The Serenity: Those Left Behind graphic novel is a nice companion piece to the Firefly television series and the SereniReviewed for www.thcreviews.com
The Serenity: Those Left Behind graphic novel is a nice companion piece to the Firefly television series and the Serenity feature film, both created by Joss Whedon. It presents an exciting missing chapter in the story that occurs chronologically between Firefly and Serenity. The story was engaging and very nicely done, giving the reader the feel of watching an episode of Firefly. The characterizations are true to the television series. In fact, the dialog was so well done, I could almost hear the actors voices in each role. The artwork was very well rendered. I particularly liked the portraits of each of the characters that are scattered throughout the book. I thought that they were very accurate depictions of their real-life actor counterparts. Since the book is part of a continuing story, it may not be of much interest to those who have not seen the series or the movie, as it would probably be hard to follow. In my opinion however, this book is a must-have for fans of Firefly or Serenity....more
Reviewed for THC Reviews Welcome to the Jungle was another enjoyable short story in the Dresden Files series, this time in graphic novel format. I rareReviewed for THC Reviews Welcome to the Jungle was another enjoyable short story in the Dresden Files series, this time in graphic novel format. I rarely read graphic novels, but have to say that this one was quite fun. It was kind of like reading a movie or watching a book.:-) The illustrations were very appealing and complimented the text perfectly. They also expressed the emotion and action of the scenes quite well. The illustrator, Ardian Syaf is billed as a rising star in the comic book world, and I'd have to agree. He is very talented.
The story itself is a fairly simple one with Harry investigating the mysterious and brutal murder of a security guard at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Those who don't believe in the supernatural are quick to blame it on a gorilla, but Harry knows better. Each of the Dresden Files shorts I've read so far have drawn me into Harry's world. He's almost like a super-hero with his wizard powers, but at the same time, he's just an average everyday guy who's easy to relate to. He's something of a hard-boiled detective, but also has a softer side and seems to really care about people. The tidbits of Harry's backstory that are revealed in this graphic novel really intrigued me, and make me eager to read the first full-length book of the series so that I can delve into this character and learn more about him. The two Chicago PD officers Harry works with, Murphy and Carmichael, are introduced in this story as well. Overall, Welcome to the Jungle was a very enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours of my reading time and really has me looking forward to continuing the series....more
Reviewed for THC Reviews Ghoul Goblin is a compilation of six comic book episodes from Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series bound together into one volumReviewed for THC Reviews Ghoul Goblin is a compilation of six comic book episodes from Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series bound together into one volume. It represents one complete Dresden Files short story that falls between Fool Moon and Grave Peril in the series chronology. After reading Grave Peril, I was left with some questions as to what Harry had been up to in between the two books, and I was kind of hoping this story might fill in some of the missing pieces, but alas, that was not meant to be. However, Ghoul Goblin was still an enjoyable story in and of itself.
In this book, our intrepid private investigator and professional wizard, Harry Dresden is called away from his hometown of Chicago to investigate the mysterious deaths of two sibling in a small rural town in Missouri. The local deputy sheriff believes that the deaths may have been supernatural in nature, which is why he calls upon Harry, but Harry gets a less than enthusiastic welcome to the community. He eventually discovers that the victims were part of a cursed family, meaning their remaining five siblings are still in grave danger. The body count ends up being rather high, and although Harry eventually vanquishes their enemies, I wouldn't precisely call the ending a happy one. In fact, several lives are irrevocably changed because of the events that occur, which might account for this book having a little lower ratings than others in the series. Overall, I guess it didn't bother me too much. I still liked the story pretty well in spite of the sad circumstances.
