Maggie has grown up, home-schooled no less, in a house full of guys. After her mother left, it's just been her, her older brothers and their father. SMaggie has grown up, home-schooled no less, in a house full of guys. After her mother left, it's just been her, her older brothers and their father. Starting high school means leaving the safety and comfort of her home-schooled life. Maggie will have to make new friends that aren't family members, all while finding out who the mysteriously sad spirit is that follows her around.
A fairly simple story, with a spooky element is exactly what Friends with Boys is all about. The characters are full of personality and the writing is vivacious. Maggie's new friend Lucy is just about the most hilariously written character in this novel, with her over-the-top antics and mannerisms. All this doesn't even begin to describe the great layout and illustration of the graphic novel. I loved the intricate panels that were interspersed with more simple, minimal ones. One page would have full detail on all the background and scenery, clothing, everything while the very next will be a fully blank page but for one key picture. I love that kind of juxtaposition. There were so many great moments in these illustrated pages, some that actually caused me to laugh out loud. The style and banter reminded me a bit of Bryan Lee O'Malley's successful Scott Pilgrim series and fans of graphic novels are sure to enjoy!
This came highly recommended by a fellow blogger, and it definitely was as delightful a read as she said it would be! I have always been a big fan of comic books and graphic novels, but this is the first I've reviewed on this blog - and certainly won't be the last. Friends with Boys is a fantastically fun contemporary read, with a ghostly twist!
Based on the true origin story of The Beatles, Baby's in Black is a graphic novel thatThis, and other reviews can be found on my blog Just a Lil Lost
Based on the true origin story of The Beatles, Baby's in Black is a graphic novel that follows the Fab Four when there were five of them. Stuart Sutcliffe, the original bass player, becomes enamoured with Astrid, a German photographer that the guys meet while playing in a small club in Hamburg. She spends a lot of time with the budding artists, taking some (now famous) photographs of the group. From their initial attraction and constant presence around each other, thus began a love affair that ends up with Stuart quitting the band and focusing on his art career.
Being a fan of The Beatles, I was extremely excited to read this graphic novel. I had seen the 1994 movie Backbeat, which also covered the story of Stuart and Astrid, and was curious to see how this compared. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to ask that very question to Arne Bellstorf in May when he was in town for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. The movie, in fact, was very glamourized and dramaticized for the sake of a compelling movie.
The story itself is a familiar one for Beatles fans, but Bellstorf, telling it in graphic novel form brings a different artistic light to it. While the black & white drawings suit the style and feel of the book, I found it difficult to distinguish which guy was which between the panels. To be honest, if I wasn't already familiar with the story, I would probably have been a bit more confused. The dialogue and panel changes seem choppy at times, but the "Love Me Tender" interlude moments are beautifully staged.
Baby's in Black, a beautiful love story of two people who were closely associated with one of the biggest bands of all time.
A witty and hilarious journey through history and literary references, Hark! A VagrantThis, and other reviews can be found on my blog Just a Lil Lost
A witty and hilarious journey through history and literary references, Hark! A Vagrant should be a companion to all History and English courses! Beaton’s observant and cheeky dialogue make for an entertaining twist to familiar stories we all grew up with. Ranging from different Sherlock scenarios to the French Revolution, the comics are, at times, shocking and funny all at once.
Thankfully, Beaton includes commentary on some of the comics, as a bit of background or what kind of headspace she was in at the time. This provided a bit of insight to the comics that I weren’t too familiar with. Many of the Nancy Drew variety, Beaton tackles some several-paneled comic strip storytelling with what kind of hijinx Miss Drew was getting herself into in that particular book, solely based on the cover art. Hilarious and quite possibly one of my favourite series of comic strips in the entire book. Another notable laugh-out-loud one was about Canadians feeling Canadian on 3 occasions.
Talented and hilarious, Beaton has a wry sense of humour that translates onto the page through her poignant and cheeky drawings.
Andy feels uninspired and unmotivated with where his arThis, and other reviews can be found on my blog Just a Lil' Lost
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4.5/5 stars)
Andy feels uninspired and unmotivated with where his art degree will take him and decides to drop out in his final year. His parents, however, won’t let him lie around and pressures him to go out and find a job if he won’t be continuing with his education. Between figuring out his future and longing for Yumi, his art school crush, Andy feels even more lost than ever. That is until he lands a job offer working at a zoo in which he is the exhibit. In another dimension.
What a delightful read! This graphic novel is fresh and funny, sarcastic and witty. The drawings are simple, yet detailed. While reading Tune, I almost imagined that there was some shred of truth to some of it with how poignant and seemingly accurate Derek managed to capture the life & feelings of an art school student. What an interestingly sci-fi turn this story takes, which also leaves off with the reader wanting more of what happens to Andy.
I loved the writing and the art of Tune. Absolutely a new fan of Derek Kirk Kim’s and any fans of Scott Pilgrim and that similar witty writing will love this graphic novel too!...more
Callie is a 7th grade student who loves everything about the theatre. She lives &This, and other reviews can be found on my blog Just a Lil' Lost
Callie is a 7th grade student who loves everything about the theatre. She lives & breathes the backstage life all while juggling friendships and crushes. When the school announces one of her favourite musicals as that year’s production, she immediately goes into set designer mode, eagerly helping out in all different departments as well. Meeting new friends and dealing with weird behaviour from old ones, Callie goes through what many young people do at that age – heartaches, heartbreaks and a lot of growing up in the process.
This adorable middle-grade graphic novel is a fantastic read. The drawings are vivacious and cute, with a story that is familiar, yet unique at the same time. Being a theatre tech graduate myself, the plot and setting for this graphic novel immediately caught my attention. I just knew I had to read it and Telgemeier captured so many aspects of backstage life so well – from the calling of cues over headsets to the highs and woes that can befall a live production from night to night. While I was a little disappointed at the outcome of Callie’s crushing, I also commend her for establishing the route that it did as well.
