Sadly, I’ve fallen so far behind on reviews that I’m still writing reviews of books I completed in April now. Today I have for you comic book reviews.
The first one, Zodiac Starforce, #1, I read for the O.W.L. Magical Readathon that was held in April. This review should have already been up, but no. I procrastinated, and now I’m posting it a month before the follow up readathon — N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon — begins. The other two — Elves, Vol. 1 and Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood — were both read for the Wyrd & Wonder readathon, which is a month-long readathon in May of all things fantasy.
Anyway, my intention this week is to clear out my review queue; so fingers crossed that I’ll actually achieve this.
Zodiac Starforce, #1 by Kevin Panetta, illus. by Paulina Ganucheau with colors by Savanna Ganucheau
Zodiac Starforce, issue 1
The series is about a group of teenage girls who possess magical powers and use them to protect their planet from dark creatures. This issue opens with the group disbanded and one of the members, Kim, hoping to get everyone back together again. While doing so, she’s also investigating a student’s disappearance and later learns, along with her group of superpower friends, that one of the group members is infected with dark energy. (Goodreads)
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a review of a comic book. Actually, it’s been a while since I’ve read a comic book. I haven’t done so since October last year. Well, I’ll rectify that with this post.
Here I have two graphic novels. The first is a YA fantasy story about a girl seeking the witch from folklore, Baba Yaga, because she no longer feels welcome at home, and the second continues a middle-grade fantasy story about a pig who manages his town’s dam to keep back a deadly black fog.
Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola, illus. by Emily Carroll
When Masha sees an advertisement for an assistant position with the fearful witch from folklore, Baba Yaga, she decides to apply. Masha had recently lost her beloved grandmother, her source of love and support, leaving her with just her dad, who has found a new family.
Masha grew up listening to her grandmother’s stories about Baba Yaga, so she doesn’t balk at answering the advertisement and seeking out the witch. Afterall, Masha reasons, Baba Yaga may be a witch, “but she’s a grandma too.”
Shelf Control is a weekly meme created by Lisa at Book Shelf Fantasies where bloggers feature books they own and would like to read. It’s a way for readers to take stock of what they own and get excited about the books on their shelves and devices.
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, so I’ve decided to feature 2 books instead of just one. This time I’m focusing on two graphic novels from the leporello series published by Nobrow Press, a British publishing company. A leporello is a type of binding for a book that causes it to extend like an accordion. Apparently it was popular in the Victorian times and was used for photo albums and illustrated children’s books. (Visit this website for more facts about this type of binding.)
The two books below unfold to tell an illustrated story…or so I think; I haven’t “read” them yet. On Nobrow’s website, it’s stated that using a leporello binding offers a unique opportunity of presenting a book that can also be an affordable frameable work of art.
My first pick:
Author: Ugo Gattoni (illus.)
Length: 20 pages/panels
Inspired by the 2012 London Olympic Games, young artist Ugo Gattoni intricately illustrates a cycle race through the streets of London. From elite athletes to cycle couriers, commuters, bankers, delivery boys, mums with kids, youths on stolen mountain bikes to fashionistas and hipsters on fixed gear bikes – pretty soon you will realize this is no ordinary road race!
A recent graduate of one of Paris’ top art schools, Ugo Gattoni wowed the public with an incredible intricate pen drawing measuring approx 10 x 2 meters. His first foray into the London arts scene saw him drawing on the walls of the prestigious Hayward Gallery on London’s South Bank.
With this, I complete a second book published by Nobrow Press. I own a few books by this publisher on my bookshelves, but it’s my nature to pay more attention to books I don’t own. Hence the two book I’ve read by this publisher were both borrowed from the library. But I don’t mind that. I’m just happy that I’ve finally read books published by Nobrow Press to confirm that they are one of my favorite publishers. I’ve always admired the books they feature on their IG account and now it seems that I’ll probably always like their content. 😊
Audubon: On the Wings of the World by Fabien Grolleau, illus. by Jérémie Royer, trans. by Etienne Gilfillan
Audubon: On the Wings of the World is a biography of John James Audubon (born Jean-Jacques Audubon in Haiti in 1785), the noted artist, naturalist, and ornithologist most known for his book Birds of America, which contains 435 paintings of different species of birds in America observed in their natural habitat. Written and illustrated by Fabien Grolleau and Jeremie Royer, respectively, this graphic novel portrays Audubon as a passionate, determined man striving to paint and record all the birds of America in the 1800s.
Though Audubon’s persistence and efforts are admirable, the book does not shy away from showing less savory aspects of the man, such as his disdain for his mentor Alexander Wilson, the long lengths of time he spent away from his wife and children as he pursued his passion, the immense debt he gained from failed business ventures, and that he hunted and killed many birds in his pursuit to document and study them.
I forgot how I learned about this comic book. I bought it in a 2-for-1 deal at Barnes & Noble so it’s possible that it was just the cover and synopsis that caught my attention. Such is usually the case with comic books. If someone hasn’t recommended a comic book to me, then I’ll buy one based on the cover art and the illustrations within. As I’ve said in this Weekend Reads post, my interest in comics is driven by my love of illustrations. They are often what keeps me returning to some stories.
Birthright, Vol. 1: Homecoming by Joshua Williamson, illus. by Andrei Bressan with colors by Adriano Lucas
The Rhodes family lost their youngest son, Mikey, on his birthday. His father was out playing catch with him while his mother and older brother planned his surprise party. But when he went into the woods to find a ball his father threw at him, he instead found a world called Terrenos and learned that he is the prophesied Hero who would save Terrenos from the God King Lore, a powerful being that terrorizes the world and its citizens.
While Mikey is in Terrenos, his family in the real world is ripped apart by his disappearance. But a year after his disappearance, the police calls Mikey’s parents and older brother to the station to identify an unusual man who claims to be Mikey returned from a world called Terrenos. They are all shocked and wonder why is he dressed like “a Lord of the Rings reject.” Mikey’s mother refuses to believe the oddly dressed man could be her lost son, but Mikey’s father and brother recognize him and help him to escape the police’s confines and join him on his quest to defeat five mages currently in the real world so that the doors to Terranos will be closed forever.
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.
It’s been a while since I’ve read an illustrated book, I realized on a recent visit to the library. I decided to rectify that by picking up two books that were on display, one about a river and another, a familiar story, about the boy who lived. Both were good reads and quite an experience, though one wasn’t as I expected it to be. However in both, I found that I paid more attention to the artwork rather than the story.
The River by Alessandro Sanna (illus.), trans. by Michael Reynolds
The River is an illustrated book by Italian painter and illustrator Alessandro Sanna about a town situated by a river. The story is told almost entirely without words, and the book is separated into four parts, one for each season, that all begin with a short paragraph about how the season affects the river or the town and what is included in that section (I realized this last part after completing the book).
My thoughts and the Art style:
The River is a sweet story. To tell the story of the town and the river, Sanna has us focus on a character, a man, to see how the seasons and the river affect his life.