Backlist Burndown Review: Rat Queens
4 Stars , Reviews / January 27, 2017

I’ve not read all that many graphic novels, and Rat Queens is quite a departure from the ones I have read. The title of this volume is “Sass and Sorcery” and quite frankly, that’s very fitting, particularly the sass. Rat Queens is a group of mercenaries, made up of irreverent, sarcastic women who enjoy indulging in their share of drink, drugs, sex, fighting and whatever else makes them happy. These girls kick ass, take no shit and have fun however they damn well please. How could you not love them? At least a little? In their latest job, the Rat Queens find they’ve been sent into a trap. Turns out there is a killer that is specifically targeting mercenaries. Not cool, but that’s OK, the Rat Queens will come to save the day. I found this to be a fun read, but for me it falls short of the amazing status I’ve seen others give it. I suspect much of this has to do with the humor. I mean, it is funny, I will give it that (assuming you love inappropriate humor, and really, who doesn’t?) But, sometimes the amount of jokes was just a bit much for me. Also,…

Graphic Novel Review: Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
4 Stars , Reviews / June 16, 2015

Anya’s Ghost is a wonderful young adult graphic novel that both entertains and contains some important life lessons. There’s also some wonderful humor were it pokes fun at some stereotypical YA story lines. Anya, like so many people, feels like she just doesn’t fit in. She has one close friend at her private school, and there’s some fun angsty type humor between the two of them. Anya is very self conscious. She’s embarrassed by her family, her name, her Russian heritage. She’s just not happy and honestly, that makes her like most kids out there. And then, just to make things worse for her, she falls down a well and is stuck there for two days. This could be horrific for any one, but turns out she was not completely alone down that well. She picks up a new companion, the ghost of a girl that died down that very well a long time ago. When she is rescued, the ghost comes with her. Anya quickly learns both the advantages and disadvantages of having a ghostly companion. They work together to figure out how to make their situation work and Anya starts delving into the mystery of her ghost’s death. It is sweet and…

Graphic Novel Review: Saga Volume 4
4 Stars , Reviews / March 16, 2015

Well, I can say this is the first book I’ve read (graphic novel or other) that shows the struggles of a stay at home dad. Marko is caring for toddler Hazel, while Alana works as an actress. I still find it interesting how this series manages to include real world problems and conflicts while being quite a fantastical story of a fugitive family, finding a way to survive an live their life of forbidden love. It just lends a more grounded feel to the story. There’s more stress on Alana and Marko’s marriage as they both feel the pressure of keeping their identities secret, Alana has the stress of performing and working full time, Marko has the stress of raising Hazel, trying to keep her entertained, provide her with opportunities to grow and enjoy life, but also conceal who she is, binding her wings so no one can guess her mixed parentage. It’s a lot, and the stress shows. It is also so incredibly real and anyone with kids, or parents, or relationships, or coping mechanisms should be able to relate to some aspect of this story. The focus of this volume is really on struggles of their family, but we do…

Saga #3 by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist)
4 Stars , Reviews / September 9, 2014

This is another fun volume in the Saga series.  I felt like it was maybe a little slower than the other two, but not in a bad way. They start with a quest to find romance novelist D. Oswald Heist. Why? Because evidently his books carry a much deeper meaning for careful readers. One that leads them to believe that the author will be able to help them. I like Heist, a recluse author with a jaded attitude and a good dose of wit (as seen in the included panel, that I thought some fellow reviewers may appreciate). He also accidentally anoints Hazel in a rather unorthodox and some what disgusting way. But he makes up for it by teaching her the actual message to be found in all good children’s stories! And it’s a good one!  We also get a more of Gwendolyn and Slave Girl, rounding out their characters. Gwnedolyn is no longer just a psycho ex-girlfriend, but a person. I love all the scenes with both her and Slave Girl (who is given a new name in this). There’s no Fard, no Sextillion and very little Prince Robot IV, so there were no moments of looking back to…

Saga #2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
4.5 Stars , Reviews / July 28, 2014

