23. marts 2015

A newfound love for graphic novels

I've never really read comic books or graphic novels beforehand, but after I began following several BookTubers on Youtube I was inspired to pick up a few and give it a go. I will later do a blogpost on my favourite Youtube channels by which I am greatly inspired to pick up new books, and in that way expand my literary horizon.

Below, I will list 3 graphic novels that in my opinion is worth mentioning, both in terms of artwork and storyline.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan (writer) and Fiona Staples (artist)

The first volume follows a couple from two different planets, and their struggle to be together. Their home planets, and thus their species, are at war. Their love is grand though forbidden, and they have one major issue: They have a child together. The story is told from the baby's point of view as a recount of the beginning of its life.

This series is beautifully drawn and I simply love the universe. It is totally weird and untraditional, even though the plot is kind of cliché. But it works in this context, and I couldn't help smiling throughout.

I have read the two first volumes, and the third lies in a pile of other graphic novels I am yet to read - and I almost cannot wait! I gave both volumes 5/5 stars, so I warmly recommend you to pick them up, if you like fantasy, easy-reads and beautiful drawings of alternate characters and universes.

Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna (writer + illustrator) and Sarah Vaughn (writer)

This story is about a guy who lives in a version of the world as we know it, where robots are a big part of everyday life. Humans have a sort of mentally activated communication system with which they can contact others or research whatever they want. Science has developed in a peculiar direction where robots are evolved incredibly: They look, feel, and almost act as humans. But only almost. You can adjust and add to their personalities so that they please you in the best way possible, but they do not have an opinion of their own - they serve only to please you. The main character, Alex, receives a gift, namely one of these robots, but he does not care for it being merely mechanical; he wants it to feel and act on its own. Thus, the journey begins to make the female robot, Ada, a self-thinking being.

This story is charming, simple and beautifully made. I did not really have any expectations when I picked it up, but I absolutely loved it. I gave this volume 4/5 stars, and I look forward to read the next volume and see what becomes of Alex + Ada.

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi
Amulet, Book One: The Stonekeeper
This story is absolutely adorable. I love the kind of childish artwork; really simply made but still so beautiful. The story in itself is also captivating and really sweet. It is about a family, who suffers from a car crash. After the accident, the family moves to a big house inherited from grandpa Silas, where the mother is taking captive, dragged into another world by a monstrous creature. In this house the girl, Emily, finds an amulet that helps her on her quest to rescue her mom and fight the struggles that she and her brother, Navin, encounters on the way.
The story contains fluffy, cute robot characters as well as humans and they balance it out quite well. 
I read this one immediately when I received it, and I was pleasantly surprised. I gave this one 4/5 stars on Goodreads, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how this story is going to take form.

I can really recommend picking up graphic novels as an easy-read, in between bigger books. It is easy, fun and most of the time stunningly performed. I am definitely going to research more titles and explore the world of graphic novels further.

Other graphic novels I read:
  • Fables Vol. 1: Legends In Exile by Bill Willingham (writer), Lan Medina (penciller), Steve Leialoha (inker), and Craig Hamilton (inker) (3/5)
  • Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman (writer) and Lorenzo Mattotti (artist) (4/5)

"Graphic" novels I own but haven't read yet:
  • Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba (writer) and Takeshi Obata (artist)
  • The Wicked + The Divine: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen (writer), Jamie McKelvie (artist), Matthew Wilson (colourist), and Clayton Cowles (letterer)
  • Sin City 1: The Hard Goodbye by Frank Miller

Have you read any of the graphic novels that I mention above? If that is the case, what is your experience? Do you like to read illustrated novels like this or do you prefer "normal" books?
If you have read any graphic novels that you can recommend then, please, let me know down below!
(Btw, I'm sorry for the quality of the pictures but the lighting is pretty bad at this time of day, and I only have the camera of my iPhone and the webcam of my iMac. Hopefully, I will get better equipment at some point).

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