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text 2018-07-10 22:59
2018 Hugo Ballot: Best Graphic Novel
Black Bolt (2017-) #1 - Leonard Bacon;Joseph Parrish Thompson;Richard Salter Storrs;Henry Ward Beecher;Joshua Leavitt;Henry Chandler Bowen;Theodore Tilton;William Hayes Ward;Hamilton Holt;Harold de Wolf Fuller;Fabian Franklin;Christian Archibald Herter,Saladin Ahmed
Bitch Planet Volume 2: President Bitch - Kelly Sue DeConnick
Monstress Volume 2: The Blood - Marjorie M. Liu
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters - Emil Ferris
Paper Girls Volume 3 - Brian K. Vaughan
Saga, Volume 7 - Fiona Staples,Brian K. Vaughan

This is part of a series of posts reviewing categories in this year's Hugo ballot. I'll be discussing the entries, the voter packet, and my ballot. I've nominated and voted most years since 2011, when I figured out that all I had to do was join Worldcon to get to do so.

 

I'd only read 2 of these in advance of the finalist announcement. Two more are properties I'm familiar with from earlier volumes.

 

  • Black Bolt, Volume 1: Hard Time, written by Saladin Ahmed, illustrated by Christian Ward, lettered by Clayton Cowles (Marvel) - 3.5 stars, loved the art and liked the writing. Still laughing that his name is Blackagar Boltagon. 

 

  • Bitch Planet, Volume 2: President Bitch, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro and Taki Soma, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, lettered by Clayton Cowles (Image Comics) 4.5 Stars, this one I adored to much to even put into words.

 

  • Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood, written by Marjorie M. Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image Comics) -  4 Stars, a stronger book than the first one in terms of pacing, and with the same gorgeous art.

 

  • My Favorite Thing is Monsters, written and illustrated by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics) - Interesting concept, but very slow. I didn't actually finish this book.

 

  • Paper Girls, Volume 3, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher (Image Comics) - 3.5 Stars, did not love.

 

  • Saga, Volume 7, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics) - 3 Stars, fine, but kind of a low point for the series so far.

 

So Bitch Planet is definitely at the top, followed by Monstress and Black Bolt. The other three could go in any order, but maybe I'll just leave them off because I don't really feel strongly about them at all. 

 

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review 2018-07-06 12:12
Voting for this in the number four slot
Paper Girls Volume 3 - Brian K. Vaughan

I enjoyed this - I just enjoyed the other offerings more.   

 

Still a fun ride, but I missed enough without volume two that I felt a little bit lost.   Not sure how to talk about this without spoiling it, so I'll leave it here. 

 

 

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review 2018-07-04 22:08
Literally a comic about paper girls
Paper Girls Volume 1 - Cliff Chiang,Brian K. Vaughan

And I was like I dunno?   I read it partly because the dude who wrote this also wrote Saga, so I was like, well, it has to be more interesting than it sounds to me!

 

And it was.   When they discover an iPod - or iPhone? - and then who's behind it being there, well, things get interesting.   

 

Not completely sold on following this one, but I got this in a Humble Bundle and read volume three for the Hugo awards. 

 

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review 2018-06-28 17:55
Review: Saga, Vol 7
Saga, Volume 7 - Fiona Staples,Brian K. Vaughan

Volume 6 was so amazing that I went back and purchased the two previous volumes I'd missed. 7, well, maybe not so much. It felt very thin on content. Very little happened and then lots of death, which was pretty much the only way the scenario could end. 

 

I'm pretty much done with The Will, but apparently the narrative wasn't. 

 

The art is still great. Maybe the next one will have some momentum.

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review 2018-06-28 06:59
Saga, Volume 1 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples

A space fantasy if you don't need much space, Saga draws us into a story of forbidden lovers that is by turns funny, heartwarming, violent, and empathetic. I'm not in the mood to rehash the plot, so I'll just say the thing that stands out for me is the bizarro character design, which made me turn the pages just to see what WTFery would pop up next. The guiding principle seems to be "make every single character a little human and a lot not." Spider centauroids without arms, robots with TVs for heads, and a hairless cat that only speaks when it smells a lie. It's boldly imaginative, and breathes new life into the our-child-is-important-to-the-entire-universe trope with details clearly gleaned from grody firsthand parenting experiences. I'm 3 volumes in and ready for more... what else is there to say?

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