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Graphic Novels Book Reviews

***** Graphic Novels for Adults *****

Listed below are our most recent book reviews for Graphic Novels. To view additional book reviews, choose a subcategory from the list on the left.


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The Sculptor

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McCloud, Scott(2015)Recently Added Review
The Sculptor

Would you give up your life to be able to create art out of anything? When David Smith makes a deal with Death, he’s suddenly able to mold anything - brick, iron, granite - with a touch of his hand. Unfortunately, he has 200 days to make something worthwhile before he dies. The question is, who decides what something is worth? In the midst of his frustrations with the politics of art dealers, agents, and fellow artists, David meets a girl who makes him feel everything he’s wanted to gather from his works. Now he has to decide what’s worth dying for: love or art. Sometimes the two are the same. This beautiful graphic novel is simply drawn yet psychologically thrilling.

Reviewed by Kaitlyn M., Morrison Regional

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Zen Pencils : cartoon quotes from inspirational folks

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Than, Gavin Aung(2014)
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Zen Pencils : cartoon quotes from inspirational folks

While inspirational and comic books might seem like apples and oranges, artist and blogger Gavin Aung Than creatively combines wisdom with visually impactful graphics in his recent collection Zen Pencils: Cartoon Quotes from Inspirational Folks. Topics from emotional intelligence to feminism, diversity to scientific advancement, and more are celebrated in this graphic novel. Quotes by social commentators and thought leaders such as Jiddu Krishnamurti, Henry Rollins, Samuel Beckett, Robert Ebert, Ira Glass, Marianne Williamson, and many others are woven through dynamic images of personal achievement and social justice. If you enjoy the color and excitement of the graphic novel format, Zen Pencils promises to be an uplifting read.

Reviewed by Lydia T., Main Library

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Forever Evil:  Blight

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DeMatteis, J. M.(2014)
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Forever Evil: Blight

This collection continues the story of the Crime Syndicate takeover of Earth and the resulting destruction of the Justice League of America. Delving deeper into the back stories of Pandora, the Phantom Stranger, and John Constantine, we find our crew of shadowy spell casters searching for the missing members of the Justice League Dark and battling both a growing evil presence called Blight as well as the Crime Syndicate. Can the JLD withstand having their powers siphoned to create a supernatural weapon of mass destruction and save the world? This must-read companion to Justice League Dark - Volume 4, features an all-star cast of mysterious characters and will have you clamoring for the next installment of this riveting series.

Reviewed by Jori F., Steele Creek Branch

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Justice League Dark, Volume 1 - In the Dark

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Milligan, Peter(2012)
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Justice League Dark, Volume 1 - In the Dark

A malevolent spirit brings chaos to Earth and puts the Justice League of America out of commission. Madame Xanadu, a powerful clairvoyant, has a vision of the coming evil apocalypse and brings together Deadman, John Constantine, Zatanna and Shade, a disparate group of anti-heroes who operate in the shadows, far removed from the conventional tights and cape-wearing crowd. This uncomfortable new alliance of practitioners of the “Dark Arts” battles its mysterious, havoc-wreaking foe as its members battle their personal demons and mistrust of each other. This first volume of a great new comic series showcases the abilities and intersecting lives of some of the lesser-known and unorthodox members of the DC Universe with satisfying results.

Reviewed by Jori F., Steele Creek Branch

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The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

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Collins, Stephen(2014)
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

In this modern fable, reminiscent of stories by Franz Kafka or Roald Dahl, a man named Dave lives in a place called Here. His existence is tidy, predictable, and totally hairless, save for one stray hair that refuses to be trimmed, plucked or waxed away. One day, the singular sprout explodes into a beard unlike any seen in Here before, starting a surprising series of events in the town. Will the beard be blight or a blessing for the community? And what will happen to Dave? Pencil lines in varying shades of gray are perfect for this graphic novel, making it visually appealing as well as thought-provoking.

