Heard about graphic novels? Thought they were for kids? Or just about superheroes? Graphic Novel Life is here to tell you otherwise! Reviewing graphic novels past, present and future. Steering you through the jargon and genre classifications. Giving you advice and tips on where to start for the whole family. Whatever your age, graphic novels are for everyone! We're going to need GNs. Lots and lots of GNs.
There was little to crow about in the British kid’s comics market for years. That is until a man named David Fickling decided that he didn’t want to revive comics in Britain as much as restore them to where they should be. Today on Graphic Novel Life we’re looking at David Fickling Books,The Phoenix Comic and getting kids reading.
Today's episode is for my pub buddies who are disheartened by the recent Star Wars films. Here's a summary of some of the things I say about Star Wars graphic novels and particularly Kieron Gillen's and Salvador Larocca's Darth Vader run for Marvel Comics, though far less tipsy than at those times. Also, I talk about Vader Down, the Darth Vader story Star Wars fans have been asking for but will never see on film.
30 Days of Night took the Vampire story back to its roots as primordial scare-fest. It almost didn't happen until a fledgling publishing company called IDW took a chance. Why is it a good transition from horror novels to graphic novels? You'll have to listen to find out.
Resident Alien by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse is a fun and engaging series that centres on an alien scientist stranded in small town America. Published by Dark Horse Comics, it's always getting better. I look at the rest of the series today with a full on review of Alien in New York, the latest and best instalment in the series. Also Parkhouse's art is AMAZING!
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have been around a long time and produced some good stories in their respective fields. Their work on Fatale set a new standard for creator owned productions and reinvented a sub-genre of classic crime noir. If you like a bit of the spooky stuff and a bit of gritty crime, this might be just the ticket to get you into GNs.
Tillie Walden is a writer who shares her own experiences in her work. Her greatest talent is to engage people emotionally through her artwork and On A Sunbeam is her maturest and most beautiful story yet. I review it and muse on how it has made me rethink some things.
There are a number of lists out there suggesting great GNs but usually have the seasoned reader in mind. Today I look at three books/ series that I would recommend to a people trying GNs for the first time: the Asterix series, Ethel and Ernest & Between the Billboards. Surprised?
At 17 Samia Yusuf Omar represented her country at the Beijing Olympics. Four years later she met a tragic ending. I take a look at Reinhard Kleist's graphic biography An Olympic Dream: The Story of Samia Yusuf Omar, muse on the thought provoking nature of his account and why graphic biographies work on a slightly different level to prose biographies.
David Fickling Books have a great line in children's graphic novels and a wealth of superb illustrators and writers. Jamie Smart is just one, a superb cartoonist who creates frenetic and funny characters. Here's a review of Looshkin.
Written by Peter Hogan and illustrated by Steve Parkhouse, Resident Alien is a Sci-Fi series with a difference from Dark Horse Comics. The first of 5 volumes to date I have reviewed, I muse on how the best Sci-Fi can be a commentary or a reflection of human values.
Today we chat about the zany fun to be found in Monkey Nuts by Robin & Lorenzo Etherington. Robin writes for his age group but its funny whatever your demographic and Lorenzo fills the pages with some amazing characters and settings. I also chat about my first comic, why I love graphic novels, how Pat Mills' & Joe Colquhoun's work on Charley's War encouraged me to learn how to read and why people should broaden their horizons beyond their norm. Just your normal cozy fireside chat.
Joe Todd-Stanton redefines children's books formats with the beautiful and engaging Brownstone's Mythical Series. Book 2 is a gem and I talk a little about how great Marcy is for kids with dyslexia or who just struggle to read.
Before films we had comics! Looking at Fantagraphics' new Disney Masters series featuring international artists that have contributed to classic Disney characters over the years starting with Romano Scarpa's Mickey Mouse stories. Known as the Mouse Maestro, he'll make you fall in love with Disney comics.
A welcome to the show with an idea on what to expect in the future. There is also a review of the very good and very interesting book Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie. The very first, very rough episode where you'll discover that I love graphic novels and the word "love" a lot.