Preparation for war between Fabletown and the Empire begins! The Adversary calls a conference of the Imperial elite to decide what to do about Fabletown and Pinocchio has to face up to his divided loyalties between his friends and his family. Meanwhile, Bigby decides the time has come to confront his father, the North Wind, while the cubs learn more of their family and celebrate their birthday! Plus, Burning Questions by the fans answered!
The diverse mythology of angels is explored in this lushly painted graphic novel from high-profile fantasy authors including Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles) and Bill Willingham (FABLES).Deep in the woods outside of a magical kingdom, a strange group of faeries and forest creatures discover a nearly dead angel, bleeding and unconscious with a sword by his side. They call a tribunal to decide his fate, each telling stories that delve into different interpretations of these winged, celestial beings: tales of dangerous angels, all-powerful angels, guardian angels and death angels, that range from the mystical to the mysterious to the macabre.
Nate and Charlie have known each other for a long time, but they don’t really have all that much in common other than the fact that they’re neighbors. Nate is the super-neurotic geek who is the head of the school robotics club. Charlie is the captain of the basketball team and a generally nice, down-to-earth guy. When extra money for extracurricular activities becomes unexpectedly available, the school decides that it will let the Student Council determine whether it goes to the robotics club (which needs the funds to go to national competition) or the cheerleaders (who need new uniforms). Nate really, really wants to take his robotics team to nationals and decides that he will personally run for Student Council president so that he will have a say over how the money is spent. The cheerleaders catch wind of this and decide that they will run Charlie in opposition to Nate, sparking a war between Nate and the cheerleaders.
This graphic novel is an amusing variation on the nerds vs. jocks genre. Instead of jocks being meat-head guys, we have scary-smart and ambitious cheerleaders to reckon with. Instead of stereotypical nerds, we have a diverse group of smart kids (including one very awesome girl and a pair of slightly odd twins). Charlie is neutral territory, in spite of being used by the cheerleaders who decide they are going to run his campaign. Charlie has no intention of being on Student Council and would really prefer not to get in the middle of the funding issue. When things get out of hand, however, it is Charlie that brings the voice of reason to the table. “Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong” is a genuinely fun read.
This lovely graphic novel depicts angels watching over the affairs on earth. Eventually, the strain becomes too much of one of them and the angel sinks to earth. Immobilized by the overwhelming struggle, the angel is mistaken as a statue. Eventually, a rag-tag group of beings start to rehabilitate the angel.
There’s minimal text; the story is mostly told through pictures. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous. It’s mixed media and it’s beautiful. This is a very fast read, but the story and art will stick with readers long after the cover is closed.
A young orphan is stalked by cannibalistic, sharp-toothed psycho. Set in the early 20th, this comic is slightly reminiscent of Snyder’s other work, American Vampire. Unfortunately, the characters here are nowhere near as memorable or interesting as those in some of Snyder’s other work. While Severed is billed as being super scary, it’s really not all that horrifying. It’s not because the artwork is lacking, rather because the story itself is rather pedestrian. There’s really nothing all that original going on here. What really redeems the comic is the artwork itself, which is nearly perfect and absolutely lends itself not only to the tone of the story, but creates atmosphere where the story is lacking in it. A serviceable entry in the horror comic genre.
One hundred years ago, steamboats ruled the rivers. Captain Twain of the Steamship Lorelei is one of the best-known captains on the Hudson River. One day, he rescues a mermaid who has been injured by a harpoon. The captain hides her away in his quarters and tends to her wounds. As she recovers, the two begin get to know one another. Twain, who hopes to be a writer one day, also finds that his writing block has vanished. Meanwhile, the ship’s owner, the Frenchman Lafayette has been corresponding with a mysterious author about ways to rid oneself of a mermaid’s curse. The mysterious author prepares for a very public debut aboard the Steamship Lorelei. As the three characters’ lives converge, so too do elements of mythology and folklore, culminating in a series of events that none of the characters could have ever foreseen.
I went into this thinking that it had something to do with that other Twain of Midwestern fame, but such is not the case. The real Mark Twain is, however, referenced at least once by the characters themselves. Captain Twain is, in many ways, a parallel to the literary figure. I loved the artwork in this comic; it suited the story beautifully. It tends to have an almost-underwater/dreamlike quality to it. The story is rich and unexpected, with distinct magic-realism tendencies. In short, it’s pretty much everything I look for in a graphic novel.
I can’t help but think that this manga is really more for established fans than those new to the Soulless series. I haven’t read any of the series, so I didn’t really know what to expect when I picked up the manga-style adaptations. I was not terribly impressed. In fact, I was kind of annoyed at the whole experience.
