Saturday, October 18, 2008

A variety of graphic novels...

We have four new graphic novels on the shelf (in the wooden Graphic Novels bookcases, not the New Books section) that represent a wide range of styles.
Fall of Cthulhu: the fugue is my favorite. Written by Alan Michael Nelson and drawn by Jean Dzialowski, this book is a horror story dealing with otherworldly demons and nightmare cults. I don't ordinarily read this type of fiction (I don't like being frightened), but the depiction of The Dreamlands - a creepy alternate dimension - were so compelling I ended up reading the entire book.
Hunter's Moon is my least favorite. Since it was written by James L. White, who also wrote the screenplay for the film Ray, you would expect good things. Unfortunately, it's your standard Hollywood action movie; an African-American stockbrocker and his son are on a camping trip when rural bigots kidnap the boy for ransom. Local white law enforcement officials don't believe him and he's forced to rescue the boy himself. Think The Fugitive meets Deliverance, with Denzel Washington as the star. Boring artwork doesn't do anything to redeem this book.
Hall of Best Knowledge is an intriguing book by Ray Fenwick. Written in the tone of voice of a Victorian Englishman, each page is constructed as a brief 'lesson' wherein the author imparts a piece of his genius knowledge in relation to a particular topic (see, verbosity is contagious!). The illustrations are a complete gallery of graphic design, and the 'lessons' can be very funny. A boon to calligraphy students, as well as graphic novel fans.
Bottomless Belly Button is a look at a dysfunctional family at a seminal moment in their lives. The three Looney siblings are called to their parents' beach house and told that their mother and father are ending their 40-year marriage. Artist Dash Shaw uses a cartoon style that brings the reader smoothly through the story of each person's reaction to the divorce.

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