Category Archives: Manga / Graphic Novels

2018 Manga / Graphic Novels (Second Half)

I didn’t read very many graphic books in the second half of 2018, and what I read ranged from very good (Delicious in Dungeon and Monstress) to holy cow that was just horrible (Snotgirl).

Favorite

Delicious in Dungeon, vol 1-5 by Ryoko Kui
Even though the motivation for the characters’ adventure is tragic – rescuing one of their own who was eaten by a dragon while they were adventuring in a dungeon – and even though they face some serious obstacles, the story is humorous and pokes fun of the characters, their personalities, and reactions.

Manga (6)

Graphic (6)

2018 Manga / Graphic Novels (First Half)

Almost all of my graphic reading was for various reading challenges. It was a mixed bag of books. Some of them were amazing – The One Hundred Nights of Hero – and some were duds – As the Crow Flies and Jonesy.

2018 Audiobooks (First Half) – coming soon
2018 Books (First Half) – coming soon

Favorites

The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg
I almost put this book down after the boring introduction. While it was a set up, and explained aspects of the following story, removing it wouldn’t have taken anything away from the narrative. Once past that, however, and The One Hundred Nights of Hero was a dark, beautiful, and painful feminist fairy tale. The framing is similar to Arabian Nights and Scheherazade, though in this case a young woman must protect her friend/mistress from unwanted sexual advances by telling stories to her would-be assaulter. The running theme throughout was how educated and/or powerful women can be scary to men.

Honorable Mentions: The Backstagers, vol 1, Henchgirl, Spill Zone

Graphic Novels (18)
Pashmina (read twice)
Rocket Robinson and the Pharaoh’s Fortune
Ares & Aphrodite
The Backstagers, vol 1
Black Hammer, vol 1
Jonesy, vol 1
Brave
Scooby Apocalpyse, vol 1
Mooncop
Henchgirl
Roughneck
As the Crow Flies
One Hundred Nights of Hero
Spill Zone
I Am Alfonso Jones
Mega Princess
Kindred

Graphic Nonfiction (2)
Lighter than my Shadow
Sandwiches

Manga (1)
My Brother’s Husband, vol 1

2017 Manga / Graphic Novels (Second Half)

My manga/graphic reading for the second half of 2017 was pretty much non-existent. Most of my reading time was dedicated to audiobooks because I didn’t have the focus to really sit down and read something. Of the GN that I read, Such a Lovely Little War and The Best We Could Do are the two that stood out. Both are about families directly impacted by the Vietnam War, but they come from different perspectives. The former is written by the child of a Vietnamese diplomat, and the latter is written by the child of teachers. Both are worth picking up for a read.

Graphic Novels (1)
All’s Faire in Middle School

Graphic Nonfiction (2)
Such a Lovely Little War
The Best We Could Do

Manga (8)
Happy Marriage ?!, Vol 1-4
That Wolf-Boy is Mine, Vol 1-4

2017 Manga / Graphic Novels (First Half)

My manga and graphic novel consumption has been very low this year. And I hate to say it, but very few of them were amazing. Some were interesting, some were bland, but the only one (other than Tokyo Ghoul), that gave me OMG moments was Ms. Marvel, Vol 4.

Favorites

*Ms. Marvel, Vol 4: Last Days – Up until this volume, my feelings for Ms. Marvel have been on the meh side. I felt bad for feeling this way because G. Willow Wilson does a fabulous job. I kept reading the series because of various reading challenges, liking it well enough, but not being amazed by it. Volume 4, however, was the turning point. Wilson seems to have hit her writing stride, and this was where the the shit hit the fan in the plot. It was freaking awesome. Complex and dark, Kamala has to confront a crisis that has the very real possibility of not ending well, and in realizing that she has to learn that superheros can’t save everyone.  There were still plenty of clever details in the background, like the random pigs or the rat with a bowler hat or some of the storefront signs, which added some levity. Kamala also has some good scenes with both her mother and Bruno.

