Category: Graphic Novel
As if Quentin Tarantino’s mind and a children’s picture book were accidental merged during teleportation to another universe!
Cupcake & Astronaut is a weird dive into the mind of famed comic artist, Question No. 6. ( ) (that’s her name-the empty parenthesis, not this one) has one too many arms and one too few eyes to be an astronaut until she realizes that her love of shotguns could force the Space Center to build a special spacesuit just for her. Her adventures in space, with her beloved cupcakes, ensue. [cue Kill Bill soundtrack]
The artwork here is, of course, the star. It’s affordable pop art that would be excellent framed. It is similar to the colorful style of Roy Lichtenstein. The plot is scattershot. Trying to guess its direction, or even its purpose, is difficult. It might be a story celebrating diversity. I can’t even tell its genre. Science fiction? Fantasy? Women’s fiction? Children’s picture book (even though it says it is for grade 11 and up)? Who knows? But I like its delicious difference from any other book ( not just graphic novel) out there. 4 stars!
The author’s name refers to the most difficult question given to high school mathletes. If you’re interested, search for “Question 6 1988 Australian math olympics”.
End nerd (of which I am one of course) alert!
Thanks to the publisher, Alternative Comics, and Edelweiss+ for an advanced copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel Tagged with: Aug 14 2018
Goldilocks and the Infinite Bears contains humorous short comics about pop culture.
As fractured fairy tales did in the 1960s, this collection holds nothing sacred in its quest for laughter. In the time of online dating, how long would it take the frog prince to find someone to give him a kiss? Why is it a bad idea to be the angel of death’s biggest fan? Everyone knows the Romans had a god for everything. But a god of eye crust? Of atheism? What would happen if the hungry caterpillar was really famished?
This is a fun parody of fairy tales, religion, movies, plays, children’s stories and video games. It has some swear words making it unsuitable for children. Some of the references to religion might offend. However, the bottom line is it’s funny. Like haha—why didn’t I think of that—funny so 4 stars!
Thanks to Lion Forge and Edelweiss+ for an advanced copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel Tagged with: Aug 14 2018, parody
A pregnant Brazilian lands in an airport in Switzerland. She calls the police because an assassin is hunting her. When the police fail to stop the killer, a young girl appears saying she just wants the lady’s fetus. So begins Undead Messiah 1, an exciting thriller wrapped within a horror manga.
Who hasn’t been entranced by a video game, movie or book and after it’s over you still feel like it has leached into your real life? Tim loves ZAC, a zombie video game, and the Walking Dead television show. He begins to see zombie threats everywhere. However, just because he’s paranoid, doesn’t mean there aren’t zombies running amok.
I loved the innovative plot. Unfortunately, I can’t describe my favorite part since it will spoil the surprise. As a huge fan of the Walking Dead comics, I thought this book would be perfect for me. And it was. Nerdy gamer thinks he can kill real zombies until he meets one. If only there was a wireless controller for real life (heavy sigh…). The art, especially the chapter titles, perfectly set the mood and clearly illustrated the plot.
Undead Messiah 1 has elements of horror, mystery, fantasy, post-apocalyptic thriller and even romance. I can’t wait for the second volume, which comes out November 6, 2018. It is highly recommended for all manga fans looking for something different. 4 stars!
Thanks to ToykoPop and Edelweiss+ for an advanced copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel, Horror, Mystery & Thrillers, Paranormal, Romance Tagged with: Jul 19 2018, Manga
Great world building and artwork makes the God Complex: Dogma a great choice for sci-fi fans!
Seneca is a digital forensic police officer in the future. His world is ruled by Greek gods called the Rulers. There is one holdout, the Church of the Trinity, which believes in just one god. When mysterious deaths start occurring, Seneca is offered a job by the Rulers to hunt the one god within the city’s power grid called the stream. Seneca also hears a voice in his head questioning his motives and actions. The coup, a rebel group fighting the Rulers, attempts to turn Seneca against the Rulers.
The artwork within God Complex: Dogma is beautiful especially the Matrix’esque depiction of the Fates. The plot takes a bit of time to get into due to its complexity. However, the ideas resonate long after the conclusion is reached. This graphic novel is recommended for sci-fi fans of Tron, Blade Runner and the Matrix. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Image Comics, and Edelweiss+ for an advanced copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel Tagged with: Greek gods, Jul 18 2018, mythology, near future
Captivating could-be-happening-now science-fiction plot with appealing artwork.
There is a real tradition of former presidents leaving a personal note for the new president. In Letter 44 Vol 1, the note says aliens are building a mysterious object in our solar system. No one except for a few top defense staff have been told to avoid mass panic. The note continues that the seemingly senseless middle east wars were started just to keep our soldiers in tip-top condition and to inflate the defense budget. Because of a mysterious transmission obstruction, our cameras and telescopes can’t see what is being built. A ship is hastily constructed in secret and sent with 9 military/scientists to investigate. The ship is scheduled to arrive in a few days after more than 3 years in flight.
Will the new President reveal the secret to the American people? To the other national leaders? What will the ship’s crew discover when they reach the alien object? What is its purpose?
