In this first collected volume of the Octopus Pie series, we follow grumpy twenty-something Eve and her stoner roommate Hanna as they navigate post-college life. They'll take on crazed childhood rivals, troubling art scenes, the discomfort of exes, and maybe even... friendship? All this and more in the fictional, totally made-up city of Brooklyn. Well paced and grounded, ranging from funny ha-ha to odd observational humor, Octopus Pie s ultimate hooks are its flawed but genuine characters. Booklist"
Meredith Gran lives and work in Brooklyn as a freelance comic artist & occasional animator. She's been drawing the webcomic Octopus Pie since 2007. She teaches a weekly webcomics course at the School of Visual Arts. She also wrote and drew the Eisner-nominated Adventure Time comic book spin-off, Marceline & the Scream Queens.
I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This book was a disappointment for me, I had hoped to be amused and at times I was. However, for the most part I was just bored. This graphic novel is about a girl named Eve, as she experiences life and works her way through awkward social situations and post-college life.
I just didn't click with this at all. I'd find my attention grabbed for a handful of pages and I'd be amused and interested, then I'd spend the next thirty pages bored with barely a clue what's going on. I found the characters very dull, and I just couldn't make myself interested in this book. I had to force myself to read this in several sittings, and sadly just couldn't find anything I really enjoyed about the title. This just clearly wasn't my cup of tea, maybe it will be yours, so don't let my negative review put you off.
Didn't get into this story about two long-lost friends who are now rooming together. The characters and the situations they get themselves in never really interested me, and I had some trouble distinguishing between some of the characters.
OK I got about a third of the way through it but I can't do any more. It's fine. The two star rating says "It was OK" and that's what this is. If there were no other books to read, or all the libraries burned down and NetGalley went belly-up, I would read this book and happily enjoy it. Honestly I even chuckled a time or two.
But I can't give it more than that. I think Meredith Gran has talent, but I don't think this book is there yet... or it just isn't the book for a 49 year old grandmother... yeah, that probably is exactly it. Now I feel about a hundred years old, but I wouldn't recommend the book if you're a day over 25.
Thank you to NetGalley for the advance copy in exchange for a review... the truth is I did not dislike the book, it just isn't for me, but I'd happily try another one from the same author in the future.
2.5 STARS. For some reason I was hoping this would be more like Giant Days since it follows two girls and their friends out of college. And I know this is a collection of comics that were originally put on the web, but the disconnect between stories was a little too much for me. Most of the stories were pretty boring, though some I laughed out loud at. I had a love hate with most the characters, they would do something awesome, and then annoy me again. This was just far too long for being about every day life. If these had been cut up and put into smaller volumes I may have enjoyed it more, but I have no interest in continuing on with this series.
Octopus Pie actually surprised me by being very good. I haven't had luck with comics depicting everyday life of certain people. Usually they aren't that funny and the structure hardly ever works if there's no real plot. Octopus Pie surely works, since even if there's no real plot, it still moves forward and things evolve. The comic is about Eve and Hanna, who've moved in together as roommates. Eve is a bit snarky when Hanna is a pothead. Mostly the comic tells about their ordinary and not-so-ordinary lives as well as their friends' and whatnot. The structure works nicely and the humour in the comic is dark and clever. All the characters are interesting and true to themselves, which makes them interesting and odd. I do like that the emphasis isn't fully on the relationships, but there is s much more happening alongside Brooklyn being the stage where everything happens. Octopus Pie reminds me of Daria actually. Still, the comic needs some polishing as it's somewhat scattered, but Gran will surely be able to pull it- all the potential is there.
The art looks great and the naïve style is a good choice. The art is a bit Hanna-Barbera-like, but it's not a bad thing in this case. The characters have their own distinct looks and the lightness of the art is a wonderful combination with the dark humour. The lack of colours doesn't bother either, but actually makes this more defined, since there's already a lot happening in the panels. I'll be surely checking the next volume and I'm glad we have comics like this - comics that are witty, entertaining and so ordinary. Good work, Gran.
