Mini-Reviews – “The Gateway Drug to Literacy”

Hi all! Now, if you’ve ever heard the above Art Spiegelman quote, then you have an inkling of what we’re talking about today….that’s right! Comics!

More specifically, I will be introducing you to six of my favorite Webcomics. All the titles are links to the first comic, in case you’d like to check them out. 🙂

Unshelved (Gene Ambaum & Bill Barnes)

12-12-2017 1-45-51 PMUnshelved is about a librarian named Dewey (yes, the pun IS intentional 😉 ). It’s a fun look at the ins and outs of daily library life. I will admit that since I’ve worked in a library, this might be more funny for me than the average person, but if you are reading this blog, odds are you’ve spent a fair share of time in a library yourself, so I think most of you will enjoy it too. 😉

Gunnerkrigg Court (Tom Siddell)

Strange-Adventures-GunnerkriggCourt

Gunnerkrigg Court is part mystery, part creepy fantasy, and part boarding school tale. I’m not super far into it yet, but so far we’ve had demon-y shadow things, robots, creepy teachers, and a Minotaur. Color me intrigued.

Weregeek (Alina Pete & Layne Myhre)

weregeekWeregeek is about a guy named Mark, who discovers that he is a geek after he “geeks out” and ends up in a comic book store, which leads to him joining a role-playing group. It makes more sense in the strip, lol.

Being somewhat of a voyeur when it comes to RPGs (I am TERRIBLE at playing myself, but love to watch), I really enjoy this comic. It’s fun seeing what the group gets up to in their games. There IS some romance and what not as well, but I enjoy it most for the geeky stuff. 😉

Order of the Stick (Rich Burlew)

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Order if the Stick is basically a D&D party drawn as mostly stick figures. They go on epic adventures, fight lots of monsters and other baddies, save the day (sometimes), and get themselves into trouble. It’s great fun.

Rice Boy (Evan Dahm)

12-12-2017 2-00-51 PMRice Boy is…hard to describe. I’m not all the way through it yet, so I can only really say that it’s about a little guy named Rice Boy who goes on an adventure in order to fulfill a prophecy. He’s recruited by The One Electric, who is a man with a TV for a head. And is chased by a robot named Golgo. It’s odd, but interesting.

And my favorite:

Questionable Content (Jeph Jacques)

Ah, Questionable Content, how I love thee. And how I need to get caught up! Goodness. I went to the site to get the link for you all and didn’t recognize ANY of the characters in today’s comic! ::shakes finger at face:: “Bad Jessica!”

qc-feat

Ahem…anyway…QC is about a group of friends who live in Rhode Island. The author calls it “an internet comic strip about romance and robots”, which is true, though there is a lot more going on than just romance and robots. It’s mainly about the ups and downs of life and how you can always count on your friends…but its WAY funnier than I’m making it sound. I mean…

Espressosaurus

Seriously, I recommend this webcomic to everyone. It doesn’t have a whole lot of action, but the writing is great and the artist has really evolved since the beginning.

Also, because Hannelore…

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Note: This list is pretty much all the comics I read that have a story line (even if it isn’t initially obvious), but I also read quite a few strip versions that I didn’t include because the post was getting REALLY long. Here are a handful that you might like to check out: Sarah’s Scribbles, The Awkward Yeti, The Oatmeal, Hyperbole & a Half, Cyanide & Happiness, and xkcd.


What are some of YOUR favorite webcomics?

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Mini-Reviews – Graphic Novels

Hey guys! I thought I’d do another session of Mini-Reviews because I managed to snag a couple of really good graphic novels the other day! 🙂

Saga, Volume 1 Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist)

Description from Goodreads:

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

My Review:

I didn’t quite know what to expect coming into this one. I hadn’t actually read any reviews for this series other than a few comments from friends on Goodreads which basically all said “Where has this been all my life?!?” Seeing that it also has one of the highest ratings I’ve ever seen on GR, I decided to add it to my list.

Man, am I glad I did! This was one of the most exciting graphic novels I’ve ever read. I’ll admit, I haven’t really branched out of the ‘superhero mainstream’ before in physical comics, so I was delighted to find a full-fledged story with amazingly fleshed out characters.

Apparently not one for shying away from action, the author begins our story with one of the main characters in the midst of childbirth and ends the same scene with a gigantic firefight. What a way to jump into the middle of things! It works really well in this instance, though, by pulling you directly into the story without having to worry about too much setup. It also helps set the tone for the series by letting the reader know upfront how much danger our main duo is in.

The author is really great at making all of the characters seem believable too, which can be difficult in a sci-fi, where you can have anything from spider-women to ghosts. I love that, by the end of Vol 1, we’re already starting to get some backstory for all the main characters. I’m really becoming attached to some of these guys and finding out more about them and how they got into this situation is very interesting.

The artistry of the novel is wonderful as well. The diversity between the different species is very impressive and everything was really well executed. I did however, feel like I’d seen one character somewhere before…

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Left: Prince Robot IV (Saga, 2013), Right: The One Electronic (Rice Boy, 2006-2008)

Very probably a coincidence, but I couldn’t get it out of my brain. 😉

All-in-all, I’d definitely recommend this for sci-fi fans! I’ve already ordered the Volume 2; I can’t wait to get started!

Fables, Volume 1: Legends in Exile Bill Willingham (Writer), Lan Medina (Artist), Steve Leialoha (Artist), Craig Hamilton (Artist), Mark Buckingham (Cover Artist)

Description from Goodreads:

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the “mundys,” their name for normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society that they call Fabletown. From their exclusive luxury apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, these creatures of legend must fight for their survival in the new world.

My Review:

Oddly, it was the cover that originally drew me into this series (great job, Mr. Buckingham, lol). I literally went “Is that a flying monkey?” and then I noticed the title. I’ve always been a fan of fairy-tales, so I decided right then and there to give this one a go.

I love the idea of fairy-tale characters trapped in our reality. Seeing how each character has established themselves in our world puts a very interesting twist on the original tales. This story mainly focused on Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf, and Rose Red, but the author did a great job of pulling in as many characters from different tales as he could. He even got Old King Cole in there!

The mystery in this novel “What happened to Rose Red?” was really interesting. I was pretty stumped as to what happened all the way up to the end. The author did a good job with the pacing of the story, so that the reader was intrigued, but not rushed to a poorly explained conclusion.

Having finished the novel, though, one has to wonder…just where did the creators of ‘Once Upon A Time’ get their idea? A dark force takes over fairy-tale land, leaving our heroes trapped trapped in the mundane world? That sounds awfully familiar…


So how about you guys? Read any good comics lately? Got recommendations?