Tag Archives: graphic novels

Ben & Jerry’s Debuts The Long March, an Art Exhibit about Civil Rights Icon John Lewis

Rep. John Lewis dedicated his life—repeatedly risking injury and arrest—to defending every American’s right to vote. The icon passed away on July 17 leaving a legacy of fighting for justice and inspiring so many to continue his battles. “The vote,” he often said, “is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument we have in a democratic society and we must use it.”

Ben & Jerry’s is honoring his legacy with this livestream launch of The Long March, a new art installation dedicated to telling the congressman’s story and inspiring everyone to get out and vote! The exhibit is based on the best-selling award-winning graphic novel by Rep. Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell.

The virtual launch takes play on September 22 at 7pm EST.

Review: Slaughterhouse-Five OGN

Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five is one of my favorite books, and is hands down my favorite of Kurt Vonnegut’s novels. I happened upon it in college, with no prior knowledge of its content and no awareness of who Vonnegut was. Something about the book cover just drew me to the novel. I ended up missing class the next day because I stayed up all night reading it. Then once I’d finished, I turned right around and read it again. I may not have learned anything in class the day after buying the book, but Slaughterhouse-5 taught me a lot about what good fiction can deliver to the reader.

Published by Archaia, a division of Boom! Entertainment, Slaughterhouse-Five has now been adapted into an original graphic novel. Vonnegut’s classic anti-war allegory disguised as science-fiction is presented by writer Ryan North as it never has been before. Presenting the story, and its purposely non-linear narrative as a graphic novel is brilliant. Linking visuals to Billy Pilgrim’s time displacement fills out the storylines in a satisfying way. This adaptation is pretty faithful to the original novel. North uses much of Vonnegut’s prose and includes nearly every scene from the novel, even those small scenes casual readers may have forgotten. North does leave out one detail, however, the narrator from the novel, who is meant to represent the voice of Vonnegut himself.

Instead, North provides a bit of his own narration and exposition via text boxes placed throughout the story. In essence, he inserts himself as the narrator. Although these asides occasionally leaned toward humorous, I don’t feel like they added much to the narrative. To be frank, it felt to me like adding lines to a production of Shakespeare. In trying to retell one of Vonnegut’s stories, North effectively cuts him out of the narrative completely, and the representative character out until the very end. There are also some asides during scenes in the German prison camp where North points out Vonnegut (who was actually captured by the Germans during the war). Altogether, I think these asides are meant to mimic Vonnegut’s technique in the novel. Unfortunately, what is a sophisticated meta-textual literary device in Vonnegut’s hands feels more like pandering under North’s.

Along those same lines, I could have done without the seven pages of illustrated introduction. If a reader picks up this graphic novel, and has no idea it’s based on a Vonnegut novel, they should be allowed to enjoy it without pretense. North also gives a timeline of Billy Pilgrim’s “journey” through time, which basically amounts to a huge spoiler for a story that hasn’t even started yet. Plus, illustrating this introduction just felt unnecessary. One page of printed introduction, as is common in other graphic novels, would have sufficed. Or the illustrated introduction could have been tacked on to the end. The context it tries to impart would have had more impact after a reader has finished the graphic novel. Place at the beginning, it seemed like a waste of time for fans of Slaughterhouse-5, and wasn’t a good way to engage new readers.

Albert Monteys artwork is but not spectacular. The best way to describe my feelings of the illustrations is with the phrase “missed opportunity.” Slaughterhouse-five offers an artist the chance to draw battlefields, prison camps, flying saucers, an alien zoo, and the ward of a mental institution. Although Monteys renders all these settings well, they all look too similar. His linework rarely changes and the result is the exotic settings have the exact same look as the mundane ones. He does change his style at a few points, producing some cool visual effects, including: several underwater panels where the reader can see the ripples in the water, the scene where Billy Pilgrim watches a documentary on the war is drawn like a storyboard, and the pages of the Tralfamadorian book are appropriately abstract and psychedelic.

Luckily, Monteys’ use of color compensates for his uniform illustrative style. His color deviations accurately depict the settings within the story. Even without reading Vonnegut’s prose, the reader can instantly distinguish Germany during WWII from Billy Pilgrim’s optometry office in the 1950’s. The colors Monteys uses not only visually sum up the setting, they also convey the tone of each scene.

