Friday, December 9, 2011

Books Review: Graphic Novel Round-Up, December Version

Here's a few one-sentence reviews of four recent graphic novels I've checked out from the library:

The Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes: Promising premise and style conveys razor wit and artistic spot-on renditions (see: the bully) at points, but I can't help feeling that the Japanese saga with the similar premise (average boy gains ability to "disappear" people) is better.

Batman: Noel by Lee Bermejo: I'm a sucker for creative renditions of The Christmas Carol, this one with Batman as Scrooge; some nice "fits" with the original story, especially Robin as Marley's Ghost, but feels underactualized, doesn't really convey the story but is a pretty nifty trick.

Hark! A Vagrant, by Kate Beaton: Silly and somewhat erudite, a combination I'm also a sucker for (the whole reason I'm a They Might Be Giants fan perhaps), and if half the strips don't quite work, I still found it diverting; kind of annoying to be reading this at the same time as I'm reading something about how people in different ages actually thought differently from us, because much of her humor comes from assuming they thought exactly the same as us! (PS: It's still funny.)

Nursery Rhyme Comics: Fifty nursery rhymes done by comics artists ranging from famous (Mike Mignola, Craig Thompson, Gene Luen Yang) to not-so-famous but intriguing, this was the most rewarding of the whole lot, and by far the most beautiful, with the bonus that I could give it to my kids without a second thought; there's a clever joke or bonus of artistic expression in each one.

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