This month I decided to change things around a bit and focus a bit more on reading graphic novels and comics that I’ve had piling up for AGES, but never got around to reading. Some of which were ‘given’ to me by Net Galley in return for a review. Which is always a fun surprise, seeing as I usually haven’t heard of them!
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FIRST OF ALL: Here are the comics I read via Net Galley this month:
- Cigarette Girl
- Pop Gun War
- Ghostbusters International #1
- Black Magick: Volume 1
- Mythic: Volume 1
- Star Trek: Starfleet Academy
- Limbo: Volume 1
THE NAMELESS CITY
[THE NAMELESS CITY #1]
by Faith Erin Hicks 👲⛰🏃
OK so first off I’ll just say that I ADORE Faith Erin Hicks. So I am SUPER biased. I’ve been following her work on this comic for ages as well on twitter and the like, so I was SO EXCITED to finally get to read it! But now I’m sad because clearly this is part of a series and I want volume 2 ASAP. 😭
It feels very Avatar: The Last Airbender to me, but that’s a good thing. It basically means that it is a historical fiction story set in an alternate China. Or at least I think it’s China. The architecture makes me think China!!! Either way I am 10000% here for this. Kaidu and Rat were really cute and loveable and I just really want the next volume already because at the end they become friends (finALLY) and it’s not fair to end it like that. I do hope that they don’t become romantically involved partly because I’m so tired of that, and also because they are little kids and I am probably twice their age and that makes me feel weird. But again, do we NEED them to fall in love? Answer: NO. Let them be ride or die homies ok!!!!
I KILL GIANTS
by Joe Kelly 🗡🐰😠
TRIGGER WARNING: This book HEAVILY deals with the topic of death of a loved one. I didn’t read the blurb for this before reading with the intention of diving in not knowing what to expect. As a result at first I thought the reason for Barbara’s behaviour was something more sinister, but thankfully it wasn’t. I mean it was still upsetting, but in a good way instead of an upsetting way like Good Night Mr. Tom did when I was like 11 years old…
Anyway, my sister actually got this for me some years back and… I… never got around to reading it… ‘Till now… SOZ DUDE. Kinda glad I didn’t read it ’till now though because I think I would have been more upset by it years back.. But in a bad way. Because I was in a bad way hA HA… ANYWAY. This reminded me a lot of A Monster Calls which by the way is amazing and super easy to read so you have no excuse not to do so before the film comes out. However, this is not for kids while the previous is. It’s such a gut puncher holy shit. But in a good way. I got choked up at the end. I don’t cry easily. IT NEARLY MADE ME CRY. NOBODY MAKES ME CRY MY OWN TEARS!!!!!!! 😠😤 But I’ll let it slide because this was really damn good.
BATMAN: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE CAPED CRUSADER?
by Neil Gaiman 🌃⚰💭
Neil Gaiman sure knows what he’s doing. So this is where ol’ batsy dies. Well and truly dies. Pretty sure this was a one shot though, so Batman didn’t die in the ‘main’ comics. Anyway, his death is written in quite a lovely way so that his funeral is held in a back alley as Batman. Each character, villain or otherwise comes forward and tells their story of how Batman died. Each story is very different from the next but is telling of the character and their relationship to Batman/Bruce Wayne. It’s a really great illustration of Gaiman’s writing skills. 100% worth checking out if you’re a big Batman fan!!
by Craig Thompson 📜⏳💓
I actually bought this graphic novel when it came out in 2011, which was also my first year for my undergraduate degree. And then I never got around to reading it… OOPS. It’s a beautiful book so I always liked looking at it but just.. never… read it… Which now after having read it, is BLASPHEMOUS to think of. BUT I think it was actually good that I hadn’t read it earlier because I think I would not have appreciated it in the same way that I do now, as a twenty-something.
I CANNOT DESCRIBE IN WORDS HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS BOOK IS!!! I read Blankets by Craig Thompson a year ago at uni, and I didn’t get the hype for that graphic novel. I mean, it was good but I just didn’t get why everyone was so in love with it… Honestly, I think This One Summer was better even though it came out years after the former… ANYWAY, since that was my only basis for Thompson’s work, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Safe to say that it really is super beautiful inside and out, and also quite sad and poignant and a million other descriptive buzzwords. Please note though that there are a few scenes depicting rape and abuse and assault, so if that kind of thing is super triggering to you, it might be worthwhile to skip this one until you think you could manage it.
