Monday, February 25, 2013

comics in February...part 3...

*A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return by Zeina Abirached. Without a doubt, this is my favorite read of graphic novels theme month to this point. I wish I had the words to express how moving this book is just so beautiful. But it is so utterly heartbreaking at the same time. Zeina Abirached was born during the Lebanese civil war and as a child knew no other way of life. While this book tells the story of just one night of her childhood, it manages at the same time tell a much broader story of life in a war zone. The foyer of her family's apartment is the safest place in the apartment building, and it there that she, her brother, and her parents live. In that one small room. And it also there that the others living in the building congregate when the bombing grows close. One day Zeina's parents go to visit her grandmother just a few blocks away and don't return home when expected. But during those hours, the children are not alone because the neighbors who share the foyer sanctuary arrive one by one, providing the community that the children, and adults themselves, need.

I'm sorry but I couldn't find any blogger reviews to share here, but I'm telling you--go read this book! Yeah, I loved it.

*Castle Waiting by Linda Medley. So I was in somewhat of a funk, and I needed something to cheer myself up. And yep, what better than a reread of one of my favorite books in the whole wide world to do the job. Oh my gosh, how I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE AND ADORE this book! It's the perfect feel-good book. Fairy tales and friendship and stories within stories within stories and ladies with beards and talking animals and loving acceptance of people for just exactly who they are. *happy sigh* Seriously, what's not to love here?

I swear I'd be tempted to start it over again right now...if I didn't have Volume II waiting right here for me. SQUEEEE!

Memory's review and Ana's review and Eva's review

The Lindbergh Child: America's Hero and the Crime of the Century and The Lives of Sacco and Vanzetti by Rick Geary. I've read a few of Geary's true crime graphic novels in the past, and enjoyed them all, so when I saw these two at the library, I immediately grabbed them. I love his very recognizable artwork--it's not what I'd call "pretty" but his bold, graphic style really appeals to me and seems to fit well the types of stories he tells. And the types of stories he tells are stories of true crime. These two volumes come from his Treasury of XXth Century Murder series, and the others of his I've read come from his Treasury of Victorian Murder series. And all of the books, at least the ones I've read, have something else in common--the murders all remain mysteries. While some, such as these two, may have been "solved" as far as the legal system is concerned, even they remain shrouded in clouds of unanswered questions. Another thing about his books--they all leave me wanting to read more about the particular cases. I don't say that because they feel incomplete, they just leave me wanting read more.

*Castle Waiting Volume II by Linda Medley. Oh my gosh, what can I is every bit as wonderful, every bit as enchanting, every bit as humorous, every bit as heartfelt as the first volume. And I'm just so sad to have finished it because I want more more more now now now!!!

Ana's review and Rebecca's review

*Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda by J.P. Stassen. It's hard to find the words to describe the power and gut-wrenching heartbreak of this book. And in a complete and total wimping out here, I'm not going to say any more but urge you to read Ana's review because it is just so damn good.

*Americus by MK Reed and Jonathan Hill. Another for the win column. Neil, bookworm extraordinaire, already has a rough enough time in middle school, and high school is bound to be worse as his best friend and fellow book lover is being shipped off to military school by his fanatical mother. But there's more to Neil than even he realizes. And it is in fighting a proposed book ban on his favorite fantasy series that Neil finds that his voice does matter.

Review from The Literary Omnivore and one from Waking Brain Cells

*Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge. I have to say, this one sort of snuck up on me. Not that I didn't enjoy it from page one; I did. But by the end, I had fallen in love. I guess it's what you'd call a coming of age story. But it's also a story of growing into your creativity, of nurturing it, exploring it, and learning to embrace it wholeheartedly. The art in this book is absolutely beautiful! And the way it is put together enhances not only the art, but also the story itself...for while it is partially drawn in panels, just as often, it breaks free of that structure. I found every page a delight to look at.

Review at A Year of Reading and at Guerilla Librarian

*Retrovirus by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Norberto Fernandez. Okay, I had really high hopes for this, retroviruses, greedy corporate bastards, and complicit governments...seriously, this could have been so good. Except that it wasn't. I was hooked for a bit, but then things just got too ridiculous for my tastes. And while I'm not averse to things like blood in a story, it just all felt a bit gratuitous to me in this book. And then we've got this awesome woman, Zoe, who is mega-smart and seems to take no shit from sexist jerks, but then as the story goes on turns into the stereotypical sexualized female of comics (and by this I mean that she is turned into a plaything for the audience--oooh, how many times can we figure out a way to show her breasts). And then on top of those things, the second half just felt incredibly rushed (though as this was where things got ridiculous, I wasn't really all that upset to see it end so quickly :P ). Sheesh--it sounds like I'm being mighty rough on this book, huh? I actually suspect there are lots of people who would enjoy this one, and hey, I just didn't happen to one of them. You win some, you lose some, right?

