So I technically read only three comics in May, but considering I read a total of 15 (!!!!) books in may, and one of them is more pictures than words, I’m going to loop it in with this wrap up just so I don’t die a horrible painful death trying to wrap up 6 books each for the YA and adult wrap up. I feel like I’ll have a bit to say about maybe one or two of these and be pretty laconic about the rest…. well let’s get started.
- Are you my Mother? by Alison Bechdel
- Rating: 3.5/5
- Thoughts: On one hand, it was always going to be hard following up on Gone Home, and I think Bechdel does a pretty dang good job in this piece. On the other, this comic is SUPER meta and super psychological discussion-y. Which while I’m fine with the former, I could NOT really get into the latter. Granted, psychology is up there with philosophy in subjects I give about two shits about, but I think this book could be a struggle for people who DO enjoy those kind of discussions. While there are some really impactful moments – Bechdel discusses a lot more of her adult life and mental health issues in this book – the book still suffers from the way she choose to tell the story. It’s meandering and purposeless for a good third to half of the book, and while the book touts itself as an exploration of Bechdel’s relationship with her mother, it takes much more of a backseat to Bechdel’s own musing. While I think about half of these tangents and other explorations are really good, was a little disappointing when being promised something else entirely. Nevertheless, there are enough really good or thought provoking moments to haltingly recommend. If you really really enjoyed Fun Home or other pieces of Bechdel’s work, I’d give this a try.
- Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Drawn by Valentine De Landro
- Rating: 4.5/5
- Thoughts: I can see why everyone was singing this book praises. This is a REALLY great sci-fi dystopian read. The world is just as horrible and toxic as promised with a super compelling main cast of characters. I straight up LOVED watching the main crew interact, and you really can’t help rooting for them thriving in this fucked up world. And the world just gets more and more fucked up you read it. I’m not a super big fan of dystopian usually, but I think Bitch planet actually works because for as fantastical and fucked up as it is, it is still grounded in our reality. There are things that people say and do in thhis book that you will think “fuck…. I CAN imagine someone doing this kind of shit”. It never feels patronizing or smug about it either. It’s more just like “hey, this is fucked up – but so is a lot of other shit that’s going on right now” Honestly, from what I read of Y the Last Man, it could only WISH it was as interesting as Bitch Planet is. And I’m saying this as one of Brian K. Vaughn’s biggest fans. I can’t wait to pick up the next volume – This one ends on a pretty bleak cliffhanger.
- Also I would die for Kamau and Penelope. The motherfucking BEST.
- Content warnings: Sexual assault and LOTS of violence.
- Ramayana: Divine Loophole by Sanjay Patel
- Rating: 5/5
- Thoughts: This is a re-read for me, but I love this even more the second time around. Patel’s art is GORGEOUS – he is such a master of color and linework. Every piece in this book is stunning. This was also one of my earliest introductions to Indian mythology other than the one off Bollywood movie and whitewashed movies, and it works really well. Definitely more of a kids book for sure, but the art is great enough for adults to love as well. I’d give this a look if you’re wanting to read more non-western mythology but you’re not really sure where to start.
- Another Castle: Grimoire, Written by Andrew Wheeler and Drawn by Paulina Ganucheau
- Rating: 3.25/5
- Thoughts: I was hoping Another Castle would turn out to be like Zodiac Starforce and become a surprising favorite, but alas, it just wasn’t meant to be. This book is… fine? Ganucheau’s art is fantastic as usual, but I felt like it really lacked a lot of heart and fun that this kind of story should have. There are maybe like… two memorable characters? At least one of those is the lead, so there’s that – but it definitely wasn’t enough to really make this a standout. This book was super torn between being goofy fun and trying to really challenge and critique fantasy tropes, and just ended up committing to neither and coming off a bit… stale. Just ended up not really being my cup of tea at all. It’s a shame, but I think it will be loved by a lot of other people. Just not…. me.
- I think if you’re wanting to get into a comic with the same kind of fantasy challenging tropes, try out Princeless and Princess Princess Ever After first. Those are much more successful executions.
Easiest one down, two more wrap ups to go! You know the drill and I hate writing these dang blurbs at the end of this in transition. See ya in a couple of days.