Tag Archives: graphic novel

Bryan Lee O’Malley, The Voice of my Generation – Throwback Thursday

J'accuse!Scott Pilgrim came up recently in another online sphere, but it got me thinking back to this post, originally over on Sourcerer. Fantastic comics that I still think capture the feel of my generation. There’s also a link at the end to Holly’s review of Seconds, and honestly, I think we need some reviews of Scott Pilgrim here on the site!

I’ve talked before about the voice of a generation – I feel like Lorde has the potential to be that for folks younger than me. You know, kids these day. Me? Coming in at a round 30, the prophet of my generation would have to be graphic novelist Bryan Lee O’Malley.

Who’s that, you ask? Why, none other than the guy who penned Scott Pilgrim and his precious little life. I honestly already pretty much felt this way after reading Scott Pilgrim the first time. Actually, probably after the second time. Because you want to know what I did as soon as I was done with book 6, Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour? I picked up book 1, Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life and read the whole series again.

What does the best fighter in the Province have to do with my generation? I think it’s more the aimlessness. The suburbs. The needing to get it together – and it feeling like that’s taking longer that before. And the feeling that we really wish something more epic (but manageable) would happen – though in the Scott Pilgrim universe, epic comic book/video game style fights are the norm. Emotional baggage become manifest, and battle ensues!

Ah, with wonderful panels like this - faithfully recreated in the Edgar Wright film.

Ah, with wonderful panels like this – faithfully recreated in the Edgar Wright film.

Honestly, I feel like I need a reread – I’ve been holding off until the full color edition was out, which only just finished releasing recently. If you’re looking for an amazing comic to pick up in all its color glory, this might be what you’re looking for.

But if you’re looking for just one graphic novel, then you’re looking for his most recent one, a stand alone story about the now-30 crowd. It’s called Seconds, and it’s about a chef who opened a restaurant with all her friends, who by 30 have all left and she’s alone. She’s tired of the place and wants to move on, and is working on opening a new restaurant – the purchase and repair for which is a nightmare.

At least, that’s what it’s about until she starts rewriting history.

Katie playing boss at her restaurant, Seconds.

Katie playing boss at her restaurant, Seconds.

Seconds is about, I suppose, second chances. And third, and fifth, and on from there. And how, if we could do it all again, maybe we shouldn’t. About how my generation was promised that we could have it all, and how the real world does not seem to actually work that way – and even if you had the power to try to make it so, it still wouldn’t work.

Seconds was amazing, and I highly recommend it. Holly will be writing a reaction to it later today on Comparative Geeks. But until then, what do you think? Love Scott Pilgrim? Thoughts on Seconds? Other selections for the voice of our generation? I would love to know – join the conversation in the comments below!

I Kill Giants – Comics Review

Thanks to a local librarian, I had the graphic novel I Kill Giants not only recommended to me, but handed to me to check out. I took my sweet time getting around to reading it, but once I got more than I little ways in I was hooked and had to finish it.

The main character is Barbara Thorson, a teenage D&D geek who is a vicious Dungeon Master. That alone is fantastic. However, for her, the fantastical worlds that she knows in D&D exist beyond the page: they permeate her everyday life. As far as she is concerned, she kills giants.

I Kill Giants

She fully believes it, and it gets her in trouble constantly. With teachers, principal, school counselor, and bullies. Oh, and family. Friends. Pretty much everyone. But as far as Barbara is concerned, it’s real, and as the perspective we follow in the comic, it’s true as far as we’re concerned as well – making this a fantastic fantastical romp! Oh, and heavily psychological, as well. Spoilers ahead for this award-winning indie comic!

Continue reading

An Aurora Grimeon Story: Will O’ the Wisp

Will o' The Wisp Cover

This graphic novel is not one that I would have probably found on my own. It is a one-shot graphic novel that is not connected to anything that I usually read. It has the element of the mystical, but seems to be grounded in the world of Hoodoo. The art is what attracted me at first on the library shelf because the drawings definitely have a distinct style. The story is kind of odd, but is introducing the reader to a lore that they might not know or understand as the story takes place in the swamps of Louisiana. Having never been to Louisiana, or many places in the South in general, I do not necessarily know what is true or what is not. At the same time the story, even if not based on actual stories or lore, does paint a very dark, mystical, and powerful picture for the characters moving in it. Continue reading

Comics to Read – Persepolis

Today is a re-blog. David and I both have a post running today on other blogs. This is the comics post I wrote and ran over on Sourcerer – and you can find David’s Passionate Geeks post over on Eclectic Alli: https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/passionate-geeks-i-cant-stop-thinking-big-the-music-of-rush/ Hope you enjoy!

Sourcerer

Cover of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi Cover of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is an autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi. She grew up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. When things seemed to get to rough she got sent away to Europe, but eventually came back home. It was also one of the top challenged books in America in 2014.

Using a graphic novel to tell the story made it something that could cross boundaries in many ways. It is difficult to talk about a situation from another culture if you have not grown up in that situation. Visuals help to translate those cultural differences into something that can be interpreted by others. The story itself is so incredible and to see those items visually it really brings power to the story being told.

A graphic novel granted Marjane Satrapi the ability to put a face on the situation in Iran, where otherwise it…

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The Cute Girl Network, A Graphic Novel

The Cute Girl Network Graphic NovelSo as a way to assist our local library moving to a different location we checked out the maximum number of books from the library and will then return them to the new location once it is open in a month. Of course what we did was picked up as many graphic novels and comics that looked even vaguely interesting to read!

One of those happened to be The Cute Girl Network by Greg Means, MK Reed, and Joe Flood. It is a really quick read, but so much fun and deals with a lot of interesting stereotyping issues. The great piece is watching the interaction between the various characters play out and thinking of how our relationships can be different if we are with the right person. The reason I think this graphic novel works is that the two main characters are pretty likable; if they weren’t then the story would not work. Continue reading