I was first introduced to this graphic novel after talking to the author, Amy Kim Ganter at the Teen Book Festival last Saturday. She’s grew up in Iro...moreI was first introduced to this graphic novel after talking to the author, Amy Kim Ganter at the Teen Book Festival last Saturday. She’s grew up in Irodequoit, a suburb of Rochester NY, and left for NYC when she was sixteen. After talking to her I knew that I needed to get her book, Sorcerers & Secretaries. Of course I had her immediately sign it! After getting home, the first thing I did was read the book. There were only a couple of things that disappointed me: one was that I would have to wait until January to read the next installment, and second was that the series is only two books long. The characters are interesting and likeable, and the storyline allows for some interesting plot development, but only if the series were a couple of books longer. In some sections, mostly in the flashbacks of how the two main characters met, I felt that Ms. Gantor was trying to cram in too many details in order to further the plot line.
I think this series will definitely be a good one for all those that are still uncomfortable with the manga format, but need an introduction to the style. Since she’s American, she writes her comics from left to right, but the way she actually creates the comic is very similar to Japanese-style manga. During her presentation she explained: American comics are very static, and similar in style to a tv sitcom. Everything is seen from middle ground, and the camera moves very little. Manga, on the other hand, moves with the emotion going on, the way a movie is filmed. When there is a very intense emotion being shown, the camera zooms in on the one character. When there’s a scene with lots going on, the camera zooms out so that you can see more. This is how Amy’s comic is more like manga, however quite a few times during the festival, she stated that it wasn’t a manga, because it doesn’t deal with Japanese culture, or in the style more like that of other manga.
Whatever it is, Sorcerers and Secretaries was a hit with me. I loved the plot line, the main character was very likable, and I loved how the images physically flowed. The main character is a very sympathetic and imaginative. She gets caught up in fairy tales and forgets about everything around her. However when she is aware of the world around her; she’s lonely. When a guy takes a liking to her, she isn’t really sure of how she should act, because she’s afraid that she’s just another conquest for him. This is a great graphic novel that deals with relationship issues in a way that’s safe for all libraries to add to their collections. This is HIGHLY recommended for everyone!(less)
Quite a few teenagers suggested that I read Azu Manga Daioh, so I finally decided that I had better read it. This series was delightful! The students...moreQuite a few teenagers suggested that I read Azu Manga Daioh, so I finally decided that I had better read it. This series was delightful! The students are silly and charming. The teachers are odd and frightening, especially Kirmura. On multiple occasions, my hair stood on end watching him oogling the teens, however, that’s what makes a good story something great. This may be even more important to graphic novels, because a shorter story demands a more intense plot, and what can be more intense than a pervert with eyes you can’t see and a gaping mouth as he watches the girls running around.
This is a great read for teens that don’t care for science fiction, fantasy, or anything too surreal. This all takes place in an average Japanese high school and the plot is about average teenage girl issues. Of course, average in the sense that the series is quirky and delightful.
The illustrations are sweet, however sometimes they can let the reader down. Some of the characters’ faces and hair styles blend into one another, making it difficult to tell one character from another, which can also make the story a little confusing. Luckily, many of the characters have interesting and VERY different personality traits, making up for the illustration setbacks. A couple of examples of this are Sakaki, who on the exterior seems calm, collected and very popular. However inside, she is very shy, lonely and would like nothing better than to be able to pet a cat. Unfortunately, every time she gets near one, the cat bites her for no reason. On the other hand we have Tomo, who is loud, obnoxious and a pest to everyone, all the time. She loves nothing better than breaking rules and breaking eardrums. She also loves a good challenge, and will compete against everyone, be they the fastest or the smartest. Unfortunately for her, she usually loses.
This is a great addition to any library. The series is great as it gives American teens a peek into Japanese teens’ lives and their real culture, rather than culture as it would appear in a science fiction style Manga. ADV Films has also come out with a DVD set that is loyal to the Manga. The DVD would also be a great addition to your collection, because there is no nudity or violence, and therefore less chance for a challenge by the public.(less)
This series is unique in that it is a super-hero comic that is not about the super-heroes, nor is it about the super-villains. This series is about si...moreThis series is unique in that it is a super-hero comic that is not about the super-heroes, nor is it about the super-villains. This series is about six teenagers and what they do after they find out their parents are super-villains.
What would you do if you found out that what you thought was a once a year get together with old friends, turns out to be an excuse to go in the basement in order to sacrifice an innocent girl in an evil ritual? In Runaways, six teens are in that very predicament. They find a secret passageway in the house and following it down to the basement, are just in time to witness their parents kill an innocent girl.
