We’re halfway through Comics February!
I read seven – mostly great, one not so – comics in the first week of February. And read some more amazing stuff this past week.
The Last Unicorn – Peter S. Beagle, Peter Gillis (Adaptor), Renae De Liz (illustrator), Ray Dillon (illustrator)
It has been far too long since I’ve read Beagle’s book. So long that I barely remembered the story. When browsing the comics shelves at the library, I wondered about this graphic novel version. Would it be any good? Then again, I figured, if I can’t recall the story anyway, this could be a great refresher.
And it was so very lovely. I mean, look at the illustrations!
The use of colour and shadow!
And of course that wonderful magical story about the last unicorn.
Gorgeous. Just brilliant and gorgeous.
And now I have to go find a copy of the book…
Fairest: In all the land – Bill Willingham (Goodreads Author), Chris Sprouse (Illustrator), Fiona Meng (Illustrator), Renae De Liz (Illustrator), Adam Hughes (Illustrator), Phil Noto (Illustrator)
This is a standalone graphic novel.
There is a killer on the loose and Cinderella is off to find out who.
Every few pages, a new artist takes over and the style changes.
It wasn’t very memorable a read.
The Shadow Hero – Gene Luen Yang, Sonny Liew (illustrator)
Gene Luen Yang just rocks my world.
He’s written such great comics! American Born Chinese. Boxers. Saints. And now Shadow Hero!
What will he come up with next?
Shadow Hero is a Chinese superhero. Based on The Green Turtle, an actual superhero comic first published in 1944 by Chu F. Hing, one of the first Asian American comic book writers . The back story is fascinating – it lasted only five issues and his face was always obscured by his cape or arm or something, which Yang suggests is because Chu was trying to circumvent the fact that his publisher didn’t want an Asian-American depicted – but you don’t need to get into that to enjoy Shadow Hero.
Hank Chu’s foray into superhero-ing begins with his mother, who is held at gunpoint and forced to drive a getaway car for a bank robber, then saved by a superhero. She’s convinced her son can do it too! She hilariously attempts to get him in superhero mode by dragging him to a toxic spill, taking weird concoctions etc. Eventually she gives up and makes him learn gongfu.
It is a fun, funny, heartwarming, sad, beautifully drawn, wonderful comic. I’m so happy to have finally read this!
I also have to give a shout out to Sonny Liew, who brilliantly illustrated this comic, and who lives in Singapore! (He’s originally from Malaysia.)
Black Widow Vol 1 – Nathan Edmondson, Phil Noto
Well I honestly didn’t think much of Black Widow aka Natasha Romanov from watching the Avengers movies. It wasn’t the best portrayal of her I know.
So it was with some hesitation that I picked this comic up from the library. But holey-moley it is good! She is tough, fierce, determined, bad-ass but she’s also very very human.
I am looking forward to the next installment of Black Widow!
Wonderland – Tommy Kovac, Sonny Liew
Another Sonny Liew-illustrated comic! Hooray! This is in a very different style from The Shadow Hero, more whimsical and cute, less black-edged and straight-lined. More meandering and fuzzy at the edges as if about to collapse into absurdity.
Wonderland’s focus is on Mary-Ann, the White Rabbit’s housemaid, whom everyone mistakes Alice for. It makes me want to read Alice again! There’s a treacle well, and the Cheshire Cat, and the Jabberwocky. Lots of fun, although the plot kind of wanders a bit. But those colorful illustrations by Sonny Liew really steal the show here. Gorgeous!