Reading the description of this a few months ago, I knew I wanted to pick it up. I was really into Batman: The Animated Series as a teen and thought tReading the description of this a few months ago, I knew I wanted to pick it up. I was really into Batman: The Animated Series as a teen and thought this would be interesting. I had no idea how good it would be. Dini's story is engrossing - if you're an introvert, there's a lot to identify with, but he also struggles with depression and anxiety throughout the story, not just after the brutal beating. He uses a wide variety of Batman characters, mostly villains, to represent different aspects of his fear, anger, and self-loathing. And then there's the Dark Knight himself. I saw another reviewer compare the Batman cast to a Greek chorus, and I think that's an excellent description.
Risso's artwork truly stood out here - the use of color to portray how present or invisible a character is, or the pop of a cartoon character like Ivan Ivorybill. Throughout the story, Risso captures so many different Batman-styles and uses them depending on the tone and mood of the situation. If you're a Batman fan, this is worth picking up. It's not a Batman story, but it is a story about how we appreciate heroes and how they can inspire us. And if you like your nonfiction memoirs, particularly in a graphic novel format, this is such a good one to read! ...more
Let me preface my review by saying that I first read this series when I was in high school and I loved it. My best friend recommended it and we refereLet me preface my review by saying that I first read this series when I was in high school and I loved it. My best friend recommended it and we referenced it all the time... though with some knowledge that this was somewhat cheesy writing. There were lots of jokes about guys with beautiful, steely blue eyes. But I remember thinking that the books were somewhat scary, contained a great mix of fantasy and reality, and Julian had that bad-boy/demon thing going for him, like Jareth in Labyrinth, but without the weird age difference!
So when the series was finally reprinted, I was really excited to read them again and see how my adult-self compared with my teen-self. I'm sorry to say that I don't think this series aged that well. It's not just the early 90s references... I felt like there were a lot of problems here. Like the characters feeling like stereotypes for the first half of the series. Or the language that they used sounding like it wouldn't come out of a teen's mouth now or 16 years ago. And Jenny... what did she see in Tom? She feels so flat throughout the books, which I suppose is somewhat the point. She does develop somewhat and becomes more independent, less reliant on her friends' strengths and Tom being her protector. I suppose I just got annoyed with her incredible "goodness" - I mean, who's really that good?
I should balance this review out by saying that I still did enjoy rereading this series... it just felt more like a guilty read! I think that for those Twilight-readers this is an excellent collection to move on to; even though it's populated with the troubled, beautiful, immortal bad boy, it revolves less around being obsessed by this boy and more about friendship and inner-strength. Jenny's not the strongest of heroines, but she still becomes "her own master." As a librarian, I'll be recommending this book to those still looking for something after Twilight, but also to those looking for a good haunted house story, something to do with nightmares, or something that doesn't include vampires! ...more
Gene Luen Yanga brings us three stories about fantasy, reality, and the way we think and dream about both. The first story looks at a young man namedGene Luen Yanga brings us three stories about fantasy, reality, and the way we think and dream about both. The first story looks at a young man named Duncan, serving in a medieval court and trying to win the heart of the princess. When he sets out to fight the Frog King, he discovers a mysterious bottle labeled Snappy Cola, and suddenly everything in the kingdom seems out of place.
Then there's Gran'pa Greenbax, a greedy frog with an insatiable desire for a bottomless pool of gold (sounds like a certain old duck, hmmm?). His latest profitable adventure has led him, his assistance, and his twin nieces, to the Eternal Smile, a grin that's always hovering in the sky.
And finally there's Janet, a woman that no one ever notices. She's been working the same nine-to-five job for seven years. When things are at their most dreary, she gets an email from a Nigerian prince who needs her help saving his family fortune... if only she'll give him her bank account information, she'll be rewarded beyond her wildest dreams.
These stories may appear to be fluffy and aimed at younger readers, but each deals with heavy issues (abuse, self-confidence, greed, and faith). The Gran'pa Greenbax story may be the most disturbing of them - though besides borrowing from Uncle Scrooge, it made me think of those Looney Tunes cartoons where the animator is able to reach into the animation cell and mess with things. Overall, these are uplifting stories about how we reconcile our fantasies with our real lives. ...more
A fascinating survival story - Kasumi is one of 160 people who have been selected to be cryogenically frozen as the world waits to find a cure for theA fascinating survival story - Kasumi is one of 160 people who have been selected to be cryogenically frozen as the world waits to find a cure for the Medusa Virus, a disease that turns victims to stone. However, Kasumi's twin sister was not selected, and she dreams of her as she is frozen. When Kasumi awakens, the center is filled with thick vines of thorns, and strange, dinosaur-like creatures are roaming the facility. When one creature attacks and kills several of the others who have just woken up, Kasumi and six other survivors flee, using their wits and their fear to escape the facility. But can they trust each other? And how long have they been asleep? What happened to the rest of the world and is there a cure for Medusa to be found?