I need to try and convince my parents to read this though. Even if they have a weird aversion to “comics”…
THOR: DUELING WITH GIANTS
[TALES OF ASGARD TRILOGY #1]
by Keith R.A. DeCandido 🌌🔨✨
Shout out to Net Galley for this one! I thought it was a comic at first, but turns out it was a tie in novel of sorts. Which is not a bad thing! I just don’t really read tie-in novels for comics. Except Hellboy. Anyway, the dialogue in this novel is kind of ‘Shakespearean’, if you get what I mean. The plot itself was entertaining enough. It’s just a usual kind of plot where Thor is super headstrong and wants to be DA BEST and Loki is of course always angry and scheming, so he sets plans in motion to get his brother all kinds of fucked up.
It’s a very typical Loki vs. Aesir type story. Long story short, if you really love Thor comics and want something quick and easy to read for like a long bus ride or whatever, then pick this up. Might even be a good book for middle school kids who are getting into superheroes!
MAGIC BITTER, MAGIC SWEET
by Charlie N. Holmberg 😇🍰💖
RIGHT so I read The Paper Magician trilogy by Mrs Holmberg about a year ago, and even though it wasn’t really the kind of book I usually read – it was a romantic fantasy story, with student teacher relationships – it ended up being exactly what I needed. The basis of that trilogy is that it’s an alternate Victorian England where magic is real, but it’s like an elemental type magic. The lead character ends up getting assigned to ‘intern’ with a paper magician and finds out that paper magic is more versatile than originally thought.
ANYWAY I DIGRESS, Charlie Holmberg has a really addictive way of writing. I don’t know how to explain it but it is so fun to read and kinda makes it hard to stop. Which works for this story. Throughout the book, you read little snippets of text from another person or at another time, which is intriguing since the protagonist has no memory of her past life or who she was. Except for her name. All she knows is that she can embed emotions into what she bakes. She ends up getting captured by a man who is a bit kooky and even though he tries hard to keep her from figuring anything out, she ends up learning exactly who she is.
I don’t want to explain too much because then I’ll end up giving it away, but it’s very ‘spiritual’ I suppose. A lot of involvement of creation myths and what not. It’s really easy to read anyway and you should check it out especially if you’ve read her other books. I’m giving it a 3/5 because while it was a lot of fun to read, I was a little bit disappointed by the end. I was hoping it would be something different, but I’m ok with it.
[THE ILLUMINAE FILES #1]
by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristof 🚀⌨🌌
FINALLY got around to reading this!! I bought it some months back after I was cranky because something I was shooting took longer than expected… Going in, I knew there was a LOT of hype surrounding this book, about how good it was and entertaining and how great the characters were, etc. And I’ll say this: the hype is a bit overrated but only a little bit. Parts of the plot are age old SciFi tropes that have been floating around for 50+ years. So in that respect, it wasn’t that amazing.
BUT what I think is the shining star of this book is the way the story is presented. Everything you read is presented to you in the form of a dossier collecting all the evidence of what happened. Through diary entries, chat logs, people describing what happens in security footage, things like that. That I think is the part people should be hyped up about.
Finding new ways that get people excited about reading is SO IMPORTANT, now more than ever!! It’s like the 3D movies that are constantly in cinemas, either film the movie with 3D in mind or don’t do it at all. Otherwise it’s just a cheap money making gimmick that reduces the quality of the film and your enjoyment of it. So like with Illuminae, you’ve got to think HOW you want to present this story, and since we have access to so many new and wonderful things, why just limit your story to plain text on a page? Would it help the story to have the text formatted to be in a shape of something? Maybe having parts that you can scan with a camera that reveals extra or vital info for the story!
TL;DR – MORE EXCITING WAYS OF PRESENTING YOUR STORIES PLS!!!! I LIKE IT!!!
[THE CHRONICLES OF PRYDAIN #4]
by Lloyd Alexander 🦁🏰💎
This series is just so cute and fun!! And it’s incredibly easy to read so it’s like a nice little mental getaway. In this book, which is the second last of the series, Taran decides he must go out and adventure to figure out who he truly is, and also to find his father. The book is quite short and easy to read but it still feels so rich and heavy with plot. But in a good way!! Not much to say other than things start to get a bit more heavy and ‘Adult’, which makes sense because I’m assuming Taran is much older now than he was at the start of the series.
EDIT: I realised that I never posted a review for the previous books on any monthly round up thing so, uh, don’t worry about that…………..