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Meanwhile

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,983 ratings  ·  300 reviews
Chocolate or Vanilla? This simple choice is all it takes to get started with Meanwhile, the wildly inventive creation of comics mastermind Jason Shiga, of whom Scott McCloud said “Crazy + Genius = Shiga.” Jimmy, whose every move is under your control, finds himself in a mad scientist’s lab, where he’s given a choice between three amazing objects: a mind-reading device, a t ...more
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Harry N. Abrams
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Betsy
Quantum physics, parallel worlds, probability, entropy. Yes it's all in a day's work for your average everyday choose your own adventure book. Now just substitute the words "average" and "everyday" in that previous sentence for "extraordinary" and "twisted" and you've got yourself a pretty good description of Jason Shiga's graphic title Meanwhile. Simple enough in its concept and art that a ten-year-old would feel confident picking it up, yet jam packed with an insane degree of whimsy and darkne ...more
Janie
When I first glanced at this in the library, I had a nerd-attack at the sheer genius of it. I mean, choose your own adventure COMIC?!?! However, after the first maybe, five endings, I got bored. I'm sorry! The thing about this book is that it's actually quite tricky to read the panels and follow the order of the story, and once you do get the hang of it, you have to start from page one to start over because virtually every single time because, unlike Choose Your Own Adventure books, the page tab ...more
Sara
Holy awesome. I always felt kind of meh about choose your own adventure books (there are only so many storylines that end in certain death and still keep me interested), but this is way. way. cooler. Ever read a choose your own adventure comic book? Especially one with 3,856 possible path possibilities? With multiple storylines that run on the same page and secret hidden pages that can only be accessed with a code? In fact, I feel kind of weird saying that I've "read" this book, seeing as I prob ...more
Miriam
Jul 14, 2014 Miriam rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Miriam by: Ariel
Shelves: adventure
This visual variation on the old Choose Your Own Adventure books gets props for originality. The amount of work the author put in is staggering, and the story is fun. However, it is so difficult to follows the path from one panel to another that I couldn't really get into the story and enjoy it -- I was spending twice as much time finding the right place as actually "reading" since there isn't much text to slow one down. This might be better for a kid who is a slow reader. And maybe the techniqu ...more
Mark
A choose-your-own-adventure done in a comic book format. Fun.
Don
THIS IS THE CRAZIEST CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-WHATEVER YOU WILL EVER READ.

Jason Shiga is a genius and a madman. Branching-plot comics have been done before from time to time, but never to any great success and with no real innovation. Here, the innovation is in the reading experience itself: Instead of reading one page, then turning to a different page - as in most CYOA-type books - it's the comics panels themselves that twist and turn, with the reader's direction of flow guided by a series of pipes. Whe
...more
Julie Suzanne
Jul 27, 2010 Julie Suzanne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sterling & Verdi
This is a bizarre new format (at least to me) of choose your-own-adventure. WOW. It had my 10-year-old, who loves "manga" (I still don't really know what this is), drawing, and comics, unable to come up for air. It was written with exactly the same kind of humor, drawing, and topics that my son loves...uncanny. I also had a lot of fun figuring out how it works with him. I'd give it 5 stars but I was quickly frustrated with having to go through the whole story repeatedly in order to make differen ...more
Kate
A sort of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure graphic novel with a hint of Chutes & Ladders fun. Brilliant and wacky and non-stop fun.
Sandy
This book is incredibly trippy - in a good way. It's kind of a Choose Your Own Adventure in graphic novel format featuring time travel, entropy, quantam physics, and a doomsday device. It starts out innocently enough - do you want chocolate or vanilla ice cream? Choose which path you want to take and follow the tubes to the correct tab, which takes you to another page where the story continues. Various other choices along the way cause the story to split yet again, revealing a story that grows s ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a graphic novels panelist.

