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Archived (2016) > Nimona Discussion Thread - Best Graphic Work Nominee (2016)

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message 1: by Paul (last edited Feb 29, 2016 01:56PM) (new)

Paul (paul_sff) | 70 comments Hello everyone, I'm Paul, and I'm the judge running the Nimona discussion. I couldn't be happier because Nimona is currently my favorite graphic novel. What starts out as a story about a goofy, fun side-kick turns into something much deeper, and meaningful. What I especially love about Nimona is you can see Stevenson's craft improve immensely throughout the graphic novel as the art becomes richer, more detailed, and the story more complex.

Nimona is written by Noelle Stevenson and she started developing it while still in university. It started off as a love project while getting her art degree and grew into a webcomic. The webcomic blew up in popularity over the two years she published updates and helped her land a career with Boom! studios. She is now considered one of the best young female comic developers and is kicking butt with Lumberjanes.

I hope everyone enjoys Nimona and I'm looking forward to hearing what people think of it, from the good and the bad. Please discuss below and use spoiler tags when discussing the later part of the graphic novel.

What I would like to encourage everyone to do, is to use social media to post your thoughts with pictures of Nimona. Use the hashtag #booktubesff Take a picture of some of your favorite panels and how you are feeling about the graphic novel. Make sure to mention that you are reading Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. Show your love for this book.


message 2: by Maija (new)

Maija (maijavi) | 60 comments I loved Nimona! I read it back when it was a webcomic, and reread it last year when it came out as a physical book. I love the characters, the balance of drama and humor, and the world where science mixes with fantasy tropes. Seeing the art style evolve is also a lot of fun.


message 3: by Paul (new)

Paul (paul_sff) | 70 comments Maija wrote: "I loved Nimona! I read it back when it was a webcomic, and reread it last year when it came out as a physical book. I love the characters, the balance of drama and humor, and the world where scienc..."

I totally missed it when it was a webcomic. Was there a lot of discussion and talk on the webcomic? How did people react to it mostly?


message 4: by Maija (new)

Maija (maijavi) | 60 comments Paul wrote: "I totally missed it when it was a webcomic. Was there a lot of discussion and talk on the webcomic? How did people react to it mostly?"

I read it quite late on its run, when there were only a few pages left to be uploaded. There was a lot of activity in the comments, and it seemed to be pretty popular. Since I read most of it in one go I didn't get a huge feel of the community.


message 5: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea (coutlaw) | 22 comments Elizabeth wrote: "One of my favourite things about Nimona was its effortless blending of the science fictional and fantastical elements. We had super advanced technology along with armoured knights and magic!

I gu..."


I hadn't even spent much time thinking about that aspect, Elizabeth, but I agree that it plays out so, so beautifully in Nimona. Can't think of another series, graphic or otherwise, that pairs quite this same science/magic, high/low tech kind of polar opposites in both worlds.

Then again, that playing with polar opposites and subverting expectations and standard operating procedure is kind of the whole kit-and-caboodle it seems, where Nimona is concerned, that I'm wondering if there really ISN'T much else out there that plays this dichotomy in such a way.

PS: I adored Nimona, both in content and also in terms of Stevenson's illustration style!


message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul (paul_sff) | 70 comments Great responses, I think the science and fantasy elements work well together because Nimona's shape shifting ability is so fantastical that nothing can compare to it in science. I think a lot of mixes of sci-fi/fantasy doesn't work because magic seems rather lame when compared to science. Why throw a fireball, when you can just shoot a gun, is the type of thinking that makes sci-fi/fantasy mixes struggle at times. It works really well in this story because of the sheer scope of Nimona's ability that basically turns this story into a kaiju or super-hero type story.


message 7: by Kaitlin (new)

Kaitlin (kool_kat_kitty) | 110 comments Mod
Elizabeth wrote: "But neither of these really has that complete high-tech/low-tech and magic combo that I was looking for. Steampunk and dieselpunk also come close but lack the futuristic tech. Anyone got anything else?
"


Dune and Otherland are both kind of 'blurring the lines' Of the two I didn't care for Dune, but I really loved the blend and balance in Otherland, very good sci-fi/Fantasy cross!!


message 8: by Kaitlin (new)

Kaitlin (kool_kat_kitty) | 110 comments Mod
I also love Nimona, it's feisty, fun and filled with life and quirky moments!


message 9: by Linnea (last edited Mar 01, 2016 01:44PM) (new)

Linnea (robotmaria) | 45 comments The first time I tried Nimona I dnf'd it. Today I tried it a second time (because it was nominated for this) and I did managed to make it to the end this time. And I hated almost every page of it. :(

