Saturday, July 26, 2014

Graphic Novels #2

Graphic Novel Reviews #2
As I said in my Graphic Novel Reviews #1, I recently started reading graphic novels because I think they're interesting and often really cool. I always have things to say about the graphic novels that I've read, but never enough to write a full review for each of them. So I decided to start doing these short reviews in a grouped format so that I can talk about each and give recommendations without having to write full reviews.

Hark! A VagrantHark! A Vagrant

This isn't so much a graphic novel as it is a collection historical comics. I love the design of this book and the drawing style. Some of the comics were really funny, but there were some that I just didn't have enough context to understand. But the ones that I did understand were usually hilarious and ridiculous, just what I was expecting. I'm glad I read this, because it was so different than anything I'd read before.

3 out of 5 Stars

Boxers (Boxers & Saints, #1)Boxers

I'd heard great thing about this series, but I wasn't sure what to expect. Needless to say, I was blown away by this book. It was the perfect balance of historical fact and genuine characters. It was emotional and gritty and much darker than I thought it would be. And I loved how it didn't sugar-coat anything. Everything was as horrible and as real as it was supposed to be. Another aspect that was really great was how varied your reaction to characters needed to be. You liked characters one page and then a few pages later you were angry with them or you thought they were doing the wrong thing, but everything was within each character's motives. It made them seem like real people, within the context of the historical and accurate setting.

5 out of 5 Stars

Saints (Boxers & Saints, #2)Saints
So, naturally, after loving Boxers I was expecting a lot of Saints. It was definitely good and I really enjoyed reading it, but it didn't interest me as much as Boxers did. The artwork was still great and the characters were still interesting, but I didn't find the overall story as compelling. Still, it did a great job of showing the other side of the issue justly and without bias.

4 out of 5 Stars

The Great American Dust BowlThe Great Dust Bowl
Then I figured that another historical graphic novel would be a good thing to try since I enjoyed the first two I read so much. But this one was a much bigger struggle. It wasn't anything that I was expecting. There were no characters and no plot. This graphic novel is just an explanation of what the Dust Bowl was and how it affected America and Americans as a whole. The thing is, I happen to know quite a bit about what the Dust Bowl was because I've always had a particular interest in The Great Depression era. So this was just a regurgitation of all the information I knew with drawings. It would probably be better suited for a class setting as a way to help kids remember the information, which may be what it was intended for. Either way, I was disappointed.

3 out of 5 Stars

Amulet, Vol. 1: The Stonekeeper (Amulet, #1)Amulet: Book 1
And then Amulet. I adored this graphic novel, with its beautiful artwork and a cool twist on a pretty common trope in children's books. There were so many characters, but they were all so distinctive, in appearance as well as personality. I couldn't put the book down because it flew by and so much plot happened while simultaneously introducing us to the world. I can't wait to read the rest of the series and find out what happens to these kids and their new sidekicks.

5 out of 5 stars

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