Graphic Novels
The Singing Bones
Ms. Marvel, Vol 4: Last Days
Out of Boneville (Bone, Vol 1)
Monstress, Vol 1: Awakening
Paper Girls, Vol 1 & 2
Giant Days, Vol 1-3
El Deafo
NextWave: Agents of HATE, Vol 1 & 2
Mighty Jack
Prez, Vol 1: Corndog in Chief
Plutona
We Stand on Guard
Lowriders in Space
Lowriders to the Center of the Earth
Hansel and Gretel
Princess Princess Ever After
Nightlights
Spill Zone

Graphic Nonfiction
Fatherland
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return
Diary of a Tokyo Teen
Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
March: Book Three
Tetris: The Games People Play

Manga
Orange: The Complete Collection, Vol 1 & 2
Tokyo Ghoul, Vol 1-12

2016 Manga/Graphic Novels (Second Half)

My graphic reading has continued to drop, in part because I’ve stepped out of the library world and am not as exposed to it as I once was, and in part because my library system does not carry many of the (manga) titles I would like to read. I also have over a 1000 books/graphic novels/manga in my TBR list, so it’s going to take some time.

2016 Manga/Graphic Novels (First Half)

Favorite Graphic Novels

starlight white-donkey

Starlight
Starlight was bittersweet, and I absolutely loved it. A man well past his prime, living on the memories of his interstellar adventures, who is shunted aside by society and children who don’t believe him. One evening, he gets whisked away by a boy in spaceship to help save the world he saved decades before.

Terminal Lance: The White Donkey
This one was harshly beautiful and depressing. A young man went to war, saw incredibly traumatic things, and then was unable to reconcile that trauma with normal American life.

Graphic Novels
Saga, Vol 6
Lumberjanes, Vol 4: Out of Time
Paper Girls, Vol 1
Sex Criminals, Vol 1: One Weird Trick
East of West, Vol 1: The Promise
Starlight
Terminal Lance: The White Donkey
Snow White: A Graphic Novel

Manga Favorites

tg-8 say-i-love-you-8

Tokyo Ghoul, Vol 6-8
Tokyo Ghoul was on of my favorite manga from the first half of the year, and it continues to remain so. Horror is outside of my normal reading range, but the characters and their motivations are fascinating. As is the dynamic between humans and ghouls – both see the other as monsters, and a serious rumble is brewing.

Say I Love You, Vol 8-10
I haven’t read this story in a while, and it was nice to see the love story still progressing between Mei and Yamato with all it’s happiness and bumps. I also liked learning more about some of the secondary characters. In all, it’s a good love story where the lead is a good guy and not an asshole with a hidden heart of gold.

Manga
Tokyo Ghoul, Vol 6-8
One Piece, Vol 31-33
A Silent Voice, Vol 4-6
The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Vol 1-4
Say I Love You, 8-10

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3 Reviews: Homegoing, Tipping the Velvet, & A Silent Voice

homecomingTitle: Homegoing
Author: Yaa Gyasi
Date Completed: August 11, 2016
Format: Hardcopy
Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Multi-generational story follows two half-sisters (one sold into slavery, one married to a British slaver) and their descendants.
Thoughts: Homegoing was absolutely beautiful. It was well written, and the style light enough to be quickly readable, but without the sacrifice of quality or depth. Each chapter focused on a different family member/generation, alternating between the two branches. The story did not get bogged down in detail, but looked at a highlight or defining moment of a given family member’s life. Even though each character only had one chapter, they are fully formed and fit within their time, location, and experience.