The premise and art are great. The plot has several twists and turns. It’s hard to judge who is good and who is evil. If you like your science fiction to be thought-provoking, you can’t go wrong with Letter 44 Vol 1. Plus it’s available for free on Comixology Unlimited and Prime Reading at the time of this review. 5 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Oni Press, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel, Science Fiction Tagged with: Jul 17 2018, space travel
If Doctor Who and Bridget Jones had a baby, it would result in Infinity 8 Vol 1.
Agent Yoko Keren is a security officer on a multispecies spaceship heading for Andromeda. She also wants a child. She is fine with a non-human daddy but checks their genetic history first. So far, all the candidates have poor family histories from asthma to alcoholism. When the ship finds a mysterious floating necropolis, Agent Keren investigates. An alien electrician pledges his love. A hundred necro-eaters try to kill her while she attempts to stop their plot to blow up the ship.
This comic has it all. Star Wars bar-like aliens, romance, fierce battles, fan service and humor. It is highly recommended for female sci-fi fans and admirers of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Lion Forge, and Edelweiss+ for an advanced copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel, Science Fiction Tagged with: Jul 3 2018
Babyteeth Vol 2 begins with a nice summary of Vol 1. While that is nice for readers beginning here, it spoils the surprises in Vol 1 so I would recommend reading them in order. Also, if you want to read Vol 1 first, please don’t read the rest of this review since it contains SPOILERS for that volume.
I loved Vol 1 of this series. As I stated in my 5 star review of Vol 1, I couldn’t wait for volume 2 and grabbed it off NetGalley as soon as it appeared.
This story begins immediately after the first with Heather, Sadie and baby Clark travelling on a commercial airplane flown by the girls’ dad. The group is accompanied by the wizard Dancy and headed for the Maine castle built for Clark by the dark cultish group, the Way. In the meantime, the quasi-governmental group, the Silhouette, is trying once again to kill them. Both groups believe that Clark is the antichrist, born to usher in the end times. For the Way that is good news but for the Silhouette it is not. Are both groups insane? Well, little Clark does only drink blood and when he cries people bleed and sometimes disappear.
While still a good horror story, this volume doesn’t have the big ‘Clark is who?’ surprise element of Vol 1. There are a few smaller twists in the plot to keep it interesting. An adorable “fire-breathing murder raccoon” and Sadie’s backstory are intriguing. The relative of a past adversary also appears.
Babyteeth Vol 2 collects issues #6-10. Single issues continue to be published so I can’t wait for Vol 3. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Aftershock Comics, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel, Horror Tagged with: Jun 26 2018, paranormal
An important graphic novel about gender neutral pronouns and why they are important.
“Pronouns are great if you don’t know something or are lazy.”
However, they are increasingly problematic in a gender fluid world. Using humor, this guide gives all the tenses for common pronouns like he, she, they and ze while gently coaxing readers to use each person’s requested pronoun. The book explains that the question “what pronoun do you use?” is better than “which pronoun do you prefer?”. The second implies that gender is a choice.
The Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns Vol 1 is a useful reference for the non-binary population and their friends, family and co-workers. 4 stars!
Thanks to Limerence (Oni) Press and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel, Non-fiction Tagged with: Jun 12 2018, language, non-binary
Dark Nights: Metal was billed as the ultimate event from DC Comics. Certainly, the book is filled with every hero and villain in their stable. In addition, there are a multitude of Easter eggs and call outs (literally—they are in little yellow boxes) to other DC Comics. Maybe the buildup made me expect too much…but I didn’t enjoy the plot very much.
It appears that 52 universes within the multiverse are not enough for DC. Underlying the multiverse is a dark multiverse ruled by Barbatos. There are also a bunch of metals that are not on the periodic table that will be used to create a door into it. Around that point in the book (25%), I decided that this was not the book for me but maybe a physicist that has also read every single DC Comic will like it. I usually love Scott Snyder’s complex plots but this one was a bit much. I read the prequel first and I cannot imagine how confused I would have been if I had not.
Despite, or possibly because of, the crazy plot, the artwork was great! I don’t want to give away any spoilers but some of the League are in for some sh*t and the art definitely goes there to illustrate it! So 3 stars for the plot (and this big Scott Snyder fan has to cringe a bit to write it) and 5 for the art averages to 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, DC Comics, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel Tagged with: batman, Jun 12 2018, Justice League
Ana and Gabe are addicted to froot, the mostly illegal hallucinogen. They also pilot a space ship in a future world. Ana looks and acts like Spicoli from Ridgemont High. The plot is reminiscent of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Weird stuff just keeps happening and that’s it for plot.
Void Trip misses an opportunity to create an awesome future world. The artwork is well done but the plot is a mash-up of better books. I think froot (or a similar substance) is required while reading. 3 stars!
