Graphic Novel

Batwoman's face

The Many Arms of Death

By Marguerite Bennett
3
Rated by Anne G
Aug 13, 2020

     Steve Epting's art in comics and graphic novels is fantastic.  Eptig is able to give Batwoman: The Many Arms of Death a classic feel with modern sensibilities, as he has with other superhero comics.  


     We are introduced to Kate (Batwoman) and her lost year where she spent time on an island full of degenerates, with her lover keeping the peace.  Now she returns while tracking down some arms dealers who are selling the biological weapon the monster man serum.  My biggest complaint is that we do not really get enough backstory to care about or know who some of these characters are

Jul 8, 2020

I say "graphic books" because not all are novels, and the ones I am most often drawn to are the graphic nonfiction--bios, memoirs, history lessons. I am not an expert on graphic books; I do not have boxes of comic collections accumulated since childhood (though I do fondly remember reading some of my older brother's X-Men comics as a kid--intrigued by smart, strong females like Storm, Jubilee, Rogue); but perhaps because I approach graphic books from a more literary view, I can translate their value to those who might otherwise relegate "comics" to their not-to-be-read shelf.

Mister Miracle

By Tom King
4
Rated by admin
Apr 9, 2020

I came into this with no previous knowledge of the character, his context, or his setting, so I'm sure there are some layers of the story I missed. Nevertheless, I found it fascinating and entertaining.


Here is a mighty god caught in an epic war between good and evil in another reality, who also happens to have a life as an escape artist and superhero in our world. And a life away from work as a man with a wife and an apartment. Add to that his past as the son of the ruling god of goodness but traded as an infant to the ruling god of darkness as part of a peace treaty, and he has a pretty

Relish

By Lucy Knisley
4
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
Feb 21, 2020

I am super late to the Lucy Knisley party and I'm a little perturbed with myself. I cannot believe I waited this long to read Relish. It has a lot of things I love about a good book: 


- memoir   
- lotsa foodie talk 
- incredible illustrations 
- stories about malicious birds.  


I was hooked by page 8 when Knisley talks about having poached salmon in cream for her baptism day. 


Other favorite moments: 
* The hate writing on the wall of one of her childhood homes: "The former residents had split in a nasty divorce, prompting the furious wife to use olive oil to write 'Fred

Supergirl: Being Super

By Mariko Tamaki
5
Rated by Anne G
Oct 9, 2019

In Supergirl: Being Super Canadian author Ms. Tamaki sets us in a "Friday Night Lights" community that reminds me an of apotheosis of Americana; a dream vision of flyover country.  Quite simply illustrator Joelle Jones is the worthiest exclusive find that the publisher DC has netted in a while.  Within comic books and graphic novels, her Supergirl is specific.  While Kara is well-built, the sensuality is not over-sold, which is refreshing for superhero comics.  I would have loved the angst-filled tone to drop off even more, as in the chapter "For All Seasons," in which the story is threadbare

Flight Vol. 6

By Edited by Kazu Kibuishi
4
Rated by Megan K.
Jul 17, 2019

The sixth anthology of short graphic novels, Flight Vol. 6 was a beautiful read. I found out about the series from a coworker who is well-versed in the graphic novel genre. Since all the books are anthologies, I did not feel the need to read the series in order. Furthermore, the sixth book was the only one available at my location, so it made my choice easy! For someone that has trouble reading graphic novels, this collection of short stories was perfect. The art styles varied greatly between selections, which made for an engaging read. Some of the stories were wordless, focusing on detailed

Kiss Number 8

4
Rated by Julia B.
Mar 12, 2019

Kiss Number 8 tells us about all of the kisses that Mads (the main character) has had so far in her life. The book leads up to her kiss number eight. After that, the book continues to tell us how her life dramatically changed after kiss number eight. The most compelling aspect was how after she kissed one of her good friends that was a girl, and all her friends suddenly stopped hanging around her. I was never disappointed, and I thought this book was very good at connecting with teens.

