A while back, I read a review of Wolf Children that made me seek to experience the story myself. Since I couldn’t find a place online to watch it, I decided to get the manga and read it. I was drawn to the beautiful illustrations but, as with all my book purchases, I immediately forgot about it once I shelved it in my bookcase.
It wasn’t until the Tome Topple Readathon rolled around that I sought it out to read for a challenge — Read a graphic novel (over 500 pages). I was glad to finally read the book after being curious about it for so long and sample its beautiful art.
Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda, art by Yu, character design by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, trans. by Jocelyne Allen
Genre: I don’t know
Wolf Children is about a woman who falls in love with a man who is half wolf, the last of his kind. Circumstances lead her to raise their two children on her own, which she does with great patience and care. She never complains despite the difficulties she encounters in raising half-wolf children, but instead faces her challenges with optimism and a smile.
The children are complete opposites of each other. As a child, the older sibling, Yuki, is a spirited girl who loves to explore and experience new things and is driven by her curiosity about the world. In contrast, her young brother, Ame, is introspective, quiet, observant, and most of all, cautious. However as the two mature, their experiences lead them to choose unexpected paths.
Here are two comic books I thought I’d love: Archie and I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever After. Both are popular and have been mentioned by bloggers and booktubers so often that I thought I’d be an immediate fan. But instead, I was bored.
I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young (illus.) with colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu
An Adventure Time/Alice in Wonderland-style epic that smashes its cute little face against grown-up, Tank Girl/Deadpool-esque violent madness. Follow Gert, a forty year old woman stuck in a six year old’s body who has been trapped in the magical world of Fairyland for nearly thirty years. Join her and her giant battle-axe on a delightfully blood-soaked journey to see who will survive the girl who HATES FAIRYLAND. (Goodreads)
My opinion on this is an unpopular one. Just about everyone who has read this comic loved it and it’s easy to see why, but it just didn’t work for me. At first, I thought it was my mood that was the problem, but recently when I tried to reread it, I hopped around instead. I simply wasn’t interested.
After reading Trang’s review of The Wicked + the Divine, I was convinced to give the comic another try. It was one of the first comics I read when I decided to give the medium a try about two years ago. I was attracted to the title and the minimalist cover design of its first volume. When I opened the book to quickly flip through it, I was hooked. I loved the illustrations. The sellers at the comic book shop then told me it’s about mythological gods incarnated as superstars and that one even looks like Rihanna — I was sold. Anything fantasy that deals with gods and how they affect people’s lives is catnip for me.
The Wicked + The Divine is a fantasy comic book series set in present day U.K. about mythological gods who are incarnated as humans every ninety years but die after two years. This time, the gods appear as pop superstars. Everyone loves them and hates them and wants to be them. The story follows Laura, a teenager who yearns to be part of the Pantheon (the group of gods), as she gets tangled in the gods’ affairs.
Another superhero comic set in the DC Universe that I borrowed from a co-worker. This one includes the Justice League and other superheroes and villians that I’m vaguely familiar with, but despite my lack of knowledge about the characters and the universe, I was still able to enjoy the story.
Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer, illus. by Rags Morales with inks by Michael Bair, letters by Ken Lopez, and colors by Alex Sinclair. The original series covers were by Michael Turner.
Action/adventure; science fiction
When the spouse of a JLA member is brutally murdered, the entire super-hero community searches for the killer, fearing their own loved ones may be the next targets! But before the mystery is fully solved, a number of long-buried secrets rise to the surface, threatening to tear apart and divide the heroes before they can bring the mysterious killer to justice. (Goodreads)
This one was fun. I enjoyed reading it and I’m pretty sure readers who’re more familiar with the characters in the DC Universe will enjoy it more than I did.
Here’s another superhero comic book my awesome co-worker introduced me to. I enjoyed the first one he leant me, Superman: Red Son, so I started this one with high hopes. Unfortunately, I didn’t think it was great. I can’t tell if it’s the story that sucked or if I had unrealistic expectations of it after reading Red Son and so expected too much.
Hal Jordan–the Green Lantern of space sector 2814–has much to atone for. Possessed by an alien entity, Jordan once dismantled the entire Green Lantern Corps, killing many friends in the process.
Now he has regained the trust of his friends and allies and is rebuilding his life as a member of the Corps, a defender of Earth and a human being.
But fate won’t let Jordan move beyond his past. The Green Lanterns Jordan thought he had killed may still be alive…and crying for blood.
Now, to save the missing Lanterns, Jordan will travel deep into the heart of enemy territory and take on yet another threat from his past. But if he survives, the reward may be much greater than just redemption. (Goodreads)
I’m not a huge fan of superheroes. I’ll watch the movies whenever they are in theatres because I love the graphics and fight scenes, but other than that I’ve never expressed much interest in learning their stories. Therefore since I started reading comics, I’ve never been inclined to pick up any based on superheroes (except Watchmen because Brandon Sanderson and his buddies said it’s great). However, a couple weeks ago a coworker leant me Superman: Red Son saying that I would enjoy it and though I was skeptical about it at first, I’m glad I gave it a try.
Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar, illus. by Dave Johnson and Kilian Plunkett (pencils), Andrew Robinson and Walden Wong (inkers), and Paul Mounts (colorist)
Action/adventure; science fiction
Superman: Red Son is Mark Millar’s reimagining of the superhero’s story, in which Superman is a proponent of communist values, rather than an all-American superhero.
In this comic, Superman is raised on a collective farm in Ukraine and later becomes a leader of the Soviet Union who strongly believes in socialism and strives to expand the Warsaw Pact. Concerned about the wellbeing of his people, he decides to keep them all safe by building them a utopia, where he protects them from all dangers and alters the minds of those who oppose his government. And because of his superpowers, he is successful in this goal.
However, despite minimizing crime and disease in the lands under his control, there are some (Lex Luthor and the Americans) who believe Superman is a control freak with a god complex so they plot to undermine him. But it’s hard to defeat one as powerful as Superman and one wonders how they’ll outwit him.
It took a while for me to decide on the topic for this comics roundup post. I read them at different times (one for Halloween, the other because I saw it at the library a while back), but decided to review them together because they have many similarities. Though one is explicitly horror and the other strikes me as magical realism, both tap into our fears, what powers our fears, and our doubts about our capabilities. Also both include prominent characters battling mental illness and show the value of strong relationships. And both authors’ first name is Scott.
Wytches, Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder, illus. by Jock with colors by Matt Hollingsworth
Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying. Wytches takes the mythology of witches to a far creepier, bone-chilling place than readers have dared venture before. When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH, to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry.