June is looking to be a record-breaking month here at Graphic Novel Universe. Here’s the second part of what I’ve read this month. More to come!
(All works with a + are part of the ongoing SXSW 2014 Starter Pack review series.)
The Yellow “M” (1956) Edgar P. Jacobs (Cinebook)
Previously discussed here.
Afterlife with Archie, Vol. 1: Escape from Riverdale (2014) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Francesco Francavilla (Archie)
Black Science, Vol. 1: How to Fall Forever (2014) Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera, Dean White (Image)
Scientist Grant McKay - with his research crew and family - discovers a way to travel to other dimensions through “black science” and, specifically, through a device known as the “pillar.” McKay is hoping to find the answers to all of man’s questions by traveling interdimensionally, but discovers each dimension is filled with further questions, danger, and sometimes death.
In one way, Rememder is exploring and paying homage to some of the great classic science fiction ideas from sf history. In another, he’s touching on many elements of human nature, some that we’d maybe rather not be reminded of...
This was a quick read - perhaps too quick - and one I want to explore again. The art and coloring in this book are so incredible, you could literally stare at each panel and lose all track of time. Collects Black Science #1-6 for ten bucks. Trust me on this one - buy it.
+ Chloe Noonan: Monster Hunter: Digital Omnibus (2012) Marc Ellerby (Great Beast)
I like the concept of Chloe as sort of Buffy the Vampire Slayer without any special powers. Chloe is also a real flake and most of the time isn’t really interested in saving the world at all, but would rather play keyboards in what appears to be a pretty lousy band. She’s grumpy and opinionated and hangs out with her friend Zoe, who is - of course - everything Chloe is not: beautiful, perky, and optimistic. The British humor works well enough, but gets old fast. A fun, whimsical read that I might explore further.
The Massive, Vol. 1: Black Pacific (2013) Brian Wood, Kristian Donaldson, Garry Brown (Dark Horse) (2x)
The first trade of The Massive was one of my favorite graphic novels of 2013. (You can read my full review here.)
The Massive, Vol. 2: Subcontinental (2013) Brian Wood, Garry Brown, Gary Erskine, Declan Shalvey, Danijel Žeželj (Dark Horse)
The second trade of The Massive really deflated much of the enthusiasm I had for the first volume. I can go along with the “ghost ship” concept for only so long, and at this point, my patience is wearing thin. Several believability issues emerge here that were not a problem in the first book, but the biggest disappointment with Subcontinental is its art with six collected issues drawn by four different artists. I’m not sure what’s going on with these changes, but I’m hoping for more consistency in art and less “ghost ship” plot points with Volume 3.
The Nao of Brown (2012) Glyn Dillon (SelfMadeHero)
Nao Brown is a 28-year-old woman with OCD who lives in London and works at a toy shop. Nao has dreams of love and longing as well as extremely violent urges, often at the same time. Telling you more about the plot would be pointless. The Nao of Brown is something you have to experience for yourself. Besides the gorgeous watercolor artwork, Dillon has created a uniquely complex character that’s both surprising and touching. This is a very different graphic novel, one that’s very good and maybe even great. I’ll definitely read this one again.
Adventure Time: Candy Capers (J 2014) (KaBOOM!)
Recently reviewed at The Comics Alternative.