Thursday, July 31, 2014

Graphic Novels Read in July Part II

If you missed it, Part I of July's graphic novel reads can be found here. Here's the rest of what I read in July with brief commentary:

(All works with a + are part of the ongoing SXSW 2014 Starter Pack review series.)

Saga - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (Image)

Saga, Vol. 1 (2012)  5/5

Saga, Vol. 2 (2013)  5/5

Saga, Vol. 3 (2014)  5/5

Saga really is in a class by itself. There’s so much to be said here - and so much that has already been said - that I would need an enormous amount of space and time to put down my own thoughts about the title. I hope to do so soon. In the meantime, read them all. 

The Shadow Hero (2014) Gene Luen Yang, Sonny Liew (First Second)


+ Dumbing of Age: This Campus is a Friggin’ Escher Print (2012) David Willis (ComiXology eBook)

It's Joyce's first day in public education, and everybody's first day in college.

Some good ideas, but I never really got into this Kickstarter webcomic that chronicles several first-year college students and their antics. The collection contains several funny moments, but I quickly grew tired of the same situations and gags. Even more, I got tired of the author’s interspersed commentary and asides. Others love this title, so maybe it’s just not for me.


The Maxx: Maxximized, Vol. 1 (1995/2014) Sam Kieth, William Messner-Loeb (IDW)

Derek and I discussed this graphic novel reissue at length on a recent podcast at The Comics Alternative


Squid & Owl (2013) John Holbo (Rhinobird Books) 

This whimsical, gorgeously illustrated title resembles poetry on wallpaper (although beautiful wallpaper) more than it does a traditional graphic novel and therefore seems a little out-of-place in a collection of digital comics, but I can’t deny its beauty.


Cleopatra in Space, Vol. 1: Target Practice (J 2014) Mike Mihack (Graphix)

It’s really hard not to like this book. Cleopatra finds herself bored in ancient Egypt, but not so much when a mysterious tablet transports her far into the future, where Cleo’s destiny is to save the galaxy from the wicked Xaius Octavian. Cleo finds that while some things haven’t really changed much for her in this new century, she still has a thing or two to learn. A really fun series I look forward to following. 


+ Ultrasylvania, Vol. 1: King Dracula (2012) Brian Schirmer, Jonathan Aguilion, Edward Edgerson, Jr., Valerio Fabbretti, John Gomes, Matt Harding (Third Option Press)

At the end of the 19th century, Bram Stoker ventures to Ultrasylvania to interview its monarch for a biography. But, is this man a writer -- or an assassin?

Fifty years earlier in neighboring Bavaria, King Victor Frankenstein grants sanctuary to a young woman -- and quickly falls in love. But, is she more than she seems?

The answers to these questions will bring these men together -- and seal their fates.

Dracula vs. Frankenstein’s monster in a battle over generations. Surprisingly, much of it works, including the different art styles depicting different periods of time as they move back and forth throughout the book. The story itself involves lots of conversation, some of it compelling, some of it seemingly just taking up space. Worth a look. 


Murder Me Dead (2000/2014) David Lapham (Image/El Capitan)

Recently discussed on a recent Comics Alternative podcast


Archeologists of Shadows, Vol. 1 (2011) Lara Fuentes, Patricio Clarey (Septagon Studios) 

In a world where every living thing is forced to become mechanical, the Authorities punish those who resist the transformation, although all wonder about the real reason for the changes.

I don't mean for this to sound negative, but Archeologists of Shadows looks like a video game. Maybe it's based on one - I don't know. The art is very nice, but I'm afraid the story wasn't quite what I was expecting. Know also that of the eBook's 100+ pages, half of them are art and sketches only.


So tell me what you read in July....

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