Well, this *is* a book but a very unique one. You've never seen anything like this before: plastic pages with tabs all along the edges and tubes that run up, down, right, left and all over the place. In fact, this is more like playing a game than reading a book. You start out with the choice of chocolate or vanilla ice cream and from there on every choice you make changes the story and the p
...more
Josh
It is very rare that a book comes along with a completely different way of telling a story. This book does that and does so largely successfully. The linear nature of time is cleverly looped back on itself, as is time's potentially branching nature. And, the story is hard to imagine being told in any other way than the way it is (by following a maze of lines through cells of comic book art).

I also greatly enjoyed the stories exploration of entropy and the "best of all possible worlds paradox" (
...more
Ben Rowe
I have a lot of nostalgic good will for "choose your own adventure" type of books and I am always drawn to books that try to do something a little bit different so I was understandably drawn to Meanwhile which is the only choose your own adventure style of graphic novel I am aware of.

Meanwhile is very clever. The way the choose your own adventure works within the story is very well thought out and is a visually appealing follow the string/paths which are utilized together with tabs at the ends o
...more
Amar Pai
Interestingly laid out choose your own adventure book / graphic novel. It's a simple story initially, but at many points the comic box presents with two choices. Rather than 'turning to page x,' you follow the line representing your choice to the edge of the text, where it matches one of numerous vertically spaced differently colored tabs. The mechanism is elegant, though following the comic boxes can be a bit difficult. (They're not left to right; you have to always look for where the next conn ...more
Shivering William
My experience with Meanwhile was sort of an inverted parabola. I entered into it with a great deal of excitement (having been swept to great heights by FLEEP and Bookhunter. So what is that? A parabola that starts high on the Y axis? Screw it, we'll just leave that analogy behind all together). Anyway, I was excited. Then I entered and beheld the lay out--the ingenious pipe system that not only defied all comic layout background knowledge but also utilized a tab system that doesn't allow you to ...more
Nick
Why did I read it?

It was suggested to me at a reader's advisory workshop last year, and I happened to see it on the shelf yesterday.

What happened?

Jimmy walks into an ice cream shop and has the choice of vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Sounds like the beginning of a normal book, right? Wrong! Have you ever read a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novel? Well, this one is just like that...just on steroids and in graphic novel form.

Shiga pretty much gives you complete control of what happens in this novel
...more
Rebecca
Jun 02, 2010 Rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 4th grade and up
OK, so I didn't read it all. But give this visual Choose Your Own Adventure to anyone who loves math, mazes, and/or comics. The choice between chocolate and vanilla spins out into 3,856 story possibilities, many of which end in doom. This will keep you occupied for a while.

I don't even understand this note in the front: "Once the outline of the story was structured, a computer algorithm was written to determine the most efficient method to transfer it to book form. However, the problem proved t
...more
Erin
I loved the concept, being a fan of the Choose Your Own Adventure series from forever ago, but the reality was a little less satisfying. I appreciated the work that went into this, but it was a challenge to read and follow the story paths. Someone who loves puzzles, riddles and challenges will probably really get into this. As i read, I kept seeing story lines that looked more interesting than mine, but couldn't figure out how to get there, and so I ended up reading the same handful of possibili ...more
Ella ♡му тнσυgнтѕ αяε ѕтαяѕ♡
This, my friend, possesses the greatest story you'll ever imagine. And it's not just the plot in the pages.

I read this book when I was, what, 7? Something like that. It was my favorite book ever. This is a Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) graphic novel. You're taken on a journey through time and space, experimenting with new options. And it all started with deciding whether or not you wanted vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

I returned it to the library with a sad look on my face. It was way overdu
...more
Lauren
Meanwhile by Jason Shiga is a graphic novel with a twist. The book has different paths that you can take with 3,856 story possibilities. This book kept me entertained for a couple of hours trying to create all the different possibilities, and could probably do the same with students.

Text-to-Self and Text-to-Text: This book reminded me of the goosebumps choose your story books. It connects the text to me and to other text because of this. I remember that I used to love reading those books. I didn
...more
Rachelle
On a recent trip, I decided not to take the turn I usually take to get through Grand Island. I decided to keep heading north, hoping to find a drive-through coffee hut. I didn't find one, so I eventually turned and headed east to go home. Seconds later, a car was turning in front of me and I had nowhere to go but into the other vehicle. My decision to keep going north seemed simple and innocuous at the time, but it cost me a point on my driver's license and a driver's side headlight.