The story is lacking in detail and world-building, but that’s probably the result of it being an adaptation. The artwork is merely OK; it uses a lot of manga tropes, which, in an American comic, feels off somehow. I’m honestly getting very tired of popular series being turned into “manga”. Particularly annoying to me in this particular volume is the depiction of the female characters. The ridiculously large breasts and plunging necklines come across as entirely superfluous.
I wanted to like this series; I really did, but ultimately it just fell flat.
Rain Harper is a teenaged runaway who has just arrived in Seattle. She needs a place to stay and finds an abandoned mansion that is miraculously unoccupied by other squatters. It’s only a matter of time before she finds out why: the house is not a normal house. It’s inhabited by a host of other-worldly spirits that form a jury who summon humans to account for their secrets. Rain finds herself in the position of “witness” to the proceedings. Rain, however, has more than a few secrets of her own. So do the friends she picks up along the way. When will the house finally demand to pass judgements on their secrets?
This omnibus collects the entire House of Secrets series, which means that it’s a massive tome and quite a bit to take in all at once. Rain is a fascinating, if unreliable, narrator, but the house is really what caught my interest. It has its own terrifying history and tends to show up in various locales at various points in time. Witty and dark, this is a great series.
The controversial, long-awaited prequels to the best-selling graphic novel of all-time are finally here: BEFORE WATCHMEN! For over twenty years, the back stories of the now iconic characters from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s landmark graphic novel have remained a mystery, until now. DC Comics has assembled the greatest creators in the industry to further paint the world of WATCHMEN, with this second volume starring two of the most polarizing anti-heroes ever, COMEDIAN and RORSCHACH.
Eisner Award-winning writer and creator of 100 Bullets Brian Azzarello brings his gritty, nuanced storytelling to these two recognizable characters. In RORSCHACH, Azzarello again teams with superstar artist Lee Bermejo (JOKER, LUTHOR, BATMAN/DEATHBLOW) to illustrate how one of most dangerous vigilantes the comic world has ever seen became even darker. COMEDIAN, featuring art by J.G. Jones (FINAL CRISIS, Wanted), plants the famed war hero within the context of American history, as we find out how the Vietnam War and the Kennedy assassination revolve around him.
In this 17th Century Japan the Shogun is a woman…and the harem is full of men. The tale told in the Chronicle of the Dying Day continues as the young female shogun Iemitsu tries desperately to conceive a male heir. But her lover Arikoto seems unable to give her a child, and they must betray their hearts to save their country. Meanwhile, the Redface Pox continues its ruthless progress through Japan, leaving famine, despair, and the threat of anarchy in its wake.
The Lovecraft Anthology is a graphic collection of Lovecraft’s tales, adapted and illustrated by a variety of authors and artists. Featured in this first volume are several classics, including Call of Cthulhu, and The Shadow Over Innsmouth.
Beyond the artwork, these adaptations also are quick verbal sketches of Lovecraft’s work. I enjoyed them, but often regretted the stories weren’t covered in more detail. Creating artwork is very time consuming, though, and being exposed to the styles of multiple artists was worth missing out on a few story details. As with any multiple-artist anthology, I had style preferences (D’Israeli!), but this will vary by reader. Recommended as an introduction to dark Lovecraftian worlds.
Punk Rock Jesus is about the second coming of Christ. In the not so distant future, Jesus is cloned from the Shroud of Turin. His birth and life are all part of a new reality tv show called J2. Chris and his mom Gwen are basically prisoners on the J2 island. Gwen becomes more and more unhappy with the J2 life and repeatedly tries to escape. Finally, evil Dr. Slate, the head of the project, has her fired from the show and subsequently killed. Chris rebels, escapes the island, becomes lead singer of a punk band, and becomes an atheist. His life polarizes the population pitting atheist scientists against right-wing Christians.
I found the premise of this book fascinating and not all that unbelievable. This is the perfect combination of our adoration of reality tv and the rise of the Christian right. I thought it was drawn really well and I rather liked the message of the book. I just wish the story was a little stronger. The characters all seem very one-dimensional and caricatures of who they are supposed to be. The only one with a little bit of personality and backstory was Thomas, the IRA henchman turned security guard. I thought it was a little sad that all the scientists were shown as brilliant atheists and all the religious were militant crackpots. I kind of felt like Murphy was trying to make this story as controversial as possible, not that controversy is bad or wrong; however, the strongest controversial messages are those that make you question and think. This story is so in your face that it doesn’t leave any room for anything else.
