Sunday, December 20, 2015

Capsule Reviews: Graphic Novels

So, in addition to not having much time for reading, I haven't had much free time for writing reviews either. As such, I'm feeling behind in my reviews. So, I'm just going to write some short ones for older titles I've read lately. This post might be a bit long, as I've been reading lots of graphic novels.

By Raina Telgemeier
Published 2014 by Graphix
An autobiographical account of the relationship between Raina and her younger sister, particularly during a road trip they took one summer. I love Telgemeier's artistic style - it's cartoony but realistic and very appealing. I think her books are so appealing to kids because they so perfectly capture what it's like to be that age. I really enjoy books that explore sibling dynamics and I thought this book did a great job with that. Though my sibling situation was very different, I thought Telgemeier perfectly captured the complicated emotions of a sibling relationship.

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant (Delilah, number one)
By Tony Cliff
Published 2013 by First Second
I remember seeing this one getting some buzz when it was released and I thought it looked fun. On my recent graphic novel tear, this one happened to be on the shelf, so I snatched it up. It is indeed quite fun, and I liked Delilah. She's pretty kick-ass (if a bit anachronistic). The beginning was a bit confusing, though - I had a hard time figuring out what was going on with Delilah and Selim. It just seemed like there was something missing between panels for the first few pages. However, once I focused on the adventure of the story, I enjoyed it. I'm interested to see what will happen in the next volume.

By Bryan Lee O'Malley
Published 2014 by Ballantine Books
Another one I'd heard buzz about and was interested in, but didn't pick up until recently. We've got it shelved in our young adult section, but I'm not sure it belongs there. Katie is nearly 30 and a lot of her problems are definitely more adult in nature. I'm sure older teens will relate to her struggle with doing the right thing and trying to attain one's dreams, but the complexities of romantic relationships may not be in line with their experiences. I thought the notion of the mushrooms and being able to change one mistake was really interesting and I liked the incorporation of the house spirits. Really unique concept and I could definitely relate to Katie's struggles as a young adult.

Generation Why (Ms. Marvel, volume two)
By G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jacob Wyatt
Published 2015 by Marvel
I was pretty ambivalent with volume one. I don't read a lot of superhero comics, but many people I trust loved this one, so I wanted to give it a shot. I figured I'd started it, so I'll stick with it. I enjoyed this volume more than the first. I didn't love the appearance of Wolverine in this one, though I get the necessity of tying it into the greater Marvel universe. I liked it enough to immediately pick up volume three, though.

Crushed (Ms. Marvel, volume three)
By G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa and Elmo Bondoc
Published 2015 by Marvel
This is my favorite volume of the comic so far. As much as I didn't love Wolverine's appearance in volume two, I really enjoyed Loki showing up in this volume. Maybe it's just because I enjoy Loki's brand of snark a bit more than Wolverine's, but I found his appearance more entertaining. However, I do not love the storyline with Bruno - it just feels a bit too predictable right now. I liked a romance for Kamala is made even more complicated because of her powers. I did quite enjoy the twist at the end of this volume, though, and I'm interested to see what's going to happen next.

Foiled! (Foiled, book one)
By Jane Yolen and Mike Cavallaro
Published 2010 by First Second
I'd seen this one around over the years and thought it looked intriguing but never bother picking it up. Finally, while weeding our graphic novels, this one was on my list of titles to pull, so I figured I'd read it first. While it was indeed an interesting premise, I didn't find it particularly memorable.

Curses! Foiled Again (Foiled, book two)
By Jane Yolen and Mike Cavallaro
Published 2013 by First Second
As with the first title, the sequel was on my weeding list and I figured I might as well read them both before letting them find new homes. I enjoyed this volume more than the first (maybe because Baba Yaga?), but still didn't find anything particularly noteworthy.

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