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Graphic Novels

Your Bookmark Here: Through the Woods

December 23, 2014 | Amanda | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Review of Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Through-the-Woods-Cover

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll is a graphic novel filled with short stories that follow fairy tale like themes. This graphic novel is one of the best books I have read in a long time. The short stories are filled with wonderful images and eerie tales of love, loss, and death. Carroll weaves all of these short stories magically together, forcing the reader to want to keep turning the pages for more. The book captures the reader and beckons them to take part in the story, to watch the characters come to life, and to read on to allow the story to unfold. The book is wonderfully creepy and captures perfectly just how sinister the unknown can be and what may lurk behind the shadows in the cold dark woods.

Introduction:

The book begins by introducing the reader to the unknown through Carroll’s use of language: “What if I reached out… and something waiting there, grabbed me…” The images focus on a young person reading quietly in a dark, desolate room with a single light shining brightly over her book. Carroll immediately takes the reader into the dark place that the character imagines, by introducing the first of five short stories…

Our Neighbor’s House:

This is a story about three young sisters who await their father’s return from a hunting trip. Needless to say, Dad never comes home and strange things start to happen to each sister one-by-one. Father warns the girls to leave and head to their neighbors house if he does not return by the third night. The subdued color palate and the eerily dark images help to bring this story to life. A great start to a truly scary compilation…..

  Through the woods table of contents
A Lady’s Hands are Cold

This is a love story about a woman and a man and their enormously large home and the man’s dead fiancé. The woman marries the man and they live together in the man’s home. Each night they break bread together and the woman is waited on hand and foot by her loyal servants. One night, she begins to hear strange noises coming from the walls and the floor boards. In the dead of the night is when the sounds are truly horrifying. This story is one that will stay with the reader long after the tale is complete. As you read on, you discover that the noises are coming from different parts of the home and over the course of the story, the fiancés body parts being to show up one-by-one. Read this story to find out what happens.

 

The Nesting Place:

This was truly the most frightening of all the stories. This story begins with Bell and her mother. Bell’s mother would always tell her stories of monsters. She would say that the worst kind of monster was the burrowing kind… “The sort that crawled into you and made a home there… the sort you couldn’t name, and the sort you couldn’t see… the monster that ate you alive from the inside out.” This is a frightening story about a young girl who is forced to live with her older brother and his fiancé. Little does Bell know what lurks in the forest near their home or what secrets Rebecca (bro’s fiancé) is hiding. I don’t want to tell you too much about this story because I really think you should read this book.

 

All in all, this is a great read and I cannot recommend it enough. For more information on Emily Carroll, check out her blog and her art at:

http://www.emcarroll.com/

 For more titles like this one, check out these great reads:

Lost Boy by Greg Ruth

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

 

 

Weekly Trivia 8: The Osamu Tezuka Edition

August 18, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (5) Facebook Twitter More...

Astro Boy Volume 1For this week's edition of our literary trivia challenge, we're asking you about a legend of Japanese Manga!

Considered to be a master of the form in Japan, Osamu Tezuka at one point trained to become a doctor, before he (wisely) chose to follow his heart and become a manga artist. One wonders if some of the adventures of his character Black Jack came from his experiences as a medical student...

In one of Tezuka's best known series, he chronicles the life of one of the world's great religious figures. Tell us who Tezuka wrote about for a chance to win a book!

OR:

Tell us what world leader's life would make a great comic and why! If we like who you choose, you could win a book too!

There are only a couple of rules to this contest:

1) You have to be a resident of the city of Toronto to win a prize.

2) Your answer has to be submitted by Thursday (August 21) at 11:59 PM if you want to win.

3) You need to provide us with a valid email address if you want to be considered for the prize. Otherwise, how will we get in touch with you? Don't worry, we'll keep your address secret (see below for more info).

Winners will be contacted at the end of the week.

Your name, your e-mail address, the books you read and your thoughts about them are your personal information. Why do we need your personal information here?  Well, we want to publish your reviews, and we need your name and e-mail address to help administer the contest.  The Public Libraries Act is the law that lets us do this.  We'll be protecting your privacy every step of the way, but if you have any questions about how we're going to do that, you can contact TPL's Privacy & Records Management Officer, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, M4W 2G8, 416-395-5658 or by e-mail at gnettlefold@torontopubliclibrary.ca

Gods and Warriors

July 18, 2014 | Alice | Comments (10) Facebook Twitter More...

Fan_of_norse_mythology_by_red_ipod on deviantart dot comUnlike the climate they come from, the myths of the Norse gods have been hot ever since the movie Thor (speaking of hot...). Suddenly, there are books about being a teen in the United States of Asgard, gory graphic novels about warlords of yore, and tales of gods and Valkyries retold in times both ancient and modern. It's not the only mythology that has enjoyed a bit of popularity lately, with Percy Jackson bringing the Greek monsters to your bookshelf and movie screen, but definitely, the Norse myths are having a moment.