I picked this up on a whim. It looked like a collection of comic strips. The artwork looked decent. The characters on the front cover looked interesting. The title was intriguing. I had never heard of it before. It's rather fun. My brain keeps wanting to call it, "Friends: the Comic Strip," but I happen to know that my brain has never watched a full episode of Friends, so its expertise in this analogy is suspect (just between us, I often suspect my brain doesn't know what it's talking about half the time, but don't tell it I said that, okay?) We have two women in their twenties, Eve and Hanna, sharing an apartment in New York City, working, hanging out with their friends, and generally figuring out adult life and their place in it. This was originally a web comic, and I'm assuming it originally appeared a page at a time (the pacing and layouts make it seem more likely to me that these initially appeared as pages rather than single strips, but I could be wrong.) This is certainly not gag-a-day material. Gran blends comedy and drama, and the humor is driven by characters reacting to situations rather than setting up punchlines. The comic doesn't really hit its stride until the laser tag storyline (Stoners vs. Nerds!) What comes before that isn't bad, but there's a sense of Gran still figuring things out, who her characters are, and so on. The most memorable stories for me were the aforementioned laser tag, and the RenFest sequence. I generally like this book in spite of the shaky start. Volume 2 promises to be better, and I'm looking forward to it.
The synopsis of this book seemed interesting. I usually love this kind of secuential art because it's funny but also contains some things to think about. This book was funny but only sometimes and unfortunately I couldn't find any reason to keep reading. The story didn't captivated me and the characters were not as developed as I expected. However, if I see another book by this author, I could give it a try.
-I recieved a copy of this book through Netgalley but this fact didn't influence the review.-
In this first collected volume of the Octopus Pie series, we follow grumpy twenty-something Eve and her stoner roommate Hanna as they navigate post-college life. They'll take on crazed childhood rivals, troubling art scenes, the discomfort of exes, and maybe even... friendship? All this and more in the fictional, totally made-up city of Brooklyn. Well paced and grounded, ranging from funny ha-ha to odd observational humor, Octopus Pie s ultimate hooks are its flawed but genuine characters.
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Rating: 4/5 Stars Quick Reasons: cute artwork, funny characters; great cast of personalities; some wonky formatting issues later in the ebook version that made reading the strips difficult; sometimes weird, jumpy transitions
Huge thanks to Meredith Gran, Image Comics, and Netgalley for access to a copy of this read in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my reading or feelings/opinions of this book.
This collection of comic strips is both entertaining and entirely human, covering a wide variety of topics, morals, and “lessons.” The characters were the first thing to jump out at me—their personalities, from the very beginning, shine through everything else, making them much more realistic. Eve and Hanna, in particular, are quick to both strike a nerve and snatch up your heart—with every page turned, you'll wonder what new shenanigans the girls will find themselves in, and what lessons they'll pass along to readers.
The artwork is cute, though there are some formatting issues through most of the ebook that made reading the strips and deciphering every miniscule detail difficult. I'm not sure if this was a copy error, or a file formatting issue, but it got pretty annoying trying to squint and figure out what some of the words were. This also made the reading experience slightly unpleasant at times, as I couldn't always tell what the panel was portraying or saying.
There are also some weird, jumpy transitions between panels from one page to the next; often, I didn't pay these much mind, but there were moments when I had to go back and read the page before over again to try and figure out what had happened/that we'd switched to a different subject. There is, of course, no real “plot line” or “wide-reaching story arc.” Because this is a collection of comic strips, you need to go into this read expecting scenes and subjects to shift rapidly between each section–there are morals, lessons, or humorous anecdotes within each, though they don’t all work together cohesively in terms of story-telling.
Regardless, this cast of characters was quirky, cute, and interesting to read about—I had a great time diving into these strips and learning more about our cantankerous main character and her wild-child roommate. I would recommend this collection to lovers of comics, graphic novels, and humorous adventures.
'Octopus Pie: Volume 1' by Meredith Gran is a comic about mismatched roommates and their friends living in Brooklyn. The comics range from humorous to light drama.
Eve is in need of a roommate and she finds one in Hannah, someone she knew as a child. The problem is that they have very different personalities, including Hannah's pot smoking. Throughout the comics, we follow these twenty-somethings and their various friends. Eve works at an organic food store run by Olly, who is a bit tyranncal and cheap. In one sequence, she designs a new logo for the store which ends up getting her boss fired. There are new boyfriends and old boyfriends and trips to a renaissance fair that go all strange.
I like the pacing and I think the art is pretty good. It's not the best thing I've ever read, but I'm curious how it will evolve. Early comic runs can feel a bit rough until the writer/artist gets a handle on how the characters look and act, but these characters feel pretty well formed. The situations could have felt more maudlin or overdramatic, but the tone stays light. I enjoyed it and I'll be back for the next volume.