Nov 1, 2018

I placed a hold on this book because of rave reviews without realizing the author , Jarrett J. Kroscozka, was known for his juvenile graphic novels about a Lunch Lady who fights crime and children's books Good Night, Monkey Boy and Peanut Butter and Jellyfish .  Hey, Kiddo How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father and Dealt with Family Addiction  is an honest and powerful depiction of his family and all its complications. When asked to draw a picture of his family in preschool, Jarrett was confused. Not only was his mom incarcerated for heroin related charges, but he had never met his father

Aug 2, 2018

Everyone knows Melinda is the freshman who called the cops on that summer party. She got some people arrested that night for underage drinking. But no one knows the real reason she called 911. That night, she was raped by an upperclassman, but hasn’t been able to tell anyone for fear that they won’t believe her. And now that she is a freshman in high school, she has been relentlessly bullied and suffered in her classes. The only class she enjoys is art class, where she can learn to express herself with a semester project. And as she learns to confront her attacker and start sharing her story

Jun 24, 2018

In her immigrant's memoir told in graphic novel form, Thi Bui explores the saga of her family's escape from Vietnam in the 1970's to the United States.


Her debut opens with the birth of her first child in 2005. Will she be a good mother? How is she different from her mother? What was her mother's experience? How was her mother shaped after losing family, her country? How did her father's childhood shape his fathering abilities? And how has her own experience as a refugee, coming to a country she had to assimilate into that she was culturally so different from, as well as being confronted

May 17, 2018

Everyone knows the story of the pied piper right? How a mysterious man came into town and lured away all the rats by playing his pipe. But the townspeople refused to pay him, so he stole away all the children that night and they were never seen again. Right? But this book tells a different story. One you never expected.


This graphic novel had such beautiful artwork! I thought this was such a creative idea for a book. It was executed very well, and the story was so original. It was an incredibly quick read. Only took me about an hour to read, but I still enjoyed this short and sweet story.

Mar 29, 2018

She is a mermaid. She has lived her entire life in an aquarium located on the boardwalk. She is the main attraction, but visitors can never catch more than a glimpse of her. She can’t walk or speak, but she can make friends with Livia, an ordinary girl, and yearn for life outside the water. She can grow stronger and braver, and with the help of her determination, a touch of magic and the help of a loyal octopus, she can do anything.


Fantasy and reality intersect in this mermaid tale. It was beautifully drawn, with a good story too.


A fun, middle grade novel, this did not take me long to

Mar 27, 2018

This book tells the story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father’s story and the death of his mother. This book follows the story of his father’s experiences in Poland and Auschwitz, as well as that of his entire family. It tells of the romance between his father and mother during this time and their struggles to stay together despite the circumstances. This book shows the relationship between the author and his father throughout. This graphic novel portrays the Jews as mice and the Nazis as cats during the Holocaust.


This

Dec 21, 2017

Matt Wagner's comic Mage: The Hero Discovered, originally published from 1984 to 1986, is a personal work that also taps into universal stories and themes. The main character, Kevin Matchstick, is modeled on Wagner himself (in the sequel series, Mage: The Hero Defined, published 1997-1999, Kevin Matchstick's hairline has receded much like Wagner's has) and the depression he speaks of in the first issue is the frame of mind Wagner was in when he began the comic. But that's where real life ends and fantastic heroism begins.


Kevin Matchstick, lonely, angry, feeling unimportant in our world

Sep 30, 2017

This graphic memoir is a thoughtful examination of a young woman learning hard truths and trying to find love and support as she figures out what to do with them. Nicole Georges has always believed her father died of colon cancer when she was very young. But she suddenly learns as an adult that he never died at all and that the truth had been hidden by her mother her entire life. The title, Calling Dr. Laura, refers to Dr. Laura, one of the most popular talk show hosts in radio history. Nicole calls Dr. Laura hoping to get advice about whether she should confront her mother about the lie. At

The Haunting of Fabian Gray

By Barbiere, Frank J.
4
Rated by Edward R.
Aug 18, 2017

The Haunting of Fabian Gray is a classic action and adventure story with some wonderful twists that are fitting for comics. The reader follows Fabian Gray, a treasure hunter, in search of his missing sister after a supernatural incident made her disappear and gave him special abilities.


