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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.

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/Comic Book Review: Perdy Volume #1

Thanks again to Edelweiss+ for providing me with a copy of this!

This is a very different style of comic to anything I usually read. Firstly, it’s an old Western style comic. It’s also kind of a comedy; tons of dodgy jokes and sexual innuendos throughout. There’s also a lot of swearing and crass language.

The main character is Perdy, a woman a little past her prime, who is released from a 15-year prison sentence at the start of this book. As the cover suggests, Perdy is a big fan of sex. She uses her womanly charm to seduce men – or teach them a lesson, depending on the situation.

The story gets interesting when we meet Rose, a young woman running a flower shop in Petiteville. She also happens to be the daughter of Perdy. She is pursuing a new-found love interest when her mother returns to the scene, interfering with her relationship. As Rose becomes exceedingly irritated by her mother, we see into her past life. The book ends with Rose planning to get rid of her mother again.

I liked the sketchy style of the panels, as well as the handwriting-style font. The ‘voice’ of Perdy is really well-developed, and I am definitely interested in what’s happened between Perdy and Rose. I’m giving this 3.5 to 4 stars.

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Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Prism Stalker Volume #1

Another copy I received via Edelweiss+.

This volume collected the first 5 issues of Prism Srtalker. In these we meet Vep, a young Inaman refugee. She is taken from her current residence upon an asteroid and enrolled in an academy on a new planet. There are dozens of different species here, as well as members from other Inaman tribes. Vep tries to help several times, but soon finds that help is not always welcome.

The students in this academy are taught how to manipulate the energy upon the planet, as well as their own physical form. I got a little bit lost on this part, but it seemed pretty cool. Vep struggles with it, worrying she’s ‘missing’ some vital part of herself. She is picked on by several other students, but soon manages to make some friends within the academy.

I was very much reminded of Shade: The Changing Girl during the first part of Issue #1 of this, where Vep is sort of communicating with her ancestors, learning the ancient language of her tribe. And of course, the art style is incredibly similar. The colours are amazingly vivid, with tons of geometric shapes and lines throughout, as well as a lot of fluid movement and forms. It was really gorgeous to look at; at the start, where Vep is learning her tribe’s language, there is a lot of tribal influence in the art, which I thought was wonderful.

I really wanted to like this, but I did get a bit too confused. I just couldn’t quite catch on to the story. Still, I appreciate the art and the originality of the concept. 3 stars.

Graphic Novel Review: Dejah Thoris Volume #1: The Gardens of Mars

This novel follows Dejah Thoris, princess of Helium, a Red Martian civilisation. Since hearing about the legendary Gardens of Ephesyium at a young age, Dejah is determined to find it. Martians constantly fight over water, but legend says Ephesyium holds the secret to being able to create water. Surely this would end all the fighting?

Despite everyone strongly discouraging her, Dejah manages to set out into the deserts of Mars with a small group of scientists. (But not before accidentally releasing a prisoner, and being caught stealing one of her father’s ships.) However, she is immediately made aware of the dangers that lie in the deserts, and quickly learns the true responsibilities of being a leader.

Dejah Thoris is a great character; she is so strong and powerful, and refuses to obey orders she does not believe in. I did think her design was rather sexualised, though, which was quite disappointing. The art was, overall, really lovely, though. I loved the warm colour scheme.

The story itself was really enjoyable. It was exciting and included unexpected twists, keeping you interested throughout. There were a few noticeable grammar mistakes/typos, and the writing wasn’t as fluid as it could’ve been at time, but nothing overly bad. I didn’t feel much emotion/connection between characters, though. Relationships seemed almost nonexistent.

Again, thank you to Edelweiss+ for providing me with a copy of this novel. 3.5 stars.

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Batman and Robin Volume #3: Death of the Family

I only want to do a short summary of this book, as it’s pretty similar to the other two in terms of style and everything.

First, Damian sends Bruce across the world following “clues” he’s set out, based on the Wayne family. He has a hidden agenda that Bruce soon discovers, though, which tests Bruce’s trust for his son.

And then following the “zombie” attack in the last volume, Batman and Robin find themselves facing another army of the Joker’s creation. This time, however, they’re against each other.

I love the Joker, and the way the ordeal with him and the whole Bat family took place was great. Plotting them against each other was probably the mode evil thing he could have done.

Finally we see the dreams had by Alfred, Bruce and Damian, reflecting their inner fears. I thought this a nice issue, especially since it included Alfred’s dream. I love the relationship between Alfred and Bruce, and seeing how he cares for Bruce is always lovely.

3.5 to 4 stars for this volume.

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Batman and Robin Volume #1: Born to Kill

Damian, despite being a bit of a self-centred, arrogant little boy, is one of my favourite characters. I mean, he’s a ten-year-old superhero. That’s pretty cool.

I also love his relationship with Bruce – hence why I was so eager to read this series. Bruce as a father is great in general (I mean, he’s not great, but it’s amusing and sweet to read) but I think the clash of personalities between him and Damian makes it even more interesting.

My ultimate favourite is, of course, Alfred Pennyworth. He’s as snarky as always in this, but is no less badass than any other member of the Bat family.

The plot of this novel is based on Nobody, or Morgan Ducard as he’s actually called. Throughout the book we learn about his past with Bruce, and the reason for their rivalry. 

Throughout this story Damian is developing hugely – and will continue to do so in later issues. His upbringing turned him into the perfect killer, and he’s finding it hard to agree with Bruce’s “no killing” policy. But Bruce is encouraging him all the way, and refuses to give up on him.

The moments between Bruce and Damian can be so sweet, and I loved watching their relationship develop and become more secure. Batman will always need a Robin, and Robin will always need a Batman.

4/5 stars.

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Harley’s Little Black Book

I love Harley Quinn as a character, so I happily agreed to review this novel. It definitely wasn’t as great as I hoped, or as good as Harley as a character in Suicide , but it still had some strengths.

So in this book, Harley basically just collects together a load of tales from her adventures with various characters. It contains a hell of a lot of innuendoes and sex jokes, and a makeout scene with Lobo that I really was not interested in seeing.

I did feel like Harley was just made out to be a bit of a sex-crazed idiot at times, when there’s actually a lot more of her character to be shown. There was a flashback to her childhood experience of being bullied, which I thought was fantastic. 

There was still the loveable, crazy character being written, and the whole stories/general writing had that kind of fun tone that I love about Harley. Again, it was maybe too light and fun, but it was a nice little read. 

Thank you to the author/publisher for giving me a review copy of this book

I maybe wouldn’t have liked this half as much if it was any other character, but I just love Harley Quinn. It wasn’t her strongest appearance, though, despite it being her own book. I’m going to give it 3 stars out of 5. 🌟🌟🌟