Monstress : Review

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Title: Monstress

Writer: Marjorie Liu , Illustrator: Sana Takeda

Published: March 2016

Length:  72 pages

Source: Received for review from the publisher through Netgalley

 

First of all, there’s something to be said about the contribution of art style and choice of colour tones to a comic! I’m not an expert in art and I won’t pretend to be but as a reader I am able to identify when the art adds something to the story! I think that Monstress really demonstrates just how much these artistical aspects bring to the  story. Here’s the synopsis:
‘ Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.’

(I know that this synopsis doesn’t give much away but I actually prefer it like that! I think you should just go ahead and read this comic!)

This review is JUST for the first issue, but I’m going to hold off reviewing the other issues and just review volume 1 as a whole. The basic premise of the story (from what I’ve gathered) is that there was a war between humans and other creatures.  Some of these ‘creature’s include realllllyyy cutteeee little hybrids of humans and foxes or other animals. Honestly they were so cute! Post-war the humans have the upper hand and are basically the ruling species. That’s as far as I’m  willing to risk in terms of explanations, the rest you’ll have to find out for yourselves!

World building:  Whenever a writer includes flashbacks in their story I immediately appreciate them! This is a high fantasy story, and you can tell from the first issue that you’re going to have to read on to discover and understand this fictional world on a deeper level. Having said that, there were flashbacks in this comic that kind of filled the reader in, or provided them with enough information to be able to follow the story! Again the art style and tone of colours played a huge role in the portrayal of this world! HOWEVER, I did feel like this issue was a little all over the place, it is way longer than first issues tend to be. But I felt like the structure was a bit off, we were hopping from place to place and it got a bit jarring.

Characters: Surprisingly the focus on the main character came at the end of this issue. We have the typical protagonist who possesses a power she doesn’t fully understand or know how to use. Accompanied with this usually we have a story of self discovery so I’ll be looking forward to learning more about our main character! One thing I appreciated  is the diversity of the characters, this is a purely fictional world and it’s always refreshing to see that writers choose to use a cast that is more representative.

Connecting with the main character is essential to successfully engaging the reader, in my opinion. I feel like I can do this better when my first pages reading about the character don’t include them in intense scenes . That is the case in this comic and I think because of that I haven’t been able to really immerse myself into the story, I feel like I haven’t gotten to know the character well know to know what she experiences in certain situations.

All in all it was , very intriguing and engaging and unique in in its premise. We see from the first issue that this story and it’s characters has a lot of depth to it, and one I’m definitely going to carry on reading! I would recommend this to probably anyone, but in particular if you have an interest in fantasy, you’ll love this !

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The Twilight Children: Review

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Title: The Twilight Children

Published by : Vertigo

Publication date: May 17th 2016

By Gilbert Hernandez (writer) and Darwyn Cooke (artist)

Source: Received copy from DC Entertainment through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

This comic book left me so conflicted, I was looking through the most requested comics on NetGalley and came across The Twilight Children, the synopsis sounded really interesting and obviously I couldn’t see the artwork inside but I loved the art style on the cover! This is a Sci-Fi mystery and I loved that the synopsis was very vague so I really wanted to read it. Here’s the synopsis:

‘When a white orb washes up on the shore of a remote Latin American village, a group of children naturally poke at the strange object to see what it is. The orb explodes, leaving the children completely blind. And when a beautiful young woman who may be an alien is found wandering the seafront, she’s taken in by the townspeople, but soon becomes a person of interest to a quirky pair of undercover CIA agents, and the target of affection for a young scientist. Can they come together to prevent an all-out alien invasion and save the souls in this sleepy, seaside town?’

 World Building: I found that this was one of those stories where the World Building wasn’t outstanding but it had enough for me to immerse myself into the environment. I was quite surprised to find out that apparently there is no second volume? I don’t know if this is true but I’ve also searched for any sign that there will be a volume two and I’ve come up with nothing. I would’ve been satisfied with the world building for this volume if I knew that it was an on-going series, but as this is not the case I would’ve liked a bit more complexity in this Latin village, maybe focus a tiny bit more on building a stronger environment.

