Sunday, April 26, 2009


I was surprised by how much I liked Blankets. I heard it was good but when I looked at the synopsis I thought that it probably wasn't something I'd be into because it wasn't dark, violent, and lacked vampires and batman. But once I started reading "Blankets" I just couldn't put it down. Thompson has created this beautiful tale of first love interwoven with growing up, childhood memories and coming to terms with God. What I love most is how the stylistic art and very real, flesh out characters work. It is almost like we have been swept up into his mind and are reliving the memory with him.
I absolutely love Craig Thompson's art - it has such fluidity and emotion. It really helps with the stories transitions from past to present and thought to reality. For example on page 208, we have past and thought together and then the first panel on page 209 uses these images to bring Craig back to reality.
This is a classic coming of age tale but without the cliches and rolling eyes. Each character is flawed but also beautiful in their own ways (except for the babysitter). I feel like this is a story everyone will like.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


In my opinion, Garth Ennis' "Preacher" is everything a graphic novel should be. When I first picked it up the only thing I could think about was someday I want to have a story and characters as cool as Cassidy, Tulip and Jesse Custer. "Preacher" has humor (dark but funny nonetheless), romance, action, vampires, cowboys, good ol' boys, the Vietnam war, the north, the South, the church, bald one-eyed Germans, genetically distorted Jesus offspring..... It has everything basically. But Ennis was somehow able to weave all of this together and have it make sense.
Now since I am studying villainy, the first thing I focused on was finding it in "Preacher." But what I found is that every single one of the characters is a villain in their own way (This is probably another reason why I like this series so much). Even our heroes, Jesse and Tulip, are no angels. We know by page 24 that Tulip shot the mouth off of a guy. Cassidy's teeth is ripping into a deputy's jugular on page 74. And Jesse's word of God literally gets the sheriff to eff himself on page 117. And these are the heroes! The bad guys, even just the double crossing small guys are taking people's faces off (see page 132). And in Volume two it gets a whole lot darker. I think Ennis does a good job in marking a line between "cool" villains and just plain effed up evil villains. Jesse and Cassidy may do things that would cause a lot of people to call them villains but I don't think anyone would ever like Miss Marie L'Angelle or her boys. After reading Jesse's back story, I felt total sympathy for him and like Tulip, we understand why he left her. Although a lot of characters are introduced, they are all well developed. Even Arseface gets a back story. But it is also clear that like real humans all of these characters have a dark side as well.
The art is great. Not too stylized but still filled with emotion. The covers are fantastic. They are probably my favorite covers since they are provocative (like Y the last man) but also are usually a scene in the story. Fabry is truly talented.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Y THE LAST MAN (Vol. 1-3)

"Y the Last Man" is Brian K. Vaughan's homage to Mary Shelly's book's "The Last Man." In Shelly's book a plague has killed everyone but a man named Lionel. In Vaughan's tale, a plague has killed all the men (or rather everyone who possesses a Y chromosome) on earth except for a man named Yorick Brown. Another work mentioned that is of note to this comics tutorial is that Yorick's lighter has "Fuck Communism" written on it, which he says is from a graphic novel. That graphic novel is Preacher, which we will be reading next. Jesse Custer, the main character, has the same lighter, which he got from his dad.
But onto the review. I love Y the Last Man. The premise is just so interesting and Vaughan does such a great job setting up this post-plague world. My favorite volume out of the three we read is probably the third. I like the idea of the male astronauts being alive even though they ended up dying once they got to earth. Also, Vaughan does a great job of introducing a lot of characters but not letting any of them fall flat. From Sonia to Natalya, the women Yorick meets all seem very real and unique. Hero, Yorick's sister, is probably the most interesting to me. The whole idea of the Daughters of the Amazon is pretty frightening but seems pretty plausible in that setting. Yorick is my favorite character, though. What I love is that he isn't the usual manly man - but is kind of a self professed dork, who is trying to stay faithful to his girlfriend through this whole ordeal (he fails, but I think we can cut him some slack given the circumstances).
I like that the art is kind of reminiscent of traditional comic book art (Superman is mentioned by Yorick a good bit) and the panels are also pretty traditional, which I thought fit with the radical plot. The cover art is usual realistic but provocative. The third volume in particular, with the skeleton astronaut was pretty gripping.
A very addictive series that always ends on a high note. Favorite line from the series so far: "It's Raining Men. Hallelujah!" in Volume 3, page 87.