Thanks to Image Comics and Edelweiss+ for an advanced copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel, Science Fiction Tagged with: May 30 2018, space travel
Great high concept of a world where all animals from ants to humans to elephants one day suddenly can think and speak to one another. The leaders in Animosity Evolution Vol 1 believe that predators must be prevented from killing their natural prey. Only meat from criminals may be eaten after they are killed by the state. The predators form gangs to sell forbidden products. They also attempt to overthrow the state.
The world building within Animosity Evolution Vol 1 is great! The idea of using technology to both save and protect animals is ingenious. My only issue with my advanced review copy was that the muddy artwork sometimes prevented me from determining what was happening. Some of the pages, in particular the two-page close-up of the Leopard’s face, were extremely clear and detailed. Hopefully, the blurriness in the other pages will be corrected in the final version of the product. Still, due to the intriguing plot, I’m looking forward to reading more in the series. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars.
This book contains issues #1 through #5 published October 2017 through April 2018. Thanks to the publisher, Aftershock Comics, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel, Science Fiction Tagged with: May 30 2018
Maggy has been without a job in London for two years. Her neighbor sets her up as a secretary to Mr. Wight, an alcoholic private investigator. When he sends her home minutes after her arrival on her first day, Maggy cleverly solves one of his cases and pockets the fee. When her boss is assaulted and hospitalized, Maggy is left to her own devices.
Maggy Garrisson is a great British detective noir. Maggy is a flawed female lead, which is a nice change from Chandler and Hammett’s sexism. Maggy is also going down some mean streets with thugs and thieves aplenty.
This comic is highly recommended for fans of hard-boiled private detective fiction. Even the art is dark in the world of Maggy Garrisson. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Europe Comics, and NetGalley for a copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel, Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: hardboiled, May 17 2018
In 1929 France, an orphaned acrobat becomes a cabin boy in His Name was Ptirou.
Slice of 1929 cruise ship life, this comic provides a fictional backstory to the creator and main character of Spirou Comics. Spirou et Fantasio is a famous Franco-Belgian comic begun in 1938 and still in print today.
The comic includes the entertainment on a luxury ship in 1929 including movies, balls and boxing. A seaplane is also featured. His Name Was Ptirou includes romance, tragedy, acrobats, intrigue, union drama, sabotage and a mystery. There is truly something in here for most readers (sorry horror/paranormal/fantasy fans). 4 stars!
Thanks to Europe Comics and NetGalley for a copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel Tagged with: 1929, Apr 18 2018, circus
Kamo, a sixteen-year-old boy, is dying from a defective heart. Crimson from the underworld offers him a deal. Trap twelve spirit souls that will allow Crimson to live again and Crimson will repair Kamo’s heart permanently.
Despite a non-Japanese author, the artwork has an authentic manga feel. The ambience is very international. The setting is Bern, Switzerland. The female lead is a Spanish immigrant who occasionally uses Spanish phrases. The plot, based on Goethe’s Faust, is just different enough to be enjoyable without throwing off the manga vibe. 4 stars!
Thanks to ToykoPop and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel, Horror, Paranormal Tagged with: Manga, May 2 2018
Another sword and sorcery tale without the quest from Vol 1.
Emerane and her friends destroyed the Cult and saved Umber in Vol 1. But who will rise from the ashes to run the city now. The government is corrupt and working solely for the rich. The city’s peacekeepers are unpaid. When the parliament sends in a military force, there is chaos in the street.
Night’s Dominion Vol 2 sets the stage for an excellent vol 3 but doesn’t move the story arc much. There are only four issues included here compared to the six in Vol 1. The artwork is beautiful as always. Be aware that there are some sexual situations and nudity in this volume. 3 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Oni Press, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel Tagged with: May 22 2018, sword and sorcery
Unusual artwork is used effectively in a murder mystery set in a traveling circus. Spectacle Vol 1 is good until the unsatisfactory conclusion.
Twins Anna and Kat are members of a traveling circus. Anna is the fortune teller. Kat is a knife thrower. When Kat is murdered with her own knives, she appears as a ghost only to Anna. Anna investigates the crime.
The artwork within Spectacle Vol 1 promises to be controversial. It is in the style of Picasso’s blue period but uses mainly dusky reds, lavenders and chartreuse. The faces are almost cubist in their non-linear perspective so noses sometimes appear on the sides of faces.
I liked the mystery at the heart of the plot. I would have liked to see more backstories of the other circus performers. Many seemed like only a stereotype like the conjoined twins and the bearded lady. It took me about a third of the book to get used to the art style. Once I did, I enjoyed its uniqueness.
Spectacle Vol 1 collects issues #1 through 5. My problem with the collection is the abrupt ending. There is no resolution to the mystery here—only an inexplicable transformation that could mean anything. I actually purchased issue #4 because I thought that the last few pages of my Advanced Review Copy were missing. $1.99 later, I realized that issue #4 ended as suddenly as Vol 1. However, issue #4 included a page imploring the reader to purchase issue #5 in July 2018. While issues frequently employ cliff-hangers, it is rare and frustrating for collected volumes to do so. Because of this slight-of-hand, Spectacle Vol 1 receives 3 stars.
Thanks to the publisher, Oni Press, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Graphic Novel, Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: circus, May 23 2018