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

Monday, June 5, 2017

How to Talk to Girls At Parties

How to Talk to Girls At Parties

By Neil Gaiman

Published by Dark Horse Comics

This book is an odd one. It focuses around two college frat guys who accidentally go to the wrong party. There, they meet a collection of "Exchange students" who all are something greater then human. The Main character Enn, and the discussions he has with three of them. There isn't much to say about this one story wise. It's pretty simple.

The Writing is fabulous. It's Neil Gaiman at his best, with a very down-to-earth yet beautiful way of constructing sentences. Each character is unique, and they are all have great designs despite the simplicity. The main character is written as a drunk idiot who doesn't realize what is truly going on, thus contrasting well with the people he talks with, who all talk very eloquently. He is pretty unlikable, but it works for the most part. The Art is great, with bright colors and a constant sense of movement. The story is kinda flimsy and more of an excuse to show us fantastic images, but I'll let it slide.

TL;DR: 8/10

(Sorry for not getting this up on Monday. I had it scheduled correctly but It didn't post.)

Friday, June 2, 2017

Battling Boy

Image result for battling boy cover
Battling Boy

By Paul Pope

Published by First Second

Battling boy tells the story of a city in danger from monsters and villains, and the hero that's sent to help. After one of the town's most famous protectors dies tragically, a new hero must be chosen. In this case it's Battling Boy. Unfortunately he is unskilled, confident, and is constantly in the shadow of his father, a famous monster hunter. Thus he has to struggle to carve a name and an identity for himself, all while the villains strengthen their forces continue with their diabolical plans.

This book has ups and downs. I really like most of the art, especially the backgrounds. While it can get a bit overly detailed at times, I enjoy it. The Monster design is great, but again it can get a bit busy. The character design is fine, but the faces don't work. They just don't look human and don't work with the art style. This is a bigger problem with the lead and his father. The story Doesn't really work. It again falls into the trap of being a first book, but this is compounded by  the comic book nature of the plot. Unfortunately, the main character isn't very interesting, and thus I'm not invested in him. The villains are just as nebulous. While they do have one good scene, they also seem to lack motivation.

TL;DR: 5/10

Monday, May 29, 2017

5 Worlds Book 1


Image result for 5 worlds the sand warrior cover

The Sand Warrior

By a bunch of people

Published by Random House

This book's a bit hard to explain. It stars Oona, sand dancer, a kind of elite magic people on this one planet who can control sand (sand is important) but isn't very good at it. Through a mistake, she finds out that the 5 planets (4 of them are moons but I don't want to go into much detail here) are dying due to global warming because there are these giant towers that were put there by the gods of the realm and now they are closed so heat is building up, so now she must group up with some unusual companions in order to find the "Chosen One" to fix everyone. I understand that's a really bad description, but it makes way more sense if you actually read the book. Trust me on this.

I like this book, but at certain parts I feel like it just grabs a few to many cliches (the chosen one, many of the spaceship designs, the warrior race, etc...) but over all it's original ideas are strong enough to stand. The art is pretty good. I especially like the architecture. The characters are fine, nothing to write home about. The chemistry between the characters is decent, but there are a few moments where a character makes a decision that seems to clash with their goal. The plot does get a bit incomprehensible at times, but over all it works. But this book does have one big problem that I see more and more. The dreaded "First book in a series" syndrome. This book is mainly concerned with info dumping about the world, while providing an okay story to keep you interested. I feel like this book isn't too hurt by it, but I worry that as this gets more common, it could seriously hurt books like it.

TL;DR: 7/10