March 9, 2015

Recent Reads

19. A Matter of Life
What drew me to this graphic novel was this on the back cover: "An Autobiographical Meditation on Fatherhood and Faith." I guess I expected a more in-depth exploration of those themes, but alas, that is not what I found. Yes, there are faith and fatherhood and growing up memories, told in short story form, and while not everyone has huge epiphanies, I expected a little more than a fortune cookie style memoir. No depth, and I did not like the art either. This will probably be a wonderful treasure for the author's son, but not a book I'd recommend to anyone else. Rating: 1 star.

20. The Freddie Stories
I am a huge fan of the author, and this graphic novel does not disappoint. This coming of age story is told from Freddie's point of view, via a collections of comic strips - each double page moves the story forward. While many complain about her sketchy illustration style, they work really well for this dark, and so very sad story. The author's unflinching look at growing up, friendship, bullying, and child abuse is raw and often gut wrenching. To say more would be spoilery. A word of caution, do not read this if you are already sad, or looking for a pick me up read.  Rating: 4 stars.

21. Saga, Volume 4
Volume 4 collects issues #19-24. These collected volumes are coming out way too slowly - isn't there a kickstarter I can fund to speed things along? I am continually surprised by where the story goes - I mean that opening scene! There is humor, and darkness, and plain ol' shoot-the-messenger drama. The art is fantastic, and I have no doubt that I'll re-read the entire series when the set is complete. Cannot wait. Rating: 4 stars.

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