Friday, June 30, 2017

The Silver Six

The Silver Six

By AJ Lieberman and Darren Rawlings

Published By Graphix

The Silver Six stars Phoebe, a girl who's parents were assassinated by an energy tycoon, and now must survive in the dystopian system that has been erected. When she is caught by child services, she is detained. There, she meets 5 other kids who's parents were assassinated by the same people, and thus they must band together to finish their parent's work and take down the tycoon, all while being pursued by its chief henchman. Did I mention this is a sifi dystopia?

This book's plot is very flimsy. It relies on a lot of coincidences and chance meetings, and also expects that a group of twelve-year-olds has enough experiences in robotics and driving to defeat a giant tycoon that only ever sends one person after them. The art is decent. The Characters are simplistic and bland. The backgrounds are very pretty, save for the industrial which is also generic future. The characters have way too much knowledge to seem realistic, and seem to have very flimsy and changing motivations, as well as a tendency to flip-flop between different emotions without a clear reason as to why. The Setting is generic, the plot is meh, and the characters aren't that strong.

TL;DR: 5/10

Monday, June 26, 2017

Digger Vol. 1

Digger

By Ursula Vernon

Published by Sofawolf Press

This book is an interesting one. It stars Digger, a wombat who after five days of frenzied digging, ends up in a temple to the god Ganesh, with the hole back being magically changed, seemingly being removed from existence. Digger must thus explore this strange new world in order to find her way home. Along the way, she meets an interesting cast of characters, including a shadow creature, a slug with the gift of foresight, and a Hyena who's name did not exist any more. 

This book is beautiful. It focuses on contrasting shadow, which gives the world a dark and ominous feel. The Plot is again open ended, but it does this correctly by making its mysteries interesting as well as putting the main character in the same position as us: clueless and constantly learning, despite the many similarities between this world and our own. The Plot does tend to go in a cycles. By this I mean that Digger ends up back at the temple which broke the flow a bit for me. The characters are great. My personal favorite is the shadow creature. Over all, the book has it's flaws, but more then makes up for them.

TL;DR: 8/10

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fish Girl

Fish Girl

By David Wiesner and Donna Jo Napoli

Published By Clarion Books

Fish girl stars a mermaid who lives in an aquarium by the seaside with a magic octopus. There, she tries to remain somewhat unseen while still letting guests catch short glimpses of her, to keep the aquarium afloat. The aquarium is run by a man going by the name of Poseidon, who found her when she was merely a baby and constructed the aquarium to give her a safe home. As she forms a friendship with a young visitor, she starts to learn more about who and what she is.

I have been a big fan of Wiesner's work for as long as I can remember. This book is his art style, but it isn't his best work. If you compare this book's illustrations to the one in say, Flotsam, this one isn't as polished or detailed. It still has great illustrations, but I've seen better from this author. The story is fine, and works. It's general claustrophobia helps us connect with the character by allowing us to see this world more or less as she sees it. While it isn't very advanced, it works well enough. The Characters are bland, but fine. Over all, it does everything it seeks out to do, and does them well enough for me to enjoy it more then most.

TL;DR: 8/10

Monday, June 19, 2017

Afar

Afar

By Leila Del Duca and Kit Seaton

Published By Image Comics

Afar stars Siblings Abena and Boetema who live in this strange Post-apocalypse world with relics of some ancient civilization scattered across the desert. When their father is revealed to be a fraud, the family is forced to move to a new city. There, Boetema accidentally gets in trouble with a wanted criminal. During this time, Abena gains the power to astrally project and possess entities from other worlds. The two must flee town and find a way to survive. The plot is a bit of a mess and I can only reveal so much before we enter spoiler territory.

I really like the art in this book. The world is well designed, the characters look nice, and the alien worlds and creatures are quite good, even if there is a bit of a bipedal bias. The characters are decent, playing off each other well enough. My main problem with this book is the world. It leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Now I don't expect my fantasy-syfy books to explain absolutely explain everything, but I want at least a little knowledge about the world and how it works. This does strengthen the alien segments, because leaving a lot of unanswered questions there allows us to better empathize with the protagonist. This is far from a deal-breaker though, and I am willing to look past this for the most part.

TL;DR: 8/10

Friday, June 16, 2017

Decelerate Blue

Decelerate Blue

By Adam Rapp and Mike Cavallaro

Published by First Second

Decelerate blue is set in a future where the world is controlled by corporations who keep everything fast. People aren't ever allowed to slow down, and everything is slimmed down or thrown away. It's a distopia around speed. It stars Angela, a teen who is despises this unrelenting need for deficiency and is desperate for a way to escape and slow down. After her grandfather tells her where he hid a box, she finds there a secret society of people who have successfully slowed down, and decides to join them. Thus she joins the fight to slow down.

One of the books major flaws is pacing. It seemed to skip over details and didn't have a good flow. Half the time I wasn't quite sure what was happening and how it was effected by what had came before. The characters were bland, none of them leaving an impact on me save for the main character who was well written enough. The dialog was patchy but good enough, and the art is simple but fine. The thing is, despite this, the book was powerful and emotional, especially the ending which was a great way to end. But unfortunately it's flaws still drag it down.

TL;DR: 6/10

Monday, June 12, 2017

Yvain

Yvain

By M.T.Anderson

Published by Candlewick Press

Yvain is an epic tale of knights and monsters in the days of King Arthur. The book focuses around the quest of Sir Yvain, who in a bid for glory must go an a series of quests after killing a knight and falling in love with the widow. On these quests, he meets a lion, and they become insepearbale as they fight knights, demons, and dragons, in a bid to win the widow over. It's the classic King Arthur style of storytelling.

The plot is incomprehensible at times, but it mostly works. The conceit that it is a King Arthur style fable gives context for the plot, and reinforces the story by giving it a reason for it's oddness. The art is beautiful, with vivid colors and beautiful architecture. It's the classic medieval look for graphic novels that I've seen a few times. The characters do have some strange faces from time to time, but it mostly works. The Characters are strong, but again, I didn't always understand what they were doing and why, but I still very much enjoyed the book.

TL;DR: 7/10

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse

By Paco Roca

Published by NBM

The Lighthouse is a nice little story. It's about a Spanish soldier in WWII, who has to flee the Fascists and ends up in a French lighthouse. The Lighthouse keeper takes him in temporarily, and cares for him as he recovers from his injuries, all the while harvesting things from the sea and telling tails of far. There isn't much more to say about this one. It's more of a short story compared to some of the other books I've reviewed. 

I really like this book, but it has some flaws. What book doesn't? The main character is bumbling and naive, and the lighthouse keeper is a dreamer and a story teller, and they have good chemistry. While I do think the main character may be written as a bit too dumb for his own good, I'm willing to let it slide. The plot is simple and short. It works for the most part, save for the second to last scene, which I won't spoil but rubbed me the wrong way. Over all, it's flaws don't way it down too much. 

TL;DR: 7;10