The humour didn't work for me. I did not find it funny, just mostly annoying. I found the artwork incredibly ugly (and I never want to look at it again). The characters were not likeable (except Blitzmeyer, she was pretty cool). Nimona was especially annoying. The story was...something. The book is weirdly structured (which I asssume is because of it's origin as a webcomic) and I felt like it suffered identity crisis' several times. The tone was very inconsistent. It seemed to me that Stevenson had no clear picture of where the story was heading and just threw around random ideas. I suppose the LGBTQ-content was nice, yet somehow that makes me even more angry. I'm angry because it was in a book I consider bad, when I wanted it to be in a good book. (Am I making sense?) As for the mixing of science fiction/fantasy I seem to be in disagreement with most of you here. I love a nice sf/f combo, but in Nimona it felt like just another way the inconsistent world-building reared it's ugly head. Talk about ordering pizza took me completely out of the story. Oh, and they played Monopoly! MONOPOLY! (It was named something else, but it was clearly Monopoly.) If you're a boardgame geek then this is NOT OKAY! Monopoly is a crap game! And yes, I know I'm ranting about minor details now, buy it was freaking Monopoly! [insert "nope" meme here]

So...yeah...I didn't like it. Sorry about that.


message 10: by Paul (new)

Paul (paul_sff) | 70 comments Linnea wrote: "The first time I tried Nimona I dnf'd it. Today I tried it a second time (because it was nominated for this) and I did managed to make it to the end this time. And I hated almost every page of it. ..."

Hey, thanks for giving it another try, most people wouldn't even do that if they didn't like it. During my read through, I'll think about the things you mentioned, and see if any of it sticks out to me.


message 11: by Linnea (last edited Mar 01, 2016 02:28PM) (new)

Linnea (robotmaria) | 45 comments Paul wrote: "Linnea wrote: "The first time I tried Nimona I dnf'd it. Today I tried it a second time (because it was nominated for this) and I did managed to make it to the end this time. And I hated almost eve..."

Clearly it's doing something right, since so many people love it. I don't want to take away from people's enjoyment of it, just because it didn't work for me personally. I think my biggest issue with it was the artwork, which was a turn off for me from page one. If it had had different artwork, and some small edits done, I think I would have been more forgiving of the other things. I would never have loved it, but I might have liked it.


message 12: by Kaitlin (new)

Kaitlin (kool_kat_kitty) | 110 comments Mod
Linnea wrote: "Paul wrote: "Linnea wrote: "The first time I tried Nimona I dnf'd it. Today I tried it a second time (because it was nominated for this) and I did managed to make it to the end this time. And I hat..."

I tend to find artwork can be a major turn off. I liked this artwork personally,but I can definitely understand that if it wasn't your thing then the whole Graphic work may not work either.

Just out of curiosity which art styles do you enjoy?


message 13: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Frase | 1 comments I really loved Nimona as a character! Is it weird I found her slightly murderous tendencies....endearing? I don't know what that days about me. The mix of childlike plafulness and her haunted much more serious past was very interesting.


message 14: by ADPiBookworm (new)

ADPiBookworm I just finished reading this comic. I was not a huge fan. I think the art style just wasn't my favorite. I did find Nimona to be an interesting character but over all the story just fell flat for me.


message 15: by Linnea (last edited Mar 02, 2016 05:05AM) (new)

Linnea (robotmaria) | 45 comments Kaitlin wrote: "Linnea wrote: "Paul wrote: "Linnea wrote: "The first time I tried Nimona I dnf'd it. Today I tried it a second time (because it was nominated for this) and I did managed to make it to the end this ..."

That's quite a difficult question to answer actually, but I think I'm generally attracted to art styles where the people are somewhat realistic looking (Saga, Wicked + Divine, Rat Queens and even Terry Moore's style).

The character designs in Nimona are clearly not realistic. Take for example the left panel in this picture. The way Nimona holds her arms actually makes me feel physically ill, because it looks so unnatural.

At the same time I enjoy the art style in Asterix, which is very cartoony and arguably not very realistic. I also did not like the art in Ms. Marvel, which I expected to do because it seemed like my kind of style in the beginning. So clearly there are exceptions.

I also like some european styles such as in Laureline and Valerian (example) or Wika (example). And in Japan I like the art of Leiji Matsumoto (example).

I don't know if you can draw any definite conclusions about my taste in art, since there'll always be exceptions in both directions. But I think the examples I've given here do give somewhat of a picture of my general preferences. :)

PS: On a somewhat unrelated note, I totally recommend Terry Moore's Echo if you haven't read that. I love that story! :D


message 16: by Kaitlin (new)

Kaitlin (kool_kat_kitty) | 110 comments Mod
Linnea wrote: "Kaitlin wrote: "Linnea wrote: "Paul wrote: "Linnea wrote: "The first time I tried Nimona I dnf'd it. Today I tried it a second time (because it was nominated for this) and I did managed to make it ..."

Really interesting to check out the things you do like and I have to say I can totally agree with you on the hugely unnatural pose for Nimona's arms in that panel. It's definitely over-exaggeration at its finest with some very crazy poses happening.
I also usually prefer a bit more realism to my comics, but this one worked so well for me as it was a light, quick and quirky read and I think that's exactly what I hoped it would be and expected from it :)


message 17: by Paul (last edited Apr 15, 2016 07:49AM) (new)

Paul (paul_sff) | 70 comments Because of other books, I just finished my second read through of Nimona. I'm going to put some thoughts in spoilers:

(view spoiler)


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