July 2016: Graphic Novels + Children's/YA


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July 2016: Graphic Novels + Children's/YA

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Jun 27, 2016, 12:45pm

A little bit about graphic novels:

“A graphic novel is a book made up of comics content. Although the word "novel" normally refers to long fictional works, the term "graphic novel" is applied broadly and includes fiction, non-fiction, and anthologized work. It is distinguished from the term "comic book", which is used for comics periodicals.

Fan historian Richard Kyle coined the term "graphic novel" in an essay in the November 1964 issue of the comics fanzine Capa-Alpha. The term gained popularity in the comics community after the publication of Will Eisner's A Contract with God (1978) and became familiar to the public in the late 1980s after the commercial successes of the first volume of Art Spiegelman's Maus in 1986 and the collected editions of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns in 1986 and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen in 1987. The Book Industry Study Group began using "graphic novel" as a category in book stores in 2001.”

From wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphic_novel

Graphic Novel/Horror Suggestions:
Locke & Key / Joe Hill
Through the Woods / Emily Carroll
American Vampire / Scott Snyder, Stephen King
The Walking Dead / Robert Kirkman
30 Days of Night / Steve Niles
The Last Temptation / Neil Gaiman
Saga of the Swamp Thing / Alan Moore
From Hell / Alan Moore
The Sandman / Neil Gaiman

Children's/YA Horror Suggestions:
Miss Peregrine's Home of Peculiar Children / Ransom Riggs
Coraline / Neil Gaiman
The House With a Clock In Its Walls / John Bellairs
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark / Alvin Schwartz
Bunnicula / Deborah Howe, James Howe
Doll Bones / Holly Black
Cirque du Freak / Darren Shan
The Haunting / Margaret Mahy
The Dollhouse Murders / Betty Ren Wright
Scavenger Hunt / Christopher Pike (or just about anything by Christopher Pike!)
The Betrayal / R.L. Stine (or just about anything by R.L. Stine!)
Down a Dark Hall / Lois Duncan
Blood and Chocolate / Annette Curtis Klaus

Jun 27, 2016, 12:50pm

I've got a few possibilities:

graphic novels:
Locke & Key, Volume 4. Keys to the Kingdom / Joe Hill
Arkham Woods / Christopher Rowley

Help for the Haunted / John Searles
Hollow City / Ransom Riggs

Editado: Jun 27, 2016, 9:58pm

I read Locke and Key last year. It was really good. This year I'm going to try Outcast by Kirkman and Azaceta. If time permits then I'll read 30 Days of Night.

ETA: I also requested Black Hole by Charles Burns from the library.

Jun 28, 2016, 3:30am

I was with a friend who bought 30 Days... back when it was new and sat next to her flipping through it; did not appeal to me in the least. From what I could tell it just looked like a gorefest and I think I wasn't crazy about the drawing style in general either, so I've always avoided that one. Not sure what I'll be going for yet for this theme!

Jul 16, 2016, 6:03pm

Hollow City /Ransom Riggs
3 stars

This book picks up right where Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children left off.
*******SPOILERS if you haven't yet read the first book********
Miss Peregrine is in bird form and the group of peculiar children, along with Jacob, no longer have a home. Miss Peregrine is not able to turn back to human, so the children are on a mission to find another ymbryne to try to help her.
*******END SPOILERS********

It started slow and I wasn't a fan of the peculiar animals. That was just getting way too odd for me. However, as the children moved on from the peculiar animals, the book picked up and I ended up liking it. I was waffling between 3 stars (ok) and 3.5 (good), and decided to stick with the lower “ok” rating, although I am interested enough to read the third book to see how it all ends. I did also enjoy meeting some of the newer peculiar characters who they came across in this book. I still love the old photographs, as well.

Jul 22, 2016, 4:46pm

I read Outcast, Vol. 1 & Outcast, Vol. 2 by Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta. They were good, not great. I'll read Vol. 3 before I decide if I stick with the series.

