Graphic Novels, Comics and Manga

Graphic Novel/Manga Review: Deep Scar Volume #1

Deep Scar Volume #1 by Rosella Sergi – ebook, 217 pages

I received a copy of this via Edelweiss+ so thanks so much to everyone who gave me that chance!

I’m going to be honest and say that I don’t actually have that much to say about this book. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though!
In this volume, Sofia moves into her new flat as she starts university. Her parents are pretty strict and this is the most freedom she’s ever had. Her boyfriend isn’t all that happy about her flatmates, and her parents wouldn’t be either, if they knew what they were like. But Sofia has been looking forward to this her whole life, and is determined to enjoy it.


One of her flatmates, Lorenzo, gives very mixed signals. One minute he’s shouting at her, and the next he’s drunkenly hugging her and defending her to others. The last part of this volume, where Lorenzo becomes more protective of Sofia, really started to draw me in. I wanted to find out more about his strange behaviour, what it is about Sofia that makes him act so different.

I’m giving this 4 stars, as the second half intrigued me so much.

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Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: What Makes Girls Sick and Tired

What Makes Girls Sick and Tired by Lucile de Peslouan and Genevieve Darling – eBook – Published March 18th 2019 by Second Story Press

Thank you to the author/publisher and Edelweiss+ for providing me the opportunity to read this.

This isn’t a generic comic book; it’s a non-fiction collection of feminist arguments and criticisms of society. Each page holds a single item, beginning with some variation of the title. It ranges from simple, everyday things to more serious abuse and sexism. Every piece is just as important as the last.

The art in this book was great – not too busy, with a carefully controlled colour palette. The girls are drawn to really represent the variety of us in society.

My only real criticism of this book is that there maybe wasn’t enough detail on some pages, and some things that I, personally, think to be important have been missed out. Of course, it’s impossible to include everything, but I’m not sure there was really enough in this book. 4 stars.

Graphic Novel/Illustrated Memoir Review: A Fire Story

This is similar to The Best We Could Do in that it is both a series of comics and a memoir. It’s the story of the Californian fire, and how it affected Brian Fies and his wife’s lives.

Fies begins by illustrating how the couple awoke on the night of the fire, and how they began to frantically yet methodically pack up their belongings. He details the escape, the bewilderment they felt and the huge sense of loss. Later, he really emphasises how much a person grieves for the loss of their home and belongings. It’s not the value that’s important, it’s the memories.

Throughout the book there are also several other people’s experiences. Some were also in their home at the time of the fire, while others were on holiday abroad, watching the events unfold through social media. All of these accounts had one particular thing in common: they all mention how they did not expect to be gone from their homes forever. They thought they would be able to return soon, and did not plan on leaving everything behind for the final time.

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Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

This was a fantastic book. Fies included little comics illustrating “a day in the life” after the fire, where the little, seemingly insignificant things reminded them of their loss. He also follows up with the process of reconstructing their house – and outlines some of the difficulties they never expected to face.

The art was lovely, with enough detail to clearly illustrate the events. The dialogue was perfect and sounded completely authentic, and expressed the emotions well. 5 stars.

Graphic Novel/Illustrated Book Review: Petit (The Ogre Gods, Book #1)

Thank you to Edelweiss+ for providing me with a copy of this book!

This book was a sort of combination of a graphic novel and a novella. The ‘current’ plot was portrayed through a series of comics, while stories from the past were written out with a few illustrations here and there.

The concept of this book was really interesting. While being viewed as a runt by most other ogres, Petit was seen by his mother to be the savior of his kind. His grandmother, on the other hand, was hopeful that Petit would be able to live a human life, rather than be one of the ‘monsters’.

There was a slightly creepy, disturbing feel to some of this, especially where Petit’s mother wanted him to “breed” with human girls. Petit’s own relationship with one girl was a little confusing to me; I thought he really liked her, but then he went on to have a relationship with another ogre instead. In general, this was a little confusing to me. But I must say that this may be partly due to my edition being a draft copy, and so the layout was not quite correct.

I really liked this story, and really wanted to like it, but was left a little lost at times. For this reason, I’m giving it 3.5 stars.

Manga/Graphic Review: Seto Utsumi, Volume #1

This manga was comprised of seven chapters, each containing a separate story. Well, story is not quite accurate… Each chapter is really a new conversation between the two teens as they sit by the river after school. They talk about anything and everything, from girls to bullies to ghosts. It’s sweet at times, when the boys’ affection for one another is made apparent, even without them actually voicing it. They tease each other endlessly, argue and taunt each other, but all in good humour.

Some of the things they talk about did seem rather shallow to me, and the way they spoke was a little strange to me. I get the feeling that this is aimed more at readers who understand the culture a bit more and can relate to the characters.

Personally, I found the book a little boring overall. There was no real plot, which can be nice sometimes, but just felt a little… lost here. Sometimes the boys spoke about interesting topics, but I would have liked to hear more about their personal lives, their emotions and fears.

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Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

This was a strange read, honestly. I didn’t particularly like it, though I didn’t dislike it either. I just didn’t really connect with the characters or enjoy it that much. 2.5 stars.

Manga Review: Sota’s Knife

This manga is about a young man called Sota who is working as a kitchen hand in a restaurant in Japan. He dreams of reviving his own family restaurant, and stays late most nights to practice his own cooking.

