Posts Tagged ‘graphic novels’

Your favorite books, now in graphic novel format!

August 26, 2013

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New trend in publishing: turn popular books into graphic novels!  Here are just a few that you can find at the library.  As always, click the title to see if it’s in or to place a hold!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Maximum Ride by James Patterson

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

The Clique by Lisi Harrison

Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

House of Night by PC and Kristin Cast

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan

houndpridejaneeyrefahrenheit

And you can find the classics in graphic novel format too!

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Manga: Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima

August 10, 2011

Fairy Tail Guild

Title: Fairy Tail
Author: Hiro Mashima (of Rave Master fame)
Publisher: Del Ray
Volumes: 17 in English so far (27 in Japanese–ongoing)
Publication: 2006-current
Genre: Fantasy, Action, Comedy
Anime: 2 seasons, 91 episodes in Japanese so far (FUNimation presently dubbing the English release)

Fairy Tail (no, that’s not a typo!) is one of the many magic guilds in the Kingdom of Fiore. They’re a bit of the Bad News Bears of the guilds, in that they’re often a laughing stock among the magic community—usually because of the mass destruction caused by its inhabitants—but are actually at the top of the league when given the chance.

Meet the main focus of the guild for this series:

Lucy Heartfilia – Celestial Spirit Magic (basically a summoner) – Lucy is a newcomer to the scene who saunters into Magnolia Town hoping to gain entrance into the Fairy Tale Guild. Lucy is caring, and very confident in her looks.

Natsu Dragneel – Fire Dragon Slayer Magic – Natsu is a typical male action hero: courageous, kind, hot-tempered and a bit of an idiot. He is one of the strongest mages at Fairy Tail power-wise, but due to his temperament and wild magic, his lack of control keeps him from being in the top tier (and often causes the aforementioned mass destruction!).

Happy – I’m not quite sure what exactly his magic is; I do know he can grow wings! – Happy appears to be a flying and talking blue cat, and happens to be Natsu’s best friend. He is knowledgeable, but can often be a bit cheeky.

Gray Fullbuster – Ice-Make Magic – Gray is Natsu’s main rival, but a part of “Team Natsu.” As opposed to Natsu’s hyper personality, Gray is very laid back—except when it comes to arguing with Natsu, it seems. Loyal and cautious, Gray also has the habit of unwittingly disrobing (yeah, I did just type that).

Erza Scarlet – Requip Magic (armor/weapons that can take different forms) – Erza is one of (if not the) most powerful mages in Fairy Tail. If I were to go full-dork, Erza’s alignment is definitely lawful good; she is honorable, smart and strict.

Fairy Tail does not have a main plot, and instead goes through story arcs. The art is detailed and perfect for this series’ format. But for me, the characters are absolutely what make the series so much fun. There is a fair amount of fan service, but honestly it’s so goofy that it’s hard to be offended even if it’s not your thing.

Extremely high entertainment value. Recommended for fans of series such as One Piece, Rave Master and Sands of Destruction.

Movie: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

May 4, 2011

Title: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (DVD & Blu-ray)
Directed by: Edgar Wright (director of Shaun of the Dead & Hot Fuzz)
Released: 2010
Length: 112 minutes
Genre: Comedy, Action, Guy-Friendly-Romance, Comic/Gaming (pretty much everything awesome!)
Based on: Scott Pilgrim graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Are you in your teens?  20’s?  30’s?  Heck, young at heart?  Boy, do I have the movie for you! [Blogger’s note: I would be an awful Billy Mays.]  Well, that’s assuming you like any of the following: graphic novels, music, video games, comedy, over-the-top action and/or romance. What’s that? You don’t? Well, GET OUT. …I’ll wait for the whole zero people to leave the blog. We good? Okay.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was easily the most entertaining movie of 2010.  Filled with comic and video game-imbued fight scenes, dumb (e.g., Scott) and witty (e.g., Wallace) comedy, insanely catchy music, and a seriously messed up relationship.

