Presto! Zis book was so much fun! Bandette is the world’s greatest thief, but she is also a teenaged girl with a motley crew who help her in her capers and provide her with candy bars, an arch-nemesis named Absinthe and a friendly rivalry with fellow thief Monsieur, and she sometimes helps out the police. It is just adorable but shhh don’t tell Bandette I said that. Also I am extremely pleased by the way all the items stolen (art, historical documents, coins etc) are actual artifacts which are detailed at the back of the books. Bravo!
The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage – Jen Van Metee, Robert de la Torre (via Scribd)
This was a slightly unusual comic book. First it has a female lead who is Asian (or half-Asian?) and second, it has to do with the afterlife, which isn’t something I’ve really come across in comics (or maybe you have? I’d like to know). And I’m not talking about zombies or vampires or ghosts. Well sort of about ghosts I guess. Shan Fong can talk to the dead but the only one she can’t find is her late husband. A rich guy hires her for a special job but of course there’s something dangerous and mysterious about the whole affair. And Shan has to enter the underworld to go figure things out. Apparently this is part of the reborn Valiant comics line.
That Salty Air – Tim Sievert (via Scribd)
Well it is safe to say that Sievert can draw. The illustrations in this graphic novel are quite beautiful. I just wish I could say the same about the story and the dialogue. There was a nice sentiment behind the story of loss and forgiveness but the dialogue was just too simple and seemed written by a kid.
Princeless – Jeremy Whitley, M. Goodwin (Illustrator), Jung-Ha Kim (Contributor), Dave Dwonch (via Scribd)
Loved the idea behind this one. A princess sets out to save herself and the rest of her sisters (who are imprisoned in different castles) instead of remaining in the castle guarded by her dragon, waiting for a (male) knight to be her saviour. Also there is a female dwarf, a mysterious knight, an adorable dragon, and some Wolves. Quite delightful although aimed at a younger audience.
Jem and the Holograms – Kelly Thompson, Emma Vieceli (Illustrations), Corin Howell (Illustrations), Amy Mebberson (Illustrations) – via Scribd
I never heard of Jem and the Holograms until I read the comic. But while the main story is a little silly (she requires a hologram to perform), I love the pop of colours, and the way the characters aren’t all skinny white girls. Kinda fun.
Oh Black Widow. I just wish that she had a bigger role in the Avengers movies. Because I really like all the Black Widow comics I’ve read. She’s tough, kicks ass, is intelligent and has a mysterious past. Perfect for a superhero. This one gives the reader a glimpse or two into her past.
A colourful weird but sadly one-off (?) piece about an unusual punk voodoo priestess.
Night animals – Brecht Evens (via Scribd)
Evens is a Belgian illustrator but this book needs no translation as it’s a wordless one. It’s also kind of weird. A young girl becomes a woman (i.e. gets her period) and disappears into a strange world of wild things.
An odd little story about plastic surgery. A plastic surgeon’s assistant invents a new technique, a plastic surgeon works to perfect a starlet’s body while his own wife languishes. A bit forgettable.
Jennifer Blood (volumes 1 to 3) – Al Ewing, Kewber Baal (Illustrator), Eman Casallos (Illustrator) (via Scribd)
Plenty of bloodshed and some nudity. Not for the faint of heart. I think I was just mesmerised by the ridiculousness of the acts of revenge that Jennifer Blood, suburban housewife/killer, is exacting on her extended family. I didn’t like her at all, and it was all a bit cliched in the end, and so far from the ‘girl power!’ kind of comic that I was expecting somehow. Yeah, somehow I ended up reading all the volumes available on Scribd despite the whole ugh gross, ugh this woman, ugh train wreck thoughts that kept running through my head.
Fox Bunny Funny – Andy Hartzell (via Scribd)
A rather bizarre wordless comic about foxes and bunnies. A young fox seems to want to be a bunny, but his parents find out and send him off to this boy scout-like camp to learn how to attack bunnies. Really, I was attracted by the cover.
I’ve still got more to write about but I’ll leave it for the last installment of Comics February next week.