Tag Archives: graphic novels
The Walking Dead is the first comic book I have read. I was inspired to read it after watching the first season of the tv show. Well, the comic was definitely an interesting read for me. I admit it was a little struggle for me as I find the format difficult to engage with and the fact that it is colourless – it’s all in black and white did not help. To my suprise I did enjoy reading the stories that were played out in the tv series but the stories that were new didn’t excite me too much. I suspect that if I had not loved the tv show I would not have read the comic. I predict the stories in the later part of book 1 will be played out in future seasons of the show. Now to the tv series and the incredible talent of the make-up artists and special effects team who have created such awesomely gross zombies! The way each zombie is individually designed and how you can pick some really grotesque ones out in a crowd is amazing. Each zombie has unique detail and some seriously looked real. They came across as utterly disgusting, terrifying yet also with a sense of longing and sadness. The world screams zombie apocalypse!! The show certainly has a dark nature and the violence is rather severe so I wouldn’t recommend it if you have a weak stomach! The violence helps to portray the horrible zombie plagued world these people are living in. Andrew Lincoln (the actor) perfectly captures the central character of Rick Grimes. A man who starts out dazed and confused but slowly emerges as the leader of the few surviving people. He sucessfully portrays an upstanding man of the law who wants to do the right thing even if it endangers him and sometimes the people around him. I also liked Steven Yeun portrayal of Glenn, the pizza delivery boy who is often sent into dangerous missions as he is young and care free and a little crazy. The other characters who I felt play a significant part in the story are Morgan and Duane Jones, a father and son who Rick encounters early on. They part ways but make a pact to try to remain in contact yet this proves to be unattainable as the plot thickens. My heart was in my mouth during the scenes when Morgan trys despertaley to shoot his undead (zombie) wife. I felt his pain as he so desperately wanted to pull that trigger.
Both The Walking Dead graphic novels and the tv series can be borrowed from the Gold Coast Libraries.
Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie Post by Susan from Southport Branch Library. Aya of Yop City is a graphic novel set in the Ivory Coast in the 1970s. Originally written in French and inspired … Continue reading
The Contract With God Trilogy contains what is arguably the first graphic novel. It’s a series of stories linked by location and social group: about poor, first generation immigrants with New York during the Great Depression. Poverty is an obvious theme of the … Continue reading
Maus is the only graphic novel to win a Pulitzer prize. The author, Art Spiegelman, converts a series of interviews with his father about the Auschwitz experience into graphic form, interleavening them with his family’s life in America, after the war. The central … Continue reading
Robert Crumb was a leading light in the underground comics scene. As an oversimplification, underground comics were small-run comics published in the 1960s and 1970s, which used satire to criticise society, and which had content that placed them outside the … Continue reading
Strangers in Paradise is a complicated story, particularly popular with female readers, and people who generally do not read graphic novels. It can be boiled down to a simple set of elements. In the very first story, you meet a woman perhaps in … Continue reading
Girl Genius is an award-winning steampunk fantasy story, suitable for teenagers and adults. The lead character, Agatha, is a “spark”: a person with the ability to make almost-magical machines. She’s the hidden heir to a great, if perhaps evil, family. Girl … Continue reading
Welcome to graphic novel month on the blog! Tomorrow you’re going to be getting some great webcomic reviews, and then at least one challenging graphic novel per week for the rest of September. To start off, though: we’ve been doing … Continue reading
It’s not about super heroes. In September, the team and I are going to introduce you to some of the finest graphic novels ever written. You’ll find them narratively challenging and visually beautiful. If you’ve never read a comic book, or … Continue reading
Stardust is a faerie story, but this does not mean it is for children. It comes from a tradition which is a reaction against urbanisation and mechanisation in Victorian England. Although it is a coming of age story, it is also a story about wonder. The fairy story was the genre that led, through Tolkein, to the modern fantasy story, and yet Gaiman fights valiantly against the pressure to include the tropes of fantasy in this work.
Tristran, in a conventional fantasy, would earn the girl (who would have a title, but perhaps not a name) by smiting the forces of evil. In this case, he’d probably grab his weapon and shove it into the witch, an action which Angela Carter had some thoughts on, back in the day. Fantasy, as a genre, is sadly held back by television, by the need to fit things into a sort of steady groove that doesn’t throw the audience off, although some of the best tellers of modern faerie stories manage to break with this, and they do it by going back to the source material, and focusing on the key ingredients of faerie stories, which I’d argue are liminality and wonder.
Liminality is the idea that faeries are creatures of borders. They are drawn to people on the verge of things, travelling from one life stage to another, or from one place to another, or both. These themes are obvious for Tristran, and if you think about it, for Yvain as well, in the book. I’d just like to note the new writers of Doctor Who here, who have said that they are working on a faerie tale, and you see that they have some of the same elements. A crack at the end of the world, and a miraculous man who appears before a wedding are both obvious faerie tropes. I think some of the charm of the new series of Who is that it, like Stardust, has gone back to first principles on faerie tales.
The other element is wonder. Wonder is hard for televised fantasy to do, because spectacle and wonder are different things. When a CGI mammoth crushes a man in Lord of the Rings, I’d argue that’s not wonderful in the slightest. Also, audiences are less open to wonder than when faerie stories were repopularisied in Victorian times. Victorians wanted wonder: they craved to be taken in, and fooled, and made to feel sad, or happy or swept away by stories. The failure to do this was seen as a great flaw in a writer. Many modern readers, though, seem to take a hard and analytical line, in which their inability to be moved, their jadedness, is a sign that they are proper adults reading proper books. Wonder is a hard sell in modern stories, because to feel wonder at a story is to surrender your agency as reader to the author, and let him take you on a trip of his choosing.
I enjoy Stardust, in all its forms, and hope you’ll find this selection for our monthly read as charming as I do. Continue reading