Graphic Novel Review: Bitch Planet #1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Taki Soma (Artist), and Robert Wilson(Artist)

25074849Title: Bitch Planet #1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Taki Soma (Artist), and Robert Wilson(Artist)
Genre: Fiction – Science Fiction, Feminist Literature
Length: 136 pages
Format: Graphic Novel
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Image Comics
Rating – 5/5!

“…one of the most unique and subversive artifacts of pop culture in recent memory.” – Salon.com

“Seldom do comics burst onto the scene and shatter our worldview by being entirely poignant, raw, and captivating – but then, most comics aren’t Bitch Panet.” – Entertainment Weekly

Eisner Award-nominated writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel) and Valentine De Landro (X-Factor) team up to bring you the premiere volume of Bitch Planet, a deliciously vicious riff on women-in-prison sci-fi exploitation. In a future just a few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman’s failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords will result in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. When the newest crop of fresh femmes arrive, can they work together to stay alive or will hidden agendas, crooked guards, and the deadliest sport on (or off!) Earth take them to their maker?

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I picked up Bitch Planet #1 under the recommendation of a fellow participator in the Panels Read Harder challenge. This particular graphic novel satisfies the “Read a feminist comic” challenge requirement.

Bitch Planet #1 collects issues 1-5. It is about women. All types of women who don’t fit into this idea that the men on earth classify as the ideal woman. These women are thought of as bad, difficult, as subversive and they have a need of being taught a lesson or being punished so they are reported for various infractions like obesity or being a bad mother and they are shipped off to live on what is commonly known as Bitch Planet.

I am SO glad that I read this. I absolutely loved it and am now OBSESSED. There are a lot of things that I loved about it. I loved some of the characters and their strength in the face of things and experiences that have been designed to “teach them a lesson” or make them weak. I loved the old school style advertisements at the end of every issue. A lot of them made me chuckle and some definitely poke fun at ridiculous ideals prevalent in not only the society in this graphic novel but ideals that are existent in our society’s culture as well like the obsession with fad diets and plastic surgery.

This graphic novel was SO good. I stayed up super late to finish it because once I started it I just couldn’t stop and I am in for the long haul on this one. I immediately went searching for volume two but it hasn’t come out yet so I am eagerly awaiting it’s release. This graphic novel has filled me with the need to read more feminist literature, that’s an area in which I am lacking but one that is so important and this just reminded me of that. I can’t wait to continue this, I loved everything about it…the tone, the characters, the overall story, and the art.

I highly recommend this!

Happy reading everyone

Graphic Novel Review: Descender Book One: Tin Stars by Jeff LeMire and Dustin Nguyen

24970339Title: Descender Book One: Tin Stars by Jeff LeMire (Writer) and Dustin Nguyen (Illustrator)
Genre: Fiction – Science Fiction
Length: 160 pages
Format: Graphic Novel
Publication Date: September 9, 2015
Publisher: Image Comics
Rating – 5/5!

Ten Years after planet-sized robots called Harvesters appeared and wreaked havoc across the galaxy, a young android named TIM-21 wakes to find that all robots have been outlawed. But TIM may hold the secrets to the Harvesters in his machine DNA and he quickly becomes the most wanted robot in the universe. With bounty hunters and threats lurking at every turn TIM embarks on a mind-blowing adventure through the stars along with his robot dog, Bandit, and the lumbering mining droid, Driller.

images I have been wanting to read this graphic novel for what seems like forever! I have had it on my wish list ever since I first saw it before it was actually released. I don’t know exactly why it took me so long to finally order it and read it but I am glad that I did.  I didn’t really start exploring the science fiction genre until a few years ago when a close friend of mine gave me a copy of Ender’s Game for Christmas and ever since then I have fallen in love with the genre in pretty much all formats so naturally, a science fiction graphic novel totally appealed to me.

I can’t recall whether I have read a graphic novel with watercolor illustrations but I really enjoyed the watercolor illustrations in this one. I felt like it was really easy to understand the story due to the use of color changes from past events versus current events. I appreciated that distinction and thought it  was overall just really well done.

I feel like I hyped this one up for myself SO much. When I first read the synopsis online, I knew it was something that I might enjoy and boy, did I ever! There were parts of this graphic novel that made my heart just so sad and it was just really gripping all the way through.

I feel like the amount of hype I gave myself for this graphic novel was pretty well deserved. I ended up giving it a five star rating on Goodreads as I ended up really loving it. The story is interesting and really affected me. Throughout the story we follow Tim-21, a young robot boy who lived with a human boy and his mother as the boy’s robot companion. Although Robot’s are understood to not exist quite like humans do emotionally and mentally, Tim-21 becomes a part of the family. Something goes wrong and he awakes to find himself alone in a world that is hostile to robots, especially his particular type of robot and he just may be the key to solving the mystery of what went wrong while he was asleep.

I don’t even think that begins to sum up the plot but I didn’t want to reveal too much about it. There is alot going on below the surface and there seems to be alot of politics and interplanetary relations involved, as well as some character background that plays really vital roles in the plot and everything that has happened up to this point. It also goes deeper and brings forth the question of whether artificial life forms can have souls and dreams. Also, questions like whether they can love or feel human motions or also, what would happen to their soul when they expired. Do they even have souls? Super, super good! I cannot wait to continue this graphic novel series…I am definitely highly anticipating the second volume which is being released April 19, 2016. You better believe I have that baby on pre-order! I thought that the writing was thoughtful and engaging…I loved that each issue ended on a really great cliffhanger, especially the last one! This series is so good already but has SO much potential…I can’t wait to see what happens with the Harvesters, the resistance, Tim-21 and just literally everything and everyone that we have encountered so far. I highly recommend this to every one!

