strips people of their individuality.

People are tired and the fight is wearing out. It is up to the little girl to bring down BLI.  

I am or was My Chemical Romance fan. So when I saw this I picked it up and instantly it reminded me of their videos for Na Na Na Na and Sing.  It is pretty much the backstory and what happened after they died.

Firstly, the artwork was great. There was something about it that was perfect. The details were on point, the colors were amazing and it left some mystery within the characters. It was just cool. I mean look at that cover! Loved it.

Again the story is those videos, which I loved. I loved it because the videos was a story that left you wanting to know more. It was an art and I am glad that Gerald Way decided to put it in a graphic novel.  However, I felt that the plot didn’t give me enough. I feel that there was a huge assumption that people would connect the book to the story, therefore some things were left unsaid. I didn’t like that because when you write you have to assume the reader is new to this.

I also wanted more character development and I wanted to know more about the characters. There was a disconnect with the characters and the plot. It was slightly confusing. It wasn’t as if too much was going on but some big things were going on and I was like . . . why?

This was a huge deal because it left holes in the plot at every level of the story. But between the artwork and what I knew of the story (because of the videos), I liked it. But it could have been better written.

Overall, I liked it but I know exactly why others don’t and will not like it.

3 Pickles