Posts Categorized: Graphic Novel

National Book Award 2015 Finalist – Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

November 7, 2015 Bonnie Book Reviews, Graphic Novel, Read in 2015, YA 3 Comments

National Book Award 2015 Finalist – Nimona by Noelle StevensonNimona by Noelle Stevenson
Published by HarperTeen on May 12th 2015
Pages: 272
Genres: Fantasy, Funny-ha-ha
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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three-stars

The full-color graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it “a deadpan epic”

Nimona is an impulsive young shape-shifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism!

All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson, based on the web comic Slate called “funny and vibrant, with wonderful energy in Stevenson’s illustrations and a wicked wit in her storytelling.”

Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the thousands of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is a shapeshifter. She’s also hilarious and set on world domination which is why she asked to join up with the designated villain of the kingdom, Lord Ballister Blackheart. The two set out to bring down the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics as well as Blackheart’s bitter rival (and ex-best friend) Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin. Behind Nimona’s fantastic sense of humor is a seemingly somber past that we only see a hint of. The former webcomic is now printed and bound and is sure to be loved.

Okay, so, despite my middle-of-the-road rating, I really did enjoy this. Nimona was hilarious and all over the place and the graphics were enjoyable as well. I wanted more character building though. The hints about Nimona’s past should have been more than just hints and the evil government was a bit too stereotypical. The board game scene had me absolutely dying because if I could breathe fire, that’s totally how it’d be like playing board games with me as well.

I picked this up though because it’s a part of my National Book Award Finalist experiment. It was fun. I enjoyed it. But being nominated for the National Book Award?

Not to be a party-pooper or anything. I love seeing a young author being nominated. I love seeing a graphic novel being nominated. But in my opinion, it shouldn’t have made the cut, and that’s what my experiment is all about. Setting all that aside though, this is one for all you graphic novel lovers looking for a good laugh.

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Graphic Novel Review – Fables Vol. 22: Farewell by Bill Willingham

July 30, 2015 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Graphic Novel, Read in 2015 0 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Graphic Novel Review – Fables Vol. 22: Farewell by Bill WillinghamFables Vol. 22: Farewell by Bill Willingham
Illustrator: Mark Buckingham
Published by Vertigo on July 28th 2015
Pages: 160
Genres: Comics-Graphic-Novels, Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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three-stars

The New York Times Best-selling Series and Winner of 14 Eisner Awards!

Completing more than thirteen years of critically-acclaimed storytelling, FABLES #150 is here!

Doubling as the final volume of the series, creator Bill Willingham, artist Mark Buckingham and a host of the industry’s finest artists deliver the end to this legendary Vertigo series that sees the final fates of beloved characters Bigby Wolf, Snow White, Rose Red, Boy Blue, Pinocchio and countless others. Ready or not, ever after is here.

‘In which many things are resolved to an extent that the gentlewomen and gentle men who’ve been privileged to bring you these tales in years past, and who proudly present this one today, can take the opportunity to wish you a fond, if somewhat troubling, farewell.’

Fables brought to life the fairy tale characters we all know and love, placing them in a modern setting and forcing them to tackle life in Fabletown. While it has been for the most part one large story about the ongoing conflict between Snow White and Rose Red, there have been plenty of forks in the road of that story to keep it exciting. Farewell retraces its steps back to the beginning, concluding the completely fruitless conflict between the two sisters, but touches base with most of the characters whose stories were left hanging issues back. With as many concluding snippets that had to be addressed, Farewell lacks the excitement of the previous installments and instead simply feels like nothing more than a clean-up effort. Ever since the defeat of Mr. Dark, Fables has felt lacking in direction and despite this being the ‘conclusion’, as sad as it is, it still managed to feel overdue.

There were certain storylines that ended surprisingly which helped raise my overall opinion of this finale. The surprising magical clash between Frau Totenkinder and Cinderella, the battle between Flycatcher and Prince Brandish, but what I loved the most was how the ‘Summer Prophecy’ of Snow White’s cubs is readdressed, showing exactly how the Prophecy became fact.