There are some things that just can’t be unseen. And this graphic novel definitely contains some pages that trigger that. Some of us delight at the unexpected, cringe worthy images that make you shiver and squirm in your seat. Make a face between laughing and like you just sucked on a lemon as you double check. Yeah, that image is what you thought it was. You know that type of picture. You look at it a bit longer than you think you should because your brain is still trying to come to terms with the image. You can’t quite decide what your reaction should be. It might be revulsive, but somehow there’s a level of fascination and just enjoyment at the unexpected that keeps you looking at it. Even if it means feeling like you need to go scrub your eyeballs and brain free of the sight. Well, theres a couple of those in here. So if you delight in that, than this book is for you. I also found that it’s easy to miss some of the images on the screens, I would almost (but not quite) forget to check out that detail of the story. It was another great…

Waiting on Wednesday – Horrorstor
Waiting On Wednesday / July 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It’s all about sharing our excitement for books coming out soon.   What?? A creepy IKEA catalog type of book telling a horror story? I can’t even imagine exactly how this works, but I am beyond intrigued and definitely MUST READ!   Horrostor by Grady Hendrix Expected publication: September 23rd 2014 by Quirk Books   Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring wardrobes, shattered Brooka glassware, and vandalized Liripip sofa beds—clearly, someone or something is up to no good. To unravel the mystery, five young employees volunteer for a long dusk-till-dawn shift—and they encounter horrors that defy imagination. Along the way, author Grady Hendrix infuses sly social commentary on the nature of work in the new twenty-first century economy.A traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting (and full of current fears), Horrorstör comes conveniently packaged in the form of a retail catalog, complete with illustrations of ready-to-assemble furniture and other, more sinister accessories. We promise you’ve never seen anything quite like it!

The Wraith by Joe Hill
4 Stars , Reviews / July 18, 2014

  This book is so messed up. But, in all the best imaginable ways I think. I went into this with some expectations. I have read NOS4A2 and the thought of getting a backstory that focused on Charlie “Talent” Manx III and Christmasland was quite exciting. I also love Joe Hill’s Locke and Key graphic novels, so, easy to assume, I really expected to enjoy this one as well.   And well I did. But I also have to admit, it was even creepier than I expected. I know Christmasland is creepy as hell. I know Charlie Manx is creepy as hell. But somehow, seeing someone else’s images of them gave this a little extra creep factor than I would have achieved if left to my own devices. That’s why I’m not professional illustrator! I just don’t know that my imagination can do quite as good of job as this. It was definitely interesting getting Charlie Manx and Christmasland’s origin story.  To see Manx before he became what we know him to be in NOS4A2 (a delusional, fanatical sociopath? I don’t know. I’m not a psychiatrist, but something about Manx is crazy and messed up), growing up, getting married, having kids…

Saga #1 by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist)
4.5 Stars , Reviews / June 10, 2014

A little background about me and graphic novels: After reading Joe Hill’s books and absolutely loving them, several people recommended I read Locke & Key. I had never read a graphic novel prior to that (at least not for myself, I have a couple I have read to my kids), so I was hesitant. Anyway, I decided to give it a chance, and turns out, I loved it. I also found there are some days where reading a graphic novel is just preferable. But after I finished Locke & Key, I just wasn’t sure where to head next. After much debating, I decided to just head to my library and grab several that have been recommended or I have seen highly rated. Sometimes, I just love libraries. No investment, no commitment, I can just try them and see what I like with nothing to lose.   Now for my review: At the top of my pile was Saga#1. It’s hard to miss. There’s not too many covers out there featuring breastfeeding mothers. I have to admit, I was intrigued and decided to start with this one. And I was not disappointed. I love that this is not just a normal love story, but one…

Locke and Key – Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill (My foray into the graphic novel)
4 Stars , Reviews / September 16, 2013

  Earlier this year I read Horns. It was the first book I had read by Joe Hill, and I have to admit, I was truly impressed. I would imagine it would be hard to break out from the shadow of a father such as Stephen King, and there is always the slight feeling that perhaps  the praise for his books was won in some effect because of who his father is. Well, all it takes to dismiss any notions of that is to read his work. Horns was phenomenal. And then later in the year I read NOS4R2, another truly amazing story. Needless to say, Joe Hill is now on my “must read” list. That said, I always assumed my “must read” list would only be composed of novels. So when Locke and Key was recommended to me the first time, I sort of shrugged and thought, ‘maybe’. I’ve never read a graphic novel in my life and didn’t quite see myself starting now. Well, after a couple more times of having it people recommend it based on how much I enjoyed his books, I decided ‘Why not?‘ Still not feeling fully invested, I managed to get a hold of…