Graphic Novel Review Bites

invisible republicInvisible Republic, Vol. 1 by Gabriel Hardman

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this graphic novel in exchange for a positive review.

There’s always more to the story, especially when it comes to politics. Here, a journalist discovers a story belonging to a woman named Maia, who turns out to be related to Arthur MacBride, the recently deposed despot who led the rebellion to overthrow the previous government. Is he the great leader everyone believes him to be? Maybe, maybe not, but he certainly knows how to manipulate the truth to further his cause. And it becomes obvious that having that truth revealed is not necessarily good for the journalism business.

This is a gritty future, made even grittier by the jagged lines and muted colours of the artwork. It’s a slowburn story where you already know the end of the story, but are caught up in the mystery of finding out how everyone got there, what is true, and what is political propaganda. Basically, real life.

163a3-new3stars

death vigilDeath Vigil: Volume 1 by Stjepan Šejić

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this graphic novel in exchange for a positive review.

Another masterpiece by Šejić, though I wouldn’t consider this the strongest or most unique work in his recent portfolio. Death Vigil follows the adventures of Bernie the reaper and her group of handsome undead minions who battle the necromancers who serve the primordial evil of chaos, etc etc. Expect lots of monsters and tentacles and fangs–which is where the story really shines. That is, Šejić’s artwork is amazing. Although his humans tend to suffer from sameface syndrome, the monstrous creatures he manifests are all unique and frighteningly detailed.

The story is somewhat predictable, what with the crazy cult members and quirky Vigil, but Šejić’s sense of humour is what makes the story and characters click so nicely and makes this well worth the read.31a55-new4stars

runlovekillRunLoveKill, Vol. 1 by Jonathan Tsuei

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this graphic novel in exchange for a positive review.

The 3D rendered artwork of the cover caught my attention first. Turning to the next few pages, I was sucked in by the sharp curves and smooth edges and the vibrant colours, often contrasting from panel to panel like the pulsating beat of the music that is silently being performed in one sequence, while a woman makes a daring escape from a prison in the other. These first few pages are completely without words, but they speak loudly and demanded that I read more.

Unfortunately, when I got to the reading, I was a bit disappointed. The story of escaped assassin, Rain Oshiro–who disobeyed the orders of Origami, the government organization that may be more a threat to the people of Prygat than the enemies outside the walls being built–is fairly typical. The art continues to shine, with an overall vibe to the imagery and character designs that reminded me of a favourite cartoon, Aeon Flux. But the story just wasn’t enough to compel me to want to know more about Rain and root for her escape from the clutches of Origami. She wields a unique and mysterious power that makes her valuable and deadly, but there just isn’t enough meat presented in these first issues to make that mysterious power alone enough to make me want more.

163a3-new3stars

1 Comments on “Graphic Novel Review Bites”

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