Comics in February was a blast! I love this month so much and spent many hours curled up with graphics as well as taking many trips to various libraries. I feel like I didn’t make a dent in what I wanted to read for the month and am sad to take back so many unread books back to the library. Some I’ll pick up again for Nonfiction November and hopefully I’ll remember to sprinkle them in throughout the rest of the year.
My apologies in advance for throwing all of this into one post. Reviews on 10 books would be like 4 months worth of blogging for me and I wanted to make sure I gave at least a little of my thoughts on each book. If you’d like to see more of my thoughts on any of these books (in a full post), let me know and I’ll add it to my list. I’ll definitely be talking about Blankets in more detail.
Bayou by Jeremy Love | Published: 2009 | Pages: 320 | Genre: Fiction/Fantasy
Quick Take: Set in 1930s Mississippi, Lee Wagstaff’s father is accused of kidnapping a little white girl. Little Lee journeys to hell and beyond to find the monster that snatched her friend. There are currently two volumes of Bayou published (of what will be a three volume series), and I cannot exclaim my love for Bayou loud enough. Gorgeous and haunting illustrations, sharp and puncturing writing. A story that was difficult to read but even more difficult to put down.
Bottom line: A must read, but brace yourself going into the reading. Love does not shy away from showing all of the hateful truths of racism and early twentieth century civil rights.
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol | Published: 2011 | Pages: 221 | Genre: Fiction
Quick Take: Anya is a nearly normal teenaged girl, except she is a Russian immigrant trying to fit into an un-diversified world. She meets a ghost who helps Anya fit in better with her school peers…but at what cost? I loved the black and white illustrations of Anya’s Ghost but ultimately this one ended up just so-so for me.
Bottom Line: Not the worst of the bunch (there really isn’t a “worst”), but not my favorite either.
March: Book One by John Robert Lewis | Published: 2013 | Pages: 128 | Genre: Memoir
Quick Take: In this first of a three part trilogy, Senator Lewis looks back at key moments of his childhood and the beginnings of his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. March: Book One takes a specific look at the Lunch Counter sit-ins and the Non-violent groups. I didn’t always love the artwork–it was very sketchy–but many of the images were incredibly evocative.
Bottom Line: Such a powerful story! Of course I learned about the Civil Rights Movement growing up but certainly not in this detail. As soon as all three volumes are available in a single publication, it will have a place on my shelf.
Fables: Legends in Exile (v1) by Bill Willingham | Published: 2002| Pages: 127 | Genre: Fantasy
Quick Take: The characters from our favorite fairytales and myths have been transplanted from their own Happily Ever After world into our own. Even though sometimes at odds with one another, the characters must come together to help solve the gruesome murder mystery of one of their own. Not your children’s fairy tales!
Bottom Line: Perfect for fairytale or myth enthusiasts. Reminiscent of the popular show Once Upon a Time, but this series certainly isn’t the copy cat. Lots of fun–though I’m terribly intimidated by how many volumes are in the Fables series.
Blankets by Craig Thompson | Published: 2003 | Pages: 592 | Genre: Memoir
Quick Take: Largely centered around a youthful first love affair, Thompson also grapples with his homelife and his religious journey–I would argue that this book is as much about religion and God as it is about romance. The illustrations are fantastic–spanning from delicate to grotesque. As with many graphic memoirs I’ve read, there is a bit of sex and nudity.
Bottom Line: I absolutely adored and loved Blankets. This maybe reaches the top for my favorite graphic book. Stunningly and heartachingly gorgeous.
Over Easy by Mimi Pond | Published: 2014 |Pages: 272 | Genre: Memoir
Quick Take: Scrambling to make ends meet while in art school in the 1970s, Margaret joins a caricaturized cast of misfits at a popular hipster diner. Sex, drugs, and fitting in are big themes in Over Easy. Perhaps this is just a case of “truth is stranger than fiction?”
Bottom Line: I found Over Easy to be entertaining but forgettable.
Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet | Published: 2008 | Pages: 118 | Genre: Fiction
Quick Take: Apparently this is the second chapter in a published volume. Shame on me for not doing more research on Aya before consulting the library. Anyway, set in 1970s Ivory Coast in Africa, Aya of Yop City detailed the soap operaesque lives of Yop’s citizens. A bit funny, a bit sad, entirely colorful, entertaining, and intriguing.
Bottom Line: I’ll definitely be seeking out more Aya! In full volumes this time (there are two–Life in Yop City and Love in Yop City).
An Age of License by Lucy Knisley | Published: 2014 | Pages: 189 | Genre: Travel/Memoir
Quick Take: A little bit of coming of age, and a little bit of travel, a little bit of romance, a little bit of reality–mixed together with mostly black and white art with some gorgeous water colors mixed in. There’s something amazingly fresh and vibrant about Knisley’s take on life–even as she recognize her extreme privilege.
Bottom Line: I was entirely annoyed with Lucy after reading French Milk but An Age of License totally solidifies Lucy as someone I can relate to and could probably be friends with. So, put this one in the “adore” category with Relish (though Relish still tops the cake for me)
Holy crap I’m tired. Ha!
Are there any above that you’d like to hear more about?
What graphic novels/comics have you read lately?