In the last month or so, I have been amazed by how many graphic novels I’ve been reading. I usually don’t read too many graphic novels at all but recently, ever since I seriously started going to my local library; I finally borrowed a bunch I’ve been wanting to get to.
The primary reason why I don’t usually read many graphic novels or comics is that they’re quite expensive. Although I appreciate that they’re the same price as traditional books because it takes so much time to create the art, I’ve never found a graphic novel with a style I love so much to keep or one that seems worth the price when, as you can see, I can borrow them from the library and I read them all pretty quickly.
Anyway, I thought I would do some mini-reviews for the graphic novels I got to recently since I did love some but also didn’t love some.
1. Monstress by Marjorie Liu
One of my most anticipated graphic novel reads that ended up being the biggest disappointment. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I just know I’d been recommended this a few times and seen it pretty often online too. I did not expect such a level of complexity in world-building, plot and character development through a graphic novel. The world-building was a little too slow and made the first half of this very confusing for me. I can see why many people enjoyed this but I think it just wasn’t what I was looking for in this book format. I was left less suspenseful but more irritated by how confused I was for the majority of it, I did not like the art style at all – it was a strange mix of manga and I don’t know what else but I didn’t find it interesting or pretty to look at, personally. I might continue this series but I very much doubt it right about now.
2. The Umbrella Academy Vol 1: The Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way
A warning by a friend was not enough. They told me this would be weird, and it was weird. This graphic novel is many shades of weird and definitely taught me that these kinds of books sometimes really need for me to pay attention to all the details within the art rather than focussing on dialogue. This was weird, predictable in that superhero way but still very enjoyable and now I’m definitely tempted to watch the Netflix adaptation and perhaps get my hands on the next volume when it becomes available at the library.
3. Paper Girls Vol 1 – 3 by Brian K. Vaughan
I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into when starting this graphic novel series. I knew basically nothing about it other than having seen it around a bunch but I didn’t even know the plot and it’s actually pretty hard for me to even explain it. What I do know is that the I enjoyed the first volume, loved the second the most and it kept me on the edge during the third volume I devoured. The plot and storyline are crazy, the characters didn’t have much development to work with but were each their own individuals and promoted diversity and strength as a woman subtly enough to win me over. It was so fast-paced that I was left reeling a few times in complete shock and confusion. The illustration style was lovely but not always my thing. Overall I’m not too sure about this series because it’s weird but all I know if that I kind of want to keep reading more just to see what happens. Aka, pretty enjoyable.
4. Heartstopper Vol 1 by Alice Oseman
I have been seeing this graphic novel non-stop whenever I’m on social media or browsing BookTube videos. There has definitely been a lot of hype for this ever since Alice announced it, especially because I believe it’s the physical collection on her current online webcomic series. I didn’t know much about this other than it was an LGBTQ read and that it had a gorgeous cover. I have to say that overall, it was definitely a cute read. The illustration style seemed so authentic and sketchy that it made me imagine Alice jotting all this down when she was 16 instead of paying attention in class. This book was just super sweet & wholesome, nothing very deep but fluffy and cute.
5. Mooncakes Vol 1 by Suzanne Walker
A super cute graphic novel with an interesting plot. Personally loved the illustration style the most out of all the other graphic novels I read. Great diversity and representation in the characters, great inclusion and general acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. It did feel a little predictable and cringey at times and I wish I could’ve seen Huang and Tam’s relationship develop a little more with – I guess more time and maybe more backstory than the fact that they were previous friends. The witchy vibes were great and this book feels like the perfect contender for an adorable witchy middle-grade cartoon tv show someday since I personally don’t think there was enough complexity and development for it to target young adults. Overall a great quick graphic novel read. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this one.
Do you read graphic novels often? What did you think of any of these or hope to read sometime soon?
Until next time,