Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Graphic Novel Tuesday

Well, here we are, continuing our week of Graphic Novel reviews! Here I have 3 reviews of totally unrelated books. Enjoy!

Garage Band Gipi

Giuliano’s father has loaned them a garage to practice in, as long as the guys stay out of trouble. Alberto, the bassist spends his time worrying about his father. Alex, the drummer is obsessed with Hitler and his aunt scorns Giuliano’s family’s wealth. Stefano, the singer, is the trouble maker, but his father has him in contact with a record label. They have the garage, they have the contacts, they just need to cut their demo tape when their amp blows. When they steal a new one, their troubles really begin.

Painted in a muted watercolor palate with frenetic black line work, Gipi’s artwork captures the bleakness of their lives along with the energy of their music. There are several full page desolate landscapes composed mostly of brown sky to show what these young men are trying to escape. The back pages contain several preliminary sketches and character studies.

Skim Mariko Tamaki, drawing by Jillian Tamaki

After reading Emiko Superstar, I was really excited to read this.

The book explores depression, love, friendship, and finding yourself (or not) in a small tale about a high school that overreacts when the popular girl is dumped by her boyfriend who then commits suicide. The details of the plot are really not important, because it's the characters, the dialogue, and the art that really make this book pack a punch.

Black and white drawings (pen?) that appear to be hand drawn without computer help are evocative of the early 90s era of the story. I especially liked the full-page panels and the ones without borders. Excellent use of negative space.

Kin (The Good Neighbors, Book 1) Holly Black, art by Ted Naifeh

Rue's mother has been missing for three weeks and her father has just been arrested for murdering one of his students. Meanwhile, Rue is pretty sure she's going crazy because she keeps seeing weird things, like... faeries. Faeries that claim to be her mother's family.

I really wanted to like this, but I feel like the entire volume was just setting up the story that's going to happen in the later volumes. It was a little disappointing, but I have great faith in Holly Black, and there are a lot of interesting story lines to play with and I'm really hoping that it goes somewhere, because I think the later volumes could be really cool.

Also, I thought it was going to be in color. I don't know why I thought this, but I did. It's not.

Later this week: Fables, Jack of Fables, Sandman, and Rapunzel's Revenge! Stay tuned!


Ana S. said...

I so have to get my hands on Skim.

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed Kin and am looking forward to seeing how it develops in the future. I loved Ted's artwork.