Friday, September 13, 2019

Witchy (graphic novel) by Ariel Slamet Ries - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Lion Forge via Edelweiss. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

WitchyAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Witchy
Creator: Ariel Slamet Ries
Upcoming Release Date: September 17, 2019


Synopsis: In the witch kingdom Hyalin, the strength of your magic is determined by the length of your hair. Those that are strong enough are conscripted by the Witch Guard, who enforce the law in peacetime and protect the land during war. However, those with hair judged too long are pronounced enemies of the kingdom, and annihilated. This is called a witch burning.

Witchy is a comic about the young witch Nyneve, who is haunted by the death of her father and the threat the Witch Guard poses to her own life. When conscription rolls around, Nyneve has a choice to make; join the institution complicit in her father's death, or stand up for her ideals?

Witchy was nominated for the 2015 Ignatz for Outstanding Online Comic, the 2016 DINKy for Outstanding Web Comic, and the Danish "Pingprisen" for Best Online Series in 2017 and 2018.



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Review: In a world where your magical ability is representative by the length of your hair, one young witch hides her true appearance while at her school for magic. There's a big test approaching that can determine each student's future. I really enjoyed the Hogwarts feel to this comic, but unlike Hogwarts there is diversity among the characters! I loved seeing a trans character featured. 


The artwork in this book is beautiful. Really great imagery. It's a fantasy world full of history. The world is so much bigger than just this story, which is always great to see in a fantasy story. It's reminiscent of Avatar: The Last Airbender, too. 

This is a really fun, interesting story. There are some cliches and tropes, but those come with most fantasy stories. There is a bit of info dumping too, which is also pretty common in a fantasy story. 

I give this book a 4.5/5. This is a rich fantasy world full of interesting characters doing interesting things.  


--PAUL

Monday, September 2, 2019

Grease Bats by Archie Bongiovanni (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from BOOM! Studios via NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

43121848. sx318 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Grease Bats
Author: Archie Bongiovanni
Upcoming Release Date: September 3, 2019


Synopsis: So, no one told you life was gonna be this gay! Grease Bats stars Andy, a trans genderqueer individual who is both tough and loving, and their BFF Scout, an all-feelings-all-the-time mistake-maker. 

Andy and Scout are best buds, roommates, and gay disasters. Along with their friends and plenty of beer, they’re just trying to make it through their 20s, survive late capitalism, and navigate the dating world. Tough and loving Andy is a genderqueer trans individual, who dates like there’s no tomorrow, while Scout, an all-feelings-all-the-time mistake-maker, is still languishing over her ex-girlfriend…from like two years ago.

Created by Archie Bongiovanni (The Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns) and originally published on Autostraddle, this edition collects all the best misadventures, internet dates, and bad decisions in one place! 



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Review: This graphic novel is a beautifully queer collection of comic strip stories. There's so many different topics covered. The stories showcase the challenges and struggles of queer people. But, there are also some pretty hilarious parts. I give this collection a 4/5



--PAUL

Friday, August 30, 2019

Stage Dreams by Melanie Gillman (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Graphic Universe via NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Stage DreamsAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Stage Dreams
Creator: Melanie Gillman
Upcoming Release Date: September 3, 2019


Synopsis: In this rollicking queer western adventure, acclaimed cartoonist Melanie Gillman (Stonewall Award Honor Book As the Crow Flies) puts readers in the saddle alongside Flor and Grace, a Latinx outlaw and a trans runaway, as they team up to thwart a Confederate plot in the New Mexico Territory. When Flor--also known as the notorious Ghost Hawk--robs the stagecoach that Grace has used to escape her Georgia home, the first thing on her mind is ransom. But when the two get to talking about Flor's plan to crash a Confederate gala and steal some crucial documents, Grace convinces Flor to let her join the heist. 



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Review: This Old West story is wonderfully queer and diverse. Trans and indigenous characters. Outlaws on an adventure. There's even a fancy ball scene. This graphic novel is very cute and I absolutely love all the intentions behind this story, but it did not keep my attention. I found myself bored while reading this book. It is simple and cute. I think i Just wanted more. I give this book a 3/5. There need to be more books like this, but this particular book just did not keep my attention.



--PAUL

Thursday, August 29, 2019

No Ivy League (graphic novel) by Hazel Newlevant - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Lion Forge via Edelweiss. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

No Ivy LeagueAmazon | Goodreads

Title: 
No Ivy League
Creator: Hazel Newlevant 
Upcoming Release Date: September 3, 2019


Synopsis: When 17-year-old Hazel Newlevant takes a summer job clearing ivy from the forest in her home town of Portland, Oregon, her only expectation is to earn a little money. Homeschooled, affluent, and sheltered, Hazel soon finds her job working side by side with at-risk teens to be an initiation into a new world that she has no skill in navigating. This uncomfortable and compelling memoir is an important story of a girl's awakening to the racial insularity of her life, the power of white privilege, and the hidden story of segregation in Portland.