This book re
...more
J Tohabath
Many people like to begin their reviews with "You start out with a choice between chocolate or vanilla ice cream, and the story goes from there". I personally won't do so, since this particular choice doesn't truly matter. As to what follows, on the other hand, has lead to some of the best storytelling I've seen in years.

The concept of a choose-your-own-adventure in a graphic novel format is pushed to the limit, and the themes of using time travel and quantum mechanics work perfectly with the co
...more
Sarah Wheeland
Meanwhile

Cautions: I was initially excited about this book because of the synopsis and reviews I read when I checked it out. However, after reading it, I have changed my tune a bit. It may be that I am old-fashioned but I did not like the “killing” and “doom” that were laced throughout the story. I like the idea of a “choose your own adventure” graphic novel but I don’t think this material is necessarily appropriate for early elementary. The pictures are fine and nothing graphic in nature is sho
...more
Rena
Oh my gosh! This book drove me crazy! I am continuously going in circles over and over. I don't think I even actually reached the end of one version of the story. It is so confusing and addicting. The reason it isn't a one is because I physically could not put it down. I was determined to see it out to the end, and failed epically. *shakes head* I warn you, if you pick up this book, you will be driven to insanity.
Jess
I think in theory it's a great idea and thought it would sort of be like some of the first chapter books I read as a kid, I loved seeing where my choices took me. This however, was not that! It was actually pretty difficult to follow your story and it wasn't terribly clear when a choice needed to be made. For those seasoned in graphic novel reading it might be a good choice. For a novice like me- not so much.
Donalyn
Readers begin with a simple choice, "Chocolate ice cream? Or vanilla? A unique take on a "choose-your-own adventure" book, Jason Shiga's crazy quilt graphic novel panels take readers on 3,856 possible storylines-- many of them bizarre and violent. The acetate pages help the book hold up endless readings as children discover the new paths that lead them forward, backward, and sideways through the book.
Nora
A graphic novel choose-your-own-adventure. Sounds perfect! But, the paths are really hard to follow, and I spent more time trying to trace the right colored path than reading anything. I also don't think the tabs are going to stand up to elementary student use (they will rip), but we shall see...
Leo
i just dont like this book. the cover says over 4000 ways. i can only find 3. the way he connected them with these confusing wires alwayse gets you frustrated. the story is not too good either. i mean, who buys ice craeam and then suddenly, finds a time machine. i dont recommend this book at all.
Tiffany
This is a very interesting book. Right from the start you are awed by the different colored tabs to the book. This is a choose your own adventure book. At first I was a little puzzled but not entertained with the different endings. The second time I picked up the book, I couldn’t stop trying out different routes. At first, I didn’t want to see what the Killitron could do as it would destroy the world. Even after I flipped through the book many times, I still didn’t read all the pages. So I actua ...more
Alex
Once again, another terrible graphic novel. This one is hard to follow, boring, and never works out how you want it to. I hated everything about it, save perhaps the illustrations which were somewhat cute in a odd sort of way. Other than that it was just plain BAD!
Kelly Lynn Thomas
Meanwhile is a choose-your-own-adventure comic book. It's pretty cool. The cover states there are more than 3,000 possible paths to choose from. I didn't test out that claim, but I did try out quite a few. Some of them took me on radically different story lines, and some of them, not so much. Which is one reason this only gets 3 stars. And while the participatory nature of the book is cool, after awhile it got a little tiring, because you got to some dead ends pretty quickly and you had to root ...more
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Jason Shiga is an award-winning Asian American cartoonist from Oakland, California. Mr. Shiga's comics are known for their intricate, often "interactive" plots and occasionally random, unexpected violence. A mathematics major from the University of California at Berkeley, Mr. Shiga shares his love of logic and problem solving with his readers through puzzles, mysteries and unconventional narrative ...more
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