Very like at the end of last year, school is keeping me very busy. And honestly, more than being busy, it’s turning my brain to mush. It’s not in the sense that I can’t process information or think critically about a story, but rather in the sense that I have a hard time committing myself to anything overly long. So, graphic novels are a great middle ground. They let me still get a little bit of a fiction kick without feeling overwhelmed (in general and with guilt for not doing something school-related).
As such, I accepted a few graphic novels for review from Vault Comics (through Rockstar Book Tours). So, I’m putting together a little collection of graphic novel reviews that I will contribute to over the next week or so. (I’ve also still got a few left over from the TBR I created during my last graphic novel binge.)
All over the world, secret agents are being murdered by monstrous folk horrors, and not even MI666 is safe. Gina Meyer faces tragedy as a teammate turns enemy. But what of the quest to find out the truth about her past and powers?
This was a fun continuation of the series. Like with the first two volumes, you have to be comfortable with quite a lot of shock-level gore. But there’s some humor mixed in with the horror and a much more solid plot developing. I’ll be happy to continue the series.
A beautiful vampire must flee monster slayers in New York City and reclaim the ancestral soil that restores her undead flesh. But the world has changed since she was reborn in the New Mexico desert, and now, Constance Der Abend and her loyal assistant Dooley , must adapt to life in the rough frontier town of Sangre De Moro, where all sorts of monsters have settled.
I wanted to like this a lot more than I actually did. It started out strong. I very much enjoyed Constance and Dooley’s interactions. I even appreciate some of the humor present in the rest of the story. But I was just so often confused by the sudden appearance of characters with histories I was apparently supposed to glean from context but didn’t. All in all, I’ll call it a middle-of-the-road read. I did like the art, though.
Known to all, both far and wide!
A skeleton, an apprentice mage, and an exiled princess walk into a bar… for another shift at Quests Aside, the local watering hole run by once legendary, now retired, adventurer Barrow.
When the King privately explains that he plans to shut the place down, Barrow must find a way to hold onto his business, the friendships, and the family he’s built around it.
It’s always sunny in the realms!
I thought this was fun. It plays with the Dungeons and Dragons type of quest-tales in interesting ways. I liked the characters, the art, and the diversity. I’d be more than happy to read more. But I also thought everything remained surface-level. I don’t feel that I particularly got to know the characters, and there wasn’t any exciting or deep plot. It’s substanceless fun. And while there isn’t anything wrong with that, it’s not particularly memorable either.
Life is nothing if not a series of endings. School. Jobs. Friendships. Love. Walter Willem’s death was fast and unexpected. His was an unremarkable life. So, how is it that his story continues as cannon fodder in an endless war waged against an insatiable darkness hellbent on consuming all of existence?
This is an interesting start to something, though I’d say that is all it is. I like the art well enough; the world seems intriguing (if only sketched out at this point), and there are hints of depth and growth potential in the characters. But, even at 136 pages, this really only feels like a first chapter.
When an introverted tech geek accidentally discovers mind control, he and his friends do something unexpected – they put the science into a meditation app to help users break their technology addiction. But as their Mindset app achieves a dangerous cult following, lies, conspiracies, and murder come to light. Are they helping people or controlling them?
Free your mind.
Who’s in control?
Meh, this was fine; not really my cup of tea, it turns out, but fine. The story has some interesting allegorical things to say about social media use/addiction. I liked the art and lettering well enough; the unreliable narrator made for a thought-provoking read, and I surprised myself by not seeing the twist coming. (I simply wasn’t looking for a twist, which is the best time for a twist.) So, all fine. But, again, not my cup of tea. Plus, whenever the villain is a person of color, and the hero/victim is a white guy, I always side-eye and wonder—even if I’m not confident enough to say with certainty—if systemic stereotypes haven’t crept in.
Repairman. Vigilante. Cosmic Hero.
The Blue Flame is a cosmic hero. The Blue Flame is a DIY vigilante that fights crime on the streets of Milwaukee. The Blue Flame is a blue-collar HVAC repairman named Sam Brausam.
In the wake of a horrific tragedy, the boundaries of the Blue Flame’s identity blur even further. Now, before a universal trial, the Blue Flame must prove that humanity is worth saving. But in order to do that, Sam Brausam has to save himself. Can he? An odyssey for answers at the heart of the universe.
Meh. I thought this was OK. I liked the art well enough, and it had a nice redemptive theme. But it felt too long; I spent a lot of time confused about what was happening, the timeline, and the abrupt ending. Plus, it lacks any true conclusion. So, meh.