Editado: Jul 26, 2016, 8:05am

I've left it late to join in but I've picked up a copy of From Hell, which I'm four chapters into. I spent the first few pages wondering if I was going to enjoy it - now I'm gripped. I've also read the first two copies of a new horror comic, Horrere:


and I'll be reading Struwwelpeter.

>1 LibraryCin: Great intro!

>3 luvamystery65: Locke and Key was also a possibility but none of my preferred graphic novels were available in my local libraries, so it meant a trip to the bookshop. The first volume of Locke and Key was £17.99, compared to £25.99 for From Hell (which is huge). That certainly helped me make my decision :)

>5 LibraryCin: I can't remember what you made of the first one, which I almost picked up at the bookshop. I wouldn't pay for a copy of the second based on your review!

Jul 27, 2016, 12:05am

Thank you re the intro.

For Peculiar Children, the first one, i think i gave it 4 stars. I really liked it. This one, not as much.

Jul 27, 2016, 7:10am

Horrere - Liked these but they weren't great. The artwork was excellent but the stories were average. I bought the two together (and got a free print - nice!), but don't think I'll order any more of the series. 3 stars.

From Hell - The artwork grew on me, and I got used to the lettering. I found the book harder to put down the further in I got, and read the bulk of it into the night. It's a creepy, atmospheric read, but not perfect. I'm still reading through the extensive notes at the end and I'm a little disappointed that it's mostly based on only one particular conspiracy theory (knowing how well read Alan Moore is, I thought he would have pulled together more theories). I loved the psychogeography, and liked the tying in of the atrocities with other events at the end, although I think it would have been a stronger story if it had concentrated on, say, London history and London atrocities (it would have tied in more neatly with the London psychogeography). In other words it didn't quite go where I thought it would go, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but for me there wasn't enough Ripper lore, while the implications of the Ripper's actions were too broad (the 20th century, serial killers, etc).

Alan Moore has been accused of misogyny, and there's a lot of it in this book, but I think it is fitting to the story, the subject matter and the times. There is also a lot of sex, not much of it pleasant, but it does add to the grim, sordid atmosphere. Life would have been more like this than some of the more romanticised depictions of prostitution in the East End in Victorian times.

4 stars, although it might go up to a 5 with a re-read. As always Alan Moore is interesting and I can't stop thinking about it, and my disappointment with certain aspects may just be because it wasn't what I expected.

Jul 27, 2016, 9:40am

He's accused of it because if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck... The various rapes and near-rapes that occur throughout that piece were certainly not necessary just to show that, hey there was prostitution, and shitty men. Both of those exist now as well and you don't see everything else covered with that. All of his work is littered with rapes. I personally thought From Hell was one of the worst things I ever read. It was a ridiculous amount of text in what was meant to be a graphic novel, and as you mention, he went off on his own personal little fantasy-theory, ignoring everything that disagrees with him. It was long and tedious and dull and infuriating and I wanted to bash my head against that brick repeatedly. Hahaha. XD

Editado: Jul 27, 2016, 5:09pm

>10 .Monkey.: As much as I enjoyed the book, I can see where you're coming from! It was very wordy, with LOTS of exposition - a lot of it felt more like a lecture, and was why it took a chapter or two to grow on me. I was sucked in after that, as it appealed to my love of the dark and disturbing, and conspiracy theories, but I really couldn't argue with your views as I think they are perfectly valid criticisms.

As for Alan Moore and misogyny - after reading some Lovecraft for the first time last year, I was thrilled to hear about a Lovecraft comic by Alan Moore... until I saw some images online. Really disgusting. That and his Lost Girls (again, I'd read about it and seen images, but I've not read it), made me question his portrayal of women. I gave From Hell the benefit of the doubt as it's an earlier work, and I do think the story fits some of the grim sex scenes, but to return to rape and abuse again and again in other works, well... It reminded me of another horror writer, Jonathan Aycliffe. I liked Naomi's Room a lot (someone here on LT had recommended it), but it did have a very cruel, sadistic ending. I then read a couple of other books of his, none of which were as good but ALL of which included themes of child abuse. It left a bad taste in the mouth and I wouldn't read any more of his, even though I'd still say that Naomi's Room is a good book.

