Saturday, 7 March 2015

Mini Reviews: Graphic Novels

I've finished a few things lately that I've not had time to talk about fully. Life is pretty hectic here at the moment - among other things we have people visiting left right and centre, Hanna and I are in the midst of another Ninja Book Swap and all the organisation that entails, and I'm madly trying to spend lots of proper time with my family before going back to work at the end of the month, at which point Rhys and I will only get one full day a week together again!
There are a few full length books I need to get to talking about as well, but I've been on a bit of a graphic novel kick lately, because they fit in nicely around War and Peace. Firstly I've been borrowing the Fables series from my sister and I finished Rose Red recently. It wasn't my favourite of the series but it was good, cohesive, and moved the story along nicely. I'm liking the twists the story is taking at the moment and I'm looking forward to the next installment. Actually a little bit annoyed because I meant to ask my mum to bring it with her when she came to stay this weekend and forgot but never mind. I'm sure I can wait a little longer to find out what happens next. I'm not talking about specific details because I want everybody to read this series. It's fairytale characters but not as you know them. If you like fairytales go google it now.

I also read the first volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore, primarily because my brother lent me the second volume and I need to get around to reading it. I got about half way through it before I was convinced. I know Alan Moore is great because hello, Watchmen and V for Vendetta, but I've not actually read anything else by him so after I picked this up last year at a car boot sale, I thought it was time to give it a go. Honestly, I wasn't convinced until something happened about half way through which made me go 'ooooh ok, maybe this can stay'. Up to that point the writing was fine, the characters were fine, the art was pretty good, but then slight twist and I'm totally sold. At one point during reading this I turned to Rhys and actually said 'I just realised... Dr Jekyll was the original Hulk'. Lightbulb moment. Anyway, so that's good and I'm fairly excited to start volume 2!
And finally (finally finally) Blankets by Craig Thompson. I think this is the graphic novel which has been on my wishlist the longest and I really wanted to read it because I also added Thompson's more recent novel, Habibi to my list without actually knowing whether I liked his style of writing/art etc and I can now report back that I really, really do. Blankets isn't all that monumental as a story - it's pretty much just a coming of age type memoir, but the way that it's told and the conjunction of that with the art is just really beautiful. I liked the way that religion was portrayed in it as well - so often when people have had extremely religious upbringings they end up taking the piss out of religion as an adult, but Thompson never really did that (ok, except the bit where the next logical step from getting addicted to porn is killing someone. That bit was both taking the piss and absolutely hilarious) and I just liked how everything kind of hinged around this one moment in his life. Beautiful book, highly recommended.

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