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tipping-velvet-2Title: Tipping the Velvet
Author: Sarah Waters
Date Completed: September 1, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 2/5
Synopsis: Nan King leaves home to be the dresser for male impersonator, Kitty Butler. As the attraction they have for each other grows, Nan joins Kitty on stage. Eventually, their relationship sours, and Nan must make her own way in London.
Thoughts: The good – Sarah Waters did a phenomenal job with details. The characters were fully formed, settings and scenes are in-depth, but not overwhelming, and I liked the ease with which various characters wore their gender fluidity/identity. The bad – Nan was whiny, self-absorbed, shallow, and didn’t seem to be able to make the connection between her actions and the consequences they brought about. If I had read the book instead of listened to it, the book would have hit the wall multiple times because of Nan’s oblivious idiocy. She did, thankfully, experience some redemption and happiness at the end.

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silent-voice-4Title: A Silent Voice, Vol 4-6
Author/Illustrator: Yoshitoki Ooima
Date Completed: September 20, 2016
Format: Hardcopy
Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Shoya continues to try to redeem his childhood actions, and build a friendship with Shoko, while relearning to interact with other childhood classmates.
Thoughts: I love, love, love this manga! It is full of feels, and can be painful to read at times. Shoya is still trying to figure out how to be a better person, and has a hard time of it because old classmates (who also implicitly or explicitly bullied Shoko) keep trying to pull Shoko back onto their orbits. No single character is good or bad; all of them are a mix of the two. Even Shoko harbors a darker side. A defining event with her, forces the other characters to evaluate their flaws and behaviors. Naoka is the only character who really drives me nuts. I know there has to be a backstory as to why she behaves this way, but she is selfish, petty, and cruel.

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2016 Manga/Graphic Novels (First Half)

After a manic run a few years ago, my reading pace for the graphic format has died down a bit. I’m assuming (especially with the manga) that it is because I’m having a harder time finding titles in print. I also don’t have the time or inclination to deal with scanlation sites. That being said, I’ve still managed to find several series that pulled me in.

Graphic Novel Favorites

lumberjanes 1 lumberjanes 2 velvet 1 velvet 2

Lumberjanes, Vol 1: Beware the Kitten Holy & Lumberjanes, Vol 2: Friendship to the Max – The first two volumes were freaking amazing. I loved the strength and ingenuity of the girls. I loved the idea of a more awesome version of Girl Scout camp mixed in with multiple supernatural elements. Each chapter begins with a badge description, and almost all of them had me wishing those badges actually existed. Volume 3 did not make the favorites because I felt it was a weaker entry in the series.
Velvet, Vol 1: Before the Living End & Velvet, Vol 2: The Secret Lives of Dead Men – Velvet is what happens when it turns out Miss Moneypenny was actually a secret agent. Who then gets set up and framed for the murders of other agents, and how she goes about trying to figure out why this is happening. Mixed in with her on the lam in the present, are scenes from her past that help flesh out why Velvet was so much more than just a secretary.

Graphic Novels
Roller Girl
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen
The Phoenix Requiem, Vol 1-5
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans
Ms. Marvel, Vol 2 & 3
Awkward
Andre the Giant: Life and Legend
SuperMutant Magic Academy
An Age of License: A Travelogue
March: Book One
Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling
Trashed
March: Book Two
Space Dumplins
Nimona
Lumberjanes, Vol 3: A Terrible Plan
Something New
Rat Queens, Vol 3: Demons

Manga Favorites

tokyo ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul, Vol 1-5 – I  love this series. It is horror (not one of my usual genres) and it can be grotesque. However, the characters and the realities of their lives are fascinating. Humans see ghouls as monsters, ghouls see humans as both monsters and prey. Tensions are high with threats and killings on both sides. Throw into this Ken Kaneki, a human who has been turned into a human-ghoul hybrid who is trying to adjust to his new life.

Manga
He’s My Only Vampire, Vol 1-4
Fairy Tail, Vol 1-5
Blackbird, Vol 1-3, Vol 18
One Piece, Vol 1-30
Psyren, Vol 1-6
A Silent Voice, Vol 1-3
The Demon Prince of Momochi House, Vol 1-4

 

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