This graphic novel presentation of Slaughterhouse-Five is a great adaptation, but not necessarily a one-hundred percent faithful one. The story and most of the dialogue and text are purely Vonnegut. Unfortunately, North’s artistic liberties and literary additions don’t add to the quality of the story. In my opinion, North’s additions are actually more of a distraction then a quality accompaniment. Monteys’ artwork is a bit uniform despite the varied settings within the story, but all of his illustrations clearly covey the life of Billy Pilgrim to the reader. For those who have never read Slaughterhouse-five, I highly suggest starting with the novel, then checking out this graphic novel adaptation. Fans of Vonnegut’s work will probably want to add this graphic novel to their bookshelves, moreso to add to their collections than for the quality of the product.

Story: Kurt Vonnegut Written: Ryan North Art: Albert Monteys
Story: 10 Adaptation: 3.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.2 Recommendation: Read

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus Comics

Michelle Czajkowski Fus’ Ava’s Demon: Reborn is Live on Kickstarter

Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment are partnering with author and artist Michelle Czajkowski Fus to release an all-new print version of her YA fantasy/sci-fi webcomic Ava’s Demon.

The comic, which has gained a dedicated online fan base, follows a young girl and an ancient queen who make a pact to destroy the most powerful being in the universe.

The campaign is live on Kickstarter now and ends on October 14.

In addition to the Kickstarter going live, Michelle also launched new pages on www.avasdemon.com today. The new installment features a bit of horror involving Odin’s backstory, and Ava’s guilt and fears. Art from the update, attached, can be used as an asset.

Skybound Entertainment recently announced a partnership with Michelle Czajkowski Fus to assist in efforts around the Ava’s Demon: Reborn Kickstarter and future projects, including a mass-market softcover of Ava’s Demon down the line.

Preview: The Mueller Report

The Mueller Report

(W) Shannon Wheeler, Steve Duin (A/CA) Shannon Wheeler
In Shops: Sep 16, 2020
SRP: $15.99

It’s the greatest WHODUNIT of our time… or a new low for “Presidential Harassment!”

Shannon Wheeler, Eisner Award-winning New Yorker cartoonist (Too Much Coffee Man, Sh*t My President Says, God is Disappointed in You), and veteran journalist Steve Duin (The Oregonian, Comics: Between the Panels, Oil and Water) turn their critical eye on The Mueller Report-a comprehensive, understandable, and readable graphic novel version of the book every patriot needs.

Fight the spin spewing forth from both parties and political pulpits and check out this graphic novel that brings a 400-page legal document down to size. Wheeler and Duin, in graphic form, bring to life scenes detailed in the report: from the infamous Trump Tower Meeting of 2016 to Trump exclaiming “I’m f*cked” upon finding out he was the subject of investigation. It’s in the report and it’s in the graphic novel!

The Mueller Report: Graphic Novel borrows style from classic private detective yarns, complete with a villainous rogues’ gallery, nail-biting cliffhangers, and a lone lawman standing proud against the wave of crime.

See Trump berate his Attorney General. Watch a petulant Commander-in-Chief lob insults at the White House counsel. Witness the “witch hunt” as it happened, cataloged as only the top lawman in the country could!

This staggering laundry list of questionable contacts, misleading statements, unreported engagements, and possible coordination-enough to stun any student of the U.S. Constitution-is laid bare with a cold, satirical edge.

Now includes new BONUS MATERIAL! Wheeler and Duin take on the Ukrainian Call and the Whistleblower Complaint that ignited the Impeachment!

You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You may Tweet in anger. But most importantly, you will be reading the report for yourself!

The Mueller Report

The Sacrifice of Darkness Gets a Virtual Book Tour

The Sacrifice of Darkness

BOOM! Studios has announced The Sacrifice of Darkness Virtual Book Tour, in support of the original graphic novel from New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay, co-writer Tracy Lynne Oliver, artist Rebecca Kirby, and colorist James Fenner, adapting Gay’s New York Times bestselling short story “We Are the Sacrifice of Darkness” into a full-length graphic novel and expanding the short story about a tragic event that forever bathes the world in darkness, available in October 2020.

