Friday, March 7, 2008

GN shorts

I've been reading a lot of books and watching a lot of films lately -- I just haven't been writing about them. Here's a piece of catch-up:

Graphic novels & comics

  • All-star Superman (vol. 1) by Grant Morrison (writer) & Frank Quitely (illus.) is a nice re-imagining of the archetypal superhero, creatively written with some nice twists, well-drawn with clean, strong lines and sophisticated coloring. Worthwhile for anyone who enjoys the DC mythos.
  • Mouse Guard (vol. 1: Fall 1152) by David Peterson is a comic book for all ages. Halfway between the Knights of the Round Table and Brian Jacques' Redwall books, this is an entertaining adventure parents can share with kids.
  • Avalon High - Coronation (vol. 1: the Merlin Prophecy) by Meg Cabot, is a disappointing manga-style sequel to Cabot's Avalon High Arthurian romance novel. There's a lot of re-hashing of the original novel, and the artwork seems uninspired and occasionally confusing. Which might be why it's taking a whole year to bring out the second volume. Too bad, because the original book was light fun -- here's hoping Cabot can adapt her writing to the medium and that the drawing shows improvement.
  • Monster (vol. 1) by Naoki Urasawa is a terrific read, and I'm looking forward to catching up with subsequent volumes. A medical and crime thriller reading something like Grey's Anatomy meets CSI, this story of a brilliant Japanese surgeon in Germany who unwittingly helps launch a serial killer, this 18 volume series is rated as the overall best manga on Anime News Network.
  • Flight (vol. 1) - various authors and artists - this is the first installment of an award-winning international anthology, showcasing a broad variety of short works with a common theme of flight.
  • Phoenix (vol. 7) by Osamu Tezuka [Civil War, part 1] is not one of the stronger entries in the long-running and diverse epic of loosely associated stories. But it still entertains.
  • DC: the New Frontier (2 vols) by Darwyn Cooke is a retelling of the CD mythos from WWII through 1960. By viewing super-hero characters and the Justice League as metaphors for empowerment and social change, Cooke tells a compelling story through a lengthy series of anecdotes. He includes McCarthyism, Ku Klux Klan lynchings, Edward R. Murrow and Richard Nixon, before building to a climactic battle that seems like standard Justice League stuff but for the strong character development that runs through the story. But he concludes with a powerful denouement.

Cybils Winners

The Cybils winners were announced a few weeks ago. Check 'em out! Read 'em all! Thanks to Jennie at Biblio File for the reminder!