Graphic Novels in Brief
During this extremely hectic time of work and school, I find myself gravitating towards my stack of comics and graphic novels. For some reason, they are my therapy reading, in the midst of my medieval lit, werewolves, and critical theory. So, in brief here are some of the graphic novels that I’ve read over the course of the last few months:
Liberty Meadows is an animal sanctuary where the animals run the show! There’s Leslie the hypochondriac bullfrog, Ralph the midget circus bear, Dean the male chauvinist pig (who really is a pig!), and the beautiful animal psychologist, Brandy, among others. Follow along on their wacky misadventures as Brandy attempts to keep this motley crew out of trouble and within sanity.
In preparation for next month’s Boston Comic Con (it’s the same weekend as my high school ten-year reunion, but I clearly have other priorities), I started to finally read these, since Frank Cho will be attending. Part me thought “Why did I wait so long?” I read these as my nightstand books. And every night that I did, Josh would hear me laughing. Some of these strips had me in stitches. Who would have thought three or four-panel strips could be so funny. And yes it’s true, Frank Cho really knows how to draw beautiful women. It’s what he’s known for in the industry. I have to go get Books 3 and 4 quickly. Oh, and there are several references to Xena, which I am of course not opposed to
Robinson’s graphic novel follows the lives of six people – a reclusive rock legend, a heartbroken waitress, a counterfeiter, an obsessive crank, a lost daughter, and a backstabbing lover – whose lives are unconnected until an act of violence affects them all in different ways.
Remember the movie Crash? Yeah, well, this was much better. And this time, you see these six different characters in their own storylines, but their lives finally intersect at the end. I loved Box Office Poison when I read it only 2 or 3 years ago. Robinson has a very distinct style of drawing and his stories are very real. There’s one particular character in this story that you’re not meant to like and the drawing of him, and even the words, depict that spot-on. The whole time I was reading this, I thought I knew what act of violence it would be, but if course it didn’t turn out that way. I highly recommend this, even if graphic novels aren’t your cup of tea.
The Exile retells the original Outlander novel from Jamie Fraser’s point of view, revealing events never seen in the original story and giving readers a whole new insight into the Jamie-Claire relationship. Jamie’s surreptitious arrival in Scotland at the beginning of the tale, his feelings about Claire, and much more — up to the point where Claire faces trial for witchcraft and must choose whether to return to her own century — are brought to life in brilliant four-colour art.
I must admit, I was disappointed in this and I think a big part of it was the art. At times, Claire looked like some cartoonish Playboy bunny. And the ears on the men looked like elf ears! The story definitely brought me back to the original Outlander and it reminded me of a lot of the plot points (Jamie spanking Claire, ha!) but at the same time I know I would have “gotten” more of what was going on if the books were even fresher in my head. I will definitely be rereading this once I decide to reread all the books in preparation for the next (maybe final) book in the series.
Queen Country, the Eisner Award-winning and critically lauded espionage series from acclaimed novelist and comic book author Greg Rucka, is back in a new series of definitive editions collecting the entire classic series in just four affordable soft covers. In this first collection, readers are introduced to the thrilling and often-times devastating world of international espionage as SIS field agent Tara Chase is sent all over the world in service to her Queen Country all the while Director of Operations Paul Crocker walks a narrow tightrope between his loyalty to his people and the political masters that must be served!
One of the best things about being Goodreads friends with your fellow colleagues, is that we can talk about books. Which we do already, but this time about books we read for fun. An editor was reading this right before Christmas and I told her I had my eye on it so she lent me her copy over our holiday break. She warned me ahead of time that each chapter was done by a different artist. Kudos to whoever decided to do these using different artists, because it really makes you pay attention to the storyline. For the first two chapters, you get the impression that Tara is this lowly agent but in the third chapter she is suddenly sporting a high ponytail and huge boobs! It drastically changes your perception of the character and messes with you head. Since it’s been awhile since I read this, I can’t go into too much detail but I do know that I will be seeking out the next volumes. Plus, the subject matter is different from what I’m used to reading in general (I would never read anything involving such high espionage) so having it in a visual form helps a lot.
So there you have it. If I were to recommend just one from just these above, it would be Liberty Meadows. If you like reading the Sunday newspaper comics, then LM is definitely for you.