Follow a couple’s powerful journey through this new landscape as they discover love, family, and the true light in a world seemingly robbed of any. As they challenge the world’s notions of identity, guilt, and survival, they find that no matter the darkness, there remain sources of hope that can pierce the veil.

The Sacrifice of Darkness Virtual Book Tour includes multiple virtual events from October 27th through December 15th to celebrate the release of the graphic novel with Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 6pm PST: Hosted by Powell’s Books (Portland, OR), with special guests Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby. 
Click here for more info: http://bit.ly/SacrificeTour_Powells

Thursday, October 29, 2020, 5:30pm PST: Hosted by Literati Bookstore (Ann Arbor, MI), with special guests Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby. 
Click here for more info: http://bit.ly/SacrificeTour_Literati

Monday, November 2, 2020, 5:30pm PST: Hosted by Porter Square Books (Cambridge, MA), with special guests Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby. 
Click here for more info: https://www.portersquarebooks.com/

Thursday, November 5, 2020, 5:30pm PST: Hosted by Solid State (Washington, DC), with special guests Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby. 
Click here for more info: https://www.solidstatebooksdc.com/

Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 6pm PST: Hosted by Bookbar (Denver, CO), with special guests Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby. 
Click here for more info: https://www.bookbardenver.com/

Saturday, November 14, 2020, 7pm PST: Hosted by Auntie’s Bookstore (Spokane, WA), with special guests Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby. 
Click here for more info: http://bit.ly/SacrificeTour_Aunties

Tuesday, November 17, 2020, 5pm PST: Hosted by Harvard Book Store (Boston, MA), with special guests Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby. 
Click here for more info: https://www.harvard.com/

Tuesday, November 24, 2020, 6pm PST: Hosted by Vroman’s Bookstore (Pasadena, CA), with special guests Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby. 
Click here for more info: https://www.vromansbookstore.com/

Tuesday, December 1, 2020, 6pm PST: Hosted by Bookworks (Albuquerque, NM), with special guests Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby. 
Click here for more info: http://bit.ly/SacrificeTour_Bookworks

Thursday, December 3, 2020, 6pm PST: Hosted by Everett Public Library (Everett, WA), with special guests Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby. 
Click here for more info: http://bit.ly/SacrificeTour_Everett

Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 6pm PST: Hosted by Mysterious Galaxy (San Diego, CA), with special guests Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby. 
Click here for more info: http://bit.ly/SacrificeTour_MystGalaxy

Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 5pm PST: Hosted by Astoria Bookshop (Astoria, NY), , with special guests Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby. 
Click here for more info: https://www.astoriabookshop.com/

Print copies of THE SACRIFICE OF DARKNESS will be available for sale on October 21, 2020 at local comic book shops (use comicshoplocator.com to find the one nearest you), October 27, 2020 at bookstores, or at the BOOM! Studios webstore. Digital copies can be purchased from content providers, including comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and Madefire.

Preview: The Magicians: New Class

The Magicians: New Class

(W) Lev Grossman, Lilah Sturges (A) Pius Bak (CA) Qistina Khalidah
In Shops: Sep 16, 2020
SRP: $19.99

New York Times bestselling series creator Lev Grossman returns with an all-new story in the world of The Magicians with award-winning writer Lilah Sturges and rising star artist Pius Bak that features the first appearance of the next generation of heroes and villains.

Long after Quentin Coldwater has graduated from Brakebills, Dean Fogg welcomes the first class in Brakebills history to include hedge magicians, who are known for being dangerous practitioners of unsanctioned magic. As these two student bodies clash, everyone at Brakebills is forced to take a side – not realizing a new threat has targeted them all! ? The malevolence behind the threat at Brakebills will rock everyone to their cores – and even shock longtime fans of The Magicians!

The Magicians: New Class

Get an Early Look at Alejandro Jodorowsky and Jeremy’s The Knights of Heliopolis

The 18th century. In a monastery in the North of Spain hides the sacred temple of the Knights of Heliopolis: an assembly of immortal alchemists cut off from the world. As disciple Seventeen prepares to complete his training and integrate order, his master Fulcanelli reveals to the other knights the terrible secret of his origins – Seventeen is actually the hidden son of King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette! Will the young heir claim the throne or remain in the shadows, faithful to the millennial precepts of Alchemy?

The Knights of Heliopolis is written by Alejandro Jodorowsky with art by Jeremy and is set to be published by Titan Comics in April 2021.

