Thoughts of the Graphic Sort

A place where I can discuss my addiction to graphic novels.

Posts Tagged ‘Childhood

I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly & JM Ken Niimura

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I was excited about reading I Kill Giants–the title itself was enough to get my attention.  And then I read the description and was even more intrigued.  Barbara is a loner, an odd kid, who escapes into a fantasy world to avoid dealing with real life.  As the fantasy world starts bleeding into reality, Barbara becomes more and more convinced that something big is coming and it’s her duty to stop it.

Barbara is just enough of a smartass to make you feel sorry for her.  A kid who backtalks like her must be dealing with some major issues, right?  And she really is, but it’s not until much later in the book that you realize what exactly is going on.  Things and situations are hinted at, but it’s never really clear what is wrong until the final confrontation.  And what a confrontation it is: Barbara’s fantasies culminate in one big doozy of a battle that threatens herself and those around her.

The fantasy becoming reality is the most interesting, and also the best, part of the story.  As other people become affected by Barbara’s fantasies, the story perfectly blends reality and fantasy while keeping it all believable.

I was impressed with the final villain, from his true purpose in the story to his overall appearance.  Niimura did an excellent job portraying a monster that brings an important message along with tons of doom and gloom.

Barbara is definitely a character you want to root for and hug at the same time.

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Written by JP Weezey

March 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Posted in Review

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Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

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Precocious children walk a fine line between endearing and annoying.  That precocious boy from Jerry McGuire?  Annoying.  Hit-Girl from the graphic novel Kick-Ass and movie of the same name?  All kinds of awesome.  But Hit-Girl is one of only a few precocious children who didn’t make me cringe after every sentence she uttered.

The annoyingness level of precociousness is subjective, and I admit I have a low-tolerance for precocious children, but I was completely annoyed by the child Marjane.  I felt Satrapi tried too hard to make her quirky and she just ended up being irritating.

But that’s not to say I didn’t like Persepolis.  In fact, I rather enjoyed the novel, and once the story moved from Marjane and began focusing more on the world and lives of those around her, I was really drawn in.  Satrapi’s skill lies in explaining complex histories succinctly without making it feel like you’re reading a history book.  Marjane grows up amidst a revolution and turmoils that have been brewing for decades, and we learn about what’s going on in Iran through conversations with her family, friends, and constant protests in the streets.

Check out the artwork:

I love how she uses the monochrome palette to her advantage by effectively filling panels with deep blacks and stark whites.  She has a simple, clean drawing style which really keeps the story flowing.

Persepolis took a while to grow on me but when it did, I was glad I stuck with it.  Satrapi does a great job of bringing a land in the midst of a revolution to life for those who live in a world where torture and bombings are just vague ideas.

Written by JP Weezey

March 16, 2012 at 8:00 am

Posted in Review

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