For those of you that know nothing about Scott Pilgrim, the story begins like this: Scott Pilgrim is a 23-year old slacker.  Still reeling from a bad break-up, he manages to form a tentative relationship with high schooler Knives Chau.  While complacent, Scott is turned on his head when his literal dream girl shows up: Ramona Flowers.  After finally convincing Ramona to start dating, and a half-hearted break-up with love-struck Knives (perhaps not entirely in that order), Scott discovers that in order to remain with Ramona, he must battle her seven evil exes.  And these are no Karate Kid structured matches; each evil ex has their own abilities and powers, and is willing to go to any low to defeat Scott (something Scott himself has no problem doing).

Did I mention Scott’s in a band?  Featured as the bass player in Sex Bob-omb, along with Steven Stills as lead guitar/vocals and Kim Pine on drums.  For those of you worried about some random band performing and the hoity-toity actors lip syncing and pretending to play the instruments, fear not!  Each member of Sex Bob-omb plays their own instrument, both in the movie and for the soundtrack.  I will note, however, that Beck wrote all their songs—who cares?!  Beck is awesome!  As for The Clash at Demonhead, Brie Larson (as Envy) sings in the movie, but it’s Metric’s song on the album—again, Metric is superb, so oh well!  And may I just note that there is, I kid you not, a Bass Battle!  I love puns.

Bass Battle

Worried about the movie straying too far from its graphic novel roots?  Again, not an issue!  The beginning is nearly word for word, and while they have to leave some things out for time’s sake, and the ending is a bit different due to the final volume not being out until after the movie’s script was written.  Aside from that, nearly everything including the characters’ clothes and hair styles are identical to those in the graphic novels.

Okay, Scott’s pretty oblivious, and Ramona seems to have been cold and uncaring in her past, but the events and the dialogue that transpire with these two and those around them will have you giggling and/or pumping your fists into the air…or at the very least, it will leave you with good memories and a pleasant sense of nostalgia.

Manga: Tsubasa –Reservoir Chronicle– by CLAMP

March 21, 2011

Tsubasa, Volume 1

Title: Tsubasa –Reservoir Chronicle–
Author: CLAMP
Publisher: Del Ray
Volumes: 28 (completed)
Publication: 2003-2009
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance, Crossover
Anime: 2 seasons, 52 episodes (completed)

[Forgive the long review, dear blogee—the following paragraphs encompass several works, and take some time to explain!]

I’ll tell you something about myself: I hate starting a series with no end in sight. So when the last volume of Tsubasa came out recently, there was finally an end to the six-month+ long cliffhangers (imagine the happy dance, if you will). Of course, I didn’t learn about my extreme aversion to cliffhangers until after I had already started in on the series many a year ago. Frankly, even if I had, I probably would have started reading it anyway; after all, it’s CLAMP!

CLAMP self-portrait, manga-styleI trust you’re familiar with the Japanese power-quad mangaka (comic artist) group? No? Run, don’t walk, to the library and grab any of their previous series: Chobits, X/1999, Tokyo Babylon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Clover, Magic Knight Rayearth, RG Veda—just to name a few. Each series offers gorgeous art, compelling storylines and characters you’ll never forget.

In fact, the characters are so memorable, almost all of them show up in Tsubasa! The two main characters, Sakura and Syaoran, star in—as you may have guessed—Cardcaptor Sakura; one of CLAMP’s most popular series, and a steadfast member of the magical girl genre. Although this Sakura and Syaoran look exactly the same as in CLAMP’s previous series, it soon becomes apparent they do not occupy the world we’re used to seeing them in.

Tsubasa Main Cast: (back) Fai, Sakura, Kurogane, (front) SyaoranHowever, their attachment to each other has reached across universes; something you’ll find is a common theme with characters from other series. When Sakura loses her memories and is put into a catatonic state, Syaoran visits the Dimensional Witch, Yūko (from CLAMP’s parallel series, xXxHolic), and pleads with her to save Sakura. Two other original characters, under varying circumstances, show up at the same time and place to make a request of their own. However, no wish can be granted without giving up what they cherish most. In order to fulfill the trio’s wishes, they must journey to various dimensions, in order to regain Sakura’s memories and restore her to her former self.

