Saturday, June 25, 2016

Orpheus in the Underworld by Yvan Pommaux

Orpheus in the Underworld by Yvan Pommaux
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 56 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by TOON Graphics
Orig. French, 2009
Source: Received a review copy from the publisher

TOON Books: Level 4

This is one of the higher level books in the TOON series and the second book by Pommaux in a subseries of mythologies. I'm a great reader of Greek mythology but this is one I have lesser familiarity with. I guess, I steer away from the love stories. It's a great tale though and half of it takes place in Hades, my favourite stories always involve Hades. This tale is a combination of "Romeo and Juliet" (doomed lovers) and the biblical story of Lot's wife (can't resist the temptation to look back). An exciting tale including love and romance, tragedy, and the doom and gloom of the Underworld. The art is gorgeous and appropriately done in the classic style. Another winner from Toon Books!

World War Two: Against The Rising Sun by Jason Quinn

World War Two: Against The Rising Sun by Jason Quinn
Illus.  Naresh Kumar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 168 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Campfire
Source: Received a review copy from the publisher

I'll be brutally honest; this is not a page-turner nor is it exciting or entertaining. However, it is the best book for teens I've read on the Pacific War & the Asian Holocaust. It is informative, interesting and intense. Compellingly unbiased this graphic novel tells the soldier's story of the Pacific War from every angle: the Japanese, the British the Burmese, the Thai, the Chinese, the Russians, the Indians (those fighting for each side), Malaysians, Australians and the Americans. While not being terribly graphic in either pictures or words, the author & illustrator pull no punches in showing the atrocities of the Japanese and their cultural mindset at this time. It also explores the plight of many countries trying to choose between their British Empirical oppressors or the tyrant Japanese who falsely promise an "Asia for Asians". Fantastic piece of work on this subject that every library with teen readers should have on the shelves.

Amelia's Middle-School Graduation Yearbook by Marissa Moss

Amelia's Middle-School Graduation Yearbook by Marissa Moss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 80 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Creston Books
Source: Received a review copy from the publisher

Amelia's Notebooks (#31)

This is the latest and the first Amelia book I've read.There are somewhere around 30 books in the series now, starting with her in Grade 3 and this one celebrates her graduation from Grade 8. It's a big year with some upcoming shocks, and high school will once again put her on low totem pole starting off wth Gr. 9. This isn't really a graphic novel, it's more story but it does have drawings and comic bubbles meaning it can claim to be a graphic hybrid. I love these styles of books such as (Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Jedi Academy) Amelia's book is short, looks just like a composition notebook and is written in a handprint font. Fun heart-warming story! I'd have no problem going back and reading the series from the beginning someday.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

FCBD 2016 Nobrow Hilda/Akissi/Fantasy Sports by Luke Pearson, et al.

FCBD 2016 Nobrow Hilda/Akissi/Fantasy Sports by Luke Pearson, et al.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Comic Book, 32 pages
Published 2016 by Nobrow Press
Source: gift

I review a lot of books for Nobrow/Flying Eye and they were kind enough to surprise me by mailing me their first contribution to "Free Comic Book Day". This is a great little comic for fans or the uninitiated who want to see what Nobrow is all about. First, there's a part of "Hilda and the Stone Forest" which is the latest book in the series. I'm one book behind still but this makes me look forward to this volume. Then comes "Akissi" which I've never heard of but was very funny, It is for the younger crowd and possibly may be set in Africa somewhere. Then finally is part of Fantasy Sports Vol. 2, which I have read and am not a fan, but it translates to this format well and is a good introduction to let you know what the series is all about. Thick, quality, glossy paper.

Tokyo ESP 2-in-1 Omnibus, Volume 4 by Hajime Segawa

Tokyo ESP 2-in-1 Omnibus, Volume 4 by Hajime Segawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 388 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Vertical Comics
Source: Purchased the print copy

Tokyo ESP (Vol. 4)

Continues to be fabulous! The art is fantastic. I just love this series. This volume begins a little confusing as it's over a year since the last book and we are introduced to new characters. These characters attend the Superhuman school and by the end of the book I'd fallen for all of them. A new bad guy has turned up following in the Professor's footsteps creating the Superhuman Defense front. They all wear masks so we don't know who they are. A few are revealed this volume. We have very brief glimpses of the White Girl and a hint at what she's been up to, but the ending suggests she'll be a part of the series again soon. This volume ends with all our new major characters in peril. Thank goodness Vol. 5 arrived in the mail this week.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Goodnight Punpun Omnibus (2-in-1 Edition), Vol. 2 by Inio Asano

Goodnight Punpun Omnibus (2-in-1 Edition), Vol. 2 by Inio Asano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Goodnight Punpun (Vol 2)

This is difficult for me to really discuss, as the book really makes my mind spin. It's dark, vulgar and trippy. Punpun's story continues and by the book's end, he is high school age. He goes through normal events for this age of teen boys but he suffers extreme depression, talks to an imaginary head he calls "God" and is generally doom and gloom about everything. This volume has a side story telling the background of his uncle, how he starts dating again and the woman moves in with them. Punpun's uncle is a major depressive and his past with women is totally whacked out. I still find it very hard to identify with these characters (Punpun and his family) simply because they are drawn as bird-like stick figures. The sex scenes are plain creepy. However, I find the whole story so dark and deep, it is utterly compelling... go figure. The volume ends with a life or death situation and I cannot help but continue to read on.

Poppy! and the Lost Lagoon by Matt Kindt

Poppy! and the Lost Lagoon by Matt Kindt
Illustrator: 
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Paperback, 144 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by Dark Horse Books
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Unfortunately, this was a letdown. I love Matt Kindt, with "2 Sisters" and "Red-Handed" being among my favourite of his standalone books. I was excited to see he'd written a kids book but found it very bland, if not boring. Kindt's books usually contain quite complex stories leaving one with much to this about. Poppy doesn't come anywhere near that quality. For an action/adventure, I found the tale incredibly dull and had to force myself to finish the book. The main character is unlikable as she's a know-it-all with no respect for her mature guardian. The plot just had the two of them (using various James Bond type vehicles) following some fish and a "gigantapus" because the ecosystem they lived in had failed when they left the region. The book ends all mysterious letting us know there are plans for another book in the series.