Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Graphic Novel Round Up

Hello Lovelies!!

As per usual, I've fallen behind on my book reviewing. I haven't been this far behind in a while though, eep! So I'm going to make a couple round-up posts since most of what I've been reading can fall into a couple different categories. This one is about graphic novels I've read recently.

While I've always enjoyed Sunday comics or on-line comics, I just started reading graphic novels as a genre within the last few years. And I recently started reading comics in the traditional sense (Marvel, DC, Image, etc.) which was a bad idea because now I have another obsession.

So here's a few that I've read recently.

El Deafo by Cece Bell
Published: Sept. 2, 2014
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Received: Borrowed from the library, but I need my own copy!

El Deafo follows Cece through her childhood, as she loses her hearing as a child then utilizes a very large, very awkward hearing aid at school. Bell does a fantastic job conveying her experience. I felt all the embarrassment, all the joy, all the shame which Bell did. Although Bell injects her graphic memoir with humor, I found it easy to see how lonely it could have been. Bell's illustrations are gorgeous: bright, silly and easily identifiable. This is a perfect introduction to the world of graphic novels for people new to the genre. Bell tackles the tough parts of her disability as well as the day-to-day. She writes about deciding whether or not to take sign language classes and losing friends to concerns about her hearing loss. 

I would recommend this book to everyone. It's a contemporary (ish? The characters are rabbits, and it's set pre-current time), it has buckets of emotions including humor, and the illustrations are fantastic. One of the best books I've read this year.

Gotham City Sirens: Book One by Paul Dini and Guillem March
Published: Oct. 28, 2014
Publisher: DC Comics
Received: Borrowed from a friend!

I have very mixed feelings about Gotham City Sirens. On the one hand, I love female characters who can dominate and take out everyone in their way. On the other hand, this series still bares the trappings of so-called "traditional" comics: scantily clad with women with outrageously incorrect body proportions. The story was engaging, and I really enjoyed one of the issues in particular, but I had a hard time moving beyond the illustrations. Even for superhero based comics, this would not be my first recommendation. 

I would suggest this to a more mature readership. It has some dark themes and the lay-out can be confusing. 

Sex Criminals: Volume One by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
Published: Apr. 29, 2014
Publisher: Image Comics
Received: Borrowed from my friend, but I need my own copy!

Sex Criminals is a dirty and daring comic about two people who make time stop when they orgasm. So of course, they plan to rob a bank. I consistently laughed out-loud reading this. It's not for the faint of heart (or anti-sex, let's be honest), but if you feel up to reading a comic where a large percentage is spent in a porn store or in a bedroom, this will have you thinking and laughing. It's not fault-free, it has a few questionable moments, where you say, are you reeeeeeeeally sex-positive? Especially if you're a person who knows a lot about how ridiculous sex workers are portrayed. 

I would recommend this to a mature crowd. If you're comfortable reading about sex and find it simultaneously hilarious, you'll love this fantastical take on the subject.

Alex + Ada: Volume 1 by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
Published: Jul. 16, 2014
Publisher: Image Comics
Received: Borrowed from the library

Alex + Ada tells the story of a future where AI technology has been perfected. But AIs must be contained. They have no personality. They are marked with a manufacturing symbol which must be displayed at all times. After a previous incident with an AI, they have been tightly regulated. Alex is a lonely businessman whose interfering grandmother sends him an AI to provide a bit of companionship. At first Alex is determined to send Ada back. But then, something changes.

I would recommend this book to anyone. It has an intriguing storyline, the art is beautiful, and it's constructed in a sensible manner. I highly enjoyed this one.

Alex + Ada: Volume 2 by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
Published: Mar. 17, 2015
Publisher: Image Comics
Received: Borrowed from the library

This volume continues the story of Alex and Ada. What happens when you give someone their own opinions and choices? What choices are you willing to make to protect them? How do you stay hidden once you are aware of yourself? This series gets better with every issue. 

Recommended for fans of the first volume, people invested in humanistic sci-fi, and robots.

The Wicked + The Divine: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
Published: Nov. 12, 2014
Publisher: Image Comics
Received: Purchased!

Oh my gosh this series. I am so completely obsessed. The Faust Act sets up the first part of the series. It introduces the main players and the scenario. Every 90 years, 12 gods reincarnate as humans. These humans only have 2 years to live at this point. But they also become immediate sensations. The biggest pop stars with the biggest concerts and biggest fans. Fans of the immortals go to every concert, collect their merchandise, basically the same way people react to huge musicians now. Of course, things don't always go as planned.

I would recommend this to people who have ever been a huge fan of something. It does have some more mature themes including pretty graphic violence. 

For those of you who are curious, I've also been following Silk, Bitch Planet, and Giant-Size Little Avengers. I also picked up Lumberjanes and Sex Criminals Vol. 2 the other day, so I'll be reviewing those shortly. 

What good comics or graphic novels have you read lately?? Let me know in the comments!!

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