That’s right, I’m still not quite caught up on my reviews. Here’s an attempt to get a few written and cross one more thing off the to-do list. (Ahhh, the crossing off feels SO good…)
In Foiled, a graphic novel for teens from First Second, the fantabulous Jane Yolen–writer extraordinaire of a myriad of books for children and young adults–branches out into the comics arena with the story of Aliera Carstairs, a girl who doesn’t fit in anywhere at school but can fence like nobody’s business. But when uber-cute new student Avery Castle shows up and starts actually talking to her, she finds she might be interested in more than just fencing foils, reading, and role-playing games…and that’s when the REALLY strange and inexplicable things start to happen. This book has a great premise and story–one that I really wish had been fleshed out more, actually–and charming and fitting illustrations by Mike Cavallaro. I requested a review copy from the publisher.
The New Brighton Archeological Society, Book One: The Castle of Galomar, by Mark Andrew Smith and Matthew Weldon, is a classic-style story of kids who wander into a strange world of fantasy and adventure, chock-full of misunderstood goblins, homicidal fairies, and monsters of the evil and not-so-evil persuasion. Cooper and Joss, and Becca and Benny, have been orphaned after their parents were killed on an exploration trip. When they go to stay with their godparents, they stumble upon their parents’ magical secret world—and the reason for their parents’ deaths. The exciting and colorful artwork and adventuresome themes will appeal to elementary and middle-grade readers. Though the story doesn’t contain anything particularly new, it’s got fun, humor, and—a special bonus—multicultural characters. I requested a review copy from the publisher after an initial inquiry by the author.
Pride and Prejudice: The Marvel Comics Graphic Novel. What can I say? I was startled to see it in my library, so naturally I had to pick it up. Classic works of literature can be great candidates for graphic novelization, though—as a kid I had graphic versions of Macbeth and The Devil’s Dictionary, and I read them just as eagerly and repeatedly as I read my other books and comics. This adaptation of Pride and Prejudice by Nancy Butler and Hugo Petrus was really well-done, particularly in terms of the storytelling and layout. I was surprised how well the story lent itself to a graphic novel format, and I guess that’s kudos to the author who adapted it. The character art was a little odd, in that the Bennet sisters all looked like 1980s magazine pinups to me, but generally speaking, I liked this one. The artwork appropriately supported and enhanced the text, making the language easier to follow—that, to me, is always a plus with graphic adaptations of works written in a more formal style. I checked this book out from the Stanislaus County Library.