The love that Telgemeier has for the theatre shines through in this graphic novel, and her appreciation for this craft is evident in her choice of words, her drawings and the story....more
The adult life of Alice in Wonderland is explored in this twisted grThis, and other reviews can be found on Just a Lil Lost
Rating: ★ ★ ☆ (2.5/5 stars)
The adult life of Alice in Wonderland is explored in this twisted graphic novel series from Zenescope. The story and characters we are all familiar with are given a dark and grown-up makeover where the frightening Jabberwocky has held Alice hostage. Her escape and plot to get rid of the monster is the driving force of this story.
I love a good re-imagining, with the graphic novel series Fables being one of my favourites. I’m by no means prudish when it comes to comic book art as I know that’s fairly standard to sexualize the female characters but boy was I not expecting the extent of it in this. The image on the cover is probably the tamest outfit that Alice wears (which she actually doesn’t even wear throughout the whole book). So many times I felt awkward about anyone seeing me read this with page after page of extremely scantily-clad women. (Oh the ridiculousness of the reasoning – or lack thereof – for these barely-there outfits)
The story itself is a decent one, even if it was slightly confusing with the “younger Alice” being sent back while Alice proper is left in Wonderland to grow older (and apparently have her clothes shrink as she’s growing older). The Jabberwocky and Cheshire Cat are especially frightening in their portrayal with the disturbing Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts holding their own as well.
Truth be told, the art is very beautifully done. The play on the orientation of the layout and spacing of the boxes at certain points are very clever, working along with the story. While some of the speech bubbles from the Queens were a bit hard to read (white on black, white on red), I’m not sure if that can solely be attributed to my e-copy and perhaps the print version is not as hard on the eyes.
Overall? Decent story but the whole thing left me feeling dirty....more
Following a team of debunkers who have their own TV show, they travel to Russia, Louisiana andThis, and other reviews can be found on Just a Lil' Lost
Following a team of debunkers who have their own TV show, they travel to Russia, Louisiana and New Jersey with the goal to disprove mysterious happenings. With a forward by Ben Hansen, one of the stars of Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files, this first volume is a collection of #0-5 of the comic book series.
Being a huge fan of shows like Fact or Faked, Ghost Hunters, and Destination Truth, this comic series felt right up my alley. Unfortunately it fell flat for me. There was so much potential in what they could have done with this series but with how much the story was driven by debunking mysteries, it seemed to open up more than it was disproving.
The cast of characters seem to be a regular bunch of investigators/TV personalities, yet we discover quickly that they've all got some special "skills", making them more like the X-Men than a bunch of ghost hunters. That's cool and all, but it's never explained to any length whatsoever. There was also another storyline running alongside the "TV show" one, but to be honest, I wasn't very sure what exactly was going on. I'm all for complex plots but this completely lost me.
There was so much potential in Hoax Hunters being an amazing series and it probably would have been if it stuck to one main idea. Introducing all the special powers and alternate stories just complicated things and made it feel like this graphic novel was trying to put too much in one story....more
Superhero Girl can leap tall buildings (up to eleven storeys) while saving kittens and helpingThis, and other reviews can be found on Just a Lil Lost
Superhero Girl can leap tall buildings (up to eleven storeys) while saving kittens and helping the elderly. Without the mask and cape, she's an ordinary Canadian girl who lives in the shadow of her superior superhero brother and tries to deal with an annoying nemesis all the while managing day-to-day life of having to do laundry and pay the rent.
I absolutely adored this graphic novel. Like, full-on LOVED this collection of comic strips by Faith Erin Hicks. Being a fan of comic books, graphic novels and comic strips, this collection pokes fun at many aspects of the superhero genre. In a similar fashion as Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant!, Adventures of Superhero Girl has an ongoing story as well as random interjecting comic strip "interludes".
The drawings are cartoon-like and very much the style of other Faith Erin Hicks works, with enough detail and realism mixed with the absolutely strange & bizarre scenarios. I wish there was more to say about this besides my raving but this is a definite must-read if you're a fan of graphic novels, superheroes and comic strips. Even if you just love a good laugh-out-loud read - this is the one to pick up....more
When Billy Fog takes off his glasses, he's able to see a darker worlThis, and other reviews can be found on Just a Lil Lost
Rating: ★ ★ ☆ (2.5/5 stars)
When Billy Fog takes off his glasses, he's able to see a darker world that nobody else can see, full of ghosts and monsters. Full of short comic strip-like snippets, illustrated guides and various other story-telling styles, Billy Fog Volume 1 reads like a bizarre scrapbook of death.
The artwork in this is extremely detailed and intricate and the subject matter is certainly interesting. Each segment told a story about a ghostly character that Billy sees. At least that's what I'm assuming because for the most part I couldn't clearly tell what was going on. The font of the script is very small and angular making it hard to read on my electronic copy, but I can't imagine it being that much better in print.
I admittedly only got through about half of the book before I found it really repetitive. Adding on the fact that I found it difficult to read, I just wasn't enjoying it. That's not to say I didn't appreciate the artwork because the illustrations and the variety of compositions is what I did really like about it. I loved the scrapbook feel to it, with "newspaper articles", illustrated creature guides, and short comic strip stories. I just started to feel like it was becoming the same thing, one chapter after another.
It is, however, very imaginative and the artist is very talented. Billy Fog reminded me of Lemony Snicket or Douglas Coupland's Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People. A macabre read that's definitely not for young children, despite the cute-ish look of Billy on the cover....more