Graphic Novels & Comic Books Book Reviews (page 11)

FRISCO PIGEON MAMBO by C.D. Payne
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Oct. 15, 2000

"As parodies of human excess, the pigeons simply chase after the same promises in life. Amusing? Barely. Some may lap it up but few will find it as riotous as the Nick Twisp saga."
Self-publisher Payne, whose Nick Twisp series is making a splash (see below), creates his own Animal Farm in a fable of escaped lab animals that can't give up booze, tobacco, and whatchugot. Read full book review >
HELL ON EARTH by Robert Bloch
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"Volume One of The Lost Bloch went quickly out of print, as almost certainly will Volume Two. Don't miss the fun."
Second of a promised three volumes (The Devil with You!, 1999) of Psycho Bob's earliest penny-a-word paste gems from his golden days in pulps (Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, Blue Book, and Imaginative Tales). Read full book review >

FISSION by Helga Königsdorf
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

A graceful 1986 meditation on ethnic identity, the mixed blessings of scientific discovery, and the nature of disability, written by a former East German novelist and teacher of mathematics and science. Read full book review >
JIMMY CORRIGAN by Chris Ware
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 5, 2000

"Everything here boggles: the artfully conceived foldout dust-jacket, the cryptically word-burdened endpapers, and, most of all, the story itself: a graphic narrative that deserves a place beside the best novels of the year."
The comics world has amply rewarded Ware for his amazingly innovative work—he's won numerous prizes for his Acme Novelty Library, a combination of complex narratives about mice, a trove of visually arcane inventions (diagrammed with Rube Goldberg-like precision), and plenty of eye-straining text: a graphic self-effacement that echoes the creepy despair of Ware's main creation, Jimmy Corrigan. Read full book review >
TEA by Stacey D’Erasmo
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 14, 2000

"An intermittently moving debut that tries too hard to be literary. Nonetheless, D'Erasmo is a writer to watch."
An evocative yet somewhat contrived first novel about a young suburban woman dealing with her mother's suicide and her own lesbianism. Read full book review >

BATMAN: NO MAN'S LAND by Greg Rucka
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Jan. 11, 2000

"Rucka (Shooting at Midnight, 1999, etc.), canny suspense writer that he is, wrings so much from his high-colored cast you almost forget that they—re, well, comic strip characters."
A novelized version of the venerable comic strip almost makes it as a top-drawer thriller. Read full book review >
THAT SWEETEST WINE by Robert Cabot
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Oct. 29, 1999

"For all its extraordinary lack of specificity, Cabot's incantatory prose memorably captures the dramatic tragedy of living, and the precious, endangered whimper of redemption."
In his first fiction in nearly 30 years, Cabot (The Joshua Tree, 1970) offers an exemplary trio of novellas, each occupied with the theme of reconciliation to oneself and one's losses, presented in often stunning prose. Read full book review >
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

"Calling this delightful tale its author's 'Vision of Judgment' or Inferno would be like breaking a butterfly on a wheel—with which image, come to think of it, Gorey might do something ineffably sinister and entertaining."
A hilariously suave (previously unpublished) morality tale from the master of understated mayhem and apocalypse (The Unstrung Harp, p. 572, etc.). Read full book review >
MY NEW YORK DIARY by Julie Doucet
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

"The hand-lettering, with some misspellings (French is the artist's first language), adds to the overall effect: spunky and smart, Doucet is the true voice of grrrrl power."
paper 1-896597-24-6 Among the younger generation of alternative comix artists, Doucet (best known for her comic book, Dirty Plotte) stands out for her engaging combination of a cartoonish style and frank realism; her postfeminist autobiographical tales are tough and self- effacing, bitchy and sweet, and all peopled with her rubbery characters with goofy oversized heads. Read full book review >
CRUDDY by Lynda Barry
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Sept. 7, 1999

"The author of Ernie Pook's Comeek and The Freddie Stories can get down and dirty with the best hard-edged writers like Larry Brown or Daniel Woodrell, all from the unlikely (and welcome) perspective of a young woman."
The only thing this gritty debut novel shares with Barry's work as a narrative cartoonist is its point of view: told by a 16- year-old girl, the bloody and violent story is tougher and uglier than any of the artist's previous work. Read full book review >
AFTER THE RAIN by Andre Juillard
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: March 1, 1999

"Only the final, wordy denouement detracts from this otherwise taut and sophisticated tale."
French comics artist Juillard, best known for his graphic novel, The Blue Notebook, here picks up a few characters from that work, and spins off a full-color narrative that's best when he relies strictly on wordless frames. Read full book review >
UNCLE SAM by Steve Darnall
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: March 1, 1999

"Among the most captivating examples of left-wing agitprop since the days of the Popular Front: Darnall and Ross's populist message comes draped in red, white, and true-blue."
This truly subversive graphic novel—more explicitly radical than anything else from DC Comics in recent memory—almost makes up for the years of muscular patriotism and jingoistic violence that have long defined most of the company's product. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Libba Bray
author of LAIR OF DREAMS
August 25, 2015

In Lair of Dreams, the second installment of Libba Bray’s bestselling young adult Diviners series, after a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to "read" objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title "America's Sweetheart Seer." But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners' abilities....Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer? “Weaving together a chilling mystery with a truly elusive solution, several poignant love stories, agonizing injustice, terrifyingly monstrous dreams, and even a cameo by legendary psychiatrist Carl Jung, this installment wraps enough up to satisfy but clearly sets the stage for more,” our reviewer writes in a rare starred review. “How will readers stand the wait?” View video >