Another set of Graphic Novels have been completed! Most of these were because of the graphic novel group in which I participate. I don’t think I would have heard of them without them being the monthly picks!
Sex Criminals Vol 2 by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
I love this graphic novel run. Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky are probably the funniest people to be paired together and create a graphic novel. The concept is absurd but works because of these two. The art again is beautiful, the storyline hilarious (although I did find Vol. 1 a little funnier). Part of the fun in reading this series is finding the little quirks and jokes that are hidden in the background of a panel. Really makes you pay attention to each and every picture.
Rover Red Charlie by Garth Ennis and Michael Dipascale
The apocalypse told through the eyes of three dogs: how can you go wrong? Art was beautiful, which was a plus and a minus for this one, as it is quite gruesome and violent. Not for the faint of heart or weak stomach. Bad, terrible and disgusting things happen. When I was reading, it reminded me of the level of violence that American Psycho had. Did it sometimes cross the line of ‘needed for the storyline’ into gratuitous? Yes. A few times.
Barefoot Gen Vol 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima by Keiji Nakazawa
This is a non-fictional tale of the bombing of Hiroshima. Vol. 1 is the build-up; it gives us a cultural framing in which we see how things were in Japan before that terrible day. We see how the war affected the individual families. We also see how the country responded to the threats they were facing. The majority of the first volume was focused on one particular family labeled as traitors for their beliefs against the war efforts in Japan, and the war itself.
Unfortunately, a good portion on this graphic novel felt ‘slap stick’ to me; there was a lot of bonking of heads and pounding of fists, biting of fingers. The two young boys were constantly fighting amongst each other, as well as others. It wasn’t until near the end during which the bomb was dropped that I actually felt the realism of the story and the gruesomeness and sadness.
I’m frightened to read Barefoot Gen Vol. 2: The Day After, but I’m going to.
Nelvana of the Northern Lights by Adrian Dingle
Nelvana is a piece of history that must be read. The Canadian comic first appeared in 1941, and predates Wonder Woman. This makes Nelvana one of the first female super heroes in comic books.
Now comic books in 1941 were clearly different: for example, there were no thought bubbles. Everything is explained and spoken. At times, the text is quite lengthy and exhausting to read. At times it is comical. Nelvana, at times, is also quite puzzling. She has the power of her father, Koliak, but often times she beats the enemy by crunching their toes with her heel, or escapes peril by gingerly stepping over a railing. Sometimes there is even a little propaganda throughout a story.
For what it represents, Nelvana is a fun, adventurous compendium of great Canadian history.