Comic Review: The Escape Manual for Introverts

The Escape Manual for Introverts by Katie Vaz
The Escape Manual for Introverts 
by Katie Vaz (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This graphic novel explores the different ways an introvert can escape social scenarios or minimize awkward social contact. Escape on a jet pack! Hire a kidnapper to get you away! Pretend you don’t speak English.

Some of the suggestions are funny, but some are actually do-able. Some of the ideas would only last for a short time, and some are the perfect exit strategies.

If you are wondering how to escape an office party, how to get out of another dinner with your talkative aunt, or how to avoid eye contact with an acquaintance you barely know, this book will give you tips on excuses, disguises, small talk, and cover stories to get you out of any situation. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Queen of the Sea

Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis
Queen of the Sea 
by Dylan Meconis

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Margaret was left with an island convent when she was a baby, never knowing her true heritage. When the exiled Queen Eleanor is sent to the island, she befriends Margaret and tries to unravel the secret of the girl’s unknown parentage. The nuns of the convent have dark secrets, and the rough life on the island holds many dangers.

Margaret is a beautifully complex character. She loves her home on the harsh island, despite the simple life there. She loves the nuns who raised her, and enjoys her work and her lessons. When their simple routine is disrupted by the arrival of Queen Eleanor, Margaret rises to the challenges and welcomes the danger with admirable courage.

I found all the supporting characters really interesting and complex too. All the nuns tell the stories of their secret past, and the various people who visit the island have their own stories to tell as well.  Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Fake Blood

Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner
Fake Blood 
by Whitney Gardner 

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


A.J. likes a girl.
A girl who is obsessed with vampires.
Conclusion: A.J. must become a vampire. Or at least, dress up like one.

Haha! I knew right away that this would be a funny graphic novel, and I was NOT disappointed! A.J. has a crush on Nia, and pretends to be a vampire to get her attention. But he gets the wrong kind of attention, because Nia dreams of becoming a vampire slayer, and comes after him with a stake!

Oh, I almost died laughing, this was so funny!
I loved the dynamic between A.J.’s two best friends. I loved the sweet flirtations between A.J. and Nia. I loved the colorful cartoony artwork. And I loved the hilarious plot and relatable characters. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart by James Buckley Jr.
Amelia Earhart: Pioneer of the Sky! 
by James Buckley Jr.Kelly Tindall(Illustrations), John Roshell (Illustrations)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This graphic novel gives an overview of the life and disappearance of Amelia Earhart, focusing on her courage and daring as a pilot, but also honoring her generous spirit and kindness to the poor.

I liked the cartoony artwork, but it sort of looked hastily drawn. It could have been a little more polished. But I liked the bright colors and energetic panels!

This is a good synopsis of Amelia Earhart’s life, from her childhood when she constructed her own roller coaster in her backyard, then through her education and early adulthood, through her growing fame as a pilot and many accomplishments, and following her final record-breaking flight until her disappearance. It does a wonderful job of capturing the spirit and enthusiasm of Amelia, and inspiring the reader to do amazing things! Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln by Mark Shulman
Abraham Lincoln: Defender of the Union! 
by Mark Shulman ,Tom Martin (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This graphic novel tells the history of Abraham Lincoln, from his childhood to his death, how he became president, his tragic family grief, and how he guided the American nation through the Civil War, and was ultimately assassinated.

I loved this overview of Lincoln’s life! The cartoony artwork is colorful and bright, with lots of funny details in the background that bring the story to life.

I think the writers did a wonderful job of condensing such a rich life story into so few pages, but still highlighting the most important and memorable aspects of Lincoln’s presidency and personal life. There were many details that I found interesting and engaging, as well as some cute jokes and anecdotes that were entertaining to read. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton by Mark Shulman
Alexander Hamilton: The Fighting Founding Father! (Show Me History!) 
by Mark Shulman ,Kelly Tindall (Illustrator)John Roshell (Illustrator)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This graphic novel follows an overview of Hamilton’s life, his service in the Revolutionary War, and his involvement in constructing the financial laws of the new American government.

It’s difficult to squeeze an entire life into 96 pages, and I thought the balance of story-telling could have been better. Interesting parts of Hamilton’s military career were skimmed over, and a lot more time was dedicated to his political battles to establish a federal government with a national currency, etc… I thought the book would have been more engaging if they had spent slightly less time on the politics, since it doesn’t have as much action.

The art style is cartoony and bright, with a lot of funny details in the background. The art is unpolished, and I think it could have been a little more refined. But still, it’s cute, and the panels have lots of energy. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. by James Buckley Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.: Voice for Equality! 
by James Buckley Jr.Youneek Studios (Illustrations)John Roshell (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This graphic novel wonderfully summarizes the powerful life story of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his peaceful fight for civil rights in the United States.

I especially liked that many exact quotes from MLK, Jr. and others are used as the dialogue, but some of the dialogue is conjecture and added to enhance the story, imagining what might have been said in various situations. I’m always on the lookout for reputable historical books, and I felt that the history here was accurate and true to actual events.  Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Midas

Midas by Ryan North
Midas 
by Ryan North Shelli Paroline  (Illustrations)Braden Lamb (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Captain Joey and her space crew are approaching a hidden planet, known only in the ancient past as Earth. They have heard rumors that a weapon transformed the entire planet into gold, and they are searching for that weapon to protect their people against the dreaded Federation. But when the “weapon” turns out to be the perfectly preserved body of the legendary King Midas, can Joey and her friends still find a way to stop the power-crazed Federation general from enslaving their home planets?

This epic space saga covers a lot of ground, from the total destruction of several planets to long-forgotten mysteries of the ancient past, and Captain Joey and her intrepid crew are just the rebels to boldly adventure through it all and still find time for snarky one-liners and peppery dialogue. The plot is never dull, and does a good job of giving a lot of world-building information in small chunks that fit in with the action.

I was surprised at every turn in the plot, and I kept thinking, “There is no way they are gonna make it out of this one.” But somehow the team would pull through, only to be confronted by another impossible challenge! Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: The Iliad

The Iliad by Gareth Hinds
The Iliad 
by Gareth Hinds 

2 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This graphic novel retelling of Homer’s Iliad was not quite what I expected. It’s much too word-heavy for a graphic novel, and I found myself bogged down in the text. Most of the panels have so much text that there is barely room for the artwork. And the artwork itself is nothing special. I didn’t care for the cartoony look, and it just didn’t grab my attention. It looks somewhat amateur, or hastily drawn.

If you are a big fan of the Iliad, you might like this, but I did not enjoy reading it. Usually I love classical literature, and I have read The Iliad before, so I was happy to be revisiting the story of the Trojan War with all the drama. But this book does not deliver drama. It feels stale and static, like the characters are all made of stone.

Disappointed in this one. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Pilu of the Woods

Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen
Pilu of the Woods 
by Mai K. Nguyen

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Willow has a fight with her sister, and runs out to the woods where she used to go hiking with her mother. She meets a tree spirit named Pilu, who has run away from her grove, and the two form a friendship and help one another navigate their turbulent emotions.

Both girls are struggling with loneliness and anger, and they are remorseful after arguing with their families, but don’t know how to stop. When Willow’s emotional monsters begin to take on a real form, the two girls are in danger, until Pilu discovers how to resolve the emotional pain both girls are hiding.
Continue reading