I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Diamond Book Distributors, Image Comics, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)
In this first collected volume of the Octopus Pie series, we follow grumpy twenty-something Eve and her stoner roommate Hanna as they navigate post-college life. They'll take on crazed childhood rivals, troubling art scenes, the discomfort of exes, and maybe even... friendship? All this and more in the fictional, totally made-up city of Brooklyn.
I was left feeling rather disappointed after only a few pages. I picked this up and put it down maybe half a dozen times, just hoping that I could get into it, that maybe my mood just wasn't right at the time.
I don't think that was the problem though.
For me, it was just a jumble of somewhat related comics (web-comics, I understand) and shoved together to make a book. No disrespect whatsoever to the artist/author - some of the comics are clever/funny - but to turn it into a book with no real theme or cohesiveness to the collection, it just felt disjointed and hard to keep reading.
I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for a review. Despite that kindness I'm candid below.
The nutshell on this one is that it's a collection of daily comics that depict the life of a fresh-out-of-college woman and her druggy roommate. They have a series of typical but quirky experiences as they make their way though life.
To the positive, the characters are dry, witty and feel like real people. They're flawed and at times troubled but manage to muddle their way through. I wasn't laughing out loud at any point whatsoever but there was the ring of recognition at times.
To the negative, sitting down to read this in one go did feel a bit jumpy. Transitions were at times lacking and more importantly the story didn't seem to have any over-arching point. We're just seeing the characters doing their thing for the sake of doing it and I felt no deeper meaning. That's OK, certainly, but one always loves a point.
In summary, it's an interesting comic I'd never heard of before now. I'm not quite motivated to go seek out more of it but it's amusing enough.
Thank you to Netgalley for a free copy of this in return for an honest review.
The premise is a grumpy sarcastic 20-something in the 90's with a stoner roommate living in Brooklyn. And that pretty much covers it. I didn't love the characters and I felt like they weren't fleshed out very well but they really took me back to people I used to know. Stoner chick who only eats vegetarian "organic" food and is chirpy happy all the time and doesn't get it when things suck because she's always so high. Stoner chick's stoner boyfriend who adores her and the world in general. Sarcastic chick who thinks she's better than all that but hates everyone and everything. Maybe in the next volume more will happen so I can get to know the quirks behind these people.
At first, it was good. I wasn't in it for the humor, I simply liked the premise of seeing the "adult life" through the eyes of a grumpy adult. I liked this exact thing about the book, by the way, the best part of the book was Eve, then the art; though I like more clear and attentive drawing, this worked the best for this. Though, it did get a little too sloppy at times. Oh well.
On the other hand, the storyline, if there was one in the first place, couldn't keep my attention for long. Octopus Pie is a webcomic, and I think it might be good in small doses, just not in a bundle. It also might be that I didn't like Hanna at all.
I follow a lot of content creators on Twitter, most of whom are comic artists, many of whom I'm not even remotely familiar with their work. I mainly follow them because I love the art they post every so often, and the rest of their tweets are entertaining/wholesome enough that I chose to follow them. Meredith Gran was one of those. I'm not too into webcomics (anything other than Homestuck or Hark! A Vagrant and I'm pretty apathetic about it), but when Gran had tweeted the personal story that got her writing Octopus Pie upon the comic's completion, I was intrigued enough to check it out. And I really liked it a lot.
A lot of the negative reviews I skimmed through on here seemed to miss the point of the comic, or at least were of a demographic that couldn't appreciate it. And I saw things through their eyes at first, too: I had gone in blind, and was annoyed by YET ANOTHER comedy story about disaffected millennials in New York City. (My annoyance at this genre goes beyond the fact that it's way overused; it's quite frankly a personal grudge against the portrayal of the Struggles of the Artsy City Kid, which is always told through the tinted glasses of privileged creators who don't understand know a thing about the struggles of us artsy kids who are automatically ten times more disadvantaged than any of them by being unable to afford living in a cultural hub or attending a prestigious liberal arts college.) But the more I read it, the more I loved it. None of the humor in the comic was based off of Gentrifying-Brooklynite Struggles, with the exception of mocking how stupid the ever-invasive hipster culture is (which is mostly universal at this point anyway). Rather, the humor was almost always based around human interactions and how our friendships and personalities change as we get old and (ultimately) more cynical. And the brilliance of the comic was how SUBTLE and COMPLEX the humor was. There were jokes that snuck up on me so much that I was already two panels away before it sunk in, but then it REALLY made me laugh.
