Thursday, March 20, 2014

Graphic Novel Group Review

I read several graphic novels through NetGalley in March and since I can't say a lot about them without spoiling something or other, I decided to do a group review.

Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman
illustrated by 

I've read some of Neil Gaiman's other graphic novels and enjoyed the raw adult style that is so different from his fantastical and imaginative but family friendly novels such as Stardust or Coraline. His graphic novels run more in tune with American Gods. I tend to lump his stories into two groups: the stories he writes from imagination and the stories he writes from life. His graphic novels and adult novels always seem to come more from adult life experiences even when mixed in with Greek Gods or Nephilim. Murder Mysteries definitely reads as if we are watching someone tell Neil a story even though he is writing the whole thing himself. 


Grimm Fairy Tales: Oz 
written and illustrated by Jim Brusha

This one is more like a comic than a graphic novel because of the art style. It's broken into 6 parts which really just backs that up. I've never been a big comic reader even though I enjoy both art and literature. I've only recently decided to read more graphic novels which is why I requested to read this. I found it to be a bit more tedious to read despite the very neat twists to the Wizard of Oz story and setting.


Emily and the Strangers by Mariah Huebner and Rob Reger
illustrated by Emily Ivie

I remember seeing Emily the Strange on the internet when I was a young teenager and thinking that she just looked so cool rockin' the black clothes without looking old school Gothic with all her very well drawn black cats. I wasn't even a fan of cats back then but I totally wanted a black cat because of Emily. I didn't know anything about it, though, beyond the few pictures I saw.
This graphic novel was fun and quick to read. I enjoyed finally learning more about Emily and finding out that she really is just a super awesome character with a very inquisitive mind, a knack at inventing things, and a musician! This particular story is about introvert Emily learning to get along with others enough to make a band work. It was definitely juvenile and the bright, neon outfits and hair of the other band mates heavily reminded me of Bratz or Monster High.


Overall, I enjoyed Murder Mysteries the most but didn't feel overly excited about any of these while reading. I won't let that get me down, though. I know there are more amazing graphic novels similar to Shaun Tan's 'The Arrival', Brian Selznick's 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret', and Art Spiegleman's 'Maus' out there somewhere! 

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