Barbarian Lord - this graphic novel, just out this month, is based on a Norse tale and features some of the traditions of the ancient Scandinavian people, not to mention tons and tons of really bloodythirsty action rendered in a heavy comic style that reminds me a bit of Black Metal. This one is not in yet at the library, but worth keeping an eye out for if you want some so-old-there-wasn't-school-yet mayhem.

Valkyrie Rising - When a teenage girl goes to stay with her grandma in Norway, she learns about not only mythology, but also some well-hidden family history and her own destiny. A fast read with a seriously kick ass female heroine. Also available as an ebook.

Gospel of Loki - This is a longer book from the adult collection, but a really good read if you are up for something slightly denser. What really makes it is the voice of Loki, sarcastic, sardonic, and just the right mix of bad and stylish to have you with him all the way. I keep wanting to hand this off to people and tell them to read it!

Stork - This is an unusual one, in which a normal teenage girl suddenly discovers she is one of a group of "storks," women who pair souls with potential babies in utero. This involves making some calls about who will be the best moms, as well as some drama between the storks in their small town, and she has to learn to navigate all of this on her feet. It's lighter, but interesting. Also available as an ebook.

United States of Asgard - This series blends modern day USA with Norse mythology for a setting that makes the adventures of Asgardian teens accessible in a new way. The son of a famous berserker warrior and the daughter of a seer go searching for a missing god in the series opener, The Lost Sun, also available as an ebook.

Vinland Saga - this graphic novel was one of my picks for the summer, and I now have my hands on volume 2, with volume 3 in the system and waiting for me! :D  It's a seriously epic story, as the title suggests, of a young boy whose father, a former hero, has vengeance taken on him by his old Viking warrior tribe. This all happens in volume one, and by the end, we are well set up for volume two, with the young boy swearing to avenge his father in turn. These are not for the faint of heart, as the Vikings were a famously bloodthirsty bunch, but they are gorgeous and massive in scope, well worth the read if myth and battle appeal to you.

Loki's Wolves - The gods have long since died. Ragnarok, the end of the world, is coming. And it turns out that this time it's up to the teenage descendants of the gods to try to save the world -- if they can turn the course of mythology and beat the monsters this time around. This series is actually in the children's section, but so much fun I couldn't not include it, and it is written by two top-shelf YA authors, Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr, so.

And, of course, there's Marvel's Thor. Hero of comic books for decades, many of which are now bound into graphic novels under Marvel's excellent publishing programme. And Thor of the movies, with the delicious Chris Hemsworth wielding the famed hammer, Mjolnir. But did you hear the surprising and very interesting news about the Thor of the comic world that just came out this week? That Thor is going to lose his hammer, and a woman will step into his place, becoming a new Thor?

I wasn't sure what to make of this, especially coupled with the news, just a couple of days later, that Captain America will also have a change coming, and in this case, Falcon will become Cap. Falcon is also African American, meaning that Captain America will be a black man, another interesting move toward diversity and shaking up old images. A good friend of mine pointed out that this is allowing more people to see themseloves in Marvel's heroes, or as having the potential for heroism, which is a lovely idea.

What do you think? Can you completely reboot a character or a myth like that? Do you think it works and carries forward the attributes of a character in interesting ways, or do you think they should just start fresh with new characters instead?

 

Congratulations Megan! Winner of the review a graphic novel contest!!

July 12, 2014 | Ken Sparling | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

Book cover stargazing dogIt was a tough call, as all of the entries in the contest to review a graphic novel in 100 words were well written and compelling. Thanks to everyone who entered.

And thanks to Megan, who reviewed Takashi Murakami's Stargazing Dog.

Congratulations Megan!

Weekly Trivia 2: The Scott Pilgrim Edition

July 7, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (7) Facebook Twitter More...

Scott PilgrimOK folks! Time for the second installment of our weekly trivia contest, where we pick your brains about your book-based knowledge. In this week's edition, we want to know how much YOU know about Bryan Lee O'Malley's epic comic series, Scott Pilgrim.

One of the series' epic battles takes place at a famous Toronto department store. Tell us the name of the store and you could win a free book!

OR:

Where would you have had Scott kick some butt? Tell us the Toronto landmark where you think Scott should have dished out some pain pie and why! If we like your idea best, you'll win a book too.

There are only a couple of rules to this contest:

1) You have to be a resident of the city of Toronto to win a prize.

2) Your answer has to be submitted by Thursday (July 10) at 11:59 PM if you want to win.

3) You need to provide us with a valid email address if you want to be considered for the prize. Otherwise, how will we get in touch with you? Don't worry, we'll keep your address secret (see below for more info).

Winners will be contacted at the end of the week.

Your name, your e-mail address, the books you read and your thoughts about them are your personal information. Why do we need your personal information here?  Well, we want to publish your reviews, and we need your name and e-mail address to help administer the contest.  The Public Libraries Act is the law that lets us do this.  We'll be protecting your privacy every step of the way, but if you have any questions about how we're going to do that, you can contact TPL's Privacy & Records Management Officer, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, M4W 2G8, 416-395-5658 or by e-mail at gnettlefold@torontopubliclibrary.ca