Graphic Novel Review Bites

DramaDrama by Raina Telgemeier
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: GRAPHIX
Tiara’s Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Drama is a slice of life comic about an 8th grade girl named Callie who enjoys creating sets for her school performances. When her school puts on her favorite play, Callie is determined to make the play’s set worthy of something that would be on Broadway. Around set-making and auditions Callie deals with the drama that comes along with putting on plays, as well as typical teenage dilemmas.

For adults reading this book, this may not be particularly moving. As a parent who read it with her daughter, I rate these things a little differently depending on the importance of the message being conveyed. This story presents a character who isn’t traditionally cool, but celebrates what she enjoys and surrounds herself with friends who enjoy the same. It’s important that stories reinforce to children that it’s okay to do what you love even if it’s not what others might call cool. This story also presents characters of different sexual orientations, which is also important for children to read about for representation reasons and because the book touches lightly on the fears of being a closeted teen. Last, this book does feature a romantic subplot, but veers away from the typical ending by showing that a girl doesn’t have to be completed by a boy. This book isn’t as dramatic as an adult might expect, but it falls in line with the drama of being a teen.

3stars

black lineStorybook LoveFables Vol. 3: Storybook Love by Bill Willingham (Writer), Mark Buckingham (Artist), Steve Leialoha (Artist)
Series: Fables
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Fairy Tales
Publisher: Vertigo (May 1, 2004)
Tiara’s Rating: 2 of 5 stars

This third volume of Fables features a set of “love” stories staring with a tale about the community rogue, Jack Horner (Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk). I knew I was going to be annoyed with this book from the outset after this first story. The story featured Jack Horner reinventing himself and joining the Confederate army during the American Civil War. That story set my whole mood for the rest of the book. Honestly, Jack’s story was more than a little unnecessary since the stories following that one didn’t connect to it in any fashion.

The rest of the stories were loosely connected around the idea of a mundane (a normal person) that was set to expose the fables living in New York and the fallout from handling that situation, which includes Prince Charming moving in with one of his ex-wives and Snow White becoming pregnant with Bigby’s cubs. I couldn’t wrap my head around the methods used by the fables to keep their identities safe, and I couldn’t forgive Blackbeard for being the ultimate douchebag in this volume. I’m still trying to figure out why Bluebeard is crying in this scene after a confrontation with Bigby that wasn’t really that emotionally charged. While it was certainly an angry conversation, tears felt over the top for Blackbeard, but here they are.

I don't understand, Bluebeard.

I don’t understand, Bluebeard.

This reminds me of that panel of Superman crying because Batman won’t answer his phone calls.

Not my favorite book in the series so far, but as I enjoyed the first two books, I’ll move on to the fourth volume.

2stars

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2 Comments on “Graphic Novel Review Bites

  1. Drama sounds really appealing to me for some reason – I’m not sure why…I’ve read some fairly positive reviews for it so far so I think I’ll give it a go eventually 🙂

    Like

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