Graphic Novels Wrap Up #2

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One of the *coolest* things about blogging is that it’s introduced me to genres I never would have considered otherwise. The biggest change in my reading since I started is that I now read graphic novels- which now that I think about it makes sense, because I love art and I love stories, so in the words of Joey from Friends…

put your hands together

Anyway, way back when I did a wrap up about my first foray into the graphic novels and now that I’ve accumulated a few more graphic novels in a row, I thought it would be fun for round two!

nimona

Nimona– gosh this was good. It was funny, it cleverly subverted my expectations to add to the humour and had some excellent character development. Somehow, this story about villains also managed to have a sweet ending. I thought the illustrations were a lot of fun as well. My one niggling thought with this though was that it was a little young for me. But I happily gave it:

Rating: 4/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

sleeper and the spindle

The Sleeper and the Spindle– I wasn’t crazy about this Sleeping Beauty retelling. It was basically another *strong woman saves the day* story- and if you’ve been reading a lot of my posts in the last few months, you may be able to tell that I’ve grown bored of this trope. There’s a lot of the typical tropes that go along with that of course like the useless prince- which at this point are becoming worthy of an eye-roll. However, the writing was beautiful and I really liked the evocative world. Evidently, this was not the best Gaiman I’ve read- but let’s face it, even the not-so-great Gaiman is gonna be a decent read. And in true Gaiman fashion, there was a pointed ending with a bold twist.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

Monstress Volumes 1-2– first of all it has to be said: the artwork is stunning. I was *blown away*by how beautiful it is to look at. The imagery also lends itself to some extensive world building. I will say that in volume 1, the story didn’t grab me and I was a little lost at times. However, the expansion of the story in the second volume really grabbed my attention and by the end it left me breathless. So I do think that if you weren’t blown away by the first one, just know it gets better! The one thing I wasn’t keen on throughout was the use of lectures/history lessons to infodump points about the world. I don’t see how talking about trade routes is interesting at the best of times and for me this wasn’t the way to do it. Other than that, it was a compelling graphic novel series I’d like to continue. Also, this was the first graphic novel I tried on my kindle and I was a bit worried about how that would turn out at first- but I needn’t have worried, because the way you can click on panels worked brilliantly for me.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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persepolis

Persepolis– this was another brilliant graphic novel and I think the type I lean towards the most. As an autobiography, it worked superbly well. I appreciated the insight into Satrapi’s life and found it very educational with regards to the Iranian Revolution. Split into two parts, the story of childhood and the story of return, I ended up preferring the latter as Marjane had more room to grow and faced greater personal struggles. By the end, I was engrossed in her story and felt like I’d seen first-hand the conflict between liberation and oppression. What was especially bold was that it didn’t shy away from some of the more unpleasant things she did to stay alive and free- like getting a randomer arrested when she nearly got caught wearing lipstick. While this troubled me deeply, I also thought it was brave to present her flaws, as raw and real as they were. The artwork, while not my favourite style, was solid and did convey strong emotions. Ultimately, I was glad I picked this up.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana 

wicked and divine

Wicked + Divine– this was another one I unfortunately didn’t love. Initially, I was digging concept and that it was set in London. I also liked Lucy and the chapter titles. HOWEVER I did not like the main character at all- and the fact that she was self-aware about her celebrity obsession didn’t disguise this unlikeable trait. I also felt a lot of characters weren’t characters but reduced to traits. I didn’t feel like these characteristics were blended seamlessly into the story and consequently they ended up feeling gimmicky. The artwork was simple and colourful- but unfortunately not to my taste at all (I’m afraid I can’t pinpoint why, it just wasn’t doing it for me). Ultimately, this is a one and done situation. There are definitely reasons to like it, yet I didn’t connect with it and I don’t feel any urge to continue.