Reviewed by Rene K., ImaginOn

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Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

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Brown, Box(2014)
Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

Whether he played the good guy, the heel or the Brute Squad, Andre Roussimoff made an indelible impression in the worlds of sports and entertainment during his brief and illustrious life. In Box Brown’s graphic novel biography of the entertainer, athlete, actor and generally nice guy, brief vignettes are presented with bold, spare artwork. Repeatedly, Brown lets the reader know that art and reality are not mutually exclusive, and the stories presented are proof, with their embellishments, exaggerations and possible half-truths. Like the storylines he used to act out, Andre the Giant was neither all good nor all bad, but a man who lived a life rife with pain and promise, and who consciously made the most of every sweet year he was given.

Reviewed by Sarah K., Morrison Regional

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Aquaman Vol 1: The Trench

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Johns, Geoff(2012)
Aquaman Vol 1: The Trench

A great reboot for an underrated hero, this is one of the gems on DC`s publishing crown. This comic opens in a world where Aquaman is the butt of jokes about his `friends` the fish, questions of his efficacy out of water, and even public doubts about the existence of Atlantis and his underwater race. All he wants is a quiet existence with his wife in their lighthouse home, away from his abdicated throne, the mocking press, and occasionally venturing out to help people (he is still a hero, after all). Then the Trench arrive, an insatiably-hungry race of carnivores from the deepest underwater caverns, a race that is only a legend to the mighty and ancient Atlantean empire, and a massive threat to anyone who lives near water.

Reviewed by Jonathan W., South County Regional

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Injustice: Gods Among Us Vol. 1

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Taylor, Tom(2013)
Injustice: Gods Among Us Vol. 1

This non-canon standalone story is written as a prequel to the video game. I have never played the game. I don`t know if it properly ties into the game from the creators of Mortal Kombat. I only know that it is the best comic about DC superheroes I`ve read in years. The Joker finally broke our best hero, Superman is alone and his city destroyed. With the best intentions paving a road before him, Superman decides to bring about world peace, usurping personal freedoms, pushing aside national sovereignty, and using his allies to bring his own vision of “justice” whether the world wants it or not. It is exactly what Batman has always feared, and has secretly planned for. Dark, funny, surprisingly poignant, if you like DC, read this book.

Reviewed by Jonathan W., South County Regional

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Scene of the Crime

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Brubaker, Ed(2012)
Scene of the Crime

Writer Ed Brubaker’s affection for mysteries is beautifully bought to print in this classic-styled, private eye story. Young and recovered substance abuse user P.I. Jack Herriman begins a standard missing person case for a young woman believed to be at risk of slipping back into her own turbulent past lifestyle. That past life leads to a secretive, unsavory cult involved in a decade-old commune fire and hushed unorthodox sex practices. Despite help from his crime scene photographer uncle and another trusted aide, Jack can’t avoid fights and leaves the case looking like a wounded war veteran. The artist team of Michael Lark and Sean Phillips give the art a great sense of place and Jack--spiked hair, scar and bandages—a sense of character.

Reviewed by Lawrence T., South County Regional

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Zombillenium Vol 1: Gretchen

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De Pins, Arthur(2013)
Zombillenium Vol 1: Gretchen

Welcome to Zombillenium, where the supernatural is real and the zombies put on a show; just your average amusement park. The humans convince themselves that it’s great lighting and makeup while the supernaturals snicker to the side. In Zombillenium Vol 1: Gretchen, we meet a mischievous witch who is the new shunned intern at the amusement park where you will have the spookiest time of your life. Gretchen spends her workdays manning the very important balloon station. When a newcomer joins the undead crew, Gretchen finds that her witchy powers are just what they need. This graphic novel is full of vampires, werewolves, mummies, ghosts, zombies, and more! Plenty of laugh out loud moments and a secret or two to keep you entertained!

Reviewed by Angel T., West Boulevard Branch

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