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. 



------------------------------------------------------------

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.



------------------------------------------------------------

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.



------------------------------------------------------------

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.



------------------------------------------------------------

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. 




------------------------------------------------------------

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

Friday, August 9, 2019

The Chancellor and the Citadel by Maria Capelle Frantz (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

The Chancellor and the CitadelAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
The Chancellor and the Citadel
Author/Illustrator: Maria Capelle Frantz
Release Date: January 29, 2019


Synopsis: The world is over. All that remains is the Citadel, and the Chancellor who protects it from the hostility beyond its walls. But what can she do when a fearful and angry mob is convinced she brought the world to ruin in the first place, and are determined to make her pay for it by destroying the one bastion of hope the world has left?

In her dramatic, richly imagined graphic novel debut, cartoonist Maria Frantz has created a brisk fantasy tale about the fears that lead to war, and the bonds that can keep a stronghold standing against the darkness.



------------------------------------------------------------

Review: This middle grade graphic novel deals with some pretty cool concepts and plays with interesting moral quandaries. Pretty deep topics of morality and death. Although I was intrigued by the subject matter, I was confused for a majority of the book. I didn't quite understand exactly what was going on. 


I give this book a 3/5. Cool art and interesting concepts, but I could not follow the story. 


--PAUL

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Midnight Radio by Iolanda Zanfardino (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Midnight RadioAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Midnight Radio
Author/Illustrator: Iolanda Zanfardino
Release Date: June 4, 2019


Synopsis: An intriguingly interwoven tale of four lives changed by a mysterious late-night radio broadcast that wakes them up from their mundane existences. Each tale speaks to different social issues without pandering to a political agenda: LGBT+ rights, racism, social network addiction, and the difficult decision between settling down versus following your dreams. Each tale is told in a vivid, polychromatic illustration style that flows from one character to another and back again in a uniquely identifiable fashion.



------------------------------------------------------------

Review: This graphic novel follows four different, interconnected stories. Each character only uses one color in their panels. I really liked the style. Each story has its own theme, but they all connect. This is a very modern story. Very Millennial. It's all about the modern social media age. This is a mature graphic novel that includes nudity. 


I give this book a 4/5. I really enjoyed the artistic style of the varying stories and the modern relevancy of each story. 


--PAUL