7.23.2017

7 Graphic Novels You Should Read This Week

📚 I've been reading a massive amount of graphic novels over the summer thanks to my local public library, Comixology, and NetGalley. I decided to do a round-up style review post to share some of the best. 👋

📣 If you like this post please leave a comment and tell me so I'll know to do this style again in the future. 📣



Print/Digital (112 pages, BOOM! STUDIOS)

Mali and Tessa have lived hundreds of different lives throughout time, caught up in an eternal cycle as they take part in a war so old that neither side remembers what they’re fighting for anymore. As Mali wakes up in her newest life, she suddenly becomes self-aware and starts to question everything, especially why she continues to fight. But elsewhere, Tessa is already on the hunt...
Critically-acclaimed series, Welcome Back is a break-neck thriller of reincarnated assassins forever fighting, killing, and loving each other, by Eisner Award-nominated writer Christopher Sebela (Dead Letters, High Crimes) and artists Jonathan Brandon Sawyer (Critical Hit) and Claire Roe. Collects issues #1-4.


Note: This is a review of an advanced readers copy I received from NetGalley or the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Why you should read it: This comic has a gorgeous blend of angst and no-you're-crying emotive depth that's vividly illustrated. It's been a damned long time since I cried after reading a graphic novel but what a refreshingly heart-rending experience. I can't wait for the next volume to be available in digital. (5 stars)

Print/Digital (128 pages, ACTION LAB)
Adrienne has been on the run and working to save her sisters, but when she finds another princess locked away in a tower, she decides to spring her! But Raven Xingtao, the daughter of the Pirate King, is more of a handful than Adrienne could have ever expected. Before she knows it, Adrienne is off on a whirlwind adventure to complete Raven's quest for revenge!
The complete collected edition of Princeless: The Pirate Princess! (Ages 9 - 12)


Note: This is a review of a book I checked out at the library.

Why you should read it: A great series to share with your tween this was a hilarious meeting of two very headstrong heroines. Plenty of action, a dragon, and the introduction of a Princeless spin-off make it one I'm recommending to both adults and children alike. (4 stars)



Klaw Vol.2: The Second Cycle by Antoine Ozenam, Mike Kennedy, & Joel Jurion


Print (144 pages, LION FORGE)
The hit YA action series continues with volume 2, following secret were-tiger Angel Tomassini as he navigates the ancient underworld of secret societies hidden in the midst of everyday modern life! The Were War is coming, and he must find the other Dhizhi warriors before they are hunted to extinction by the many forces that are after them – crime lords, prophesies, government agencies, and paranoid others among their very ranks!

Note: This is a review of an advanced readers copy I received from NetGalley or the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Why you should read it: The first volume was so complex! I thought for sure it couldn't get any more confusing or expanded in its mythology. Nope, totally wrong. You definitely can't pick this up not having read the first one but another truly high quality story and illustrations. (4 stars)



Prince of Cats by Ron Wimberly

Print/Digital (152 pages, IMAGE)
Prince of Cats is the B side to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, played at an eighties block party in a NY where underground sword dueling blossomed alongside hip-hop, punk, disco and no wave. It's the story of the minor players with Tybalt at the center. Like Shakespeare's originals, Prince of Cats implements various formalist restraints. The definitive printing of Ronald Wimberly's critically acclaimed first work, presented as intended for the first time.

Note: This is a review of a book I checked out at the library.

Why you should read it: In the dozens of times I read and performed Romeo and Juliet in high school I always found myself far more interested in the secondary characters. Mercutio and Tybalt were always my favorites. So rarely though are writers daring enough to humanize the prince of cats. Ron Wimberly manages not only to do so, but to do so with bold style and a delicious nod to 80's hip-hop. Definitely my new favorite reimagining of the classic. (5 stars)


The Good Earth by Nick Bertozzi & Pearl S. Buck

Print/Digital (144 pages, PUB)
Pearl Buck’s 1931 Pulitzer Prize–winning classic about the rise and fall of Chinese villagers before World War I comes to life in this evocative graphic novel by New York Times bestselling author Nick Bertozzi.
In The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck paints an indelible portrait of China in the 1920s, when the last emperor reigned and the vast political and social upheavals of the twentieth century were but distant rumblings. This moving story of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his selfless wife O-Lan is must reading to fully appreciate the sweeping changes that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese people during the last century. Though more than eighty years have passed since this remarkable novel won the Pulitzer Prize, it has retained its popularity and become one of the great modern classics in American literature.
Now New York Times bestselling author Nick Bertozzi brings Buck’s timeless, epic novel to life with incredible imagery in this vivid graphic novel. Through his Eisner Award-winning talents, Bertozzi retraces the whole cycle of life depicted in the unforgettable original: its terrors, its passions, its ambitions, and its rewards. Buck’s brilliant novel—beloved by millions of readers—is a universal tale of an ordinary family caught in the tide of history, now accompanied by beautiful, evocative images.


Note: This is a review of an advanced readers copy I received from NetGalley or the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Why you should read it: Having never read The Good Earth in it's novel form but had heard it praised so often that I thought reading it as a graphic novel would be a good way to see if I would enjoy it. Now I know I would most assuredly not enjoy it. It is not a pleasant story and I was often moved to anger and grief for poor O-Lan. Yet, it is through reading of a time and place not my own that I saw the value of such a story. If you've wanted to read the book but feel like it might be daunting I think this graphic novelization would be a great way to do it. (4 stars)


Disney Manga: Beauty & Beast - Belle's Tale by Mallory Reaves & Studio Dice

Print/Digital (160 pages, TOKYOPOP)
In Disney's live-action film "Beauty and the Beast," Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle's enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast's hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince inside. This manga explores Belle's innermost thoughts as she learns that true beauty comes from within. (Ages 9 - 12)
Disney Manga: Beauty & Beast - Beast's Tale by Mallory Reaves & Studio Dice

Print/Digital (160 pages, TOKYOPOP)
In Disney's live-action film “Beauty and the Beast,” Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle's enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast's hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince inside. This manga explores the Beast's struggle as he tries to move on from his past and learn what it is to love. (Ages 9 - 12)

Note: This is a review of an advanced readers copy I received from NetGalley or the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Why you should read them: Beauty and the Beast was a favorite of mine long before Disney got their monopoly on it. But naturally, I enjoyed the classic animated film as well as the live action recreation that came out earlier this year. This manga tells the tale from both sides very well and you really shouldn't read one and not the other. If you liked the live action film these are based on that version and are sure to delight. (4 stars)

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