26 January 2015

Graphically Reading: First Issues 2 (the Girl Power Edition)

 If you're into graphic novels and comics, then you've probably spent some time browsing the Comixology website. When there, one thing I always look for is their periodic free (or sometimes really inexpensive) first-issue sales. It's a great way to get a feel for a comic series, author, and artist without investing a lot of money and time. Here are five first issues I read this month.

Lumberjanes, Princess Ugg, comics Lumberjanes by Grace Ellis & Noelle Stevenson (Boom / Boom Box, 2014): Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are best friends and cabin mates at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin's camp for girls. When they venture out into the woods one night, they see some strange sights, but before they can safely sneak back into their bunks, they're caught by their counselor, who takes them to see the camp director. But instead of getting into trouble, the girls are given their Up All Night badges and sent back to bed. Just what lurks out in those woods? Verdict: Continue with the series: I love these spunky girls, with their distinct styles and personalities, the fun art, the promise of action, and the mystery of the camp. Princess Ugg by Ted Naifeh (Oni Press, 2014):  Ulga, a battleax-wielding princess from mountain land of Grimmeria, is sent to the city to be educated at the famous Princess Academy, where the royalty of all five kingdoms send their young ladies. But before she has even arrived at the doors of the school, she has a confrontation with the retinue of Julifer, a pampered princess from Atraesca. Imagine their surprise when the girls later learn they're roommates for the duration of the school year. Verdict: Continue with the series: First, I just love the beautiful, detailed artwork, in a full range of colors. I love the medieval / fairy tale feel of the setting, and I can't resist the barbaric tomboy versus the fashionable city girl story line.

Rat Queens, The Sword, Wayward, comicsRat Queens by Med Dejmal and Kurtis J Wiebe (Image / Shadowline, 2013). The first issue I read was the Rat Queens Preview, in which we're introduced to the group of women mercenaries, who party as hard as they fight demons. The issue consists of snapshot introductions to Hannah, an elf; Mage, a dwarf; Dee, a human; and Betty, a hobbit. Verdict: Give this series a try: I will definitely continue reading, but can't make a full judgment based on this short prequel. The four friends have different personalities and promise lots of action ahead. The artwork has a minimal feel, yet the facial expressions and background details give the reader the good feel for the scenes. The Sword by Jonathan and Joshua Luna (Image, 2007). Dara Brighton, an art student, still lives at home with her mom and dad, partly because she's in a wheelchair. One night at dinner, when her sister is visiting, three strangers burst into the house, making demands and implying that Mr. Brighton might not be who he says he is. Before the tragic night is over, Dara makes a surprising discovery. Verdict: Continue with the series. I picked this one up because it's by the Luna brothers, and I love the mix of contemporary story with some fantasy elements. There's definitely a mystery here that I want to learn about. The colors of the panels are muted and earthy; facial expressions are easy to read, and the action has impact. Wayward by Jim Zub (Image, 2014): Redheaded Rori Lane, leaves her Irish father to start a new life in a new country with her Japanese mother. Fortunately, Rori is fluent in Japanese, so she shouldn't have that much trouble adjusting. But before her first day is over, she discovers that Tokyo has some "interesting" street cats and depths not seen by ordinary people. Does Rori have a secret calling? Verdict: Continue with the series. This is another one that mixes modern-day life with a bit of fantasy, good action, and some hidden powers. The colors pop off the page, and we really get a great sense of Rori's style and personality. I bet this series is fun.


Unknown 1/26/15, 4:01 PM  

Must resist starting more GN series. Must resist... Failing... Heading over to Amazon... ;)

Kailana 1/26/15, 4:12 PM  

Okay. Lumberjanes and Rat Queens are all ready on my wish list so I am going to ignore the other three for now because I can't start more comic series...

Heather 1/26/15, 4:40 PM  

I am totally in love with Lumberjanes and Rat Queens. I just heard about Wayward yesterday for the first time and you just upped my interest level. Aw geez, they all look so good!

Belle Wong 1/27/15, 7:02 PM  

I haven't been to Comixology yet - these first issues sound great!

Daryl 1/28/15, 10:53 AM  

not my cuppa but i am going to recommend them to a friend's daughter who will love them

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