If the story had any weakness, I would probably say it was in the backstory of the family's curse and how it related to the current supernatural events playing out within the community. I can't say I fully understood how everything tied together until I read the bonus material in the back of the book. Then it all became much clearer. I must admit too that it was interesting reading the original concept synopsis and seeing how the story evolved from that early idea into the finished product. Overall, I found the illustrations appealing and thought they enhanced the storytelling quite well. Seeing how the story is scripted and them combined with the artwork was intriguing too. I was hoping that Harry's background might be explored a little bit in this one (at one point it was looking like it might be), but unfortunately, the author was only teasing us yet again and still stringing the reader along. Aside from my minor issues, Ghoul Goblin was a satisfying read. After enjoying the two stand-alone graphic novels in this series, I'm now considering going back and reading the graphic novelizations of the first two full-length novels. I think it could be an interesting experience....more
Reviewed for THC Reviews The Gathering Storm is a graphic novel adaptation of the first half of Storm Front, the inaugural novel in the Dresden Files sReviewed for THC Reviews The Gathering Storm is a graphic novel adaptation of the first half of Storm Front, the inaugural novel in the Dresden Files series. The book contains four chapters, and each chapter was originally released in comic book format, then collected together into this one hardcover volume. At the end, there is also a bonus comic adaptation of the prequel short story, Restoration of Faith, done by a different artist and story adapter. And at the very back of the book, there are both the line drawings and finished covers for the comic books.
I won't bother critiquing the overall story, because I've already done a review on the full-length novel version of Storm Front, a book that I very much enjoyed. What I will say is that IMHO, The Gathering Storm is an excellent adaptation of the novel into graphic novel form. Even though it's been a while since I read Storm Front, it's all coming back to me, and now in living color.:-) I really like Ardian Syaf's illustrations. I feel like they capture Harry and the other characters, as well as the situations in which they find themselves, quite well. While I've categorized some of the other Dresden Files graphic novels under young adult as well as adult, I would say that The Gathering Storm is firmly in the adult category. It contains some mild to moderate sexuality. Harry is seen naked throughout one scene, although the important parts are strategically covered. There is also a fair bit of violence, including a particularly bloody, gory murder scene.
As for the bonus content, the graphic novelization of Restoration of Faith was done very nicely. When I read the short story, I must have missed that Karrin Murphy was the cop who helped out Harry and his young charge. It was probably because I wasn't yet familiar with the characters who would be playing key roles in the books, so it was nice to get that little blast from the past. I didn't like the art work in this one quite as well. It was done by a different artist, and there was just something about it that didn't quite speak to me in the same way as Ardian Syaf's work on The Gathering Storm did. But overall it was a nice addition to the book. I also enjoyed seeing the original comic book covers at the end.
Overall, I very much enjoyed The Gathering Storm and don't think they could have done any better job of capturing the look and feel of the novel as well as the salient plot points into a comics style format. It was extremely well done, stayed true to the original source material, and is highly recommended by this reader for graphic novel fans....more
Reviewed for THC Reviews "4.5 stars" Maelstrom is a graphic novel adaptation of the second half of Storm Front, the inaugural novel in the Dresden FileReviewed for THC Reviews "4.5 stars" Maelstrom is a graphic novel adaptation of the second half of Storm Front, the inaugural novel in the Dresden Files series. As with the first volume, The Gathering Storm, the book contains four sections, and each section was originally released in comic book format, then collected together into this one hardcover volume. At the end, there is also a bonus preview of the graphic novel adaptation of Fool Moon, which includes an excerpt and concept art.
Once again, I'm not going to review the overall story, because I've already written a review on the full-length novel version of Storm Front, a book that I very much enjoyed. Just like with The Gathering Storm, I thought the adaptation of the story was done extremely well, definitely hitting all the important plot points and staying true to the original source material. Again I would consider this book to be firmly in the adult graphic novel category as there is a fair bit of violence, some of which can get bloody and gory, both male and female nudity is depicted with the important parts strategically covered, and in two frames, a couple is seen in the background in the throes of passion. None of this bothered me, but since graphic novels tend to be popular with teens, I wanted to provide the information for those who might be concerned. My only small complaint is that this time, the illustrations were done by two different artists. I guess overall, I was generally satisfied with both artists' renderings. They each had something unique to offer, but I still have a bit of a preference for Ardian Syaf's work. Where I had a slight issue with it is that I found the switch in styles about halfway through the book a little jarring. I'm not sure why the book publishers did it this way, but I do wish they'd stuck with one artist for the entire series. Otherwise though, I thought it was an excellent graphic novel adaptation that I would definitely recommend....more