I am a sucker for new year’s resolutions, to the point that I do mid-year checkups on them. And I’m still a normal human being, so I am really failing at most of them. But that’s what the second half of the year is for, right? This year I made broad resolutions, and then I made specific book and writing ones. I’ve pulled up my book/writing ones and….
….yeah I still need to work on them. But one of the goals was to read more graphic novels/comics, and that I have actually accomplished. I have wonderfully nerdy friends, who I have to actually ignore as they recommend more and more series to start (and as they recommend DC comics. Still can’t quite get into DC yet.) My unfortunate problem is that I have no idea how to actually review graphic novels. Thus below is a quick look at what I’ve been reading in volume format — I’m weeks behind on single issues and will catch up at some point. So here are my rants, ramblings and ravings on five different comics!
Thanks to Mari @ Story and Somnomancy and my good friend Tim, I bought all 5 volumes on an impulse back in January….and then promptly put them on my shelf and ignored them. Have I mentioned that I’ve been trying to read more of these, but just didn’t feel they were for me?
Brooklyn was hit with a few feet of snow at once earlier this year, and I finally caved and decided to give the first volume a try….and by the end of the snow day, I had read all 5 volumes. It’s a bit of a Romeo and Juliet situation, with more nudity, more violence, a larger playing field, and more non-main character death (meaning Romeo and Juliet are still very much alive). I have no idea where the story is going or if they ever plan on wrapping it up — some of the criticism I’ve read regarding the comic is how flimsy the plot is, but I rather enjoy the epic space drama…drama of it all. Plus the forbidden love between Marko and Alana just makes me happy?
I enjoy the artwork as well. I really can’t comment on much of it as I’ve yet to come across a comic where I didn’t care for the artwork (then again, I’ve looked at a few and put them back — due to a combination of artwork and story line. I’ll work on this.)
Rating: 4.5/5 Moose
Nailbiter was recommended to me by Tim, again, or well his comic shop. The concept seemed so wonderfully fascinating that I picked them up immediately— I think I had to go to two different stores for the first volume.
The series revolves around a small, fictional town called Buckaroo, OR. This town’s claim to fame is that they have produced not one, but SIXTEEN serial killers. Nailbiter is obviously one of these serial killers, and is actually the most recent one. (Actual name: Edward Charles Warren.) He got his nickname because he has a disturbing fetish where he chews off his victim’s nails and part of their flesh. The story starts when Agent Carrol goes missing, and his friend NSA agent Nicholas Finch comes to down find him. Instead he begins to pull at the threads of the town’s legends, trying to figure out why the town has produced sixteen serial killers.
I wrote about Nailbiter briefly, and my opinions on it haven’t changed. I love this series. It has everything I want in horror.
Rated: 5/5 Moose (Yes it has slow points, but I still love it.)
Paper Girls is another one recommend to me by Tim, (pretty much he recommends, I read) as well as a group of ladies I enjoy discussing comics with (primarily what are good strong female led ones.) First of all, I LOVE the covers of the individual issues,
The story starts with a bang in the early hours after Halloween in 1988, hints the NEON covers. Four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls find them selves thrown undercover as otherworldly creatures just start colliding with small town suburbia. The muted red-blue-purple tones are wonderful. There’s only been one volume, but issue 6 came out recently as well. I haven’t decided if I am going to keep up with single issues, or wait for the next volume. Either way, I’m a fan.
Phonogram was recommended to me by my friend James, who is currently on a no more recommendations break. (Have I mentioned that my friends are all awesome and want to share the great things they’ve read?)
Phonogram is a bit of a different graphic novel than the other ones I’ve read. The volume is entirely in black and white. It takes place in the UK, following David Kohl, a smug bastard of a mage who use the medium of Britpop music to interpret his magic. His mind starts to unravel — he starts thinking he likes music that he’s never cared for — causing him to lose his identity and magic. And all of this traces back to Britannia, who has been dead for ten years.
I wanted to like this volume. I want to like this series (not that I’ve read the second or third volume.) But there is just something that was not clicking for me. I feel like I missed a previous volume or something, but that’s fine.
Rated: 3.25/5 Moose
Outcast is my current read. I have read the first two volumes, and I’ll probably pick up the third one for a read this week. This of course is in combination with the television show on Cinemax, which I’m currently watching on Sundays either before or after Preacher. Again, this comic was brought to my attention from my good buddy Tim, so really if you ever need a comic recommendation, I’ll point him out to you. (Maybe. I’ll think about it.)
Outcast is a bit hard for me to read. The possessions make me uncomfortable, the abusive scenes make me cringe…but it’s still a good read. And I have to give major props to Megan, Kyle’s adopted sister, who tells off her childhood rapist in an appropriate manner.
Anyways, Outcast is about Kyle Barnes, who seems to be surrounded by possessed people. His mom, his neighbors — you name it, they might be possessed. Instead of hiding, his normal stance, he’s decided to get out and help the local preacher with his past exorcisms, which seem to have all failed.
I will say that I am enjoying the TV show as well, and can’t wait to see where they go next.
Rating: 4/5 Moose
My to read next list includes the following, but you are welcome to recommend more:
- Rat Queens
- Sex Criminals
- The Wicked + the Divine
- The Private Eye
- October Faction
Seriously, recommend more! And feel free to tell me you think my choices are insane, that’s fine.