Fabian Gray is torn, possessed by five ghosts: The Wizard (much like Merlin), The Archer (much like Robin Hood), The Detective (much like Sherlock Holmes), The Vampire (much like Dracula), and finally, The Samurai (much like, well, a samurai). He uses their spirits to enhance his own prowess. I enjoyed that

Nov 3, 2016

The pursuit of a set purpose by logical means is the way of tyranny; this is the vision of my creator. Of Ultron.


The pursuit of an unobtainable purpose by absurd means is the way of freedom; this is my vision of the future. Of our future.


Whoa. Wow.


On its face, Little Worse Than a Man appears to be a superhero comic. It's certainly a story about a superhero. But it's about a superhero trying not to be super, trying to live a normal life. More significantly, it's a story about an artificial intelligence trying to live a human life. Trying to be human. Trying to become human by

Axe Cop, Volume 1

By Malachai Nicolle
5
Rated by Chris K.
Sep 27, 2016

This concept is absolutely genius and the execution is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.


A few years ago, Ethan Nicolle was playing with his five-year-old brother Malachai and decided it would be fun to take Malachai’s imagined play and illustrate it as a superhero comic. It all started when Malachai took a toy police officer and added a firefighter’s axe. They grabbed another figure and the nearest weapon-like implement at hand—a recorder, which led to Axe Cop’s first partner, Flute Cop—and went to chop off the heads of dinosaurs and other sundry bad guys.


In his book Killing

Aug 16, 2016

Surely you’ve read one of Agatha Christie's detective novels, or seen a movie, TV show or play based on one of her stories. At the very least you are familiar with the one the Guinness Book of World Records lists as THE best-selling novelist of all time – Agatha Christie. I recommend you take a little bit of time and learn more about her in this new graphic biography by the talented trio of Anne Martinetti, Guillaume Lebeau and Alexandre Franc.


Agatha: the Real Life of Agatha Christie begins with her planned “disappearance” in 1926, but you also learn about her childhood on the coast of

The Sandman: Overture

By Neil Gaiman
4
Rated by Rachel C.
Mar 1, 2016

In this prequel to the great graphic classic, The Sandman, you learn how Morpheus, Dream of the Endless, ended up so weak and tired that he was able to be captured by mere humans. If you haven't read the original work, then really, go do that. Now. It's well worth your time. It will also help you to understand the magnitude of what is revealed in this.


If you have read the original work, then you will certainly recognize Morpheus' arrogance (which even he notices when faced with multiple aspects of himself), understand why it matters that he speaks to Delight, be shocked when there is

Feb 11, 2016

Zebulon Finch, known as "the Black Hand," is a seventeen-year-old gangster operating on the streets of 19th-century Chicago, dealing death and visiting whorehouses. His lifestyle earns him a bullet in the back of the head and a one-way trip to the bottom of Lake Michigan. Only Finch does not die. His ability to move, think, and speak stays, but his body is slowly decomposing. Think Warm Bodies, but with not as nice a protagonist. With no clue why this has happened, Finch sets off on a long journey in search of... what? Love? Atonement?


Through the rotting eyes of his leading man, Kraus

Fieldhouse

By Scott Novosel
5
Rated by Helen H.
Feb 2, 2016

At first glance, Fieldhouse, by Scott Novosel appears to be a basketball story. And it is a story about basketball. After three tryouts as a walk-on player with the Kansas Jayhawks, Novosel finally succeeds in his senior year. He plays fifteen games for Coach Roy Williams and alongside future NBA players.


It’s also more than a basketball story. It’s an underdog story. In the three years prior to Novosel making the team, no walk-on had been selected. His perseverance and dogged pursuit of his dream actually pays off.


But even more than a basketball story, and an underdog story, it’s

Batman: the Court of Owls

By Scott Snyder
3
Rated by Helen H.
Dec 29, 2015

I am not naturally drawn to graphic novels, but am quite willing to dabble in them. And in doing so I’ve discovered gems like Will Eisner’s A Contract with God, David Small’s Stiches, and Guy Delisle’s Shenzhen. Each is non-fiction, intriguing, and surprising in its delivery. Yet at the start, I was still skeptical of Batman. I mean, it’s still just a comic book, right?


