Mawrth Valliis by EPHK has a gimmick: all of the dialog is in the “original Martian”, so you have to infer the story from the illustrations. However, nothing in the book itself actually explains the conceit; instead, all context is left to whatever marketing materials you’ve read before cracking the cover.
Sticking with a recent theme, Black Star is minimalist sci-fi, focusing on characters caught in a deadly conflict. In this case, my favorite part of the book was the art. The story was straightforward enough, but the main character spends all her time doing terrible things for the sake of no one but herself.
I think I experienced a bit of synesthesia while reading In by Will McPhail.
The book is largely done in sketch-like black and white, the characters little more than outlines on a white background, except for moments when Nick, the main character, experiences real human connection. As soon as he makes that connection, the pages burst into fully painted, dynamic scenes, and I oftentimes felt like I could hear the sounds of crashing waves or the swell of some imaginary film score in my head. It made the whole thing quite extraordinary.
Sarah Anderson is best known for her Sarah’s Scribbles web comics, where a big-eyed, spiky-haired version of herself deals with introversion, anxiety, and the vagaries of modern life in a humorous, relatable way. Those strips are the exact sort of thing that people love to share on social media.
When I heard about her new book, Fangs, I was intrigued because it sounded so different from her oftentimes silly work in Sarah’s Scribbles.
I’ve never read any of the classic Nancy comics, but her look is iconic. I feel like I could identify a Nancy comic from across the room by the shape of Nancy’s head alone. The fact that those comics were ubiquitous enough to become iconic but passé enough that I’d never read any of them is a fascinating contradiction.
First, some caveats about this review of the new Barbarella comic written by Mike Carey: I’ve never seen the Jane Fonda movie, so I watched the trailer to get a feel for it because it felt like a necessary entry point.
I also read the first volume of the classic comics by Jean-Claude Forest so that I’d have a baseline to compare against the rebooted series. From a writing standpoint, I’d say that the two versions of Barbarella are on close to equal footing, but the art in the modern version just does not do the character justice.
If I didn’t already know that Infinity 8 is a French comic, reading it would make that crystal clear. It has a French feel about it, from the art reminiscent of Moebius, to the laconic dialogue scenes, to (most tellingly) the glimpse of casual nudity and the protagonist who wears a skin-tight spacesuit straight out of 1950s pinup illustrations.
Maybe Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie would have resonated for me a bit more if I’d ever read Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. Instead, I’ve only ever seen their cover illustrations and imagined the sort of squeaky-clean peril they might get themselves into. I think, though, that I still wouldn’t have gotten much from this too-serious gritty reimagining of the classic teen mysteries.
Tortured Life reads like the novelization of a gore-drenched heavy metal concept album, and it’s about as well-plotted as your average double-LP.
Grand Passion doesn’t begin to live up to its title. Instead, it tells a small-scale story that ends up feeling a bit dull.
Snotgirl’s funny/gross premise might work if Lottie (or any of the other characters) had any kind of redeeming qualities, but they’re all horrible, vapid people being terrible and catty to each other.