And I'm sorry to say I couldn't find any blogger reviews of this one.

*Avatar: The Last Airbender The Promise Part Three by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru. I'm not sure I can state my love for Avatar: The Last Airbender strongly enough. The show is made of so many bits of awesomeness that it just completely captured my heart. And well, these books that follow where the show left off...*happy sigh*...they're wonderful. I'm sort of in awe of the way that Gene Luen Yang was able to capture the entire feel of the show in these pages, everything from the humor and silliness to the deeply profound and difficult questions the story grapples with. While I sort of thought the second part of The Promise felt like filler, Part Three plunged me right back into everything I adore about this series, these characters, their world, their problems, their struggles to do what is right when right just isn't clear. God, how I loved this book. And yeah, I absolutely cannot wait until Part One of The Search comes out.

Ana's review and a review by fashion piranha

*Lola: A Ghost Story by J. Torres and Elbert Or. I'm honestly not sure what I think of this book. I found it both beautiful and unsettling. Definitely beautiful to look at with it's sepia-toned artwork, but a beautiful story as well. Sad. Almost disturbing at times. Filipino folklore, ghosts, gifts of second-sight. A lot of things for a boy to handle. And an ambiguous ending. Yep, I really liked it...but putting into words the reasons why, yeah, I'm just sort of at a loss.

Ana's review a review at Back to Books

*Revival Volume One: You're Among Friends by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton. Lives in a small Wisconsin town have been turned upside down. Even the lives of some of the dead. For on January 2nd, some of the dead come back to life. Not as zombies, but as themselves, just as they were before they died. Maybe. The townspeople now not only have to deal with their personal feelings, good and bad, about having their family members and friends and neighbors come back to life, but they're living under a quarantine while the CDC and government try to figure out what's going on. Add to that that media spectacle their lives have become...of course, the media are not actually allowed into the town so there's a lot of speculation and fabrication going on. Officer Dana Cypress, daughter of the police chief, is assigned to Revitalized Citizen Arbitration Team, the "task force" to deal with incidents dealing with the Revivers (the arisen dead). Dana has a complicated relationship with her father, but as he tells her, he needed someone he could trust. But Dana has a secret that may just destroy the trust her father has in her.

Okay, I'm going to have to say that I really freakin' enjoyed this one. A bit bloody and violent, but the story has me hooked. Rich read it too, and now we're both eagerly awaiting Volume 2. Unfortunately I couldn't find any blogger reviews to share.

I can't believe that graphic novel theme month is almost over already--it totally flew by. I hope to fit in a couple more before the end, but I won't come close to the sort-of goal I'd set for myself. That's s not a big deal though--one amazing book would have have made the month worthwhile, and believe me, I've read more than one amazing book. :)


Jean said...

It sounds as if you had a good winter break. This is good. I hope you can coast a bit until spring break, nurturing both your body and soul on the way.

Chris Howard said...

OMG you're KILLING me Debi!!!!!! You just added so many books to my wish list, lol. I say you've done pretty damn good this month!!! My plans for the rest of the evening since I have NO CLIENTS :D are to do laundry and in between read the Shining and more graphic novels :) And maybe start making my pile for next month!!

Ali said...

Several holds placed, thank you very much. What do you think about Revival for a (relatively) mature 12 year old boy? Bad idea?

I hope you had a good break!

Kailana said...

I want to check some of these out but my library website isn't working. :( Sadly now the library not only hasn't bought the second Castle Waiting but the first one isn't coming up either!

Debi said...

Thanks, my are always so sweet. :)

I'm never going to finish The Shining by the end of the month. :( Sadly, I'm not going to finish all the graphic novels I'm dying to read either. But I hope to read some of the Fables books during OUaT month and Fun Home and Calling Dr. Laura during glbt month, so I at least have that to look forward to. And lol, I made my pile for March over the weekend--just couldn't wait any longer! It's way too big, but I weeded it down and weeded it down and I just can't make myself weed any further. :P

Oooh, that's a tough one. There are definitely some gruesome parts! I generally don't have a problem letting my kids read books that other parents wouldn't dream of letting their kids read, but I'm not sure I'd recommend this one to my 12-year-old. Not that I think he'd be scarred for life or anything. But yeah, this is a tough one to answer. You might want to read it yourself first since you know your kiddos best. Sorry, I'm not being very helpful here, am I? :/

Oh, that sucks! :(

Ali said...

Debi, that's very helpful, actually. I have to make a concerted effort to read a graphic novel before he picks it up, so it's good to know this one is worth tucking away out of sight until I can get around to it. Thanks!

Debi said...

I'm glad I could help! :) Even if I felt like I wasn't being terribly helpful. :p