The Fables comic series has been in production since 2002 with a total of 150 issues and it’s finally time to say goodbye. With as many long-running storylines as this series has, it would be difficult for even the most accomplished writer to give proper credit to all of them. While I can’t say with sincerity that this is a perfect end (but then again what end ever is?) however this will still satisfy and leave fans with sufficient closure.


Photo Credit: DC Comics / Vertigo

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Graphic Novel Review – Fables Encyclopedia by Jess Nevins

January 28, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Graphic Novel, Read in 2013 7 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Graphic Novel Review – Fables Encyclopedia by Jess NevinsFables Encyclopedia by Jess Nevins
Series: Fables
Published by Vertigo on October 29th 2013
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon
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three-stars

The histories behind the fairy tale characters in New York Times best-selling author Bill Willingham's series FABLES are uncovered here in the FABLES ENCYCLOPEDIA. Exhaustively researched by author Jess Nevins, these annotations fill in details hailing down from ancient myth and forgotten civilizations of the timeless figures that compose the world of Fabletown, including Snow White, Bigby Wolf, Boy Blue and many more. This new compendium is a must-have addition to any FABLES afficianado's library as well as any fan of modern folk lore and fairy tales.

With the abundant amount of characters introduced throughout the Fables series it can be difficult keeping track of each and every one. The Fables Encyclopedia is a fantastic companion guide to remembering each character and the roles they played in the story. In addition to their Fables role, we’re given a detailed and fascinating history on the characters that existed outside of the Fables universe. Snippets of comics were re-printed from past issues to detail certain characters as well.

I enjoyed reading about several lesser known characters that were only given brief appearances in the comics and finding out more of their backstory but was disappointed by how it wasn’t as up to date as I’d hope. Many of the stories of characters from the spin-off series weren’t elaborated on in particular a character from Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland. Considering that issue was published in November 2012 and this Encyclopedia was published October 2013 I would have expected those updates to be covered. The comic snippets were nice to read again but seemed repetitive and unessential since it wasn’t adding anything new to what the text already disclosed. Clearly not an all encompassing guide, Fables Encylopedia is fairly informative but mostly interesting in regards to the characters lives outside of the Fables universe.

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Graphic Novel Review – House of Gold & Bones by Corey Taylor

December 7, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Graphic Novel, Read in 2013 2 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Graphic Novel Review – House of Gold & Bones by Corey TaylorHouse of Gold & Bones by Corey Taylor
Published by Dark Horse on December 10th 2013
Pages: 104
Genres: Fantasy, Horror
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
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Also by this author: Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven, You're Making Me Hate You: A Cantankerous Look at the Common Misconception That Humans Have Any Common Sense Left

three-stars

In a nightmarish world, the Human finds himself at a crossroads as wild adventure ensues and he's thrust into a morphing landscape of rolling hills, dense forest, and an ominous Crimson City. Chased by a crazed mob and mysterious characters neither friend nor foe, the Human takes an unexpected journey that will lead to his salvation... or damnation. Stone Sour/Slipknot singer Corey Taylor has written this graphic novel to accompany the narrative of Stone Sour's two House of Gold & Bones albums!

Image result for House of Gold & Bones part 1

House of Gold & Bones is the complete collection of the four-volume comics that coincided with the release of Stone Sour’s double disc release of the same name. It tells the tale of a Human that finds himself in a world of horror with no clear way out.

Being a huge fan of both of Corey Taylor’s non-fiction novels and of  Stone Sour’s House of Gold & Bones albums it was too intriguing a concept to pass up. The majority of the illustrations had a raw and unpolished feel and the story itself was a world of fantasy and horror. I loved the creativity behind this and his vision as a whole and would love to see what other concepts he comes up with. A definite for fans of Corey Taylor and Stone Sour.

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