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

Manga Review: MacBeth

Manga Classics by Crystal S. Chan
Manga Classics: Macbeth 
by Crystal S. Chan (Adapted by),William ShakespeareJulien Choy (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Despite its popularity, MacBeth has never been one of my favorite Shakespearean plays. Too bloody and gory and gloomy for my taste. But if you like a dismal adventure with plenty of violence and mayhem, MacBeth has plenty of that! And this manga adaptation rings true with the moods and poetry of the original play. I like that the exact dialogue of the play is used in this manga, and the artwork beautifully illustrates all the action and drama. 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

Comic Review: Batman and the Justice League

Batman and the Justice League Vol. 1 by Shiori Teshirogi
Batman and the Justice League Vol. 1 
by Shiori Teshirogi

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Justice League done in a manga style? Yes, please!
A young boy from Japan comes to Gotham City looking for his missing parents, and becomes the unwitting victim of a devious plot involving the Joker. Only Batman and the Justice League can solve the mysteries of the boy’s missing parents, and the enigmatic power leaking from magical ley lines around the globe.

I enjoyed reading this manga of the Justice League!
However, I didn’t like some of the characters. Batman has never been my favorite, and I HATE the Joker. I can’t even look at his ugly face. But I liked the story and the other characters. I would enjoy reading it more if it focused more on Superman, who is a favorite superhero of mine. Continue reading

Manga Review: The Lion and the Bride

The Lion and the Bride Vol. 1 by Mika Sakurano
The Lion and the Bride Vol. 1 
by Mika Sakurano

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Yua is dating her high school teacher, and when her grandmother dies, she has nowhere to go, so she marries her teacher, but he has a secret past that will threaten their married bliss.

This manga is just so ridiculously silly that I ended up loving it! I mean, the whole situation of marrying a teacher is already fraught with impossible scenarios, and this manga takes it to a whole new level of hilarious drama.  Continue reading

Manga Review: La Magnifique Grande Scene

La Magnifique Grande Scène, Vol. 1 by Cuvie
La Magnifique Grande Scène, Vol. 1 
by Cuvie

5 out 5 stars on GoodReads


Kanade is a young girl when she sees her neighbor, Risa, dancing in the ballet, and begs her parents for ballet lessons. She quickly learns that studying ballet means hard work, determination, and sometimes disappointment. With Risa’s help, Kanade is encouraged to stay dedicated to ballet, and she uses her intense observation skills to learn from the dancers around her.
Later with two years of dancing experience, she longs to be allowed to wear pointe shoes, but is told she is still too young. Despite the drama surrounding the other students, Kanade finds her own inspiration and her own center as she prepares for her big recital.

I LOVED the beautiful artwork in this manga! The graceful dance poses, and lovely costumes make this a pleasure to read, and I found myself pausing on several pages just to enjoy the gorgeous illustrations.
Continue reading

Manga Review: Romeo and Juliet

Manga Classics by Crystal S. Chan
Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet 
by Crystal S. Chan (Adapter)William ShakespeareJulien Choy (Artist)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

With all the original dialogue of the play, this manga adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet bursts with old enchantment and romantic drama. The illustrations flow from one panel to the next in a surge of emotional tension, and the action keeps the wordy dialogue from weighing down the storyline.

This would be a great way to introduce Shakespeare to younger audiences, since the dialogue is easier to understand along with the action of the panels. Continue reading