Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Graphic Novel Round-Up

Went into graphic novel overload over the last week.  This is only half of what I read...thought I'd better save a few for a later date.  It was a unique mixture of superheros and family tragedy, which seems to be a common theme in graphic novels.  All int this round-up are worth taking a look at, and there's kind of a little bit for everyone.

Happy reading!

Batman: The Court of Owls, New 52, Vol. 1
Author: Scott Snyder
Info: DC Comics, copyright 2012, 176 pages

After a series of brutal murders rocks Gotham City, Batman begins to realize that perhaps these crimes go far deeper than appearances suggest.  As the Caped Crusader begins to unravel this deadly mystery, he discovers a conspiracy going back to his youth and beyond to the origins of the city he's sworn protect.  Could the Court of Owl, once though to be nothing more than an urban legend, be behind the crime and corruption?  Or is Bruce Wayne losing his grip on sanity and falling prey to the pressures of his war on crime?

~Goodreads Description

One of my teens told me to read this, begged me to read this, highly recommended I read this.  So I did.  And while I'm not a huge fan of superhero graphic novels, I gave it a try.  And then I got hooked.  The storyline dives into Gotham's history a bit and the background of the Wayne family. And it's kind of creepy.  I've go the next two volumes at home just ready to read.

If you're a fan of Batman, definitely worth reading.

Author: Hope Larson
Info: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, copyright 2010, 240pages

August 31, 5:15 PM, French Hill, Nova Scotia: A girl named Tara is running.  She runs through her neighborhood and up a road to the burned ruins of what was once a beautiful house - her family's house.

August 31, 1859, French Hill, Nova Scotia: A girl named Josey is picking blackberries with her friend Connie.  As the girls gossip, a handsome stranger knocks on the door of Josey's house.  His name is Asa, and with his coming, Josey's life -- and later int me, Tara's as well -- is about to change forever.

Because there is treasure in the woods that belong to Josey's family.  Gold -- an untold fortune.  Asa has a secret way of finding it, and his partnership with Josey's father could make them all rich.  But there is darkness in the woods, and in Asa.  And in the present day, Tara, Josey's descendent, is about to discover the truth about what really happened in the family's past.

~Goodreads Description

This one was decent.  I won't be picking it up again for a second read, but I enjoyed the artwork and the storyline was interesting enough to keep me reading.  The going back and forth between two timelines made it a little difficult to get to know the characters, and I wasn't really sure where the 1859 story was going, but overall a decent read.  Still can't figure out where the title came from though.

Author: Bryan Lee O'Malley
Info: Ballantine Books, copyright 2014, 323 pages

Katie's got it pretty good.  She's a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one.  Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt.  And just like that, Katie's life goes from pretty good to not so much.  What she needs is a second chance.  Everybody deserves one, after all - but they don't come easy.  Luckily for Katie, a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with simple instructions for a do-it-yourself do-over:

1. Write your mistake
2. Ingest one mushroom
3. Go to sleep
4. Wake anew

~Goodreads Description

It's no Scott Pilgrim but the artwork is just as awesome and the storyline just as kooky.  Definitely wouldn't want second chances from a house spirit.  Katie isn't really a likable character.  She's pushy, selfish, and kind've stupid.  But it's a fun take on stories revolving around taking responsibility for your actions and the reality of consequences.

It's a Bird...
Author: Steven T. Seagle
Info: Vertigo, copyright 2005, 136 pages

Gorgeously painted by European artist, Teddy Kristiansen, It's a a Superman story that doesn't feature Superman at all.  Rather, this unique graphic novel explores what the icon Superman means to the world.  Told from the perspective of an author who has written tales about Superman, this book explores the overwhelming effect that the Man of Steel has had on society.  A compelling narrative told in a variety of experimental styles, It's a Bird...weaves two interlocking stories: one that ultimately explores our own mortality and another that dissects the symbolic and cultural elements which make up Superman's mythic importance.

~Goodreads Description

The Goodreads description makes this story sound really deep.  I must have missed something.  I didn't really think it was about Superman at all, really.  Sure, he's part of the conversation, but it was more about family secrets and a man faced with his on mortality.  And angsty writers who can get seriously cranky when they have a deadline.  The artwork is beautiful though, and Seagle has a unique voice.  Worth checking out.

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