I enjoy reading the FABLES graphic novels. These stories have a great balance of humor, action and horror. Fairest explores the secret past of Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzul, Cinderella, The Snow Queen, Snow White, Thumbelina and others. Forget Disneys’ Once Upon a Time and read Bill Willingham’s FABLES.
A wizard tries to capture Death and gets Dream instead. Dream is imprisoned in a glass cage for a century. When he finally escapes he must find his tools of office. This quest takes him to Hell and beyond. Dreams are running wild and havoc reigns while Dream isn’t fully in control. This is the introduction to the Sandman tale and it is a good one. It is entertaining and fascinating. I can’t wait to read more.
Zozimos just wants to go home. Unfortunately for him he has been banished by his evil witch of a stepmother. Try as he might he can’t seem to find his way back to Sticatha. He encounters golems and princesses and heroes and monsters on his journey. He seems to always be in trouble, mostly his own fault. I guess I will have to read book two to find out if he ever makes it home. It has been a while since I read The Odyssey, but I am sure this is a pretty close retelling. Telling the story in doodles with a stickman as the main character definitely makes it more accessible for kids.
Babymouse has to deal with all kinds of things like curly whiskers and homework and a stuck locker. She dreams of being Queen Babymouse with a tiara and everything. She also wants to be friends with Felicia Furrypaws, the most popular girl in school. She does everything she can think of to get invited to Felicia’s slumber party. But once she is there she realizes how boring these girls are and goes back to her best friend Wilson. I think this graphic book has a lot of appeal to younger girls. The story is very approachable and has a great message. I love the black, white and pink drawings. I also think the Babymouse asides where she imagines greatness for herself are awesome and funny.
Kick Ass is the story of a guy who wants to be more than he is. Dave is tired of his life and decides he is going to be a superhero like the people in his comics. He puts on the suit and goes out to fight crime. Then he gets his ass kicked repeatedly. One night he is in over his head and Big Daddy and Hit Girl show up and slaughter ensues. BD and HG are superheroes like KA, but they are a lot more violent. Instead of reasoning with people or getting them to stop their behavior, BD and HG just kill them. Their backstory is that BD was a cop and the mob killed his wife. He decides to go after them and trains his 10-year-old daughter HG to be a killing machine. They decide to team up and go after the head of the mob with the help of another superhero Red Mist. Of course Red Mist betrays them and more killing and torture ensue.
This is a very violent book. The killing is graphic and seems to be there for the sake of violence. Big Daddy and Hit Girl seem to enjoy their killing sprees and are as far from superheroes and they can get. Kick Ass wants to be a superhero so he can get the girl of his dreams, be more popular and have a ton of friends on myspace. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of redeeming qualities in any of these characters. However, if you don’t think about that fact, the book is entertaining.
The characters of stories and legends have been driven from their homelands by “The Adversary”. They are now living in the “mundy” world. Those able to pass as human or able to afford glamours live among the mundys in New York. Those who can’t pass live at “the farm” in upstate New York. The first few chapters are the story of Rose Red’s murder. Her sister Snow White and Bigby Wolf investigate, linking the murder to both Jack (of beanstalk fame) and Bluebeard. The second set involves the farm and the uprising of its inhabitants. I loved Willingham’s take on these characters. I love that Prince Charming is a freeloader and has been divorced by both his wives. I liked Snow White as a take charge administrator. And I really enjoyed Colin pig’s escapes to the city (though I was saddened by what happened to him at the farm). I was a little surprised by how adult this book was considering its characters, but I guess that is why it was in the adult section at the library not the teen section! I will definitely be checking out the rest of this fun series.
In the not-too-distant future, a geneticist and a TV producer will join forces to create the most polarizing reality TV show ever created. In this show, the DNA of Jesus will be used to create a clone whose life will then be broadcast the world over. A young woman is plucked from thousands of applicants to be the new “virgin” mother and an island fortress is built to house the newly fabricated family. A former IRA operative is hired to act as babysitter and bodyguard to the new Jesus.
When “J2″ airs, reactions range from outraged to adoring. Jesus as a child is charming and sweet, but when the ratings start to dip as he grows older, his mother is “cut” from the show. In retaliation, Jesus escapes the island stronghold and joins a punk band. Because that’s what you do when you’re the angst-y, overexposed, clone of the Christian world’s savior. Teens do love to rebel, right? Even if they might be regarded as the second coming of Jesus by some factions.
I must say, it’s a premise that I wasn’t sure about, but came to love. It’s darkly humorous and extremely satirical. There’s tons of action and plenty to think about, thematically. I really can’t ask for much more in a graphic novel.