This was a thrilling introduction to Kasumi's story. It's easy to zip right through this volume, wondering what's happened, how the group will survive, and what creatures are lurking around the corner. Very little is revealed about the group of survivors, which adds another element to the mystery. Kasumi is fairly helpless throughout a lot of this volume, so I'm hoping that will change as time goes on. I like the artwork, which really helps the convey the action, but it also very detailed. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series!...more
"The Cracked Mirror" picks up where "The Hollow People" left off, with teenager Dante Cazabon, recently escaped from the asylum island where he and hi"The Cracked Mirror" picks up where "The Hollow People" left off, with teenager Dante Cazabon, recently escaped from the asylum island where he and his friend Bea grew up, realizing his potential to tap into the Odyllic Force, a power to act outside of time and dreams. The country is controlled by the possessed Dr. Sigmundus, who rules citizens through drug-induced mind-control. The story opens with Dante searching for Bea and trying to reunite with the Puca, a group of freedom fighters. The narrative switches between Dante, Bea (who has been brainwashed and is now working at a museum dedicated to Sigmundus), and new character Nyro. Along the way, Dante discovers new powers and learns that he has a guardian angel and a long-lost twin brother, the evil Gallowglass.
The first book in the series, which seemed to borrow from "The Matrix" and Lois Lowry’s "The Giver," showed some promise. However, this sequel is sloppy and has little appeal. This book is a classic case of being told, not shown, through below-average dialog and convenient plot devices. Characters are quickly introduced and go out of their way to assist Dante and Bea without any cause. It’s almost impossible to become emotionally invested in Dante because he is such a flat character. The chapters focused on Bea, Nyro, and Gallowglass have a bit more drive, but not enough to justify continuing this series. There’s another cliff-hanger ending, which might throw readers, but will most likely not encourage them to read the next book. ...more
**spoiler alert** Dante is a kitchen boy in Tarnagar, an island asylum where his mother, an inmate, died. Bea is the daughter of one of the asylum's d**spoiler alert** Dante is a kitchen boy in Tarnagar, an island asylum where his mother, an inmate, died. Bea is the daughter of one of the asylum's doctors, and she is on the verge of her coming-of-age ceremony, where she will first take Ichor (a government-created chemical that reduces violence in people). When a mysterious and dangerous patient is brought to Tarnagar, Dante and Bea's paths cross, leading them to a dangerous escape and a movement fighting against the enigmatic Dr. Sigmundus, leader of their country.
I could not get into this book. It reminded me of The Giver mixed with The Matrix - and perhaps with a dash of Star Wars? However, none of the characters in this book feel nearly as developed as Jonas or Neo. The plot is fast-paced for the most part, though I thought that Bea's narrative moments really dragged. The menace of the society Dr. Sigmundus has created just isn't there... not enough weight is given to things like the taboo of discussing dreams or the changes that take place when you begin taking Ichor. It's so much more difficult to appreciate that Bea and Dante are different or the danger they face once they escape with Ezekiel. I would've liked to have seen more time dedicated to their stay in the ruined city and their training. Dante hardly seems to struggle with his epic destiny, his ability to manipulate his dreams, or the fact that his parents were so important to the rebellion... okay, wait, I've crossed over, haven't I? Perhaps it was all that "Odyllic Force" talk.
The ending is incredibly abrupt. Dante is suddenly brought face-to-face with Dr. Sigmundus, only to quickly escape. So if you're loving this, there's a sequel to rush out and pick up. ...more
This book was just wonderful. I'm having such a difficult time finding things to say about it besides the fact that it was amazing. It's sweet withoutThis book was just wonderful. I'm having such a difficult time finding things to say about it besides the fact that it was amazing. It's sweet without ever being saccharine. There's hilarious moments (I loved the ghouls), sad and scary moments, and the ending is just right, leaving you hoping for another book *please please*. I have to agree with Leila, this book feels very similar to Sandman, but without some of the horror content. Adult themes lurk around the edges of the story - after all, this is about growing up - and there are plenty of frightening characters in and out of the graveyard (mostly out). The characters are all so full of life (forgive the pun) - all around, this book was amazing.
