the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Graphic Novel’ Category

The Seventh Shrine, Vol 1. Written by Robert Silverberg, artwork by Anders Finer

Published in 2005

where I got it: purchased new

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If it’s got Robert Silverberg’s name on it, I’ll probably read it. A master of sci-fantasy, Silverberg has written dozens of novels and short stories. I adore his original Valentine stories, and even though The Mountains of Majirpoor didn’t do much for me,  I’ve always got my eye out for anything Silverberg.  Which is why my eyes lit up like supernovas when I saw his name on the front of a Valentine graphic novel. Quick like a fox, that book was going to be mine!

With painterly full color art complimenting Silverberg’s short story,  The Seventh Shrine is more an illustrated story. I have no idea if this is a “rare” book, but it sure feels like one.  Valentine Pontifex has escaped the dreariness of the Labyrinth to investigate a strange murder at an archaeological dig. The Pontifex is not supposed to leave the Labyrinth, but Valentine has always been one to bend royal rules to fit the life he wants to lead.

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Doctor Who: The Forgotten (graphic novel),  by Tony Lee with artwork by Pia Guierra

published in Nov 2010, from IDW

where I got it: purchased new

why I read it:  simply couldn’t resist.

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I either need to stop going to the comic shop, or just start signing my paychecks over to them.  And come on, could you say no to this? Do you really I could say no to this? didn’t think so!

Finding themselves in a strange museum and with no sign of the TARDIS, a fascinated Martha Jones wants to go exploring, but The Doctor finds he’s lost his memory. He knows who he is, knows what he is, but he can’t seem to remember anything before his current regeneration.  Even stranger, they find this is a museum dedicated to The Doctor himself! Along with the artifacts, keys, seals and stones is a room with images of all of the Doctor’s previous incarnations, and special items they carried – an umbrella, psychic paper, a cat brooch, sound familiar? Martha suggests he take a good look at the objects, perhaps it will help bring back his memories.

As Martha pushes The Doctor to remember everything he can as fast as possible, it quickly becomes apparent something much more sinister is going on.  The museum is crawling with Autons, spiders, Clockwork Men and video cameras. Someone is watching, and waiting.

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In continuation of my post from yesterday,  specifically my teary eyed pseudo love letter to a handsome, mysterious, and nameless gentleman (well, he has a name, I just don’t know what it is) who has left me forever, it thrills me to say

I found you Number Ten!!

at the comic shop!

Sometimes you just gotta blow your entire month’s entertainment budget at the comic shop. you just gotta. And I don’t know about you, but I think this is the perfect addition to my ongoing obsession. see?

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Speaking of Brian K Vaughan. . . 

A few years ago I read Michael Chabon’s award winning The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier and Clay, and I remember it being exactly that: amazing. If you’ve never read Chabon, do yourself a favor and pick this one up for some truly incredible reading. The novel follows the lives of cousins Sammy Clay and Joe Kavalier as they create a comic superhero that would take the 1940’s comics world by storm.

 A few years after the novel’s critical acclaim, Chabon began working with Brian K Vaughan and Darkhorse to develop a modernized comic book version of the adventures of The Escapists. 

Original printed as issues (which I managed to find #’s 3, 4, and 5 of), and now available as a completed graphic novel, Vaughan’s The Escapists is part sequel, part companion, and all homage to Chabon’s original novel. 

The six chapter story follows geeky high school graduate Max Roth, and his jock friend Denny Jones. Max’s father, who we never meet, owned the largest collection of The Escapist memorabilia in the country, and upon his death, the collection passed to Max. When Max’s mother passes away, he uses his inheritance to purchase the publishing rights to The Escapist character and universe, and  he Denny, along with the cute artist Case Weaver start working on their own comic book version. 

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 Graphic Novel November continues with something action packed, laugh out loud funny, and just plain bizarre. It’s like the 80’s are happening all over again!! 

One of the strangest movies ever to hit the silver screen in the 80’s, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension was a science fiction action comedy romance featuring a rock star surgeon (seriously, he had a rock band, and was a neurosurgeon. Often on the same day) battling aliens and saving the earth. I’d like to think if this movie was made today, mainstream audiences would be a little more accepting. The movie tanked, but to this day has a rabid cult following. And really, do Buckaroo Banzai fans come in any flavor other than rabid? 

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 A fter their guidance counselor father is brutally murdered by a deranged student, the Locke siblings Tyler, Kinsey and Bode move cross county with their mother from California to rural Massachusetts. The family mansion, known as Keyhouse, sits on the end of the island village of Lovecraft. The children explore their new home, and try to come to grips with their father’s death. 

Key house is full of magical doors. There is a door that makes you old, and one that makes you young. A door that changes your sex, and one that lets you teleport. But the doors are hidden, and some of them require a key. Bode finds a door that turns him into a ghost, and meets his echo in the wellhouse. Of course his older brother and sister don’t believe him. Everyone just thinks he’s acting out. His only friend is his echo, and she promises to be his friend, if he’ll help her with just a few little things.

Meanwhile, back in California, Sam Lesser, their father’s killer, escapes his mental hospital prison, and begins hitchhiking across country. He’s got a job to finish, and the means to do it. Someone has promised Sam eternal freedom, if he brings her two very specific keys, both of which are hidden somewhere in Keyhouse. 

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This is going to be a fairly unemotional article. I just typed an entire page of emotional, repressed memory stuff, and I’m sorry, but we just don’t know each other well enough for me to share that kind of stuff with you. Besides, this is supposed to be an article about a book, not about me, right? 

Maus is Art Spiegelman’s biography of his father, Vladek Spiegelman, a Holocaust survivor. It has a casual feel because interspersed with his father’s memories of Poland in the 1940’s is current conversations between Art and his father, and between Art and his stepmother, Mala, also a Holocaust survivor. As his father relates what happened in Poland, Art finds it difficult to reconcile the younger, risk-taking, scheming and braver Vladek with the father he knows, a stingy, cranky, racist old man who snaps at anyone who tries to help him.

 As Vladek tells his son about growing up in Poland and meeting his wife Anja, Art learns things about his parents he never knew, and I learned things about the Holocaust that the bubbies and zaydies of my youth neglected to tell me.

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2014 Hugo Awards

I reviewed some Hugo nominated stuff. Click here for the list.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.