Comics/Graphic Novels I read in November 2018 – Reading Wrap Up

November is over, so here come the reading wrap ups! First is the comic wrap up – I read to eclectically to really have a theme, (I varied wildly from contemporary to horror to scifi to fantasy) but I overall enjoyed all four of my comic reading this month – though the mileage of that enjoyment varied fairly wildly.

  • Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love Written by  Sarah Vaughn and Illustrated by Lan Medina

    • Rating: 3.75/5
    • Thoughts: This one was a pleasant surprise! I unfortunately got this book in after the spooky month, but as that hasn’t stopped me before, I of course picked this up right at the beginning of November.
    • And just all in all this is a solid Deadman story and a solid ghost story. Medina’s art was MADE for gothic horror – everything’s so detailed and spooky, you can’t look away. I enjoyed the cast of characters we were introduced had great designs and were interesting to spend time with. There’s also some GREAT Nonbinary and wlw rep in this – which honestly raised my enjoyment significantly higher that I may have been otherwise.
    • This part of the wrap up is kind of short, but I don’t have much to say. It’s a good ghost story and a good story about Deadman, but not an exemplary one. The great rep in the story is what makes it a standout at all – and if you’re looking for that, I’d give this a look.
  • The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part Two, Written by Michael Dante DiMartino and Illustrated by Irene Koh

    • Rating: 3.75/5
    • Thoughts: Another book that pleasantly surprised me this month! I’m pretty ambivalent to the LOK TV Show, but DiMartino seems to be writing some interesting premises for Turf Wars. (Mostly because a lot of it is actually discussing elements that I’d wished they’d had time to go into in the original show, IE: Organized crime in Republic City that was BLATANTLY SHOWN to be a thing in the first season!)
    • I do put a bit of a caveat on interesting though. I still feel like a lot of these topics are not handled with the greatest finesse and end up coming off a little bit sloppy. But that might be because this is an in-between book.
    • I gotta say though, both Bolin and Mako have really improved as characters without a boring ass romantic plot dragging them into oblivion. Which bravo, you got me to be ambivalent towards Mako. A feat indeed.
    • If you take anything away from this, it’s that the characters are honestly the highlights of this book. Other than some stuff with Varrick and Zhu Li (which sighsssss I have some just. Negative feelings about that thing in general), everyone is still just a blast to read about. Probably even more so than parts of the show lmao.
    • Just all in all, I’m still enjoying myself, which is still a bit of a surprise to me! We’ll see if that trend continues on.

  • On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
    • Rating: 5/5
    • Thoughts: Wow. This is just WOW. I read Spinning by Walden a couple months ago, and KNEW I wanted to pick this is up before the end of the year and y’all I am SCREAMING This was so fucking GOOD.
    • First off,  the art in this is fucking. Sublime. Life changing. I want half of the panels framed on my wall. The atmosphere and colors are just absolutely BREATH TAKING in this book, which considering this is a fun space romp, was absolutely vital to its charm and success as a work of fiction. Walden’s page composition is also just incredible in this – for such a new artist on the scene, she has a just a KNACK for creating such creative looking and well told visuals for her comics. Generally, it was really exciting to see her go so far out of the contemporary comfort zone into some genuine fucking art pieces.
    • Honestly though, on TOP of all of that shit, the story for this is just. It’s so good you guys. It’s so good. This book is just a ode to the power of relationships – fucking all kinds of them – intimate, familiar, friendly, your school and your friends – just all of them, and it’s so heartrending and powerful. It gave me mega A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet vibes, which considering that is probably one of my favorite books I read this year IF NOT ever, means a helluva lot. It’s another book that falls into the “heartwarming scifi” section, which I personally am not only super here for, but this as a book probably EXEMPLIFIES.
    • The characters in this are now all time faves (especially ELLIOT AND JULES I love them so so much) and create just a great team to root for. The messages and joy that this graphic novel have are just. *chef’s kiss* great fucking shit y’all.
    • The romance in this by the way? A fucking inspiration. It’s so so sweet and charming and had me on the verge of tears at the end. THIS is how y’all do romance!!! Build that shit up!!!!
    • I want to reread this talking about it now. It was just SO Fucking good and so fucking. Important to me? God I wish I’d been able to read this when I was younger, when I had absolutely no LGBTIA genre fiction to read. I loved high fantasy and scifi as a kid and there just wasn’t that shit for me then. But this book is here now and I IMPLORE you to read it. It’s a beautiful comic and its a really moving story.
    • I mentioned this before, but I met Walden at Comic Con and got her book signed with my friend Cass. And one of the things I remember saying about why I’d wanted to read this was “I just want to read about people being gay in space” and I just???? I got so much more out of this than that. It’s a story about love and relationships that just absolutely excels all the way through.
    • This review is a mess but I hope if you get anything out of this, its that I absolutely loved it, I’ve been staring at Walden’s Art Print Shop and Book depository and wondering if I should by a dope ass print and hardcover book respectively for the past week.
    • Also like if you can’t get the physical book this is a webcomic. It’s still up right the fuck now???? CLICK THIS LINK AND READ IT AND CRY WITH ME.
  • In Real Life, Written by Cory Doctorow and Illustrated by Jen Wang

    • Rating: 3.25/5
    • Thoughts:  Another book I picked up from First Second at SDCC this year! (Can you tell I went hog wild at their booth this year LOL) This book was a bit of a mixed bag to be honest.
    • This is the first book I’ve picked up by Jen Wang, and I gotta say, I can see why she’s so popular. Her art in this is some of the best sequential art I’ve seen. I absolutely LOVED the linework in this book a ton.
    • But man, the story and characters were just a super mixed bag. It leaned a little too much into stereotypes and tropes without playing with them enough to be interesting. Although the message and general bones of the story were good, I couldn’t help feeling like there should just been more. This is not to say there aren’t parts of this book didn’t work – there were a a fair amount of really intelligent conversations and character interactions. But I think those parts that were really good made the the parts that lacked even more disappointing!
    • I do think generally that this is a really approachable graphic novel, one that has a really nice message that should be heard. If the synopsis sounds like something you might be interested in, by no means am I saying you shouldn’t pick this up! But maybe keep your expectations a bit lower than mine.

Alright, that’s the end of this kinda short wrap up. I promise I’m a bit more talkative in my other wrap ups (is that a good thing? I think that’s a good thing). So stay tuned for those coming in the next couple of days!

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