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Review: This graphic novel is a great memoir style introspection about an important summer that changed a young person's perspective on the world during an important age of development. Privilege is at the heart of this story. Understanding it, realizing the unfair benefits, and understanding your own. Race, class, gender, and teen hormones. 


I give this book a 4/5. It's a great look into the early 2000s Pacific Northwest. Class differences, homeschool, race, and so many other topics are brought up. This book gives you plenty to think about.


--PAUL

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Meal (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Iron Circus Comics via NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

MealAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Meal
Creators: Blue Delliquanti & Soleil Ho
Release Date: January 4, 2019


Synopsis: Yarrow is a young chef determined to make her mark on the cutting edge of cookery with her insect-based creations. Though her enthusiasm is infectious, it rubs some of her fellow cooks the wrong way, especially Chanda Flores, Yarrow's personal hero and executive chef of an exciting new restaurant. Her people have been eating bugs for centuries, and she's deeply suspicious of this newbie's attempt to turn her traditions into the next foodie trend. While Chanda and her scrappy team of talented devotees struggle to open on time, Yarrow must win over Chanda -- and Milani, the neighbor she's been crushing on for weeks -- or lose this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve her dreams.



Co-written with chef and food writer Soleil Ho (Edible Manhattan, Bitch), Blue Delliquanti's sweet coming-of-age story takes us deep into a world of art, mystery, and memory on the culinary frontier.



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Review: This graphic novel is both a story and an informative narrative. It almost serves as a recipe for entomophagy cooking (or bug eating). This book provides great arguments for the use of insects in cooking as a protein. The story follows a restaurant with a certain special protein as its main attraction. 


I really liked the concept of this book, but the story just did not draw me in quick enough. It was slow and not exciting enough, for me. I give this book a 3/5. If you're interested in eating insects, you should definitely check this book out for some info and background. It is the future. 


--PAUL

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Wrong Earth, Vol. 1 (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Ahoy comic via NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

The Wrong Earth, Vol. 1Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
The Wrong Earth, Vol. 1
Authors: Tom Peyer & Paul Constant, 
Artists: Jamal Igle, Juan Castro, Frank Cammuso, Gary Erskine, & Tom Feister
Release Date: May 14, 2019


Synopsis: Collecting the smash-hit miniseries that launched Ahoy Comics! On dark, gritty Earth-Omega, masked vigilante Dragonfly punishes evil maniacs and evades corrupt authorities. On sun-splashed Earth-Alpha, costumed crook-catcher Dragonflyman upholds the letter of the law. Now they're trapped on each other's worlds, where even the good guys don't share their values! 

This volume also collects The Wrong Earth 1-6, including all the original Stinger and Dragonflyman backup stories, plus extra behind-the-scenes features.



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Review: Two different worlds. Two different superheroes: The Dragonfly and Dragonflyman. I love multiverse stories. Alternative possibilities. I could hear Adam West's and Christian Bale's voices in these characters. The two worlds and their characters are so different. I like the changes in vocabulary. There's one world where guns are the answer to everything. In the other, ridiculous over the top things happen. And there's also a lot of sexism, racism, and misogyny. The story calls out hypocrisy and biases. Privileges.  


This story is essentially Adam West Batman and Christian Bale Batman, but with enough new character traits to make them unique individuals playing with the established tropes. Deuce is a "Harley Quinn"-like character and she is pretty damn awesome. There's a great last page reveal. I am excited for volume two!

I give this graphic novel a 4.5/5. It's an original concept playing with classic tropes in a well executed way. I love multiverse stories, especially when they provoke ethical thinking. There's a lot of great questions that are brought up. I hope the next volume continues these moral quandaries. 


--PAUL

Monday, August 12, 2019

Hotel Dare (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from BOOM! Studios via NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Hotel DareAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Hotel Dare
Author: Terry Blas
Illustrator: Claudia Aguirre
Upcoming Release Date: June 11, 2019


Synopsis: It’s not your typical family vacation when Olive, and her adopted siblings Darwin and Charlotte find themselves falling into other worlds as they explore Grandma LupĂ©’s strange hotel.

OPEN THE DOOR. ADVENTURE AWAITS. 

Olive and her adopted siblings Charlotte and Darwin are spending the summer with their estranged grandma at her creepy hotel and it’s all work and no play. They’re stuck inside doing boring chores but they soon stumble upon an incredible secret... Behind each room door of the hotel lies a portal to a different strange and mysterious place. The simple turn of a knob transports them to a distant magical world filled with space pirates. Behind the next door are bearded wizards. Down the hall is a doorway to a cotton-candied kingdom. But once the doors are opened, worlds start colliding, and only one family can save them before they tear themselves apart. 




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Review: Three kids are spending their summer with their eccentric grandmother in her unusual hotel in Mexico. What starts out as a contemporary family story quickly turns into an adventurous fantasy with portals that lead to many different worlds. The artwork is beautiful. The various worlds each have their own distinct style. There's a pretty epic battle panel.


This story showcases different types of families. It's full of acceptance and diverse characters. This book kept my attention the whole time. Full of excitement. I give this book a 5/5. There's so much great going on in this story! 


--PAUL