Sunday, November 9, 2014

Brief Reviews Fall 2014 part 1

The StorytellerFans of The Storyteller tv series or anyone who enjoys folklore and comics will like this collection of new, old stories.  Each story tells a classic tale with the distinct style of Jim Henson's Storyteller and his faithful dog.  The style of writing and artwork varies from one story to the next but they are all of good quality.  I especially enjoyed the extra artwork with quotes from the original series.  My favorite part of the collection was the final story based on an unproduced Storyteller script.  It's a delightfully disturbing Russian folktale about a witch baby.  Another highlight was the gorgeous artwork in the Puss in Boots adaptation.   Jim Henson's The Storyteller edited by Nate Cosby: buy it or check it out today!

Jane, the Fox, and MeI enjoyed this evocative Canadian comic about a lonely girl who finds solace in Jane Eyre.  Helene struggles to survive school while being teased by her former friends.  Then her class goes to nature camp which holds even more horrors in store.  There she meets a fox and befriends another girl relegated to the fringes.  Most of the story is told in shades of brown and black except for the scenes from Jane Eyre.  The art is simple but expressive. The most detail is to be found in the portrayal of nature in the backgrounds.  The end isn't of the Hollywood variety but it is happy in a quiet and realistic way which makes it all the more moving.  Jane, the Fox, & Me by Fanny Britt & Isabelle Arsenault: buy it or check it out today!

The Reason for DragonsThis comic builds tension by walking the line between fantasy and reality leaving the reader guessing if the characters have really seen fantastic creatures, if they're delusional, or both.  Northrop has a lot of fun playing with the conventions of Renaissance fairs and it shows up in creative touches like the faux brochure at the front of the book.  The artwork is gorgeous and the color palette does a great job creating atmosphere. The Don-Quixote like knight provides plenty of humorous breaks.  There's some fun short stories at the end by guest writers and authors.  It's a nice quick read for fans of fantasy, humor, and ren faires.  The Reason for Dragons by Chris Northrop and Jeff Stokely: buy it or check it out today!

Boxers & Saints Boxed SetThis work of historical fiction examines the Boxer Rebellion from two perspectives.  Not only does it do an excellent job of educating readers about an event that usually gets very little attention in American history classes but it does a fine job entertaining them as well.  The characters are rounded and intriguing, the pacing quick, poignant moments are balanced with humorous ones and some scenes are evocative of super heroes in a way that is sure to draw many readers in.  Whether you're looking to educate yourself or for engaging entertainment this two-part series is an excellent choice!  Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang: buy it or check it out today!

Cleopatra in Space #1: Target Practice (Cleopatra in Space, #1)The premise for this comic is absolutely absurd but its execution is so darned delightful that I do not care.  A young Cleopatra sick of studying plays hooky with a friend and ends up accidentally time travelling to the future.  She was apparently expected by some sort of shadow government made up of talking cats.  Cleopatra quickly acclimates to her new life in outer space and starts getting in the kind of harmless hijinks you'd expect from any outer space school story.  Of course it turns out that she's a crack shot and withstands unreasonable tests of her ability with grace while insisting that she's not the savior everyone thinks she is fated to be.  The plot is standard but its juxtaposition with such a unique setting made it enjoyable.  The charming artwork and sassy cat sidekick might have played a big part in why I liked it so much. A quick, light adventure story for anyone who ever wondered what famous historical figures would look with a ray gun.   Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack: buy it or check it out today!

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