Newest Graphic Novels Reviews

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Talking to Gina by Ottilie Hainsworth

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Graphic Novels, Pets

This is what happened. An artist decided she needed a dog – so drove the length of the country, Brighton to Grimsby, to pick up an Eastern European immigrant street dog with some mange and one working eye. Why not? The first night at home, Gina – the dog – eats something she shouldn't and causes a mess, so it's not a great start, but then begin the tribulations of training, status and behaviour all humans must go through with their dogs. And then, the life with Gina begins to feel like too much – I felt weird about you, because you were always there. My thoughts were taken over by you, and I felt sick, as if I was in love. Slowly, however, everyone – our artist/author, her husband, two children and two cats – gets to form the family they and Gina all would have wanted. Full Review

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Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Graphic Novels, Confident Readers

Ebo is twelve years old and all alone. His sister left for Europe months ago and now he doesn't know where his brother is either but knows that he has probably done the same thing. So Ebo has to attempt the same dangerous journey himself. He must cross the Sahara Desert, get himself to Tripoli, one of the most dangerous cities in the world, and then try to cross the Mediterranean Sea. By himself. At twelve. And, even if he makes it, how will he find his sister? Full Review

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Batman: Dark Knight III: The Master Race by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Graphic Novels

Batman is not playing ball. He's been videoed duffing up Gotham policemen, and not the baddies he usually biffs. But then he's not Batman – he's a she, and she finally comes up with the news that Batman died in her hands. Elsewhere, Lara, the daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman, is encouraging Ray Palmer/The Atom to turn his technologies concerned with shrinking and expanding life to the miniaturised city of Kandor, the last vestige of Kryptonian existence not to fly about in visible blue pants. What with Superman sitting idle in an exposed Fortress of Solitude having gone into a sulk, and Batman dead, there would appear to be little in the way of help for the world should anything nasty happen – but then, of course, something nasty does happen… Full Review

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The Gritterman by Orlando Weeks

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Graphic Novels

There's a man who has an ice cream van. In summer, what there is of summer, he uses it to sell ice creams, That's not his vocation though, but it does keep him going whilst he waits for winter, when the van becomes a Gritting Van and our narrator becomes a Gritterman. The fibreglass 99s on the roof light up and rotate, playing a tune, whether the van's gritting or selling ice creams. Tonight - Christmas Eve - will be the van's last trip. The council has sent the letter about his services no longer being required. Global warming. Dying profession, they say. There's even a tarmac now that can de-ice itself, but the Gritterman isn't sure that he wants to live in a world where the B2116 doesn't need gritting. Full Review

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Buddha: An Enlightened Life (Campfire Graphic Novels) by Kieron Moore and Rajesh Nagulakonda

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Graphic Novels, Biography

I don't do religion, but still there was something that drew me to this comic book. For one, the whole Buddhist faith is still a little unknown to me, and this was certainly going to be educational. Yes, I knew some of the terms it ends up using, but not others, such as bhikshu, and had never really come across the man's life story. Yes, I knew he found enlightenment and taught a very pacifist kind of faith, but where did he come from? What failings did he have on his path, and who were the ones that joined him along the way? Full Review

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Water Memory by Mathieu Reynes, Valerie Vernay and Jeremy Melloul (translator)

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Graphic Novels

Despite the title, it seems at first the memories here are much more earthy, for Caroline has brought her young daughter to the place she herself left as a toddler. The move has been caused by a break-up, and it's just the two of them in the family unit, making a fresh start (with the help of a kindly old neighbour) in an old house on a promontory of the Brittany coast. Young Marion soon discovers the clifftops are peppered with strange standing stones, with even stranger figures, initials and dates carved on to them. She also soon works out there is a way to get across a causeway at low tide to the local lighthouse, manned as it is by a gruff, surly old man. But while Caroline's beginning anew starts with a nice local job, things are slowly getting more creepy. Large sea creatures are beaching themselves, the stones' imagery is found in even stranger places - and the lighthousekeeper seems to hold darker secrets. What memory could possibly be in this storm-drenched land? Full Review

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The Lyrical Comics of Dillies Set: Including Abelard, Bubbles & Gondola, Betty Blues by Renaud Dillies

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Graphic Novels

A young duck who plays horn in a jazz band is so rapt in his music he doesn't see his girlfriend leaving the bar with another man, which compels him to throw his instrument away and seek a change of scene – without realising what that might entail. A young mouse writer finds himself in the company of solitude, whether he likes it or not. And a young bird with a happy life still itches to learn what is over the horizon, and partly inspired by a crush on a girl he knows, seeks an entirely new life in America to attain the sparkly things that might be what turns her head. Yes, these graphic novels are entirely peopled by animals – sometimes unspecified species, too – but they have a very mature look at the world, and it's not a world where everything comes up roses… Full Review

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Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens, Graphic Novels

It's camp. It's supposed to be fun.
Well excuse me for not having the time of my life.

