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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 2018-07-04 21:39
Another satisfying volume
Monstress Volume 2: The Blood - Marjorie M. Liu

I still want to get to the meat of the mystery - the creature that lives in Maika and that occasionally is brought out, with disastrously fatal results.    This ties to her mother, and others who are on the opposite side of the war from Maika, but again this moves slowly and is hampered - at least for me - by the historical aspect. 


I liked it, it just didn't move me the way many of my favorites do.

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review 2018-07-04 21:29
Beautifully illustrated, compelling story
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening - Marjorie M. Liu

I just didn't enjoy it as much as many of my go-tos: any TF written by Roberts or Barber, many of my Marvel titles and some of the DC rebirth titles.   That being said, I owned this and read it before volume 2 for the Hugo nominations. 


I enjoyed this more than I suspected I would because of the historical aspect and the fantasy tendencies and tropes that I usually don't enjoy; even alternate history tends to be rather, well, historical.  I've just always preferred contemporary or futuristic fiction. 


So I bought this on sale a while ago and just haven't gotten around to it.   I found myself frustrated by some of the constrictions of alt-history and I wanted the story to move along a little more quickly, but this was a surprisingly nuanced look at what war and the trauma that comes with war will do to people.   


I was happy to read volume two and will probably end up taking three out of the library. 

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review 2018-06-30 17:51
Review: Monstress Vol. 2
Monstress Volume 2: The Blood - Marjorie M. Liu

I liked this one far more than the first and I am not even sure why. The art is just as gorgeous and the prose as high quality, but somehow this felt stronger than the first volume. 

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review 2018-03-18 17:31
Not bad
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening - Marjorie M. Liu

This isn't bad.  It's an interesting idea.   The artwork is wonderful.  But the story doesn't fully grab or engage me.  I will be reading vol 2 considering I got it the same time, but it isn't a drving narrative.

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