Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Graphic novel reviews

First I want to explain the difference between graphic novels and comic books. Comic books are those thin bundles of flexible paper that tell stories about super heroes and only cost a quarter back in the day. Graphic novels can be a storyline of 6-13 comic books all bundled together with the ads removed and a better cover. They can also be something non-super hero related. Some artists write autobiographical stories in a graphical format and sell that. Some of your favorite movies probably started out as a graphic novel that then got adapted for screen. "V for Vendetta" (the movie was better), "300", "30 Days of Night", and many others. I'm sure My Krodie can add more or enhance my limited definition.

I'm going to talk about two.

"1602" was a series of comic books written by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman's name was probably about 1/3 of why I bought it. It starts out fairly strong. It's the year 1602 and your favorite Marvel superheroes are manifesting. They don't have the silly outfits they have now, but they have the powers. X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spiderman, Capt. America, Daredevil, and Nick Fury have to face King James, the Spanish Inquisition, and figure out what strangeness is happening in Roanoke.
My biggest criticism is that instead of making this a nice stand alone story they felt the need to tie it in with the existing Marvel Universe through time travel and all that rubbish. Why can't they just let it stand on it's own?

"Pride of Baghdad" is based on a true story. During the American invasion of Baghdad four lions escaped from the zoo and got to roam free. This book tells the story from the point of view of the lions.

I'm not gonna insist you run out and buy either one. The fact that I'm discussing them at all should tell you they're better than most graphic novels I've picked up. Next time you're in the book store stroll by the graphic novel section and flip through them.
No, not the Manga section. I'm sure if Manga demonstrates the effects of radiation on a large population. It tells me we either shouldn't have nuked Japan or we should have nuked them more.

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