That simple piece of dialogue is the key to this autobiographical graphic novel. Why is Maggie not happy at camp? Forget the way she's isolated by being a sleep-walker, and ignore the fact she's from a different state to every other girl around, and practically only there to obey her mother's family tradition – she's all of a sudden become an ace shot on the rifle range, and can boss the Backstreet Boys-themed talent performance. But those aren't enough for Maggie to feel settled and like she's enjoying her summer, and anyway they do come with their own problems. No, the bigger problem is something else – the fact that she seems to be falling in love with one of the counsellor campers, there to look after the welfare of the younger inmates – being potentially a lesbian is a shock to our narrator. Full Review

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Ratchwood Dilemma by Duncan Watson and Brian Bicknell

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Graphic Novels

Well, this is a singular book and make no mistake. The first part of the trilogy led us in quite bewildered steps from a hive mind crash-landing at Roswell and infecting a scientist, through a religious espouser being shot live on TV and the death of Judas, right up to some kind of godhead having to better the existence of what, you know, the more commonly perceived God, had left us with. I think. Here we start with an A&E case where one of a pair of twins is left in near-vegetative state, but one advisor suggests that before the crash or whatever that caused the problem in the first place there might have only been one person. We see a man with the ability to snatch people out of space/time – in a world where that can happen who knows how stable anyone or anything or anywhen might be? And what might any slight imbalance in the universes mean? Full Review

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Tarzan - And the Lost Tribes (Vol. 4) (The Complete Burne Hogarth Comic Strip Library) by Burne Hogarth and Rob Thompson

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Graphic Novels

Normally I turn against the most popular. If there's a book series that I know is, say, seven volumes long, I shrug and let people enjoy it. I've been bitten too often by series you think are complete being extended, for one, and the originator's death too often never puts the full stop you'd expect on things. But some franchises are much longer, but too important to ignore. Take, for example, the series (of series) surrounding Tarzan. Unless fully in the know, you will be surprised at just how many films there were back in the day. I'm not going to count up the number of official books he was in. He was also in comic strips, as you might expect, but for my sins they've never crossed my path until here. But boy isn't this just a wonderful way to see what I was missing… Full Review

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The Loxleys and Confederation by Mark Zuehlke and Claude St Aubin

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Graphic Novels

There is a huge hole in my history knowledge where North America is concerned. Slowly, from an opening of sheer ignorance, having never studied it whatsoever at school, I've got a small grip on things like the Civil War, the foundations of the USA and a few other things. But that means nothing as far as this book is concerned, for that huge hole is Canada. No, I didn't have an inkling about how it was trying to unify, just as the American Civil War was in full pelt just across the border. I didn't know what was there before Canada, if you see what I mean. The story does have some things in common with that of their southern neighbours – European occupancy being slowly turned into a list of states as we know them now, slowly spreading into the heart of the continent with the help of the railways etc; native 'Indians' being 'in the way'; past trading agreements to either maintain or try to improve on; and so on – but of course it also had the British vs French issue. But did you know how an American President getting shot at the theatre had a bearing on the story? Or the Irish? Like I said, a huge hole… Full Review

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Children of Lucifer: Modesty Blaise by Peter O'Donnell and Enric Badia Romero

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Graphic Novels

Out of ninety-five diverse comic strip stories, the publication of this book leaves just the last three yet to be presented in these fabulous large format paperbacks. So if you haven’t yet met with the sassy brunette with her curves and her great crime-solving mind, and of course with her Willie, this is the last-but-one chance for you to do so. And if you have any interest in quick little action tales, or even dated kitsch, for both apply here, then you should eagerly be on board… Full Review

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The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains: Oddball Criminals from Comic Book History by Jon Morris

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Graphic Novels

As much as I like comics – and I do, whether superhero ones or not – I have to admit one thing, namely that the villains in them are a bit pants. What is The Penguin but the world's worst Mafioso, with a hobby of waddling along like his pet birds? Where else do you win an Oscar of all things by playing a two-bit killer who just fell in a vat of random chemicals and changed colour, and got mardier as a result (although recently he's become a nanotech genius – but let's not go there)? And what is it with the gimp in the see-through plant pot because he is the embodiment of cold? And that's just some of the better-known enemies of Batman, one of the better goodies. You can imagine how awful the baddies related to the bad goodies can be. And if you can't, this is the perfect primer. Full Review

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The Pavee and the Buffer Girl by Siobhan Dowd and Emma Shoard

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens, Graphic Novels

When Jim's family halt at Dundray, his heart grows heavy. A new Buffer school for this Pavee boy to attend. Jim doesn't like school. He doesn't like Buffers. And you know, you couldn't really blame him because the distrust and suspicion is mutual. Prejudice against the Traveller community is strong and when Jim and his cousins turn up on their first day, it's to stares and muttered insults from the pupils and condescension from the teachers. Within days, Moss Cunningham and his gang have accused Jim of stealing a CD - he did no such thing - and have begun a campaign of threats, bullying and worse. Full Review

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One Trick Pony by Nathan Hale

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Graphic Novels

Forget the moon being made of cheese, here the Earth looks like it's a huge dollop of the finest Swiss stuff. Horrid, giant insectoid alien things have taken over, and they have zapped anything technological they can find – pumping a blob of something over it, and turning whatever turns up in the resulting spheres into sand, or carting it off to larger ships. Our heroes belong to a travelling caravan of a village, keeping intact as much human knowledge as they can (think a digital version of those readers in Fahrenheit 451), but they've left their compatriots behind to go exploring. They'll never expect to find a magical, wondrous, robotic horse, though – which is where their problems begin… Full Review