Sunday, June 10, 2012

Some Graphic Novels and Other Book Related Updates

Things have been crazy lately. But that doesn't mean I haven't stopped thinking about things, or that I haven't been reading... entirely.

I've been on a graphic novel binge, so I thought I'd share some graphic novels that have caught my eye. I also had the opportunity to share some of these with elementary and middle school age kids on my school visits to promote summer reading. So a few of these are geared for younger audiences, but I found them quite appealing as an adult.

 Laika by Nick Abadzis

This one stuck with me. Yes. It's one of those sad, dog books. But it's so much more. I became fascinated with this doomed little animal that was to be the earth's first biological organism to survive, albeit briefly, in space.

It blows my mind that they put together the Sputnik II mission in less than a month, to ride off the positive publicity of Sputnik the First. The narrative was well done, and the visuals of the first and the last panels were satisfying.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

I guess I'm a sucker for biographical graphic novels. Especially ones like Smile that deal with an issue, or similar issue, I've dealt with in my own life. Raina is a sixth grader who is facing braces. This wouldn't be so bad of an issue, if she didn't bust out her two front teeth after a girl scouts activity one night.

I suppose I connected with the angst that a young teenage girl would deal with in this situation. The author/artist captures the feelings perfectly, and I had flashbacks to my own tween and teen years when I lost my left front tooth. The root canals, the pain, the self image issues, all of it, is humorously documented in Smile.

The Last Unicorn a graphic novel based on the novel by Peter S. Beagle

Beautiful. Books like this are going to stay in print when paper backs wither away. There's nothing like the visual beauty of a well done graphic novel. And honestly, while I didn't follow the story in this one too closely, I still got a lot out of the illustrations themselves. They portrayed a mood and tone that I think exemplifies the character of the melancholy unicorn.
At the Mountains of Madness a graphic novel based on the novel by H.P. Lovecraft

One reviewer on goodreads pointed out that if you are unfamiliar with Lovecraft, and would like to casually check him out, this would be the place to start. This graphic novel contains all the elements of a Lovecraftian story (as it follows the original source closely), but without the epic sentences and verbose language that Lovecraft employs in his work. Worth checking out, but I didn't find it nearly as eerie as the original work.

So check those out if you haven't.

In other book related news, I'm also listening to Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson on Audible, and am enjoying it quite a bit. It's been difficult to read "real books" lately, so I'm getting by with audio books and a heaping portion of graphic novels.

And if you haven't listened to the Gilbert Gottfried reading of the BDSM erotic bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey, I am embedding the video here because DEAR GOD it is hilarious. (It also contains Gilbert Gottfried reading word for word from an erotic text, so, obviously, there is going to be language in this.)


  1. Apparently there's a parody of Fifty Shades of Grey called "Fifty Shades of Earl Grey" coming out in July.  I have a copy that's floating in the ether somewhere between NYC and here, and I'm pretty excited to read it.

    The Lovecraftian comic looks like it has a lot of potential!

  2. Grace, that sounds awesome! I'm a huge fan of Earl Grey so I'm am doubly excited. Have you seen the parody with Selena Gomez? Fifty Shades of Blue?


Please leave a comment.