Comics Roundup #27: Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet, bks. 1-4

I tried Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet series for the first time back in 2015. I was introduced to him through the Harry Potter books because he’s the illustrator of my favorite editions — the 15th anniversary editions. I love the illustrations, the scenes Kibuishi chose to highlight, and his use of color to tap into the emotion and tone of a scene or to highlight certain things. This made me want to sample more of his work, so I tried The Stonekeeper, the first book in his popular middle-grade fantasy graphic novel series.

I wasn’t blown away by The Stonekeeper, but I was interested enough to want to return to the story and, finally, I have. Recently, I reread the first book and read books two, three, and four — The Stonekeeper’s Curse, The Cloud Searchers, and The Last Council, respectively. With each installment, my interest in the story grew until I read book four and was left wanting more since I don’t have the fifth book.


Amulet, bks. 1-4 by Kazu Kibuishi (illus.)

Genre:

Middle-grade fantasy

Pubbed:

2008-2011

Series:

Amulet

The Stonekeeper (book 1)

The Stonekeeper’s Curse (book 2)

The Cloud Searchers (book 3)

The Last Council (book 4)

Quick summary:

Emily and her brother Navin move to their old family home with their mom after their father died in a car crash. While fixing up the house, which is in dire need of repair, Emily and Navin find a peculiar necklace that Emily takes a liking to. One night while sleeping, the family is woken by a noise that the kids’ mom investigates. She’s kidnapped and taken to a different world where Emily and Navin encounter queer creatures such as monsters, robots, and talking animals. There, the kids learn more about their family, Emily learns about the necklace she inherited, and they make new friends who help them to rescue their mother.

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BBC #4: Autumn Colors

This edition of BBC, a meme I started where I feature books with beautiful covers, will focus on the robust colors of autumn.

I love autumn colors. They are rich and majestic. When I walk among trees donned in fall colors, I feel as if I’m walking among royalty about to partake in autumnal festivities. I love the mustard yellows, dark greens, plums, burnt oranges, maroons, and rich, warm browns. Ahh… Autumn. It hasn’t yet fully arrived in my part of the world, but I feel tendrils of it in the air as it slowly creeps in.

To herald it’s coming, here are some book covers in autumnal covers.

Before the Feast by Saša Stanišić, trans. from German by Anthea Bell

cover art by Claire Scully

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Illustrated Books: “Sky High” and “Spot, the Cat”

I’m surprised at myself that I haven’t read much illustrated books or comics so far this year. I wonder what’s going on with me. These two books bring me to a total of 4 illustrated children’s books read so far. Hopefully I’ll read a few more before the year is done.

Both of the books I’ll discuss in this post where cover buys. I love looking at illustrations of architecture and both books have illustrations of buildings on their covers. Naturally, I picked them up, ran my hands over the cover, and convinced myself to purchase them. I bought them at two different independent bookstores and I’m glad to now know that both were good purchases.


Sky High by Germano Zullo, illus. by Albertine

Genre:

Children’s Humor

Pubbed:

2012

Goodreads summary:

In this charming illustrated tale, two competing neighbors begin embellishing their mansions, only to find themselves caught up in a race to build the tallest, most decadent skyscraper featuring solid gold doors, diamond-encrusted pillars, grand ballrooms, expensive paintings, live tigers, and indoor swimming pools—with consequences inevitable, and not. Kids will love spotting the funny details hidden in this witty take on an age-old moral, while their parents—particularly any who’ve ever undertaken a remodel—will chuckle with recognition. (Goodreads)

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Comics Roundup #26: Free Comic Book Day Samples

In an attempt to clean up my bookshelves, I decided to spend a day reading and reviewing all the comic book samples I got on this year’s Free Comic Book Day back in May. Here are my thoughts on the samples. Some of them I’ll certainly get when my piggybank is once again full.


The Metabaron, Book 3: The Meta-Guardianess & the Techno-Baron by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Jerry Frissen, illus. Valentin Secher

Genre: Sci-fi

Pubbed: September 2018

What it’s about:

The bit I read is about an android who visits a planet in a parallel universe to learn more about Epyphite, a substance that is used as fuel and seems to have many other properties. The story is narrated by the consciousness, or rather the robotic memory, of the protagonist’s apprentice (well, the narrator refers to the protagonist (the Metabaron) as “master,” so I assume the narrator is the apprentice).

My thoughts:

This is a fail for me and I knew it would be when I picked it up because a) it’s not a genre I usually go for (I don’t mind sci-fi stories sometimes but I can’t do this hardcore sci-fi with all the robots and bots and parallel universes and things) and b) this is the third volume, so I’ve missed much of the story.

I was confused when I started reading this. On the plus side, I slowly began to understand what’s going on because the narrator spends a lot of time catching up the reader on where the story is now, but because I don’t know what happened before this volume, certain things didn’t have an impact on me, so I lost interest.

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BBC #3: Favorite Fantasy Book Covers

I’m the worst at keeping up with memes. I’m so bad at them that I even forgot to keep up with my own meme that I created to focus on one my favorite things about books — book covers!

I created BBC (Beautiful Book Covers meme) last year to feature and talk about book covers I love. My plan was to make BBC a monthly meme but after the second post, I totally forgot about it. I’m just horrible at sticking to a schedule or remembering what memes I’m participating in. I easily get distracted by the shiny, new one to come along.

Well, a few days ago I was reminded of my meme when I saw Beth’s (Bethan May Books) post on fantasy book covers she likes. The idea popped into my head to do a similar post and use it for my neglected meme. Well, here it is. There are loads of fantasy book covers I like so this will be a multi-part post with others posted in the future.


The Fox and the Star was the first book to pop in my mind when I considered this topic, though it’s more fairytale/folklore than hardcore fantasy like the Lord of the Rings series. Drawn to the vintage feel of The Fox and the Star cover design, I decided to choose similar cover designs for this post. The following are the few that quickly came to mind.

The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

Cover art by Coralie Bickford-Smith

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Comics Roundup #22: “Audubon: On the Wings of the World”

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

Genre:

Nonfiction: biography

Pubbed:

2016

Quick summary:

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.

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Comics Roundup #21: “Pashmina”

I’ve had this book on my Goodreads TBR since last year November when I saw it advertised in one of the many bookish newsletters I’m subscribed to. The title caught my attention because I love pashminas and own several. It made me wonder what the story would say about the scarves.


Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Genre: Fantasy

Goodreads summary:

Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions–the topic of India is permanently closed.

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