When I was younger I read almost exclusively manga, only a novel or two over the summer vacation – and the only comic I can remember reading (except for manga and the occasional manwha) is W.I.T.C.H which I believe was an Italian comic. I adored it and actually had a doll figurine for the main character Will sitting on a shelf. I remember enjoying the experience of reading comics – the main difference between comics and manga is that manga is very rarely in color other than the first few pages – so much and when I read Saga vol. 1 in the autumn of 2014 I realised just how much I actually enjoyed reading stories in a comic format and that I wanted to get back into it. Ever since then I have tried to read more in the ways of graphic novels, graphic memoirs and comics – although I’m still very new into this realm – finding my own niche and taste. This month I have read three comics/graphic novels which I thought I would write about here.
The first one I read was The Adventuress by Audrey Niffenegger – author of “The Time Traveler’s Wife” which I read last summer and surprisingly liked quite a bit. As for her graphic novel – almost more of a picture book – I wasn’t as much of a fan. Although I felt I could appreciate that there was something different in the story that was told – very odd it certainly was, and the art was likely more complex than it looked (rather the method of creating the illustrations seems to have been quite complex) – and some illustrations were both beautiful and poignant. The text is very sparse, and I suppose it allows for more of a personal interpretation of the story being told. Although I could, as said, appreciate aspects of it I wouldn’t say I really enjoyed it or liked it, it wasn’t a waste of time but at the same time I am not planning on picking up any of her other graphic novels in the future – I’d rather stick to her writing.
Next I finally got around to reading the first volume of Lumberjanes. If there’s one comic I’ve been dying to get to – it’s this one. So much hype surrounds this series, it’s really very popular – and for good reason. I think, being the first volume, there’s a lot of tone setting to this volume and I am sure they will get even better as the story progresses. I really liked Lumberjanes! The more I think about it, the more I liked it. I loved the sense of humour, I grew to love the art (and actually prefer Brooke’s art style for the story) – I have to say that the art style was sort of reminiscent of watching a cartoon, it felt as if I was watching it unfold. Rather than just looking at pictures, they really came alive as a film in my mind’s eye. I liked that there are so many different types of body shapes, personalities, etc so that the reader is likely to find at least one character to relate with. My personal favourite was April – I love that she’s the only one drawn with those big sparkling eyes. I’ve read some people complain that Lumberjanes doesn’t make sense – like there’s no explanation for the fantastical elements to the story, but for me that was part of the charm. I like that it’s so nonsensical, just like walking into Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. Things can take unexpected turns – not everything has to make sense. I think if you’re a child you would enjoy this, if you’re an adult with an open mind and a part of you still hold onto your younger self – you’ll probably also enjoy this.
Lastly, during the weekend I got around to reading Saga volume 2. It’s been a long time coming, but I think there’s a reason for it. I adore the art style of Fiona Staples and she’s undoubtedly one of the main reasons I even picked this series up. Some of the character designs (like Gwendolyn in this volume) are amazing – the emotion in the face expressions is done impressively. On the other hand there are parts of the art (and part of the story) that I find a bit too vulgar. I knew there was nudity and all that in Saga going into it, and I wouldn’t say I’m overly sensitive but for me Saga pushes it a bit too far with the reason that they can, which isn’t to say it’s bad just that I personally don’t enjoy it. The fact of the matter is that I’m still not that into sci-fi, space stories doesn’t do it for me and neither does war stories. Although the story is fairly enjoyable and digestable – I mean, it’s fast paced and fun to read overall, it’s still not really my cup of tea. I think I’ll probably continue borrowing the volumes from the library and see where the story goes, but I might also drop this eventually – only time will tell. I’m just going to say though – Lying Cat is amazing and a big plus for this comic!
So, that is all of the illustrated things I’ve read this month. Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Do you have any recommendations for people who like Lumberjanes and are pretty new into comics? Leave it in the comments below.
Until next time, Happy Reading!