In Which I Read a lot of Graphic Novels

So I recently read a lot of graphic novels in a short period of time. I figured I would do one big review of the lot, instead of individual posts for each. Where I read volumes of a series, I will likely lump them together and review them as such.

Girl Genius, Vol 1 by Phil Foglio
OK, I really liked this storyline. It was steampunk, and I love steampunk. It was super cute and fluffy. The only downside for me was that the art, while well-done, was not in color. I really prefer color graphic novels. But, I think I will be continuing this series.

Locke & Key, Vol 1-2 by Joe Hill
I read the first two volumes in this series, and I am hooked. Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King, and it shows. These graphic novels are so amazingly creepy. Aside from a few really close likenesses, the art is fantastic. And it is in color. This is a series I will definitely continue.

The Walking Dead, Vol 1-5 by Robert Kirkman
I am an avid fan of the TV show, so when I decided to dabble in graphic novels, this was a must. The story is very different from the TV show, but is still really good. And the art, though (grumble) in black in white, is quite good. I will most definitely continue this series.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Volume 2-3 by Joss Whedon
I love Buffy. While the art can be confusing at times with character differentiation, I am adoring this series. And yay, it is in color. The series hasn’t lost any of Joss Whedon’s amazing writing being translated from screen to print, and I am loving the chance to continue my Buffy obsession.

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
This is the first in my graphic novels that I didn’t completely love. I adore the movie, so I was really quite excited to read the graphic novel. But something fell flat. The story is very different, and the art is not very sophisticated at all.

Level Up by Gene Luen Yang
I didn’t enjoy this graphic novel at all. It seemed like it was going to be a fun collide of school and video games. But this was a standard stereotypical Asian family dynamic of parents want one thing, and the kid wants another. The art completely lacked sophistication, and the characters lacked any racial differentiation.

The Golden Twine by Jo Rioux
This was a really cute story with cute art to go along with it. I wished there was more to it, because when I was done I felt a little dissatisfied. I will try and keep an eye out for more of this one, but I don’t know that I will watch it like a hawk.

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
A quintessential read for anyone who enjoys reading the rich history that surrounds the Holocaust. The story meanders, as it is brought to us through Art via his father, but I enjoyed the wandering. The art, however, I wish had been done differently. I would still recommend it, though. Great story.

Black Orchid by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is a fantastic author, so I was really happy to find one of his graphic novels at the library. I had no idea it was a DC comic until the big bad showed up, and then I was a little flabbergasted. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as someone who is very involved in the DC universe might be, but I still loved the art, and the story.

Uzumaki, Vol 3 by Junji Ito
This was probably the biggest disappointment in the lot. But not for the reasons you are thinking. The art, for manga, was really really well done. The story was so creepy in such a delightful way. I mean, the town is infected with spirals. It sounds bizarre, but it was so well done. The disappointment was that the library only had volume three, and so I only got one third of the entire story. And the last third, at that. I will be keeping my eyes out for volumes one and two.

Delphine by Richard Sala
Didn’t enjoy this one much. The story was really confusing, as it jumped around a lot. The sepia-toned art also left something to be desired. Just not as cool as I hoped it would be.

OK, so I have now reviewed a ton of graphic novels. I have some Sandman to read too, but that is absolutely HUGE and will merit its own post.

Do you enjoy graphic novels? Which ones?


Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Alice in ZombielandAlice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Read: April 16 – April 17, 2013
Personal read.

Book Blurb: She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

My Opinion: This is my final lesson in walking down the young adult aisle at my local library and picking books up that seem interesting. No. Bad. Stop it! *swats self with a newspaper* Sometimes I wind up finding awesome books. Sometimes I end up with books like this.

OK, we all know the old adage of “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but we can’t help it. Look at that cover. Look at that tagline (Off with their heads). Look at the series name… White Rabbit Chronicles. I would be lying if I said I didn’t completely judge this book by those things. I was expecting a twisted retelling of Alice in Wonderland, but with flesh-eating monsters. I mean, the flesh-eating would probably be toned down, because it is a young adult book. But you know. There was a certain expectation.

An expectation that was in no way met. Dear all authors ever: People will judge your book by what you put on the cover, images and blurbs included. Do not write an order that your book cannot fill. Please. For the love of all the sparkly things.

Alice in Zombieland is just another young adult drama. But this one is written by an author who generally writes romance. So the alpha males are even more alpha, the insta-love is even more insta-, and the makeout scenes are completely overdone. I mean, since when does a kiss turn into almost sex? When a romance writer writes it, that’s when.

The book takes a different approach on zombies, but I found it too steeped in cloaked religion to get into it. It is something that popped up every so often, this cloak and dagger religious stuff, and it didn’t fit at all.

The writing is very inconsistent. The existence of zombies is a huge secret, so naturally like, half of the characters know by the end of the book.

I just… I can’t even. I really disliked this book.

Bottom Line: This book builds up your expectations, but doesn’t deliver anything besides another trite teenage drama.