Ultimately, Octopus Pie is a story about begrudgingly growing up; quarter-life crises; struggling to coincide who we are and who we used to be, with who we think we are and who we want to be; and learning to get along with people, both personally and professionally, in environments we may not originally like. I found myself relating to all of the characters in Octopus Pie, finding comfort in knowing that all the worst traits I have that were exhibited by various characters, can still be endearing (or at least not despicable). And for the first time in a long time, I felt hope that--just maybe--I can eventually learn to be happy with who I am. None of the characters particularly are, nor are they living the life they particularly had planned; both things I am completely burdened by myself these days. But they're still trucking on, and they're LIKABLE, and I RELATE to them, and these are things that give me hope for myself. Which is a damn accomplishment on Meredith Grans part. Kudos to her. I plan to keep reading Octopus Pie, and I'd definitely recommend it to all existentially tormented, cynical 20-somethings with a sardonic sense of humor and feelings of personal inadequacy.
I had come across Octopus Pie a couple times on people's Best Webcomics lists. The series just ended, so I thought this would be a good time to start reading it from the beginning.
Why I finished it
The first short arc about the stolen bicycle was a beautifully executed metaphor for loss and grief, especially knowing that the author had just lost her father at the time she was writing this. Unfortunately, shortly after this, the strip quickly fell into a much slower, comic-of-the-day kind of pace that failed to continue to hold my attention, so although I planned on reading the whole series, I decided to stop after this volume.
What I want to remember
The bicycle sequence. So transparently about loss and grief, the defenses we built around ourselves in the grip of it, and how that inadvertently leads to isolation and hurting others.
I enjoyed the Sunday comic feel of Octopus Pie, it made the pacing fun and breezy. The beautiful thing about the comics medium, is the showing a reader to otherworldly possibilities. Octopus Pie, had many opportunities to be more daring, more animated, more exciting in its representation, but just barely scraped the surface of visually simulating moments. Evidence of this can be seen during the Renaissance Festival chapter, or even the ice skating chapter, great set ups ripe with possibilities, but ultimately as action packed as an episode of Seinfeld. Yes Octopus Pie is humorous, but that shouldn't be all a comic has to offer. I believe it would make for a better off beat sitcom. Indie comics about the mundane real world tend to just be...well...mundane.
Given that this is one of Christian's favorite comics of all time, it was only inevitable that I would end up reading it.
The things you get excited for the fastest-- are the things that get boring the fastest. Anything that ever meant a damn took a while.
I liked it a lot! It felt more real, somehow, than many of the comics I've read lately. I think Gran captures the general malaise of being in your mid-twenties pretty well. Looking forward to the next volume.
Kate Beaton told us to read this, so I did, but pretty much everything about the first volume annoyed me. I gave it another try, and the second volume didn't improve my feelings.
Basically, the art is cute, but the characters are all just bumping into each other as conflicts spring up out of nowhere, then disappear just as suddenly. The relationships aren't meaningful. The moments of honesty are brief. And the cat looks like a dog.
This is my favorite serialized comic after Calvin and Hobbes and Gunnerkrigg Court. Melancholy, irreverent, and bittersweet. I don't know how well it will age ten years down, but this is an amazing snapshot of our generation. And the things Gran does with speech text and bubbles is worth drooling over. Would recommend to anyone.
It was just okay. The graphics were really cute, and I think that if you like graphic novels, you'd actually really like it, but I just can't get into graphic novels, so I didn't have high expectations going into the book. I just couldn't get into the episodic chapters in it, rather than one continuous plot line. But if you like contemporary graphic novels, you probably would like it.
Started the series because it's important to my spouse and he just bought the whole set. Kinda dumb at first, but the ren faire arc is pretty great and I like the characters a lot now. Very relatable if you've ever lived through your early 20s in a city, working a retail job. Excited to read the next one.
Very cute, if a little dated due to age. I’m a huge fan of Gran’s new game “Perfect Tides,” and I was interested in checking out her other work. This didn’t grab me to the same degree as PT, but it’s very cute and funny and a solid comic. I’m interested to see how her work evolves as the comic continues.
I keep reading raves about this but didn't think it was very good. The pacing was awful and I couldn't tell some of the characters apart. Perhaps the later work is better, as is often the case with webcomics, but I'm not trudging through this to get there.
I read this quite a while ago so although I don’t remember a lot of the story, I do remember really enjoying it. It’s one of the few graphic novels I’ve found that is more about adult life and is absolutely hilarious! I loved all the unique and quirky characters and wish there was more to read.