2½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

So have you read these? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

41 thoughts on “Graphic Novels Wrap Up #2

  1. I have heard such good things about Monstress and Persepolis but sadly, I haven’t gotten around to them yet. Also, I think I remember reading about Nimona? I can’t be certain and I am so sorry the others sort of let you down. It’s never fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never read any graphic novels but have started considering them since I entered this wonderful bookish blogosphere. Making a mental note to see if my library has some of these so I can finally give graphic novels a chance.

    Thanks for the idea! 😊❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Graphic novels are such a favorite of mine. They have versions of classics now and I’m just like yes, where were you when I was in high school? 🙂
    Nimona and Persepolis were my favorites of this lot. I always think Nimona would make a fantastic series!

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  4. I love Persepolis and really enjoyed Monstress – the artwork is so beautiful and I loved the cute manga influence too! I’m still not sure about reading them on my Kindle though, I don’t really like the pane reading whojmaflip. I keep clicking through before I’ve finished reading! This night just be my terrible coordination though. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve read Monstress! I really liked it, although I think I only read the first volume (that’s more about me being lazy and not searching for it) I find being able to skip infodumps without loosing a lot of the plot the nice things about graphic novels. It’s so much easier to skip a panel compared to skipping a few paragraphs

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  6. So happy you read Monstress and liked it. I loved volume 1; need to read volume 2.
    I know what you mean about WicDiv. I didn’t like it much either when I first read it. On rereading it, I liked the story and thought it interesting. I don’t think the character development gets much better but I was intrigued by the story because I wondered what the events were leading to and I loved the art. Yea… it is kinda simple, but such clean linework. I love that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Volume 2 is even better!! Hope you love it!
      Yeah the story was the best part of it- I just wish there’d been more to the characters. That’s totally fair- I don’t know why I didn’t click with it, cos usually I like that sort of thing, but for some reason it left me feeling a bit meh.

      Like

  7. Lovely reviews! I’ve read all of these except Wicked + Divine and the second volume of Monstress, which I’m so excited to get to. I adore the art and world so much. I agree about the lectures, but the fact that the lecturers are cats make it forgivable in my eyes 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I haven’t read a lot of graphic novels just yet, but I really want to try them out more 🙂 I’m so happy you liked Nimona, I heard great things about that one, can’t wait to read it 😀
    Lovely reviews 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve only started reading comics and graphic novels last year, so I’m delighted to be able to enjoy such a fun and different medium! I really want to read Nimona, and I think Monstress would be a good read (partly because the art is so gorgeous!)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have both volumes of Maus – very sad, nearly depressing.

    A graphic novel I adore is Aliceheimer’s, Alzheimer’s Through the Looking Glass. Dana Walrath created a book about her mother, Alice, who suffers from the same illness my mom had. It’s composed of a series of stories and art constructed of torn up pages of an old copy of Alice in Wonderland, drawings made by the writer, and other mementos. Her mother contributes to each story, some fanciful, many wistful, other hilarious, as they travel through the twisted landscape this is claiming her Alice’s mind. It parallels of course the twisted journey of Lewis Carrol’s heroine, but one is just a story and the other a painful reality. It might more accurately be called an illustrated autobiography, but it is so compelling, I had to mention it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s a wonderful graphic novel and what finally convinced me to broaden my horizons and try out more in this format, cos it was my first one.

      That sounds really fantastic and I definitely want to check it out- it sounds like exactly the sort of book I’d like. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention!

      Like

  11. I LOVED Sleeper in the Spindle, but Neil Gaiman can do no wrong in my eyes, so I may be biased. How did you read this book out of curiosity? I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by a full cast. It was most enjoyable 🙂

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  12. I’ve read The Sleeper and the Spindle twice and I appreciated it more on the reread. I think I was expecting it to be an f/f romance because of a panel I’d seen before and was disappointed but rereading it I appreciated that she chooses to abandon everything for freedom which is really cool.

    I read Persepolis for uni and I love it, graphic novels make historical events really accessible. Have you read Maus? It’s based in Nazi Germany and is about the Holocaust and is fantastically done.

    Great reviews, graphic novels are a fantastic genre! I hope to read Monstress this year so I’m glad you liked it! 🙂

    Like

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