Turn the Page: Graphic Novel Reviews

I like to keep trade comic & graphic novel reviews separate from my book reviews since they are usually shorter, and also because I rate them on both story and art. Often with graphic novels I find a weak story more enjoyable if it has great visuals. On the other hand I can often be pulled out of a story more if the visuals just don’t do it for me. Here’s what I’ve read so far this year! This post contains affiliate links. Any money earned via affiliate links covers the cost of running this here blog.

graphic novel reviews wraith

Wraith by Joe Hill (Illustrations by Charles Paul Wilson III)

Story Rating:
really like it rating

Art Rating:
really like it rating

Joe Hill’s New York Times Bestselling novel, NOS4A2, introduced readers to the terrifying funhouse world of Christmasland, and the mad man who rules there: Charlie Talent Manx III. Now, in an original new comic mini-series, Hill throws wide the candy cane gates to tell a standalone story that is at once both accessible to new readers, and sure to delight fans of the book.” via Goodreads

NOS4A2 was my favorite read of 2015. I loved everything about it. Wraith provided a great new (horrifying) tale in the twisted world of Charlie Manx and Christmasland, along with providing so much more backstory about Manx himself. The visuals were excellent – not only were they just damn scary, but they also illustrated many things identically to how I pictured them while reading NOS4A2 which is pretty rare. If you were a fan of NOS4A2, I definitely recommend giving this a read. And if you haven’t read the book – I highly recommend it if you’re a horror fan!

 

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The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen
(Illustrations by Jamie McKelvie)

Story Rating:
really like it rating

Art Rating:
just outstanding rating

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.” via Goodreads

The story was super weird, but in a way that I so enjoyed. I really liked the idea of these gods reincarnating and bringing pop stardom to a whole new level. It was very strange, but I loved it. The art was just spectacular, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Volume 2!

 

graphic novel reviews wytches

Wytches Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder (Illustrations by Jock)

Story Rating:
just outstanding rating

Art Rating:
really like it rating

Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying. Wytches takes the mythology of witches to a far creepier, bone-chilling place than readers have dared venture before. When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry. ” via Goodreads

Let me start off by saying that I had no idea this was set in NH when I bought it. I’d heard it was good horror, and I love a good horror, so I snagged it. I totally did a little bit of fangirling when I found out it was set in my state!  Moving on – this was seriously one of the creepiest things I’ve read. Again, the fact that it is not only set in my state, but in the exact type of place that I lived probably helped the scare factor for me. The tone, the art, and the plot itself are just so nightmarish, and excellent. The art was quite unique, but it worked so beautifully for this story. I was thoroughly creeped out and I loved every second of it. Don’t miss it if you love a good horror!

 

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Orchid Volume 1 by Tom Morello (Illustrations by Scott Hepburn & Dan Jackson)

Story Rating:
enjoyable rating

Art Rating:

enjoyable rating

When the seas rose, genetic codes were smashed. Human settlements are ringed by a dense wilderness from which ferocious new animal species prey on the helpless. The high ground belongs to the rich and powerful that overlook swampland shantytowns from their fortress-like cities. Iron-fisted rule ensures order and allows the wealthy to harvest the poor as slaves.” via Goodreads

I received this in a Comic Bento (not an affiliate link, just a cool sub box!) and while it was interesting, it did have one thing that really bugged me. The cover art is very different from the actual art of the comic. Now, I know that unique covers are definitely a thing in the comic world, but I personally think that the cover of a comic should set the tone for what the art will be like, especially in a trade. That being said, the inside art was still good. The story was fun, but I didn’t find it super original. It’s not something I’m in a huge rush to get Volume 2 of.

 

graphic novel reviews y the last man book 2

Y: The Last Man Book Two by Brian K. Vaughan (Illustrations by Pia Guerra by Jose Marzan Jr.)