As usual, I quickly realized I was making the same mistake I always make with graphic novels. Charging through and not studying the pictures. They matter. In fact, the pictures often make the point. You have to slow down and

Nimona

By Noelle Stevenson
4
Rated by Chris K.
Nov 19, 2015

The wild, unpredictable shapeshifter Nimona has just appointed herself sidekick to archvillain Lord Ballister Blackheart, promising to aid him in his quest to prove to the kingdom that the Institute of Law Enforcement and Heroics is up to no good.  But NImona doesn't play by the normal rules, and she quickly has everyone in an uproar wondering just who she is and where her mysterious powers come from.


What starts as a whimsical, frivolous parody of traditional heroic notions of good and evil quietly and unexpectedly becomes a meaningful investigation into the concepts, couched in deep

The Motherless Oven

By Rob Davis
5
Rated by Chris K.
Oct 26, 2015

The weather clock said, "Knife o'clock." So I chained Dad up in the shed." So begins The Motherless Oven.


On its surface this is an intentionally opaque story, with a world so drastically different than ours that it's impossible to not feel unmoored as you read it. In this world it rains knives and the gales blow laughter, parents are mechanistic beings created by their children, devices and gadgets are talking, singing "gods," school subjects include circular history, mythmatics, shrine mechanics, and god science, and so much more that is utterly alien, all presented as normal and matter

Angel Sanctuary Vol. 1

By Kaori Yuki
5
Rated by Amanda H.
Jul 17, 2015

Setsuna Mudou is a teenager in Tokyo with a lot of unusual problems. First, he’s in love with his sister Sara--like real love love--and as if that weren’t enough, he’s also the latest reincarnation of the cursed female angel Alexiel, who rebelled against Heaven and defied God. When his powers start to awaken he’s approached by Kurai, a demon princess of Gehenna who was Alexiel’s follower, hunted by Alexiel’s insane twin brother Rosiel and his puppets, and viewed as a savior by an underground faction in Heaven. After he’s involved in the death of a classmate Setsuna finds himself on the run

Apr 21, 2015

I love superhero comics, but I must confess, I don't like a lot of contemporary superhero comics. The trend has overwhelmingly become oriented towards grim and serious. There are some terrific, well done stories, full of high imagination and smart storytelling, but there's a distinct lack of whimsy and unabashed optimism.


Jeff Smith, mostly known for his critically acclaimed comic Bone, wrote and drew Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil, a sort of reboot mini-series of Captain Marvel and his Marvel Family that eschews the grim, "adult" cynicism of most contemporary superhero comics. His

The Court of Owls

By Scott Snyder
3
Rated by Helen H.
Apr 1, 2015

I am not naturally drawn to graphic novels but am quite willing to dabble in them. And in doing so I’ve discovered gems like Will Eisner’s A Contract with God, David Small’s Stiches, and Guy Delisle’s Shenzhen. Each is non-fiction, intriguing, and surprising in its delivery.  Yet, at the start, I was still skeptical of Batman. I mean, it’s still just a comic book, right?


As usual, I quickly realized I was making the same mistake I always make with graphic novels—charging through and not studying the pictures. They matter. In fact, the pictures often make the point. You have to slow down and

Seconds

By Bryan Lee O'Malley
4
Rated by Kate M.
Jan 9, 2015

Katie is the talented young chef running the kitchen in a critically acclaimed restaurant. But she is ready for the next adventure...starting her own restaurant. She has a partner, she has the building, now she just needs to make her dream a reality. But things just keep getting messed up! A delay from the contractor renovating the building throws a wrench in the works, overdue bills and collectors calling, her partner not picking up his phone! Everything begins to fall apart until Katie is visited by a house spirit who offers her a chance to change the past. Eat a magic mushroom, write her

Through the Woods

By Emily Carroll
4
Rated by Kate M.
Dec 31, 2014

A strikingly illustrated graphic novel featuring short horror stories told in bold blacks, reds, blues and whites. The stories are ones that will stay with you. Each story felt familiar to me, probably inspired by classic fairy tales but each has its own horrific twist. One of my favorites has tones of Little Red Riding Hood, about a girl traveling through the woods to her mother’s house. Her father warns her to travel fast to avoid the wolves in the forest. She travels over hills, between the trees and safely reaches her mother’s home. The reader, ready to celebrate her safe journey is jarred