PS - I'd only known Alan Moore for Future Shocks (a strip in 2000ad), Swamp Thing, and Watchmen, before I saw images of some of his later work, and I'd rate all three. But like Jonathan Aycliffe, I think I'll give his later work a miss.

Jul 30, 2016, 5:29am

Have decided to squeeze in Something Wicked This Way Comes as a YA choice before starting on my August read(s).

I finished the first appendix of From Hell, which was thorough, and finally the second appendix, which I thought was Alan Moore at his very best, and pushed the book to 5 stars. His continued 'thing' with rape and sexual abuse of women is an even bigger let-down when I consider his earlier works. Yes, they pushed the boundaries, but they were also intelligent and thought-provoking and besides, those boundaries have been pushed now.

Jul 30, 2016, 5:42pm

Help for the Haunted / John Searles
4 stars

Sylvie is 14-years old and Rose is her older sister. Their parents have an odd job. They are very religious and they help people who are “haunted”. They also lecture on what they do and become famous for it. When, one night, they receive a phone call, they put Sylvie in the car with them and drive to a church. While Sylvie stays in the car, her parents, one-by-one, go inside. Neither ever comes out.

I really liked this one. It was a little creepy in a couple of parts. I listened to the audio and it did a good job of keeping my attention, so I didn't miss very much on the rare occasions my mind wandered. The book starts with the phone call and the trip to the church and it goes back and forth in time from then, but even with the audio, I was able to follow.

Jul 30, 2016, 8:23pm

Jul 31, 2016, 3:31pm

Since I've been holding on to it for ~2 yrs now, I figure it was time to dive into my Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery (vol 1). It's an interesting collection of old strips; varies between 1-11 pages per strip, and the quality of the stories is up & down. Some were a bit silly, others were alright, while some managed a nice creepy feel. I'd say it's probably not really worth the expensive hardback price it sells for, but if you're an avid Karloff fan, it's a fun collector's item. I'll be looking to see if I can pick up the other volumes 2ndhand, as I am an avid Karloff lover. :P

>11 Moomin_Mama: Yeah, I've read a handful of his stuff, because for some reason it's really big and acclaimed, and all of it has left me wanting. V for Vendetta is the only one I don't completely hate because I agree with what he was going for with it, but again, his treatment of women... *sigh* So yeah eventually I just gave up because I got sick of it, and sick of being pissed off by it. Lol.

>12 Moomin_Mama: I read Something Wicked This Way Comes for the first time several years ago, it's great! <3 Bradbury

Jul 31, 2016, 4:58pm

>15 .Monkey.: I'm enjoying 'Something Wicked' so far and nothing dark has happened yet. It's the warmth of language and the characters. And like you, I've not read it before.

Ago 21, 2016, 6:05pm

I'm a little late with this update, but I finished The Sandman: Overture in July. I definitely recommend it if you're a fan of the series. If you're not familiar with the Sandman series, it can be very confusing, even though it's supposed to be a prequel. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous and it won a well-deserved Hugo award yesterday.

Ago 22, 2016, 4:41am

I really loved the series, only thing of Gaiman's I do love, I've been wanting to read that one.

Ago 22, 2016, 7:54am

>18 .Monkey.: I did enjoy Gaiman's children's books when my kids were younger. We listened to Coraline and The Graveyard Book on audio during a couple of long car trips. I agree, though, that The Sandman is definitely the best thing he's done.

I hope you enjoy the prequel. The edition I'd read included a lengthy interview with artist J. H. Williams III, which I found especially interesting.