This year I’ve read many graphic novels, comics and also returned to my trusted favourites; manga. Below is batch #2 of the high and lows of what I’ve read of the last couple of months, with a few comments / mini-reviews.
If you have any recommendations for future reads, do list them in the comments.
For batch #1 click on this link here
Extraordinary: A Story of an Ordinary Princess by Cassie Anderson
After escaping an unconventional kidnapping, Princess Basil finds herself far from her castle and must take fate into her own hands. She tracks down the fairy godmother who “blessed” her, and learns the solution to her ordinariness might be as simple as finding a magic ring. With an unlikely ally in tow, she takes on gnomes, a badger, and a couple of snarky foxes in her quest for a less ordinary life.
Portland comics artist Cassie Anderson (Lifeformed) takes her webcomic to print in this tale of magical adventure, full of soul and humour for readers of all ages.
Luna’s Review: At times A Story of an Ordinary Princess feels somewhat predictable but to be honest I enjoyed the story from beginning to end regardless. Having a familiar path, even though the whole point of Basil’s story is that she goes her own, is comforting.
So yes, there is a familiar storytelling paten in this graphic novel but also this adventure nicely turns everything onto its head. I particularly adored the fairy godmother. The last couple of pages made me chuckle as well.
Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner
A middle schooler comes head-to-head with his vampire slayer crush in this laugh-out-loud funny graphic novel that’s a perfect coming-of-age story for anyone who’s ever felt too young, too small, or too average.
It’s the beginning of the new school year and AJ feels like everyone is changing but him. He hasn’t grown or had any exciting summer adventures like his best friends have. He even has the same crush he’s harbored for years. So AJ decides to take matters into his own hands. But how could a girl like Nia Winters ever like plain vanilla AJ when she only has eyes for vampires?
When AJ and Nia are paired up for a group project on Transylvania, it may be AJ’s chance to win over Nia’s affection by dressing up like the vamp of her dreams. And soon enough he’s got more of Nia’s attention than he bargained for when he learns she’s a slayer.
Now AJ has to worry about self-preservation while also trying to save everyone he cares about from a real-life threat lurking in the shadows of Spoons Middle School.
Luna’s Review: It’s always the British 😅
Goldie Vance Vol. 1 by Hope Larson and Brittney Williams (Illustrations)
Sixteen-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance has an insatiable curiosity. She lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place, and it’s her dream to one day be the hotel’s in-house detective. When Walter, the current detective, encounters a case he can’t crack, together they utilize her smarts, skills, and connections to solve the mystery…even if it means getting into a drag race, solving puzzles, or chasing a helicopter to do it!
Luna’s Review: Firstly, I adore the art and I also love the concept. Goldie Vance has got all this potential, but something didn’t quite connect. I want to try an see what the next instalment holds to see if it gets me past that hurdle.
Gotham Academy, Vol. 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Karl Kerschl (Illustrations) and Brenden Fletcher
Welcome to Gotham Academy, the most prestigious school in Gotham City. Only the best and brightest students may enter its halls, study in its classrooms, explore its secret passages, summon its terrifying spirits…
Okay, so Gotham Academy isn’t like other schools. But Olive Silverlock isn’t like other students. After a mysterious incident over summer break, she’s back at school with a bad case of amnesia, an even worse attitude…and an unexplained fear of bats.
Olive’s supposed to show new student Maps Mizoguchi the ropes. Problem: Maps is the kid sister of Kyle, Olive’s ex. Then there’s the ghost haunting the campus…and the secret society conducting bizarre rituals.
Can Olive and Maps ace the biggest challenge of their lives? Or are they about to get schooled?
Collects Gotham Academy #1-6
Luna’s Review: I know I’d love this more is I understand the backstory of all the characters more. I am not a huge DC fan, so I think there are several things lost on me, but I still enjoyed myself. I also think I’ll want to continue with the series. Love the art style.
If (unlike me) you are a DC person I think this will be even more entertaining as there seem to be a lot of layers and background spinets regarding the characters backgrounds, etc.