(p.s. Isn’t the cover just gorgeous?)

Happy Reading everyone!

Review: The Wicked + The Divine (Volume 1) by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson and Clayton Cowles

Title:  The Wicked + The Divine (Volume 1) by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson and Clayton Cowles
Genre:  Graphic Novel – Fantasy
Publisher: Image Comics
Length: 144 pages
Format: Trade – Volume 1
Publication Date: November 12, 2014
Rating – 3/5

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever. Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1-5

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Good evening! Today I am reviewing the first volume in The Wicked and the Divine: The Faust Act. This was recommended to me by one of the sales guys at my local comic store. This is a fantasy/science fiction graphic novel. The story is about a group of Gods that are reincarnated every   ninety years and that live in human form for two years before dying again. In this incarnation they have been reborn as rock/pop stars with their devoted fans as their worshippers. One such worshipper/fan meets the Gods and when one of them, Luci, is framed for murder, resolves to help explore the mystery of who actually committed the crime.

I ended up giving this first volume three stars. I didn’t love it but I did however like what was given to us of the story. After reading it I wasn’t completely sure whether I still wanted to continue reading this series but I think I just might because I’m interested enough to see where this is going to go. I am wondering whether my enjoyment of the story would be impacted if I had read volume 2 immediately after finishing this one,  I may actually go back and give this another read before reading that one. There was a character that I found really interesting and that was Luci. This volume more or less revolves around her.

The story was interesting and I think it could be going in a pretty promising direction. I wasn’t too into this first volume but I am hoping that the story picks up and we get more information on the world and the characters. I did find myself recognizing some of the Gods mentioned here and that was pretty interesting. It was also interesting to draw parallels to real life in this story as far as how young people, even some adults, treat celebrities like pop stars and actors/actresses as veritable Gods in their eyes. I also found myself trying to draw connections between this series and Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus which I assumed upon reading the title it may be based on. I can definitely see a connection in the storyline in this volume and interested to see more. It ended up being something that I enjoyed and depending on how the story develops, I can see myself enjoying it more and more.

The thing that most stood out most to me about this graphic novel was most definitely the artwork. The artwork is absolutely stunning and I would actually pick up the next one just for the artwork alone.

If you read this graphic novel and loved it please let me know what you loved about it or even if you didn’t love it. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Overall I liked it and will pick up the next volume.

Review: Mind the Gap (Volume 1): Intimate Strangers by Jim McCann, Rodin Esquejo, and Sonia Oback

Mind the GapTitle: Mind the Gap (Volume 1): Intimate Strangers by Jim McCann, Rodin Esquejo (Illustrator) and Sonia Oback (Illustrator)
Genre:  Fiction
Publisher: Image Comics
Page count: 168 pages
Format: Graphic Novel
Publication Date: October 17, 2012
Rating: 4/5

Elle Peterssen is young, wealthy, and beautiful – and there is a reason someone tried to kill her. Only, Elle doesn’t remember any of this.

Mind the Gap, the new series by the Eisner Award-winning writer JIM McCANN (Return of the Dapper Men), is a mystery with a paranormal twist.

Elle, in a spirit form detached from her comatose body, must not only unravel the mystery of her attacker’s identity and motive but her entire life as well.

Who can she trust, in both this word and in the gap she exists in that lies between life and death? Filled with twists and turns, Elle’s life isn’t the only one turned upside down by the attack on her life.

Deceit, secrets, and hidden agendas are everywhere in a story where everyone is a suspect, and no one is innocent.

Collects Mind the Gap #1-5.

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I discovered this graphic novel while I was browsing through Listopia on Goodreads one day, something I can do for hours on end. When I came across this and read the description I was instantly intrigued. Most of my experience with comics and graphic novels has been in the form of the superhero genre. The only non-superhero comics I had read to date so far were Fables, Maus, Elfquest and other miscellaenous comics throughout the years. I decided to take part in the graphic novel challenge this year because I wanted to challenge myself to, not only read more comics like I did when I was a kid, but to branch out into the different genre’s that make up the comic and graphic novel formats. I haven’t been wildly successful at it so far this year but for this second half of the year I hope to hit this format with a vengeance.

Mind the Gap definitely caught my eye and when I received it in the mail I was super excited to dig into it. It’s about a young girl, Elle Peterssen who is attacked and ends up in a coma. The story is about her trying to remember what happened to her and really trying to even remember who she is. It’s interesting because it is also about unraveling the mystery of who hurt her by exploring her relationships and the various dramas begin to unfold casting suspicion upon pretty much everyone in the story.

Mind the Gap so far definitely has my interest piqued. This graphic novel only collects comics 1-5 so there is a large chunk of the story that I still have yet to read and I will definitely be doing that in the future. I liked being suspicious of everyone I have met so far in the story. At times I felt l was sure who could have done this to her but a page later my opinion on that would take a hit and I’d second guess someone else in the story. That is a truly fun aspect of reading this graphic novel. I gave it a four out of five because it was confusing at some parts and a little hard to follow but super interesting and wholly unique. I love the illustrations and the colors that are used. I think this is definitely a beautiful work both in the storytelling but also in the illustrative aspect. It’s literally just so beautiful and pleasing to the eye.  I definitely recommend giving Mind the Gap a read. I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds, it really could go in many different directions at this point! If you have read further into this series or if you have any recommendations on graphic novels please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!