Entertaining in style and humor but ultimately disappointing for its elevation of a lovelorn male protagonist at the expense...

VINCENT BOOK ONE

GUIDE TO LOVE, MAGIC, AND RPG

From the Vincent series , Vol. 1

A furry, bestselling Brazilian comic-strip star makes his U.S. debut.

Vincent, an anthropomorphized dog, is unlucky in love. The socially awkward high schooler (who lives in a world of anthropomorphic animals) falls hard for Lady, a cat he spots during his bus ride. Despite his extreme attempts to woo Lady, she overlooks him in favor of her ex-boyfriend. Vincent bounces back by falling for someone new on his bus route, a panda named Princess. What follows is the dream of every nerdy boy who feels entitled to female attention—Lady and Princess both (somewhat inexplicably) become infatuated with Vincent and he is left happily juggling their affections. Those who can swallow the cringeworthy depiction of cardboard-cutout female characters will have the chance to be charmed by the graphic novel’s accessible full-color art and sarcastic humor. The omniscient narrator’s snarky tone lets readers in on the joke that is Vincent’s life, while the pup’s advice-dispensing female monkey best friend offers a levelheaded and relatable perspective. The text-heavy panels are full of punchlines, evidence of the book’s beginnings as a syndicated comic.

Entertaining in style and humor but ultimately disappointing for its elevation of a lovelorn male protagonist at the expense of his female love interests. (Graphic fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: March 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5458-0534-3

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Super Genius

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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Entertaining for fans of villain backstories and Disney classics alike.

EVIL THING

A VILLAINS GRAPHIC NOVEL

From the Villains series

A chronicle of Cruella De Vil’s descent into Dalmatian destruction.

The only child of Lord and Lady De Vil, Cruella was enamored by high society life from a young age. She idolized her cold, demanding mother and loved her caring father, despite his giving her less extravagant gifts. Both parents wanted her to distinguish herself, though they intended very different meanings by that word. While young Cruella believed that servants and others from less privileged backgrounds should know their places, Anita, her less socially lofty best friend, was an exception. But as she grew up and married, she had to face the question of what it really meant to possess wealth, beauty, and happiness. Framed as a memoir, this story vividly expresses Cruella’s personality. Valentino does a solid job of establishing the cast of characters, and fans of the animated film will enjoy connecting the threads. While there are moments of softness that evoke readers’ empathy, Cruella unapologetically wields her power to behave cruelly. She is ultimately fueled by her desperation for maternal validation, jealousy, delirium, and a perhaps-cursed pair of earrings. Jovellanos’ art deftly captures a range of emotions, specifically in showing how Cruella’s face is transformed in response to her whims. Using a color palette of muted reds, blacks, grays, and whites, the illustrations express a fitting tone for a Cruella tell-all. Characters read as White.

Entertaining for fans of villain backstories and Disney classics alike. (Graphic fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-06816-1

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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A solid introduction for budding lovers of the Bard.

HAMLET

From the Campfire Graphic Novels series

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

The timeless tale of the young and disaffected Danish prince who is pushed to avenge his father’s untimely murder at the hands of his brother unfolds with straightforward briskness. Shakespeare’s text has been liberally but judiciously cut, staying true to the thematic meaning while dispensing with longer speeches (with the notable exception of the renowned “to be or not to be” soliloquy) and intermediary dialogues. Some of the more obscure language has been modernized, with a glossary of terms provided at the end; despite these efforts, readers wholly unfamiliar with the story might struggle with independent interpretation. Where this adaptation mainly excels is in its art, especially as the play builds to its tensely wrought final act. Illustrator Kumar (World War Two, 2015, etc.) pairs richly detailed interiors and exteriors with painstakingly rendered characters, each easily distinguished from their fellows through costume, hairstyle, and bearing. Human figures are generally depicted in bust or three-quarter shots, making the larger panels of full figures all the more striking. Heavily scored lines of ink form shadows, lending the otherwise bright pages a gritty air. All characters are white.

A solid introduction for budding lovers of the Bard. (biography of Shakespeare, dramatis personae, glossary) (Graphic novel. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-93-81182-51-2

Page Count: 90

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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