Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mini-Graphic Novel Reviews #11

Chew Volume #1

Written by: John Layman, Illustrated by: Rob Guillory

Published: 2009

My Thoughts: Chew is brilliant in its ridiculousness. Tony Chu is a Chibopathic, meaning that if he eats something he can see it's entire past, which provides him with a unique skill to solve crimes with. Right there you have a premise which you know is going to make you squirm, giggle and gag continuously. Throw in a blanket ban on chicken after a world wide epidemic of bird flu, mobsters controlling a chicken black market (which is my kind of black market) and a food reviewer with a special talent of her own and you have a funny, bizarre and completely unpredictable comic.

The Killing Joke
Written by: Alan Moore, Illustrated by: Brian Bolland

Published: 1995

My Thoughts: This graphic novel is a must read. It's extremely short, but in such a small amount of pages it manages to reveal a great deal about Batman and one of the greatest Batman villains, The Joker. The book contains two entwined stories, the events that lead to a failed comedian becoming The Joker and an attack by The Joker on Commissioner Gordon and his daughter which is 100 shades of depraved. Fundamentally this story is about how easily a 'bad day' can flick that switch in your brain and make you into someone like The Joker, and that's his end goal with Gordon. How can you  hunt down a man when it is so easy to become just like him? Can you really judge him as harshly once you know the capacity we all have of turning 'bad'? I won't spoil the result, but this was a hell of a stand-alone graphic novel that went on to change Batman continuity so yeah, read it.

Written by: Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by: John Romita Jr

Published: 2007

My Thoughts: So it turns out that "gods" exist, are walking among us, but don't remember the powers they hold or the history they've witnessed.I went into this small collection not knowing that it was tied to an original series by Jack Kirby, and that meant that the whole time I felt like I was missing some important information, but I never knew what it was.  The premise is intriguing, the writing is good (it is Gaiman after all), the art is solid but the story gets a little weird and confusing. Until I read the original Kirby story I can't really say whether I think this story is patchy, successful or a bit of both, but to be honest it didn't interest me enough to send me out looking for the rest, so let's just leave it with a resounding MEH.


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