Saturday, March 01, 2014

Graphic Novel February - The Final Week - Six Sentence Saturday Style

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories - Volume 2 by Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Completed: February 8, 2014
Length: 127

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Looper, 500 Days of Summer) made a big splash with The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories - so now he’s back with volume 2! One of the most ingenious and successful projects to come out of Gordon-Levitt's online creative coalition hitRECord - an international collaboration of artists and writers - The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2 offers more quirky, delightfully small, ingeniously illustrated haiku-like tales, proving once more that the universe isn’t made of atoms; it’s made of tiny stories. The best things do come in small packages.
(I know this is not technically a graphic novel, but if I don't post about it now, I probably never will.)

I have wanted to read these forever, but I have never been able to talk me into buying one. When I randomly got a chance to try one, though, I jumped at the chance! And, this was as good as I expected. The art is very intense and memorable, for starters. And then, there are the stories. I am terrible at saying great things in short lengths, but this book does an amazing job!

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Completed: February 10, 2014
Length: 232 Pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:
A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books.
This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, it's a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.
Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home," as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescense, the denouement is swift, graphic — and redemptive.
I actually reread this because I didn't love it the first time I read it and I felt like maybe I was missing something? I liked it better this time! It is basically the story of a long girl growing up with a mostly in the closet gay father and then coming to accept her own coming out later. Her family is dysfunctional, crazy things happen over the years, and I am still sort of surprised she airs her dirty laundry so publicly. The art is low-key, but really good. Overall, while I still didn't love this comic, I am glad I gave it a second chance.

Archie Americana Series: Best of the Nineties - Volume by George Gladir and Company

Completed: February 8, 2014
Length: 98 Pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Get ready to party like it's the 1990s with Archie and the Gang!
The '90s were a decade of innovation and invention. Personal computers and virtual reality were no longer science fiction. Popular music was transformed into a world of grungy college rock and poppy boy bands. Relive all of the trends, fads and fashions that defined the decade with America's orange-haired icon, Archie!
Revisit the virtual world with Jughead as he devours digital delicacies in "Simulation Stimulation." Archie goes Hollywood in "Ratman" and "Duggy Wuggy, M.D.", and Betty pierces her nose in "That Certain Ring." All this and more awaits in this collection of the best stories of the 1990s!
Another random choice, but one I decided to read for nostalgia sake. I used to read Archie comics all the time, but they are ridiculously overpriced now. It was still nice to go back and revisit the decade in which I would have been reading them and the stories that I had sometimes read before. It was like visiting with old friends and I enjoyed how some things never change. This series will always be memorable and I hope that it is around for many more years. A fun read!

House of Mystery - Volume 1: Room and Boredom by Bill Willingham & Company

Completed: February 15, 2014
Length: 128 Pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Matthew Sturges, writer of the Eisner-nominated JACK OF FABLES, and his JACK co-writer Bill Willingham, proudly unlock the doors to the HOUSE OF MYSTERY, a series that reinvents a classic DC Comics comic. HOUSE OF MYSTERY focuses on five characters trapped in a supernatural bar, trying to solve the mystery of how and why they're imprisoned there. Each one has a terrible past they'd like to forget, and with no books, newspapers or TV allowed in the House, they face an eternity of boredom. But stories become the new currency, and fortunately, the House attracts only the finest storytellers.
This is a comic I read on my mission to find a new comic book series, but was kind of unsuccessful because it turns out this series is largely out-of-print! I liked this first volume, though. It is kind of like Fables and The Unwritten in the sense that stories play a large roll, but it is a darker book that those two series. This book gives the reader a chance to meet the five main characters, sets up the darkness of the house, and makes you curious about the stories and adventures that will show up in the future. This volume was more atmospheric than scary, but there is definitely the potential for some darker moments in the future. Overall, I still love some other series better, but I am curious enough about this series that I would like to read more.
House of Mystery - Volume 2: Love Stories for Dead People by Matthew Sturges

Completed: February 15, 2014
Length: 128 Pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Matthew Sturges, writer of the Eisner-nominated JACK OF FABLES, and his JACK co-writer Bill Willingham, the creator of FABLES, proudly unlock the doors to the HOUSE OF MYSTERY, a new graphic novel series that reinvents the classic DC Comics concept. It focuses on five characters trapped in a supernatural bar, trying to solve the mystery of how and why they're imprisoned there. Each one has a terrible past they'd like to forget, and with no books, newspapers or TV allowed in the House, they face an eternity of boredom. But stories become the new currency, and fortunately, the House attracts only the finest storytellers.
(That is totally the same synopsis... Good ole originality, Goodreads.)