The Knights of Heliopolis

Review: Displacement

DISPLACEMENT

A movie, which has had a long-lasting effect on me, was Sankofa. The movie, made by a film professor at Howard University, expanded on the definition of speculative fiction. It revolved around a model who did a photoshoot in what was a slave castle. Unbeknownst to her, she is transported back in time to when slavery was still legal and her life instantly becomes a living nightmare.

The movie and the story that propelled it brought into view the struggle that many Black people have to contend with. Something that Black Panther did in the fight between T’Challa and Killmonger, showing how these two worlds were not only associated but remained in perpetual struggle. This is an internal fight for all who are of two worlds, never feeling as you belong to either, yet still feeling lost in the wilderness known as life because of it.  In Kiku Hughes‘s affecting Displacement, we find one such protagonist, who finds out firsthand what her grandmother went through during World War II in her own living nightmare.

We meet Kiku as she writes in a journal, of her current predicament, as her situation is not normal, as she stuck back in a time that is not hers. As she recalls the first time, she traveled back in time, when her mother took her to San Francisco, to find the house her grandmother lived in, when suddenly everything around her was instantly different, and she was at her grandmother’s school, and where she saw a disturbing sign, but before she could make sense of what happened, she was transported back to her time and back to her mother, who was trying to find her. This would happen to Kiku a few more times before it happened permanently. She finds herself in an internment camp, with her grandmother. She endures the atrocities that all Japanese American people did at that time, including being separated from family, censoring newspapers, random inspections, being moved to another internment camp with no notice, loyalty questionnaires, and allegiance hearings. From there it’s a mystery of the travel and what it will take for her to return to her own time.

Overall, Displacement is an illuminating and harrowing story that shows the devastating effects of “trauma in the blood” and no matter how many generations have passed. As Shakespeare eloquently eschewed “ What’s past is prologue” and this important book is the most brilliant and heartfelt exposition of that quote in our modern times. The story by Hughes is fantastical, poignant, and relevant. The art by Hughes is awe-inspiring. Altogether, a story that should bring full circle why the legalization of racial discrimination at any time, is not only deplorable but un-human.

Story: Kiku Hughes Art: Kiku Hughes
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall:10 Recommendation: Buy

First Second provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: Amazon – Hardcover/Paperback/Kindle

Preview: Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five

(W) Kurt Vonnegut, Ryan North (CA) Scott Newman (A/CA) Albert Monteys
In Shops: Sep 16, 2020
SRP: $24.99

Kurt Vonnegut’s classic adapted in graphic novel form for the first time!

With Kurt Vonnegut’s seminal anti-war story, Slaughterhouse-Five, Eisner Award-winning writer Ryan North (Unbeatable Squirrel Girl) and Eisner Award-nominated artist Albert Monteys (Universe!) translate a literary classic into comic book form in the tradition of A Wrinkle in Time and Fight Club 2.

Billy Pilgrim has read Kilgore Trout and opened a successful optometry business. Billy Pilgrim has built a loving family and witnessed the firebombing of Dresden. Billy Pilgrim has traveled to the planet Tralfamadore and met Kurt Vonnegut. Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.

Slaughterhouse-Five is at once a farcical look at the horror and tragedy of war where children are placed on the frontlines and die (so it goes), and a moving examination of what it means to be a fallible human.

Slaughterhouse-Five

The Fall Comes to Image in February 2021

Readers who found themselves gripped by the apocalyptic adventure of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead and who were moved by the emotion in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road will not want to miss Jared Muralt‘s forthcoming original graphic novel, The Fall, Vol. 1. The book will hit shelves in February 2021 from Image Comics.

After just losing his wife, one father will have to face a world in freefall; shaken to its core by an economic, social, political and health crisis without precedent. Facing seemingly unreal and very unexpected dangers, he will do whatever it takes to protect his loved ones in a country on the brink of collapse. In this internationally acclaimed series, Jared Muralt not only tells the story of one family struggling to survive but also questions the very reasons that brought mankind to this apocalypse.

The Fall, Vol. 1 (ISBN: 978-1-5343-1838-0) will be available on Wednesday, March 17 and in bookstores on Tuesday, March 23.

THE FALL, VOL. 1
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