Confused? Don’t worry, CLAMP tells the story much better than I do. If you’re apprehensive about reading Tsubasa without first going through all their previous material—don’t be. It’s definitely not essential to be a guru in all things CLAMP in order to enjoy the series. Although you’ll miss out on all your fangirl/boy squeals when your would-be favorite characters show up in the group’s travels (X/1999’s Sorata and Arashi? I don’t normally partake of the fangirl colloquialisms, but *squee*!!—read the series; you’ll understand why it’s a big deal). My only complaint with the series was that it was a bit hard to follow at times. Likely reading it all at once would remedy this—yet another reason to love finished series!

xXxHolic characters: Watanuki, Dōmeki, Mokona, Yūko

As you’re reading through Tsubasa, don’t forget to keep up with its sister series, xXxHolic. It follows Watanuki Kimihiro, who, despite his somber appearance, is typically quite energetic, though not in a happy-go-lucky way. Possessing the unwanted ability to see spirits, Watanuki stumbles upon Yūko’s wish-granting shop, where he promptly finds himself employed in order to work off his wish of one day being normal. The art has a very dark and smoky vibe, which I absolutely adored. The spastic Watanuki and the life-loving, sagely Yūko make a great team for a great read. So far 16 volumes are out in English. It’s unknown when the series will be completed, but I’ll keep gobbling it up anyway!

tl;dr (too long; didn’t read): Everything CLAMP makes is awesome, so by Transitive Property, Tsubasa is awesome!

Graphic Spotlight: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley

July 15, 2010

Sooooo how many evil ex-boyfriends/girlfriends do you have? Ramona Flowers has SEVEN. yup, SEVEN. and if the naturally awesome Scott Pilgrim wants to date Miss Flowers he is going to have to use his awesomeness to defeat ALL of them. Thank gosh he has nintendo-like reflexes, right?!

This is essentially the plot of the Scott Pilgrim series beginning with volume 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life and ending with volume 6: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour (coming out next week!). But the awesomeness of Scott Pilgrim deserved to be shared among all media and so Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a movie starring Michael Cera in the title role, enters theaters on August 13, 2010, and a corresponding video game is supposed to debut this summer, too! ::exploding due to awesome::

Free Comic Book Day 2010!!!

April 21, 2010

But don’t take my word for it, here is Heroes Star Milo Ventimiglia showing off his comic-loving side:

Where to go to snatch up one of the free comics? (I’m hoping to get a MouseGuard/Fraggle Rock mash-up one myself)

MIDWEST COLLECTABLES
3451 N FAIRMOUNT STREET
DAVENPORT, IA
(563) 823-1975

and see HERE to search for other local shops participating in FCBD10.

Graphic Spotlight: Twilight and friends

March 17, 2010

Twilight: The Graphic Novel Volume 1 by Stephenie Meyer and Young KimFirst thing I did when I got home last night? I curled up with a brand spanking new copy of Twilight: The Graphic Novel Volume 1. And it was awesome.

It has been awhile since I read the first book, so I can’t make a judgment call on how faithful the graphic novel was to the original text but there was one big change that surprised me: I actually liked Bella. What?! I didn’t like Bella in the book?! Weeeeelll, I didn’t not like her exactly–I just found her attitude towards other females extremely annoying. However, something about the way Young Kim draws her expressions makes her totally adorable in the Graphic Novel! Oh, and her crazy voluptuous, shiny hair is utterly captivating.

Now on the flipside, I found Edward less likeable when in graphic form; he kinda looks like the token jerk from a late 80′s after school program.

Overall, Kim’s work is fantastic: the variation in line texture, the soft photographic backdrops, and the subtle, poignant color changes give the graphic novel incredible feeling. Swoon, can you hear my heart beating?! I can’t wait for Volume 2!

Twilight isn’t the only series to go graphic. Check out these other popular titles that have had an illustrator’s touch:
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