Archive for Comic books
The 2013 Graphic Novel Challenge is about reading graphic novels, manga, or any collection of comic books. Since I own a fair number of these, I’m going to try to work through my pile. I’m joining at the basic level and reading 12 books.
This is a do-over from last year, when I accomplished exactly zero of these. I’m also participating in Pica Reads’ Graphic Novel Readathon, happening now through the end of the weekend. So I’ll be tackling hopefully a couple from this list before next week. Come join us if you’re interested in testing the graphic format!
My list for this challenge:
- Kill Shakespeare, Vol. 1Â by Conor McCreery
- Kill Shakespeare, Vol. 2Â by Conor McCreery
- Promethea, Vol. 1Â by Alan Moore
- Carbon Grey, Vol. 1Â by Paul Gardner and Khari Evans
- Captain Swing, Vol. 1Â by Warren Ellis
Hatter MÂ by Frank Beddor Boondock Saints: In Nomine PatrisÂ by Troy Duffy and J.B. Love Oz: The Wonderful Wizard of OzÂ by Eric Shanower Oz: The Marvelous Land of OzÂ by Eric Shanower The Unwritten, Vol. 1Â by Mike Carey
- Think Tank, Vol. 1Â by Matt Hawkins
- Elephantmen, Vol. 4Â by Richard Starkings
Check my progress all year on the sidebar or on myÂ 2013 Challenge Index.
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme devoted to sharing the new books we’ve received, borrowed, or bought. For more information, visit IMM’s fantastic host, The Story Siren. You can visit other blogs that are participating in this weekâ??s IMM here.
I got an awesome haul of books through the library, gifted, or on sale this week. This is the frugal edition of IMM!
The Iron Duke (Iron Seas #1) by Meljean Brook
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
Deception (Haunting Emma #1) by Lee Nichols
First Draft in 30 Days and From First Draft to Finished Novel by Karen S. Wiesner
I make a habit of checking Amazon’s Bargain Books every few weeks to see if anything good pops up, and this week I jumped on sale prices for The Iron Duke, Prophecy of the Sisters, and Deception. I’ve wanted to read all of them for a long time, so I’m glad I got them on the cheap. Dearly, Departed was a pre-order that arrived on Tuesday (happy release day to Lia Habel!), and the two writing books are for outline help pre-NaNoWriMo. I had a coupon for Writer’s Digest Shop, so hooray for discounts!
Graphic novels borrowed from the library:
Criminal Vol. 1: Coward, Vol. 2: Lawless, and Vol. 3: The Dead and the Dying by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
Fables: Legends in Exile (Vol. 1) and Fables: Animal Farm (Vol. 2) by Bill Willingham, Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, Mark Buckingham
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill
Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned and Vol. 2: Cycles by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, JosÃ© MarzÃ¡n Jr.
I’m trying to make better use of my library, considering it is so close to my house. They have a well-stocked young adult section for a small branch, and this week I stumbled upon an excellent stash of graphic novels that included some titles I’ve been DYING to read but wasn’t sure I wanted to buy. I’ve been getting a bit crazycakes with buying comics, so I’m happy that I can get a lot of great titles from my local library instead of spending money on them.
I participated in the Fall Book Exchange hosted by Ruby’s Reads and I received these two ebooks gifted through Amazon from my Santa: Mickey at imabookshark! I told her to surprise me from my wish list and I was so happy to receive these titles as I’ve been meaning to read them both for a reeeeeeally long time. And just in time for next week’s Bout of Books Read-a-thon!
A huge, mega, universe-sized thank you to Mickey for these books and to Ruby for hosting the exchange!
That’s it for now. What books did you get recently?
First impressions: Scott Snyder and Stephen King did not set out to make a sparkly vampire tale. This is dark, scary, disturbing, and violent. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down.
Lasting impressions: This has become my most anticipated monthly comic. Skinner Sweet is deliciously evil, and reading his progress from being turned in the Old West, to taking over a Vegas brothel in the ’30s, to battling vampire genocide in WWII is terrifying and compelling.
Conflicting impressions: Multiple readings make this one a bit easier to follow. The history of vampires is somewhat re-created here, and the large amount of information and competing story lines can get confusing.
Overall impressions: American Vampire is a monthly comic, currently on issue 19, supplemented by a 5 issue miniseries, American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest. It follows Skinner Sweet, the first American vampire, and the vampire he creates, Pearl.
Stephen King jumped on board with this comic to tell Skinner’s backstory. Through the first 5 issues, he trades panels with series creator Scott Snyder, interspersing Skinner’s origin as a new strain of vampire born in the Wild West with his present saving/turning young actress Pearl in the 1920s. The back-and-forth in time works well for the most part, as I enjoyed seeing how Skinner became a vampire, but it also seemed to read like two different stories that didn’t need to be told simultaneously.
Pearl is an interesting character who goes through the most significant changes across the arcs of these volumes. Though Skinner saves her from a gruesome death by turning her, he does little to help her navigate her new life as a vampire. Determined to not turn out as sadistic as Skinner, she allows herself to fall in love with jazz singer Henry, though they are often on the run from the Vassals of the Morning Star (VMS), a group determined to kill vampires.
Volume 2 fast forwards through time to the 1930s, where we meet Cash McCogan, Las Vegas police chief, investigating a string of murders that make him cross paths with the VMS and vampires. Cash and the VMS are the subject of the spin-off miniseries, which puts them in contact with Nazi vampires out to purify the vampire race.
This series is beautifully illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque, who manages to deliver creepy and grotesque content without the images themselves becoming overly graphic. The vampires are drawn to achieve the effect the writers wanted – scary, not seductive. These vampires are more monsters than they are humans, and the cruelty of Skinner Sweet is a constant reminder that these vampires are not exactly woeful about the loss of their humanity. Although Pearl is more human than the rest of them, she can still attack with little regard for the pain she causes, particularly when she or Henry is threatened.
The unique history of vampires and the setting in varied important periods in American history make this a joy to read. This is pure horror at its best, with twists and turns full of scary things ready to jump out and spoil the party. Skinner Sweet is one of my favorite fictional characters right now, because despite his nasty and cruel ways, he is still lashing out at a monster he never wanted to become. Sure, he’s a bad guy, and was long before he even became a vampire, but he’s unpredictable and clearly has a soft spot for Pearl. I can’t wait to see where his story takes us next.
I highly recommend this series to all horror, vampire, and Stephen King fans.
Rating: 4/5 stars