I have to say that the audio version of this is just brilliant. I listened to Neil Gaiman read Coraline, and he did a great job there - but this blows that reading out of the water. The characters, the accents, everything is so developed, you forget you're listening to just one person reading. Just listen to the chapter with the ghouls and Miss Lupescu and Bod's adventures through the ghoul gate... you'll be hooked! I know I'm going to have to check out the paper copy of the book, to peak at Dave McKean's illustrations, but I'm going to be recommending the audio version to everyone. ...more
After reading the rest of the series, my opinion of this book has gone up quite a bit. It really sets the stage for the story of Cathan and Beldyn. IfAfter reading the rest of the series, my opinion of this book has gone up quite a bit. It really sets the stage for the story of Cathan and Beldyn. If you've ever read any of the Dragonlance series, you've most likely heard about the Kingpriest and the fiery mountain that was dropped onto Istar as punishment for his demands upon the gods. Well, this is the series that fleshes that out and its probably one of the best crafted of the Dragonlance series.
Chris Pierson incorporates elements of gaming into his stories while also reconciling those elements with the DL folklore (which sometimes varies a great deal from traditional D&D). He also breathes life into characters that have become almost goofy caricatures... Fistandantilus and Beldinas, the Kingpriest. Here we see why Beldinas was so awe-inspiring - and you wonder how it all goes so wrong. We also see that Fistandantilus was cruel, powerful, and calculating wizard... Pierson doesn't shy away from gore that you normally don't find in DL books. But the best character, by far, is Cathan, a young man who throws away his faith when his family is almost completely wiped out by disease and he must resort to life as a bandit. Cathan's role in the story of Istar is much larger than you would ever suspect.
I really enjoyed this series and was actually a little surprised at it. The opening is definitely dry... maybe a little too much description of the opulence of Istar and the fabulous feasts for me. But as things get moving and we see how Beldyn came into power, the story will start to grab you. This was, for me, the weakest of the trilogy, but it was still a good book....more
So this book gets mixed reviews, obviously. I'm a Sandman nut, and I really enjoyed it. Yes, it doesn't jive with most of the traditional volumes - buSo this book gets mixed reviews, obviously. I'm a Sandman nut, and I really enjoyed it. Yes, it doesn't jive with most of the traditional volumes - but it's also just as important to the storyline as any of the other books. So if you want to get the full impact of the Sandman storyline, read this book! It's considerably dark, like a fair amount of Sandman, and has some of that fun horror of the earlier volumes mixed in. Also, if you want to enjoy and understand the characters that show up in the Death spin offs, you gotta read A Game of You. I think it's an often misunderstood book - give it a chance....more
Okay, I'm a Neil Gaiman nut, but it took me ages to read American Gods. And I think the book was overhyped to me. It really didn't have the same appeaOkay, I'm a Neil Gaiman nut, but it took me ages to read American Gods. And I think the book was overhyped to me. It really didn't have the same appeal that Sandman did. Maybe part of my problem was listening to the audio version, which did not have great sound quality and the narrator was really awkward. He sounded like he should be reading with a corncob pipe in his mouth, which is fine for characters like Wednesday, Czernobog, and Hinzelmann, but terrible for Laura and makes it sound like your grandfather is reading you a lot of strange sex scenes. Blerg! On top of that, I really didn't care for Shadow or for the in-between stories about how the gods came to inhabit America. The pace was just too slow and ponderous for me. Perhaps that's what comes from reading too many comic books? :P...more
When the Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are chased out of Boneville and into the desert, they think they’re done for. Even worWhen the Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are chased out of Boneville and into the desert, they think they’re done for. Even worse, a storm of locust separates the cousins, leaving them to wander alone through a strange valley. When winter falls (quite literally), Fone Bone meets up with Thorn, a beautiful young woman, and her grandmother, Rose. Only Gran’ma Rose suspects what the arrival of the Bone cousins means for her granddaughter. Fone Bone is guarded by a mysterious red dragon who has a history with Rose, and Phoney Bone is being hunted by a hooded figure that has the power to invade dreams. This epic fantasy, a mix of Tolkein and Looney Tunes-style characters, takes readers from the lush forests of the valley to the thrilling Great Cow Race between Gran’ma and The Mystery Cow to the echoing depths of Tanen Gard. Thirteen years worth of writing and drawing make up the compilation of Jeff Smith’s incredible work.
This edition of Bone compiles the nine books that make up the story arc. Without meaning to, readers will go from one book to another, long after they’ve promised themselves to turn the lights out and go to sleep. The artwork and story blend together perfectly, despite the mix of outrageously cartoonish characters such as the Bone cousins, and the realistic, if not sometimes caricatured people of the valley. The story often relies on humor, but there are touching, serious moments and tense storylines that keep you on the edge of your seat. The single volume will allow readers to see the scope of Smith’s story, from beginning to end. Don’t be discouraged by the heft of the book!...more