Graphic Novel Review Bites: Zombies and Clockworks and Big Bangs

rachel risingRachel Rising, Volume 1: The Shadow of Death

The beauty of a comic book that remembers its a comic book meant to tell a story through its images more than its words. The first few pages of this book are silent, following a mysterious woman who claws herself out of a ditch and makes her way home, and eventually comes to realize that she is dead, though she does not know who killed her or why.

Rachel’s mystery is encompassed by a strange woman with powers of murderous persuasion, and friends and family who are not quite sure what to do with their undead companion who seems quite normal save for her those eyes.

I am one of the few people, apparently, who didn’t care much for Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise series, but the mystery of Rachel’s brutal death and those involved is definitely enticing…

izombieDead to the World by Chris Roberson

I didn’t know about this comic series until I learned about the TV show, of which I have now watched the first episode. The show definitely has potential, featuring a young woman, Liv, inexplicably caught up in a zombie infection, now working at a morgue to get her brain fix, and helping to solve crimes by tapping into the memories of those brains upon which she munches. The latter, as well as the zombie part, are where the comparisons between source and show end. Liv isn’t even Liv in the comic, she’s Gwen, a zombie that works as a gravedigger, eating brains once a month, and hanging out with her ghost and wereterrier friends in a town that could well be Sunnydale, thanks to all the supernatural beings around. But Gwen is no slayer. That’s where the monster hunters come in, one of whom Gwen is attracted to. There is also murder and mystery to solve, as Gwen learns from eating the brains of a man who appears to have been murdered by a mummy.

This is a quirky read, but not a particularly engrossing one. There are a lot of interesting and amusing things happening in Gwen’s little town, and the cast of characters has potential. This might be just the right book for someone looking to relive Buffy’s glory days, but I’ve long since moved on from that kind of stuff.


the bigger bangThe Bigger Bang by Vassilis Gogtzilas

With thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

The earth was created in a big bang and destroyed in a bigger one. The being that was born in the latter lives with the guilt of our destruction, and uses his vast powers to save other planets from such a fate, but no matter what Cosmos does, the people fear him. Meanwhile, a despotic, tentacled king wants to rule the universe and believes Cosmos to be the key to his undoing or his success, depending on how he can sway the PR campaign.
There is some cute, snarky humour in this story, and a bittersweet exploration of acceptance, as told mainly through an unexpected friendship between Cosmos and the king’s number one enforcer. There is so much potential in this, but unfortunately, things start to fall apart half way through the book when the story goes exactly where you expect it to.

The artistic style is kind of chaotic in its sketchiness, which is something I appreciate, however, at times, it becomes too “messy,” making it difficult to follow along with the story it is trying to tell.

hingesHinges: Book 1 Clockwork City by Meredith McClaren

With thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Hinges is a webcomic that, thanks to a Kickstarter, is now collected here.

There is an manga feel to McClaren’s art–the obvious being the large eyes and slim bodies, but also in the stark black and white and the shades of gray, and in the silence of many of the panels. This is what drew me to the book. I am fond of graphic novels that do not rely on words so much to tell their story, and I like artists who can be powerfully expressive through monotones. McClaren’s art is “cute,” but you can’t get away from the subtle, spine-tingly creepiness of her clockwork world.

Not a lot seemingly goes on within the pages of this first book, but McClaren’s web is enticing, luring me in with the mystery of the town of Cobble and Orio’s impish partner, Bauble. The story begins with Orio’s arrival in Cobble, where she is introduced to their strict rules. This is a clockwork town, after all, so everything must run like, well, clockwork. But when Bauble chooses Orio, and when Orio is later unable to find her place within society, you know that things are not going to go as smoothly as Margo, the town’s organizer, expects them to. But where will things go? That is the question that I am left with and I definitely want to find out the answer.

3 Comments on “Graphic Novel Review Bites: Zombies and Clockworks and Big Bangs”

  1. Pingback: Sanctum Sanctorum: Our Comic Collection | The BiblioSanctum

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