Getting into comics last year was one of the best things I did. I love story and I love art, therefore I love this medium. The comics I’ve since read are interesting, profound, and fun. They mirror my taste in fantasy books but are sometimes grittier. Since reading my first four, my interest in the medium grew until I found myself seeking more and more recommendations of what to read next. I decided to try mangas too and have indulged in my old love of illustrated books. Basically, I’m one happy booknerd for having discovered comics.
Here are the first two graphic novels I read this year.
The story continues. Alanna and Marko are hiding with their small family. People are chasing them.
Can’t say much except that I’m still interested in the story. I like how the plot is slowly unfolding and we learn more about the characters as we go along. We get some insight into how Alanna was raised in this installment. The cast also broadens as new characters are introduced. Relationships develop in unexpected ways and I liked how direct Marko’s mother is. She’s a badass. Also the characters are real and relatable in how they react to the predicament they’re placed. Love the dialogue as always.
As for the art, it’s great. I know it’s the same as the first volume since it’s by the same artist, but I wasn’t a big fan of it then (probably because I read The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1 at the same time). Now I’m used to the art and I really like it: the color tones, illustrations, placement, panels, everything. I also like that the characters are attractive. Marko’s still sexy.
Great installment because the characters and their relationships continue to development and I love the dialogue and the art.
A steampunk comic about a half-human, half-mechanical woman seeking answers about her past.
It’s okay. I LOVE the illustrations but the story was dry and boring. The story has a hint of suspense since Lady Mechanika is trying to learn about her past and that leads her to some shady people who live in her town. There is also a kidnapping and some immoral goings-on, which she tries to uncover. There is a lot of dialogue between Mechanika and her sidekick and other characters to discuss these cases but though they should be interesting, I was bored by the dialogue. I don’t know why that is but it made me think of Pride and Prejudice for some weird reason.
The characters are interesting. Lady Mechanika is strong and independent and so far isn’t romantically interested in any guy. I’m as curious about her past as she is. I like how brave she is. Mr. Lewis, her sidekick, is included for comedic effect. He’s a little silly but endearing and I wonder how he came to be an ally of Mechanika. The people who really intrigue me are the gypsies and the bad guys because they obviously know more than Mechanika.
I like the atmosphere of the story and the period it’s set in, the late 1800’s, the Gilded Age (the story opens in 1878). I assumed that the story is set in the U.S. [Feb. 2017 update: I forgot that early in the story it’s mentioned that they are in England]; however I don’t recall receiving any indication in the story that it is set there. I might have overlooked it. The period that the story is set in easily lends itself to steampunk influences, which are used well in this story. I love the mechanical parts attached to the characters that have them, Mr. Lewis has some cool inventions, and Lady Mechanika herself is just awesome. I love her costumes and weapons.
Speaking of costumes, I absolutely love the artwork! It was the prime reason why I wanted to get and read this comic. I love how the characters are drawn, though they tend to have really long legs, but I didn’t mind that. The women are sexy: busty with tiny waists and long legs. They often remind me of pinups, and the end pages with additional illustrations of Lady Mechanika are definitely pinups, but I love them. They would make great tattoos.
The illustrations are detailed and colorful. My favorites are of all the characters’ costumes — both men and women — and of the scenes where Mechanika visits the gypsies’ circus. The gypsy parts are overlaid in sepia tones (I don’t know much about art so I’m not sure if “overlaid” is the correct word to describe it but sepia is used) to indicate lights between the tents and to set those panels apart from other parts of the story. The fight scenes are pretty good too, though sometimes Mechanika’s upper body twists in a way that doesn’t seem congruent with her lower half. I wonder if that’s because she’s mechanical or if it’s just Benítez’s style.
The story is okay but it bored me and the art is superb. I may continue with the series, mostly because I love the art.