Monday, November 22, 2010

Graphic digest

I'm perpetually on the lookout for the next great graphic novel. Here are my thoughts on what I've read lately...

Rapunzel's Revenge - At first, this graphic interpretation of Rapunzel for elementary aged kids got me pumped. Rapunzel is feisty and saves herself. She also uses her hair (in braids) as both tool and weapon. But then it turned into a cycle of travel (to free her mother), scuffles, and Rapunzel getting herself and her traveling partner (Jack, once again of the beanstalk variety) out of trouble. It was really close to being amazing.

Skim - I. Love. This. Graphic. Novel. I find the majority of graphic novels deal with dark subject matter. Skim doesn't shy away from the shadows delving into teen suicide but also coming of age and homosexuality. The feeling of the novel is stark, but not depressing. The words and images support the stoic sentiment.

Chance in Hell - With this title, I don't know why I thought I might like this one. Set in a dystopic future, society throws out not only its unwanted garbage, but also its unwanted children. We follow a promising young girl who is saved from creepy men by another man (who used to live in the garbage). Only girlfriend befriends a local pimp and starts to learn the ropes. When it turns out that the man is going to the prostitutes the girl is now managing, she kills him. Oh and then fast forward to her being an adult and getting married but then all of her people get killed by some serial killer and she is left alone. Do not read this one.

The Living and the Dead - This one was mainly pictures with few words. Who needs words when an axe to the head speaks for itself? A man falls in love with a prostitute. Then saves his money her? But then...zombies. Attack. Guy saves prostitute. Prostitute gets turned into a zombie. Prostitute turns man into zombie. They fall in love. Oh, and insert a bunch of zombie violence. This one is obviously trying to disprove my zombies-make-everything-better theory.

Emiko Superstar - Emiko is written by the same author as Skim. I liked this one, but not as much. Still a coming of age work, this one concentrating on experimentation with risk taking behavior. There is also a weird part of the main character babysitting for a perfect seeming couple where the wife is actually a lesbian and runs away but not before the main character steals her diary and uses it as performance fodder so she can be cool.

Retreat & The Long Way Home (Buffy) - I don't expect everyone to understand - or be down with - my love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What can I say, truth telling through witty snark makes me happy. Whedon's post final season comic series gives a chance to hang out with the characters a little while longer. I truly enjoy them and am slowly adding them to my personal library.

Skim - Mariko Tamaki

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