Monday, January 16, 2017

Graphic Novel Review: SNOWPIERCER, VOL. 1: THE ESCAPE

I first became acquainted with SNOWPIERCER, VOL. 1: THE ESCAPE after having watched the movie starring Chris Evans. I enjoyed that movie and after learning it was based on a graphic novel, I wanted to find and read the original story. The story is set in at an undetermined date in the future. The Earth has been turned into a frozen wasteland (by human hands and not nature) and a remnant of humanity survives by living on a giant train of over a 1,000 cars that travels around the globe non-stop. The rear cars contain the most poor and impoverished people while the most wealthy and affluent are near the front of the train. After an attempted coup years before, the rear of the train has been quarantined from the rest of the train and there are rumors that the train officials are considering dumping those cars as soon as they can. Proloff, a refugee from the rear, escapes and is wanted to be seen by the top officials. Some want to use him to advance their political careers while others just want to see him out of curiosity. However, as Proloff is escorted through the train, it becomes clear that things aren’t exactly as they seem and his only chance for survival is to make it all the way to the engine.

SNOWPIERCER is a graphic novel that was first published over thirty years ago in France. It’s amazing how relevant many of the issues the book raises still are. In some ways the story is even more relevant today as society wrestles with climate change and our impact upon the environment. There are moments that the story drags, but not so much that it distracts from the overall story. Personally, I really enjoyed reading SNOWPIERCER, VOL. 1 THE ESCAPE and I look forward to reading the other three volumes in the trilogy.
 


Friday, December 30, 2016

Fun and Entertaining



Laser Moose is a moose that can shoot lasers out of his eyes. His best friend is an overly optimistic rabbit called Rabbit Boy and LASER MOOSE AND RABBIT BOY is a book that chronicles four different adventures of theirs.

“Invaders” – When the Forest is visited by an UFO, Laser Moose is sure that the aliens have come to destroy the whole forest. However, Rabbit Boy isn’t so sure and wants to give them the benefit of the doubt. What I like most about this story is that even though Laser Moose is overly vigilant, the end of the story reveals that his worst fears are actually true.

“Day of the Aquabear” – a bear eating a fish falls into a pit of toxic waste and mutates. Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy do everything they can to get the aquabear to follow them back to toxic waste plant.

“Terror of the Mechasquirrel” – Laser Moose’s arch nemesis creates a super smart and super strong mechanical squirrel that he programs to kill Laser Moose and destroy the forest.

“More to Explore” – Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy explore how lasers work.

Overall, I really enjoyed LASER MOOSE AND RABBIT BOY. It was a very fun and entertaining book.

Comics for Smart People



MAN, I HATE CURSIVE is a book of comics by Jim Benton. I enjoyed most of the comics in the book and some made me laugh at loud. Many of the comics have an edge to them and are kind of dark. Others are rather sentimental. Please be aware, while there really isn’t any foul language or overtly sexual comics, many of these comics are not safe for children: they refer to adult situation. Overall, I really enjoyed MAN, I HATE CURSIVE and I look forward to reading more comics by Jim Benton.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Fairy Tales With a Cat Twist



Author Yasmine Surovec has used her “Cat Vs Human” comic to tell stories in graphic novel form as well as inspire a book of cat-centered poetry. Now, Surovec takes on classic fairy tales in CAT VS HUMAN FAIRY TAILS. In this book, several different fairy tales are re-told through the lens of “Cat Vs Human”. The stories retold are: Rapunzel, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Ugly Duckling, The Princess and the Frog, The Princess and the Pea, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Little Mermaid, The Pied Piper, Sleeping Beauty, and The Little Match Girl. Unlike the original stories, all of these re-tellings in CAT VS HUMAN FAIRY TAILS have happy endings. Although cats are front and center in this book, CAT VS HUMAN FAIRY TAILS is a book that even those who aren’t cat lovers can enjoy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2017 Graphic Novel Challenge

After a couple years of doing really well, I haven't done very well the past couple years when it comes to reading. I signed up to do the 2016 Graphic Novel Challenge this year at the lowest possible level and as the year comes to a close, I find myself struggling at the last minute to complete it. Nevertheless, the year's not over and I'm determined to complete this challenge again next year. So, I'm signing up for the Modern Age of the 2017 Graphic Novel challenge. Think you're up for the task? You can find out more information here:

http://graphicnovelschallenge.blogspot.com/2016/12/2017-10th-annual-graphic-novel-manga.html

Here's hoping next year I can do much better than I did this year.

Book Review: LIO'S ASTONISHING TALES FROM THE HAUNTED CRYPT OF UNKNOWN HORRORS by Mark Tatulli



Although the strip isn't published in my local papers, I really enjoy reading the comic "Lio" anytime I come across it. Lio is like a strange hybrid between Calvin from "Calvin and Hobbes" and "The Addam's Family" but with updated and more modern references. I also love the fact that the strip is pretty much wordless. It adds to the charm and makes the strip feel as though it's from a time far in the past when silent movies were the king of entertainment. LIO'S ASTONISHING TALES FROM THE HAUNTED CRYPT OF THE UNKOWN HORRORS is a treasury of Lio comics. It contains all the cartoon found in the previous book collections "Happiness Is a Squishy Cephalopod" and "Silent But Deadly." There's also some fake advertisements thrown in and some sketches of Lio. In addition, the author comments on the comics throughout the book and this treasury is almost worth buying for that commentary alone. Highly recommended.

The Remote-Controlled Heart

"Pearls Before Swine" Dec. 5, 2005

I think this is my favorite "Pearls Before Swine" comic ever (I can't think of one I like better).

Monday, November 07, 2016

Lazy Is Smart - Review of OPTIMISM SOUNDS EXHAUSTING


OPTIMISM SOUNDS EXHAUSTING is a collection of Dilbert comic strips. These strips originally appeared in newspapers from July 21, 2014 – August 1, 2015. All of the strips are printed in color. Other than a few glimmers here and there, “Dilbert” had lost much of its original charm.  However, in the past couple years, “Dilbert” has regained much of its earlier glory. There’s a lot more to be made fun of in the workplace now than even just five years ago.