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Search tags: graphic-novel-or-comic
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review 2018-04-17 18:16
The Best We Could Do - an affecting graphic memoir
The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir - Thi Bui

Thanks to some challenges I found in recent years (and directions from the web on how to read them,) I've finally taken graphic novels/comics as something I could understand and perhaps even like. This graphic memoir is a nice example of why it's worthwhile to open my TBR list up to yet another genre. (I can be poorly read in many genres!)

 

Thi Bui is an American kid born in Viet Nam. When the memoir opens, she's having her first child. As many parents will tell you, this is a time that often brings our own childhoods into focus. Her story is different from the stereotypical strict immigration story, and through the memoir we see that the family history is indelibly marked by Viet Nam's history and her parents stories are marked by their parents' stories. It's easy to get tied in a knot when we find fault with our parents. It's clear from her pictures and words that there was some anger and confusion exorcised by writing this memoir. While she may have been able to lay blame at one time, her title states her final view. It's Thi Bui's unique story with lots of room for empathizing readers.

 

Her simple-yet-resonant art conveys the emotional impact of her words. The combination is effective and moving. I lingered over this book for weeks, searching the pictures and immersing myself in her story (until the library demanded I return their copy.) If you, like me, aren't comfortable with comics or graphic novels, this might be a place to start for those who like memoirs or history or both.

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review 2018-03-30 19:27
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo - lovely children's book for charity
A Day In The Life Of Marlon Bundo - Marlon Bundo,Jill Twiss,Richard Parsons

I now own three copies: one hardcover, one kindle and one audio - which is completely lovely and well worth the donation (ALL PROCEEDS GO TO CHARITY!) After reading and listening to the audio, I've ordered 5 more copies for children I know. It's a very appropriate children's book. 

 

Common Sense Media, an independent non-profit organization helping parents make media choices for their children, gave the book a four star rating and considers it appropriate for children of four years and older, giving it its highest marks for "positive messages" and "positive role models and representations."

 

Written by Jill Twiss (with an assist from Marlon Bundo) and illustrated by EG Keller (aka Gerald Kelley) about, well... a in the life of Marlon Bundo, the real-life rabbit of the Pence family. You might know the Pence family because their dad is Mike: Vice President of the United States.

 

The pictures are really adorable and it's actually just a very lovely story about everyone being different and that's awesome. Also, it's nice to hop together rather than alone. And animals make a perfect bridal party -- I learned a lot!

 

In the audio version Jim Parsons plays Marlon Bundo, John Lithgow plays the evil stinkbug (not too scary for kids, but scary enough) and tons of other lovely voice acting in this short children's book from the likes of Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeff Garlin, Ellie Kemper, Jack McBrayer, and RuPaul!

 

More info on just the book, if you want it: https://youtu.be/rs2RlZQVXBU?t=14m7s

 

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review 2018-03-09 02:15
The Refrigerator Monologues -- Linked Fantasy Shorts
The Refrigerator Monologues - Annie Wu,Catherynne M. Valente

What a fun little book. Linked short stories all from "Deadtown" where we are shown around and introduced to the Hell Hath Club by its president Paige Embry. Being president means Paige gets to the Lethe Café early to hold the table while she passes the time drinking ristretto pulled cups of nothing.

 

Each of the members of the Hell Hath Club tells her story. They are superheroes, partners of superheroes, villains or partners to villians, a sea princess; you get the drift.

 

The writing is laugh aloud funny at times. All of the characters are "very beautiful and very well-read and very angry." This makes for snazzy dialogue and funny lines, driven home by occasional black and white drawings.

 

Very inventive but it got a bit boring along the way. I wanted more about Deadtown, rather than another death origin story. I really wanted more of the women of Deadtown to be defined by something other than the men they left behind. (Apparently if you die while in love, you're stuck in love forever. This is not my conjecture, it's spelled out in the book.)

 

Though they were extremely original and not repetitive in content, it was the form perhaps that bored me? We knew everyone would die, after all. I usually quite like short stories, but this was a take it or leave it read for me.

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text 2017-09-14 21:09
I didn´t watch Alien...
Aliens 30th Anniversary: The Original Comics Series - Mark Verheiden,Mark A. Nelson

... but I should have. Instead I have watched the movie Life. If you don´t know that movie, it´s the one were Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhall and others are acting like complete morons, even though they are supposed to be scientist. These idiots picked up an ancient life form from Mars, whose main objective is to kill them all (and to get to earth). Due to the stupidity of the astronauts / scientist and the survival instict of the alien, all hell breaks loose on the ISS.

Honestly, I cheered for the alien, which is so wrong because it was so boring and non-threatening. The people in this movie were just so dumb, I was on the verge of throwing stuff at my tv and don´t get me started on the ending. I hated the ending.

 

Coming back to the one and only Alien, the real deal, threatening in all it´s glory. I´m reading the graphic novel for the halloween bingo. The story takes place after the event of the James Cameron movie Aliens, Newt and Hicks have survived and are forced to go after the Alien again. I´m about halfway through and I´m enjoying the story and the artwork with its drawings in black and white.

 

   

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review 2017-03-03 13:28
The Exile ★★☆☆☆
The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel - Diana Gabaldon,Hoang Nguyen

I’m really not familiar enough with the graphic novel format to judge it on its merits as such, so I’m only going to remark on how well I enjoyed it, or more accurately, did not enjoy it.

Although the story is told primarily from Murtaugh’s POV rather than Claire’s, it seems very much like the story I remember from reading Outlander many years ago. Of course, we get how much Murtaugh distrusts her and disapproves of Jamie’s relationship with her, but we already knew that. There’s also a new character added, who doesn’t seem to add much to the story. I didn’t find the artwork very impressive. At least, it didn’t especially help me to connect with the characters or the story. Overall, the book was okay. I’m not sure how someone who isn’t already familiar with the story would have enjoyed it.

I read this for the 2017 Romance Bingo. It would fit several of the squares:
Insta-love: Jamie desperately wants Claire and is willing to risk death to be with her within a few hours of meeting her.
Blown Away: The characters on the cover are certainly windblown, and in several of the panels the characters appear to be battling a high wind, although that just may be how the artist portays action.
Key to My Heart: If I’m interpreting this square correctly, Jamie and Claire are soul-mates, and their love enables them to share dreadful secrets that they hold very close.
Man in a Kilt: Every freakin’ panel has plaid or kilts, although there is a disappointing lack of hairy dude-knees
Eyeshadow and Heaving Bosoms: Claire’s boobs seem to swell and shrink throughout the book, but at times she could give Dolly Parton a run for her money. The artwork also seems to have gifted them with their own independent motion. They might even be sentient, they’re so lively.
Virgin Best First Time: This time, it’s the guy who’s the virgin, and the panel of them mid-coitus is hilariously captioned with a white thought-bubble over Jamie’s head, “Holy God!”
Wedding Bells: The whole plot revolves around the forced marriage trope
Historical Romance: Time-travel to the 1700s

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