I LOVE Gene Luen Yang's stories. There's something about them that stays with me after I complete somethin...moreHuge thank you to First Second for this ARC!
I LOVE Gene Luen Yang's stories. There's something about them that stays with me after I complete something he writes -- he always seems to ask the reader to have an open-mind when participating in one of his worlds. This time, however, we have a world that isn't entirely his own, but with the help of Sonny Liew, they give a neglected Golden Age hero the treatment he deserves.
First off, I adored the origin story presented in this graphic novel for the Green Turtle. I love that Hank is completely pressured by his tiger mom to become a superhero because it would give him the fame and glory that she feels he deserves in some ways. His family comes from humble beginnings, though his father was possessed by a spirit, which was then "passed down" to Hank. The Green Turtle may not have any notable powers, but he's awesome at avoiding bullets, so that's something right?
I really enjoyed the interaction between the characters in this story, particularly the relationship between Hank and his father. There is such a genuine level of respect between the two of them and its wonderfully portrayed. You get a sense that all the characters in the story are harmoniously woven together without having to question why a character just appears in the story (like some comics do). Plus, Sonny Liew's artwork does an amazing job of capturing all the emotion and zaniness within the story.
I admittedly had never heard of the Green Turtle until after I had read this comic. I loved and appreciated Yang and Liew's origin story for this forgotten hero, and I feel like they did it in such a way to remind readers about how Golden Age comics lacked a sense of diversity (or at least feared it). Hank and his family are completely unforgettable and the history lesson to take from this comic alone makes it worth being checked out.(less)
Enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. Actually, I loved the idea of the t-shirts giving Battling Boy powers, and I ADORED the fact that h...more3.5
Enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. Actually, I loved the idea of the t-shirts giving Battling Boy powers, and I ADORED the fact that he was very much a child and not someone being forced into maturity -- he had temper tantrums! It was a nice change! I definitely feel ready now to tackle Aurora West.(less)
So I picked the worst time ever to go on a book buying ban. Zita the Spacegirl is additive, it's clever, the characters are hilarious and awesome and...moreSo I picked the worst time ever to go on a book buying ban. Zita the Spacegirl is additive, it's clever, the characters are hilarious and awesome and I, just want the rest now. :((less)
Huge thank you to First Second and Netgalley for this ARC!
This likely won't be the first time you'll see this book listed for me as it will be appe...moreHuge thank you to First Second and Netgalley for this ARC!
This likely won't be the first time you'll see this book listed for me as it will be appearing a feature over at RPGamer.com in the near future. For now, this will be a more general review as In Real Life tackles one of gaming's worst social economic problems to date.
For those who don't play a lot of video games or MMOs, this book will likely open your eyes to an issue within, particularly the free-to-play MMO market, though a lot of pay-to-play are equally involved, which is people farming for gold and treasures and then selling them to those who want to fast-track aspects of their game so they can focus on other areas of the game. The people forced to do this are paid little money and give up the majority of their lives to play a game for work.
This is not a new or ground breaking idea, as Doctorow has tackled this topic on numerous occasions. There is a preachy element to this book that I do think a good chunk of reader's will find off putting, I think issues of race, particularly the white girl trying to save a Chinese gold farmer in game might be interpreted in a lot of negative ways, but I don't think that's the real intention of this story.
Doctorow wants to highlight an evil that exists within the realm of gaming and one we often choose to ignore because "it doesn't affect us." He's also trying to show a positive for how gamers work together in games to solve problems of injustice and morality. While Anda and Raymond likely would have never met in real life, I feel like their interest in each other is well thought out because it does give Anda a sense that the game she loves so much isn't entirely what it seems, and that the balance between reality and virtual reality isn't as clear-cut a line as we are lead to be.
Moreover, while I wasn't entirely in love with how female gamer's were portrayed in this, I really appreciated the inclusion. Woman are slowly becoming the more than 40% in gaming, and we still often get treated by our counterparts that we can't be strong and confident within our gaming selves. The females in this book wanted to show it was okay to be a female and a gamer, but it's a bit problematic on the other side of the coin that they only want female inclusion. I see both sides of the coin even if I struggle to agree with it.
I really did love the interaction between Anda and Raymond and I thought it was quite lovely. I felt it was sweet and genuine. I thought the artwork was lovely to gorgeous in quality. I think In Real Life will delight gamers, and I think it will teach teens about an issue that they likely wouldn't have known anything about. There;s a powerful idea in this book, but because of how heavy handed it comes across, I do think that will alienate some readers. Personally, I enjoyed the book a great deal, and I loved the flow and tone enough that I am forgiving of the preachy aspects. In Real Life is powerful, and will challenge readers to go beyond their comfort zone when it comes to their hobbies having real world consequences. (less)
Huge thank you to First Second and Netgalley for this ARC!
This is not the first book I've read by cousins Jillian and Mariko Tamaki. Back when I was in university, I actually attended a talk by Mariko Tamaki on writing an feminism, and since then I've actually read just about everything she's ever published. This One Summer was a return back to contemporary for both authors, so I was excited to see where the story would go.
This One Summer was a book that reminded me of my cottage and how much I miss it. I would take my friends up there, we'd spend hours swimming, exploring, watching scary movies, and lounging about near the lake with books in our hands. Cottage life always reminded me of the good times in life, and often it was where I did my most growing up. Those interactions between Rose and Windy I found myself nodding along with as it was something I have connected with before.
The actually mysteries within this story are fairly uncomfortable for the most part. Much like Skim, their previous joint graphic novel effort, there's no real fluff in this story. There's a lot of confronting fears, forcing others to do the same, and accepting when mistakes are made. Everything that happens in this novel happens with a heavy reason and often an unavoidable consequence. In a lot of ways, that's what makes Rose and Windy growing up such a tough aspect to watch -- like many of us, nothing ever comes easy.
What really helps this narrative along is the artwork -- it's stunning. Especially any scenes involving forests and water, you get a sense of being swept away and the use of the monochromatic colouring works wonders. The emotion from the art is really impressive and I loved it.
A lot of the conflict is minimized or even at times non-existent. There are definitely parts of the story I was more had been done with, but overall I still think This One Summer is a delightful read that makes me wish I still wasn't currently trapped under a pile of snow.(less)