March 5, 2023
I have been picking up some recent graphic novels via eBay. In fact, I have three that were recently nominated for an Eisner. Two of which I will review below.
The third one is the most recent Eisner winner. It is called Monsters by Barry Windsor Smith. The problem is… this thing is like a textbook. It is a massive 360 pages and an attempt to start it is overwhelming.
I have read a few pages of the monstrosity, but I am not sure when this will get finished. Perhaps this is a book to wait with until summer. Or maybe a little bit every day. Either way, it is gigantic.
Otherwise, here are the rest…
Meadowlark. Creative duo of Greg Ruth and Ethan Hawke. Yes, Ethan Hawke the actor. The cover describes it as “a coming-of-age crime story.” I can see why this was nominated for an Eisner because this was a beautiful book. The art was spectacular and the color was very sepia-toned. It is a lovely book to look at, even if the story was one of pain. It followed teenager Cooper who had been giving his mother trouble lately. He wound up at his father, Jack’s, place of business- at a prison on a day when several inmates executed an escape plan. Things get rather personal for Jack and Cooper quickly. You can definitely see this as a film starring Ethan Hawke as Jack. I can’t imagine that this project is not down the road a bit. The book was a quick and thrilling read. I really enjoyed this.
Lugosi: The Rise & Fall of Hollywood’s Dracula. Story and art were done by Koren Shadmi. This is the life story of the famous actor Bela Legosi, who became most well known for his role as Count Dracula for Universal Studios. The graphic novel covered Legosi’s life from a youngster in Hungary until his death, sad and broken in California. We hear about his struggles getting any roles significant besides Dracula, his rivalries with Boris Karloff and his friendship with Ed Wood. We see Legosi’s marriages and his family issues. It is a fascinating look at an iconic actor in the early days of cinema.
Love Everlasting #3-5. Written by Tom King and drawn by Elsa Charretier. Joan Peterson made her way into plenty of love stories over these three issues. Issue five was a little different as it gave us a bit of background in what exactly was going on, but it did not lay out everything. Apparently, Joan’s mother has some involvement here- hiring the cowboy who has been killing Joan in the different timelines. Each of these issues had a different twist to them and I have been enjoying the mysterious story as in moves along.
Middlewest #1. Written by Skottie Young and drawn by Jorge Corona. Abel is a young kid whose had plenty of problems from an abusive and strict father. Middlewest is a beautifully looking book that I was attracted to because of Skottie Young’s work on Strange Academy. He has become one of those writers that I want to read because their work is always great. This world is magical and I want to know more.
King of Spies #2. Written by Mark Millar and drawn by Matteo Sealera. Roland King is back at it. He has six months to live and the former British spy has decided that he will use the time he has remaining to kill as many monsters as he can. It seemed that the British Intelligence knows who is behind the recent rush of murders and assassinations and they have called in Roland’s son, Atticus. Millar is really good at this style of story and I am intrigued with what is next.
Primordial #1. Written by Jeff Lemire and drawn by Andrea Sorrentino. The pair that would eventually work on the Bone Orchard Mythos project, worked together on this series for Image. This is a book where the advancement of the space program took a different path in the early 1960s. The sci-fi book, which made me think of Interstellar crossed with The Department of Truth, kicks off with a great mystery involving what happened to a pair of monkeys sent into space.
Jane Foster & The Mighty Thor #5. “Part Five of Five.” Written by Torunn Grønbekk and drawn by Michael Dowling. This issue wrapped up the story of Jane Foster’s search for Thor and the attack by Ares, God of War, on Asgard. Honestly, this book was, at best, adequate. There was a lot of Thor-type action and weird names that can make it tough to follow. Still, it looked great and it leads into the current storyline running in Thor currently so, it was worth the read.
Ten Thousand Black Feathers #2. Written by Jeff Lemire with art from Andrea Sorrentino. We continue to see the background and history between Jackie and Trish, setting up the mystery beneath the series… Jackie’s disappearance. Trish is determined to help her friend, even after ten years. The splitting between the girls’ lives and the fantasy element of the book is cool and keeps things moving quickly.
Regarding the Matter of Oswald’s Body #1. “Chapter One: October 55th.” I found this number one in a pile and I was curious to read it. It was from Boom! Studios which has had plenty of solid short series. The book fell into a lot of the current books I have been reading, as a mystery man named Frank is assembling a group of people. Not sure what the mission is, but the last page has a picture of Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald starred in The Department of Justice too. I do not think I am pursuing this book any further, but it was not a bad read.
The Me You Love in the Dark #2. Written by Skottie Young and drawn by Jorge Corona. Ro is an artist trying to rediscover her mojo, but the house that she is staying at is haunted… or something like that. This is an uncommon haunted house tale, as it really is more of a character piece with most of the book centered around a conversation. I liked it so far. It was an easy read and it keeps the suspense about what is going on.