In this, Sota meets several challenges, mostly cooking-based. They all have some sort of sweet, positive answer or conclusion, and Sota uses his passion for cooking and his father’s and friends’ advice to find the answers without any external help.

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Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

The grammar wasn’t perfect, which I believe may be due to translation errors. I also didn’t find it that easy to follow at times, and some of the speech bubbles weren’t placed particularly clearly. The writing itself was a little hard to go along with too, honestly, and it wasn’t the most exciting manga. But there weren’t really any overwhelming faults, so I’m giving this 3 stars.

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Open Earth

This is only a short book, and my review is also only going to be short.

Basically, this focuses on members of a human colony who have left Earth. The teens in this colony are the first generation of Earthlings not born on Earth. The main character – who’s name was rarely mentioned – strongly wants to create new customs and culture, as she believes the Earth culture is what led to the planet’s ultimate demise. Her parents are more interested in preserving old cultures, though, and find her ideas of ‘normal’ to be quite extraordinary.

There wasn’t much of an overarcing plot really, only the story of the girl and her many lovers. Basically, her and her whole friendship group are all in a polyamorous relationship. There are a lot (and I really do mean a lot) of sexual scenes, but they are written in a way that normalises the behaviour.

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Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

The girl realises she has a different connection to one boy in particular, and wants to move into his home after his sister moves out. But this makes the others fear that they’re going to ‘couple off’ and cut them out of their lives.

It was a pretty strange book, honestly. It’s good to be normalising different relationships such as this, but I didn’t see any other plots really going on. 3 stars.

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Death of Love

Another Edelweiss+ copy I downloaded. (There was a deadline on the files, hence the mass of Edelweiss+ reviews posted these past few days. It’s over now!)

Philo Harris really can’t get any girls, so he signs up for some class on being the ‘alpha’ that women biologically desire. He hangs out at a bar after with some other guys who had attended the class, giving the whole alpha thing a go. It doesn’t go particularly well for any of them… Then a stranger turns up offering pills. (Yeah. That’s never good.) Of course, the guys say no. But then Philo gets really, really, drunk, and decides to swallow one.

Bad. Decision.

After that, he can see cupids. Or cupidae. (Whatever.) And… He kills one.

BAD. DECISION.

Now they all want revenge. Philo turns to his friends for help, but they just assume he’s tripping on some dodgy drugs. Or gone crazy. They definitely don’t believe the cupids are real.

Until Philo doses their drinks and they are subjected to the angry little winged men in diapers, too.

Of course, they’re angry. But they don’t have time to argue; they have a HELL of a lot of cupids attacking them. And this ‘boss’ they keep talking about…? Yeah, he is not happy about all the cupids being killed.

This was a really funny novel! It was superbly written, fantastically drawn, and just great fun to read. There was clearly a lot of knowledge on the gods and ancient mythology, which really helped create depth and authenticity to the story. The characters were great, and Philo actually showed remarkable growth as a character. It contained a fair amount of language and some dirty humour, but I think it all fit really well. 4 stars.

Graphic Novel Review: Sheets

Again, I found this on Edelweiss+ and am really glad I did!

So this is a graphic novel about a thirteen-year-old girl struggling to maintain her family’s laundry business after her mother’s death. Things keep going wrong, and Mr Saubertuck makes an offer to Marj and her family – give up their home and business in return for lodging and work at Saubertuck’s new spa & yoga resort. Marj’s father says they should accept it; Marj refuses. Her mother loved their house, and she is not going to give it up without a fight.

Marj soon discovers that some of her problems have been caused by a supernatural presence. Wendell has escaped from his ghost town and returned to be among the living despite it being against every law in the ghost rulebook. As Wendell remembers more and more from his life, Marj is struggling with the business, her nasty classmates, and her longing for her deceased mother. When she meets Wendell, she can’t believe her eyes. Ghosts aren’t real. Are they?

The pair have a rocky relationship, as Wendell accidentally risks the fate of Marj’s whole family. But Marj soon links Wendell to an old memory, and realises that he is not the one to blame for the problems her laundry business are facing. Wendell goes to extreme measures – nearly being arrested by his ghost-kin – to help Marj get the business back up.

The story is really, really lovely. The colour palette is perfect, and the art is just beautiful. It’s a really sweet book, with lots of lovely little details. It’s touching and emotional, but resolved really nicely. 4 stars.

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Twisted Romance Volume #1

I would like to thank Edelweiss+ again for providing me with this book.

This is actually a collection of short stories as well as comics, all of which are separate from one another. I won’t go through every story, but I will talk about a few.

The art of each comic is very different from the last, as is each plot. As the title suggests, every story is a romance of sorts – but not the conventional, boy-meets-girl kind. A majority of the relationships in this are same-sex, and there is even a polyamorous relationship in one. Bondage is discussed – and described – and my favourite story involved a young princess being held prisoner by a dragon, only to be freed by a spider.

Most of the stories had some sort of fantasy or paranormal element, but not all. There were tragic stories, happy stories; all sorts. As can be expected, there were some I liked more than others. Because of this, it is hard to review the book as a whole. For the most part the writing was really good, and most graphics were lovely. (There were a few I wasn’t so partial to, but that’s just personal preference.) Romances are generally not my favourite genre of stories so I wasn’t that enthralled by this, but I do appreciate the uniqueness of this collection and the quality of the stories. Some were really fantastic, and I really enjoyed having so many different things included. 3.5 stars.