Characters: I feel like throughout this review I’m going to keep referring back to the fact that one volume is TOOOO SHOORTT. We don’t have enough time for character development, or relationship development. Everything was a bit confusing. However with that being said, I really liked the set of characters we have in this comic, from the scientist to the standard protective sheriff and the promiscuous wife in the village.  As this is called the Twilight Children I did expect a bit more of a focus on the group of children that mysteriously turn blind and suddenly feel connected to this mysterious newcomer into the village, Ela.

Plot: It was a bit of a mess, I’m going to be completely honest. Every reader likes the mystery aspect, we all like to form theories or explanations and discover by the end whether we were right. Nothing is explained, now I might be a little slow, if you’ve read this comic please comment down below and explain the theory behind it. But in my opinion, nothing is clarified, what the hell is the Orb? Why do people randomly disappear? Why are the children blind? I honestly can carry on asking all these questions, and I completely understand that not everything is to be made crystal clear by the end of the volume. I’ve finished reading and I don’t know have a clue what happened, nothing… I love the concept, I really do, it’s why I wanted to read this but for me I’m just left confused and awfully dissatisfied at the end.

Overall I really liked the premise, the set of characters and I loved the artwork. The seeting of this comic is beautifully displayed by the illustrations and the use of vibrant colours. However I did feel like it fell a little flat at the end, with next to no explanation of any of the Sci-Fi components leaving the reader a bit confused.

Paper Girls Vol. 1: Review

61rBRmlmFYL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Paper Girls Vol. 1

Published by :Image Comics

Publication date: April 5th 2016

By Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang (Illustrator), Matthew Wilson (Illustrator), Jared K. Fletcher (Artist), Matthew Wilson (Artist), Cliff Chiang (Artist)

Source: Received copy from publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

This is about a group of 12 year old paper girls who come across some weird stuff on Halloween. I mean WEIRD. It’s set in 1988 and I think that’s why I was even more interested, it had a very nostalgic feel about it. In this review I won’t include any spoilers and I’ll also take into account that this is just the first volume.

I’d like to start talking about the pacing of this volume, for me I found it quite difficult to keep up. This is a Sci-fi/fantasy comic so I understand that the concepts introduced are going to be strange and peculiar but I feel that we have too many of these sci-fi elements introduced that it’s a bit overwhelming. I found that I was almost at the end of the volume but I still couldn’t draw a link between them which left me slightly confused… I also think another factor that contributed to my confusion was that we are constantly being introduced to new characters.

In terms of characters, I loved the range of personalities we have within this group of girls but I do wish that we could explore them a little more. Each character is so unique and complex and holds such a different view from the rest of the girls that at times it felt a bit jarring to be reading a scene where they were all present. But by the end of this volume I had a general feel for each character so hopefully that will help me understand volume 2 a bit more.

The unusual nature of this comic really made me want to read more, I really wanted to see where this story was going, and perhaps an explanation to what on earth is going on! One thing I will say is that it ended on a cliff-hanger that left me searching for the next volume! I do understand that this is the first volume so I am not drawing any conclusions about this series but I am hoping the next volumes focus less on introducing more concepts and perhaps more on world-building and explaining what happened in the first! It was definitely an entertaining read with illustrations that did fit the general tone of the story and quite bizarre concepts that I want to know more about so I will be keeping my eyes peeled for volume 2!

FREE COMIC BOOKS?

Well yes that may have been a title deliberately used to grab your attention but now that you’re here, it’s not a joke!

I may be the only person who just found out about this but nonetheless I want to share this with you guys so you can make the most of it too…

Every year , the first Saturday of May is Free Comic Book Day. I’m not joking it’s seriously a thing! I will link the actual website down below but basically there are comic book stores around the world that on this particular day will give away free comic books! You can find out if there are any participating stores with their store locator here: Store Locator
This is an international event but not all comic book stores participate. I’m from London and I found around 8/9 comic book stores that are! Honestly I don’t even read comic books but I thought this may be a great way to start!

Click this link for their website!

(Not sponsored, I’m just someone who loves freebies 😅 and hey, its comic books!)

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