In the first volume we met all the characters, so, in this volume it was time to get to know them a bit better and get to understand the house more. The house is essentially another character in the book, an important character, so it was important to get a feel for why it was important. Again, a very atmospheric story, but creepier than the first volume. There are some seriously strange things that happen in this book! The characters are starting to get meshed out more, so you find yourself curious about how they are all going to play out with each other. I am curious enough about this series to read Volume 3.
Locke & Key - Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill

Completed: February 28, 2014
Length: 158 Pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. Home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all...
(You know, I never noticed that I bought two graphic novels about creepy houses in the same order!)

Oh, my, yay, I loved this intro! I have wanted to read this series forever and I am so happy that I finally did. There is so much happening in this comic, and it is another spooky and atmospheric story, that I cannot wait to see what happens next! Keyhouse is a cool, old house that I am so intrigued by and can't wait to see what we learn about it next. If there wasn't murder involved and a creepy creature that you imagine will be wrecking havoc in the later volumes, I would love to visit this place. Joe Hill definitely brought the spirit of old houses alive and I can't wait until I let myself buy Volume 2!
Bayou Volume 1 by Jeremy Love

Completed: February 28, 2014
Length: 160 Pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:
South of the Mason-Dixon Line lies a strange land of gods and monsters; a world parallel to our own, born from centuries of slavery, civil war, and hate.
Lee Wagstaff is the daughter of a black sharecropper in the depression-era town of Charon, Mississippi. When Lily Westmoreland, her white playmate, is snatched by agents of an evil creature known as Bog, Lee's father is accused of kidnapping. Lee's only hope is to follow Lily's trail into this fantastic and frightening alternate world. Along the way she enlists the help of a benevolent, blues singing, swamp monster called Bayou. Together, Lee and Bayou trek across a hauntingly familiar Southern Neverland, confronting creatures both benign and malevolent, in an effort to rescue Lily and save Lee's father from being lynched.
BAYOU VOL. 1 collects the first four chapters of the critically acclaimed webcomic series by Glyph Award nominee Jeremy Love.
(Full confession... I claimed I wasn't going to go to the library this year because my TBR is insane, but we were out for a walk the other day and I FINALLY went to check out the new-to-me library and would have felt rude not borrowing a couple things...)

I have wanted to read Bayou for ages because many bloggers that I trust have recommended it. I was very surprised to see it just sitting on the shelf at the library, so I had to finally give it a try. Set during the Depression in Mississippi, this starts out about the hardships of being black during that time, but then an entirely different world opens up. I really enjoyed the mesh of the 'real' and the magic realism that this volume weaves together. Lee is a great, strong female character in a time when she really shouldn't be, so you can't help wanting to follow her on all of her adventures. I am so glad I gave this a try and strongly recommend it!


  1. LOL--good for you for not being rude to your library! :)
    Soooo glad you loved Locke and Key! And it just keeps getting better! I'm so bummed that I didn't get to the last volume for comics month, but since I didn't get it until a week ago and I wanted to reread the first five before I read it, I decided to wait until April for OUaT month. They would actually work for either OUaT or RIP, don't you think? Anyway, like I said, I'm soooo glad you enjoyed! :D I just started Fun Home. I think I'm the only person on the planet who hasn't read it, and I think you're the first person I've heard that doesn't absolutely love it. Not sure how I feel yet--I've barely started.

  2. Anonymous6:47 PM

    Oh I love that you're just starting on Locke and Key. It is just awesome. I am still waiting to get my hands on the last volume… can't wait!

  3. I wouldn't mind reading the House of Mystery series myself! Actually, there are a bunch of ones here that I want to try!

  4. House of Mystery sounds interesting and so does Lock and Key!

  5. Well, it was a new library and you are right, you had to check out some books! :)
    I feel like I need to print this list out and take it with me to a comic store we have in town. I like graphic novels but unless they are very well known I'm sort of lost!

  6. I've been really curious about the Tiny Stories but I can't justify spending $15 on a copy. I'm glad that Fun Home was a little better for you this time. The one I read last month about her mom dealt with some of the airing of laundry. Her mom was not happy about her putting all of those things in print (or drawing).

  7. I am so excited that you are reading Locke & Key!! I love this series and the creativity that you get, especially in the later volumes. These are ones to own in my opinion!! This series gets better and better as the series progresses!!


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