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 volum...moreReviewed 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.(less)
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 rare...moreReviewed 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.(less)
The Serenity: Those Left Behind graphic novel is a nice companion piece to the Firefly television series and the Sereni...moreReviewed 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.(less)