Soon after, the teens learn that they aren’t ordinary teens at all, but each has different special powers in one way or another, just like their parents. There is a boy with a brilliant mind, a mutant, an alien, a teen with a psychic link to a velociraptor, a teen whose parents created hands that shoot fire, and a teen whose magical parents have bestowed her with a magical staff. All this becomes too overwhelming for them, and they decide to go into hiding. The plot is creative and unique. Some of the turns the plot takes later on in the series seem a little outrageous and downright bizarre, but teens who like super-heroes or fantasy will just eat it up. The main theme revolves around the six teens’ parents, who are part of the Pride, an organization created by the Gibborim who are giant beasts that live deep underwater and want to revert earth back to its original state, without humans. The Pride has to sacrifice innocents and steal their souls so that the Gibborim can swallow their souls and get strong enough to put their plan into action. The members of the Pride can choose six of their group to move on to paradise with the Gibborim, and the other six will die with all the other humans that are contaminating the earth with their bickering.
The illustrations are gorgeous, and the colors are deep and rich, adding to the dark plot. Much of the time, the teens are in darkness, either waiting until nightfall to come out of hiding or when they are in their hiding spot underground. The teenagers look like teenagers, not beautiful busty models pretending to be teenagers. They are regular kids taken out of their comfortable lives and forced into a situation that they hate.
For librarians just starting a graphic novel collection this will be a great addition, especially those in need of more superhero comics. There’s enough violence to interest the teens, but not enough to bother parents. Some of the teens become interested in each other, and typical teenage romance ensues, without going beyond a little kissing. The cover illustrations and the deep colors are eye catching and would benefit from an outfacing display. Teens will connect with the runaways’ everyday problems and relationship issues, plus they’ll breathe a sigh of relief that their parents aren’t super-villains!(less)
I really wanted to enjoy this. I have liked a lot of the other things that Clamp has written/illustrated, and for the most part I did like this. I enj...moreI really wanted to enjoy this. I have liked a lot of the other things that Clamp has written/illustrated, and for the most part I did like this. I enjoyed the illustrations, which were in most cases life like instead of cutesy. I also enjoyed the theme of the book, and felt that in view of the subject (love), Clamp had created a honest and real to life book.
However I feel that there was too much going on for the length of the book. Many of the stories were very sweet and the characters were likeable, but as soon as you began to get involved in the plot, the story was over! There are 12 short stories all condensed in 125 pages. Although it would have taken much longer for Clamp to have put them together, I think the stories could have benefitted from a more in depth plot line, by creating a short series of love stories and focusing on two stories related to a specific theme of love in each book. That being said I think that teenage girls who are interested in romance and what it entails, will enjoy this book.(less)
This is another unique and special comic by Hope Larson, who also created Salamander Dreams. Just as in Salamander Dreams, Larson continues to draw dr...moreThis is another unique and special comic by Hope Larson, who also created Salamander Dreams. Just as in Salamander Dreams, Larson continues to draw dreamlike simple line illustrations. This time her colors of choice are a light peach and black, which she seems to use in order to differentiate between the items that she wants you to focus on and everything else.
In this book, the main character is a French foreign exchange student named Noemie. The book is peppered with French lines, repeated in English. This is done in a superb way. Whichever language she is speaking (or thinking) in is in the word bubble and the other language gently flows around it.
Noemie is shy and cautious about the United States, however she befriends a girl across the street from her apartment who’s family owns a bread shop. Her new friend makes the most wonderful animals out of bread, and although she seems happy in her situation, she longs to move back to her native country, Mexico. Throughout the story, someone follows Noemie around and takes pictures of her. In the beginning, she is disturbed by it, but once she understands the circumstances, she starts to reconsider.
There is also a subplot with a reoccurring dream about grey horses that Noemie tries to understand and determine the meaning of.
All this adds up to a truly original and special graphic novel. This is a definite must for all libraries trying to start a collection. There isn’t anything suggestive or anything you need to worry about with your “gentler” teens (or their parents). While I wouldn’t say this is geared to kids, you don’t have to worry if they happen to pick it up.(less)
I LOVED it! The main character is not a librarian, however she loves books so much that she’s almost a slave to them. When she finds an extremely rare...moreI LOVED it! The main character is not a librarian, however she loves books so much that she’s almost a slave to them. When she finds an extremely rare book, she goes into throes of passion. She uses her five senses (even taste) in order to become fully aware of the book. Somehow the books and paper can almost sense her utter dependency upon books and they allow her to manipulate paper in order to defend herself and in some cases kill. A government agency finds out about her abilities and puts her to work as one of their agents. At one point, she is given the task of protecting her favorite author, a teenager who types two books at once and doesn’t seem to care about her adoring fans.
All I have to say is… BRILLIANT! It’s a fun and unique read. Some of the plot is silly, but it doesn’t take itself to seriously.(less)