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Graphic Novelty²

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May 2016

Batman: Harley and Ivy (The Deluxe Edition)

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Dini, Paul, Bruce Timm, and Shane Glines. Batman: Harley and Ivy (The Deluxe Edition). 2016.

I feel like a lot of my posts start out this way, but me and my boyfriend were at the comic book store one time… XD He saw this and immediately bought it. We’re both fans of Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, having grown up on all the animated series they’ve created.

There are a couple different stories in here. First, Harley and Ivy attempt to steal a rare zombie plant they plan to use on every citizen in Gotham! Batman manages to thwart their plans, but they escape to South America to harvest the plant at the source. When they get it and Ivy perfects the formula, they decide to do a test run – in Hollywood! Next is a story where the girls kidnap Bruce Wayne so they can go Christmas shopping. Then, they get hold of Robin and use him to plan all their heists! What will Harley do when her jealousy gets the best of her? Another Christmas story follows, where Harley asks Batgirl to help her recover the kidnapped Ivy. Finally, there’s a really cute story from Batman: Black and White where the girls save a little girl from a creepy guy in the absence of any other heroes.

Some other editions of this book have only the first story by Dini and Timm, but since this was the deluxe edition, it had some extras. This book is really funny. I was literally lol’ing through a lot of it XD Even though a lot of it looks like the animated series, it’s not really for kids. The humor and art get kind of racy at times. It wasn’t a problem for me, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving it to anyone under high school. Other than that, it’s a fun read and I really liked it!

– Kathleen

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Superman: Red Son

Whoa, alternate universe time! Superman as a Russian, and me reviewing a DC book!

A co-worker and friend of mine (SG!) suggested this book for me to review, as it is a favorite of his. I can see why, as the story is the right way to do an alternate universe/reality tale. So what would happen if Superman’s parents sent him to Earth a few hours later?  Well, he’d land in the Ukraine instead of Kansas and this small detail makes all the difference.

Superman’s youth is remarkably like his upbringing in his other reality, and he grows into a fine, morally upstanding man. His powers are only used for good, despite being Stalin’s pawn. Over in America we meet Lex Luthor and his wife Lois Lane, and discover that America is in bad shape. Lex feels that Superman is his opponent, as he is the only person who can intellectually take him on. After Stalin’s death a power void occurs, and Superman is encouraged to step in and rule the country. At first he demurs, but after he fights off a creature that Lex sent to kill him, he decides only he can properly rescue the Russian nation. At first his initiatives make the nation prosper, and Wonder Woman joins his side, as she believes in his cause. But ultimately, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Dissidents in the Russian countryside start to appear, with Batman being the biggest insurgent to Superman’s iron rule. Batman, sporting some rocking head gear, captures Wonder Woman to try to break Superman but Wonder Woman, ever loyal to Superman hurts herself in saving Superman’s life. Things start to spiral out of control, with Superman taking on more and more of an authoritative and totalitarian rule. America is falling into ruin, but refuses to bend to communist rule, with Lex Luthor coming up with idea after idea to bring about the demise of Superman. An epic battle is fought between the two nations and a predestination paradox occurs,  with an awesome and unexpected twist at the end.

There were shout outs to many other characters in the DC universe such as Jimmie Olson, the Green Lantern Marine Corps, Brainiac, the Amazons on the island of Themyscira, Oliver Queen, plus probably a host of others that I missed but Kathleen would spot! 😉 Mark Miller penned this epic tale;  I was not surprised as he authors one of my favorite Marvel books, Civil War. The artwork was excellent,  colored with a dark and reddish palate, fitting the overall theme of Red Russia. The art work between chapters was art deco in style, reminiscent of both American and Russian propaganda posters.

Red Son is definitely one of DC’s best stories!

-Nancy

Millar, Mark, Dave Johnson & Kilian Plunkett. Superman: Red Son. 2003.

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Authors You’d Want To Meet at Book Expo America & Bookcon

 

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I recently joined a group through Goodreads called Top 5 Wednesday with blog topics, so I plan to occasionally use their prompts for my posts…so here goes!

Believe it or not, I read many other books beside graphic novels, so if I were to attend Bookcon, these are the authors I would stop and visit based off the current guest line up:

 

SAlexie

Sherman Alexie, The Absoluletly True Diary of a Part Time Indian. His book was so awesome, REAL, and necessary. Should be a must read for all high schoolers!

CClare

Cassandra Clare, The Mortal Instruments series. This choice is for my daughter- I would gain epic points for bringing home an autograph of her favorite author!

KDiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo wrote my one of my favorite children’s books ever, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I read this aloud to not only my own children, but to 3rd-5th graders when I was a school librarian. They eagerly looked forward to the chapters weekly!

J Holm

Jennifer Holm, Babymouse. My kids loved these graphic novels when they were younger. Babymouse is adorbs!

LYee

Lisa Yee, DC Super Hero Girls. She is writing some cute graphic novels geared towards younger children, plus she wrote great short stories for the anthologies Dear Bully & Geektastic.

 

So, who would you pick, and why???

 

-Nancy

Cairo

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Wilson, G. Willow and M.K. Perker. Cairo. 2007.

What happens when you mix a drug smuggler, an outlawed journalist, a soldier, and two disenfranchised teenagers from America? Oh, and did I mention the jinn and the magician? Ashraf unwittingly steals a hookah containing a jinn, and Nar will stop at nothing to get it back. Unfortunately, Ashraf already sold it to Shaheed, who quickly discovers the secret the hookah holds. Nar kidnaps Ali, Ashraf’s friend, and Kate, an aspiring American journalist, to motivate Ashraf to get the hookah back. He enlists Tova to help him recover the hookah within three days – or else his friends are dead.

This one was fun. Very fast-paced, and the magic and realism were balanced just right. My book was in black and white, I’m not sure if they printed it in color, but I kind of liked it in black and white. The characters talk a lot about moral issues and how not everything is in black and white, and it seemed fitting. The art reminded me a little of woodcuts. Plus, it’s nice to find a standalone and something that isn’t a series now!

– Kathleen

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