Story Rating:
really like it rating

Art Rating:
really like it rating

Yorick Brown, the last man on Earth, begins to make his way across the country to California, he and his companions are forced to make an unscheduled stop in Marrisville, Ohio—a small town with a big secret.” via Goodreads

Continuing right where Book 1 left off and just as enjoyable as the first! While it definitely had a few weird sections (just as the first one did) I’m still really enjoying seeing where this cross country trek takes Yorick and company.

Have you read any comics or graphic novels lately? Tell me about them!

  • gamerwife

    So glad to hear you enjoyed Wytches & Wicked + Divine. Wytches was such a revelation for me. Sounds like we actually have very similar taste on the horror front, so I’ll have to give Wraith a look. I just finished book one of Paper Girls and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • Kay

      Ah, Paper Girls looked so good! Definitely one I want to read. If you do have an interest in Wraith, I highly recommend reading the book NOS4A2 at some point. It doesn’t have to be before Wraith (I’m pretty sure you learn everything you need to in the graphic novel) but it really is such a great book, and if you read it first it provides a lot of background and explanation of some things that occur in Wraith.

  • B.

    I might have to check Wytches out. I wanted to when it came out but ya know, time and money! Have you checked out Nailbiter? If you like horror, you should check it out!

    • Kay

      I haven’t, but I will definitely look it up and add it to my list!

  • Kayly. You rule. Thank you for putting a story AND art rating.
    I haven’t read Wraith or Orchid yet so I’m excited to grab it. The rest just proves to me we continuously have similar tastes which makes me love you even more! 😀

    • Also, can’t wait till you finish Y the Last Man. It’s in my top 10.

      • Kay

        I’m loving it so far! Ahh so glad you appreciate the art ratings! With comics being such a visual medium, I feel like you have to rate it along with the overall story and plot. Definitely give Wraith a read if you like horror…the character Charlie Manx is just so twisted.

  • Oh I love that you do an art rating too!

    • Kay

      Thank you! I always find myself rating the art in my head, and it has such an impact on how much I enjoy a comic so I figured I should rate it too!

  • These all sound way cool!! I’m definitely going to check out a couple of them, starting with The Wicked +The Devine, I think. Thanks for the recommendations!

    • Kay

      The Wicked + The Divine is so good!! Super strange in terms of plot haha, but I loved it. I hope you like it!

  • Thanks for reviewing these. I have a good friend that loves Y. He even named his son after the title character. Such a fun story.

    • Kay

      No way! Y is definitely one I’m really enjoying. Can’t wait to read all of it!

  • Wytches has been on my “to read list” for a while, so I am glad you enjoyed it that much! Wraith also looks very interesting so I might check that out, too!

    Thank you for the recommendations, these kind of posts definitely help me read more!

    • Kay

      Excellent I’m glad you enjoy them! I highly recommend both Wraith and Wytches – such great horror!

  • Sonya

    If you haven’t read it yet, I’d totally recommend Locke & Key. It’s another great Joe Hill series and I absolutely love the artwork in it. It’s perfectly creepy. And OMG I hadn’t heard of Wytches and I was already interested in the cover but hearing it’s set in New Hampshire makes it a total must read for me. I’ll have to add it to my list for my next comics shop trip. And Wicked + Divine was already on my list, but now I’m even more determined to read it.

    • Kay

      I LOVE Locke & Key. I’ve only read Volume 1 sadly, but I absolutely want to get my hands on more. I always forget that is Joe Hill as well. Did you know that Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son?! I found out while reading NOS4A2 and it blew my mind haha.

      Wytches is amazing! Definitely don’t miss that one.

  • I’ve been on such a graphic novel kick lately, so I’m definitely going to check these out! I read Lumberjanes, Gotham Academy, Paper Girls, and The Woods. I’d recommend them all!
    ~Sara

    • Kay

      I so want to read Paper Girls and Gotham Academy and I’ll have to give the others a try too. Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Danielle Knapp

    Ahh I really want to check out The Wicked and The Divine – it’s next on my comic/graphic novel list 🙂

    • Kay

      It’s so good! I just love the concept, even though it is pretty strange. 😀

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