Posts Tagged ‘Graphic Novel’

Chico & Rita

In Book Reviews on May 11, 2014 at 6:00 am
SelfMadeHero 2011

SelfMadeHero 2011

Nutshell blurb: Chico is a piano player and Rita is a singer. The meet in Havana and this story chronicles their journey through life, love and music.

I saw this book standing up on a shelf in the Barbican library and right away I was taken by the cover. I was also drawn to the fact that it’s a Latin American graphic novel. I have never read one before and I have a keen interest in the subject matter. I love Latin American music. Salsa, merengue and bachata. My Latino playlist is frequently pumping through my headphones as I walk through the city. It makes complete sense that this book would pull me into its pages.

I really loved this book, however I had a difficult time relating to it on a personal level. I must tell you that I’m not the biggest fan of love stories. I don’t mind if it’s part of the story but I don’t really like it when it’s the whole story.

I felt like these two people were terrible for each other. They were so mean to one another and all I could think of through the entire story was that they just needed to leave each other alone. He was overly jealous and she was fickle. It seemed like they loved each other yet it was entirely too easy for them to wind up in someone else’s arms. When they were with each other, they would say horrible things that would hurt the other.

I suppose that my views on this subject reflect the way I am in life. I’ve never been the kind of person who could forgive infidelity in a relationship. Basically, if you hook up with someone else, you can kiss me goodbye. So it made me really sad to see two people who are supposedly in love treat each other so poorly. I guess that love stories have to be dramatic in order to be interesting, but it still made me a bit sad.

Even though I couldn’t relate to the story, I was still drawn into it. The artwork is stunning. I would love to have a print of some of the panels for my walls. I would also be interested to see the film that inspired this book.

Overall, it was gorgeous and engaging. I’m really glad that I happened upon it.


Mouse Guard: The Black Axe

In Book Reviews on January 19, 2014 at 11:09 am
Titan Books 2013

Titan Books 2013

This book was another Christmas gift from my beloved hubby. I bought the other two Mouse Guard books years ago and fell in love with them.

This is another case where a graphic novel has swept me away with its beauty and charm. I want more. I don’t want to live in a world where there are ONLY three Mouse Guard books.

Ok, that’s a little bit dramatic but these books are gorgeous. They feature mice, ferrets and other woodland creatures in their own little medieval setting. These mice are fierce. And honorable. And they carry swords.

As the title of this book suggests, this is the story of the Black Axe who features as a legend in the first two books. This is the story of how he came to be.

I found this story far deeper and more heart-rending than the first two and I felt a bit sad when I finished it. (Not just because I didn’t want it to end, although I did feel a bit sad because of that.) There was so much pain, sacrifice and loss in this story and the accompanying illustrations made it even more poignant.

I would say that if you’re going to read this, skip the introduction as there’s a spoiler in there. It kind of ticked me off to read that before starting the story. I hate spoilers with so much passion. Darn you, Terry Jones!

This book is amazing and one that I’ll read over and over again.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

In Book Reviews on January 8, 2014 at 6:00 am
Marvel Worldwide Inc 2008

Marvel Worldwide Inc 2008


This book was one of my Christmas presents given to me by my wonderful hubby. I had seen it knocking around the comic book shop for quite some time but never got around to buying it.

Now I own it and it’s everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. I was drawn to it because of the gorgeous art style. It is sumptuous! It took me quite a few days to read it because each panel is a visual feast and, frankly, I didn’t want to finish it. It’s too beautiful to ever end!

I’ve actually never read the novel by L. Frank Baum and haven’t been in a terrible hurry to do so. Until now. I really want to pick it up as soon as possible.

There is an author’s note in the beginning about how this project came to exist and it turns out that Mr. Shanower is a hardcore Wizard of Oz fanboy from his early days. He based his adaptation on the novel which seems to be quite different to the film that we’ve all grown up with. Of course, it makes sense that he would do this but my only exposure to this story was the film and I had no idea that they were so different.

There are no ruby slippers (I suppose that red looks better in technicolor) and the flying monkeys are bound by a spell to an enchanted cap.

I loved everything about this book. It’ll definitely be one that I re-read several times and I’m also going to keep my eye out for some prints to hang on my walls. I’m looking forward to picking up the next installment.

The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye

In Book Reviews on July 14, 2013 at 6:00 am

The Walking Dead 1

Seventh Printing 2008

It would seem that I’m going through a zombie phase at the moment. I actually started reading this graphic novel after having seen Seasons 1 and 2 of the The Walking Dead on tv. This worried me as I’m always a fan of reading the book before watching the tv/film. In this case, it really doesn’t matter as so far they are quite different from each other. Of course, I’ve only read the first one so I have no idea of what’s going to happen in the subsequent issues. I have noticed that my library has them lined up in numerical order as if they’re just waiting for me.

I’m not entirely sure what’s prompted my zombie obsession these days. I’ve actually read a lot of dystopia in the past year or so and am fascinated by the choices people have to make when the world goes to hell. At first I found the tv show to be sappy and overly sentimental whereas the graphic novel doesn’t dwell on the feelings as much (so far). It is inevitable that I think about the show as I’m reading the graphic novel and now that I’m further along in the series I can appreciate the personal and emotional drama much better. I’m getting really attached to the characters and am terrified for them every time they get into a confrontation.

One of the difficulties that I have with reading graphic novels is that I read super fast. I wouldn’t quite call it skimming, but it’s pretty close. When I first started reading them, I missed so much because the stories really do rely on the pictures (duh, right?) and I would flip through a book and have a only vague idea of what was going on. I love graphic novels and manga, though, so I’ve had to teach myself to slow down when reading them over the years. It’s really difficult to change one’s reading style. Pictures = slow the heck down, Buffy. It’s worth it though. I would have missed out on a lot of good stories otherwise.

I really enjoyed the first issue of this series and will probably pick up more than one on my next visit. I might also share my thoughts on several at a time so that I have more to say.

%d bloggers like this: