Archive | June 2012

The Great Cow Race, Bones Vol. 2 by Jeff Smith

Overview: The cornerstone of GRAPHIX, our new graphic novel imprint, BONE is the incredible comic book saga of an unlikely hero who must save an idyllic valley from the forces of evil.

In THE GREAT COW RACE, volume 2 of this 9-book epic, Fone Bone and his cousins plan to return home after visiting the village of Barrelhaven with Thorn and Gran’ma Ben. But Phoney risks everything on one last get-rich-quick scheme for the town’s annual Great Cow Race. As usual, Phoney’s plans go disastrously awry, and Boneville seems further away than ever. Meanwhile, ominous signs indicate that a war is brewing, and Fone finds himself helping his friends defend their valley from a formidable enemy.

My thoughts: Like the first volume, the colors are very bright, but I think the colors in the second volume are a bit brighter and the pages are crisper. This time, the tones didn’t smear the words. I didn’t find the second book as great as the first. The jokes are smushed more towards the end instead of equally spread out. The story doesn’t develop as much as it did in the first. They’re still in the same general area, and the reader doesn’t find out anymore about the mysteries of the rat creatures or Phoney’s horrible deals. However, the reader is reminded of the mysteries towards the end of the book with hidden shadows and objects in trees. It’s as if the author wanted to break away from the meat of the story and explore characters more rather than develop the plot. That idea isn’t a bad one. Developing characters is important, but I don’t think it should be done in the second book of a graphic novel series. I think it should be done towards the end of the second book or the beginning of the third book rather than during the whole second book. Though, in context of what the author is trying to write in the long run, this book may just be in the right place, but I’d have to look at the series as a whole rather than just at a book. It’s still worth reading since it’s a part of a good series, but it’s not my favorite of the Bones series.

Just for fun: My favorite part was once again the rat creatures. For some reason, Smith always seems to incorporate some kind of Looney Tune-like humor when it comes to the rat creatures, especially since they’re clutzy and get stuck in ruts. They make this series hilarious.

I borrowed this book from my younger sister.

Out From Boneville, Bones vol. 1 by Jeff Smith

Out From Boneville, Bones vol. 1 by Jeff SmithOverview:After being run out of Boneville, the three Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are separated and lost in a vast uncharted desert.

One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures…

Humor, mystery, and adventure are spun together in this action-packed, side-splitting saga. Everyone who has ever left home for the first time only to find that the world outside is strange and overwhelming will love Bone.

My thoughts: The first time I read this, I fell in love with it. Rereading it, I notice that a good bit of humor comes from older shows like Looney Tunes, so I believe older people who grew up with Looney Tunes will love this series. The panels are very easy to follow and are mostly arranged in six simple panels. This first volume opens up a gigantic mystery with many different intersecting stories. So far, I think the author has done a great job mixing the stories. The stories flawlessly flow into each other. Phoney’s story seems predictable as of right now, but I’m hoping there’s a twist in it; hopefully, it’s more than just his deals gone bad like usual.

I really enjoy the facial expressions on the characters. They have great details, especially compared to other comics I’ve read. The art has really bright colors, and it’s very enjoyable. Maybe this is only my version, but I’ve found the tones have smeared on the pages. The words are still readable, but it bothers me that the tones aren’t crisp. The copy is a few years old so maybe the smearing is due to old age.

My favorite characters right now are the rat creatures. The things they say and their clumsy personalities make scenes extremely hilarious. My favorite line is, “No. You called me fat.” I’m pretty sure I’ll reread the second one again soon.

Some words are a bit above a child’s reading level. However, I recommend this for everyone in middle school and above. I really think people who enjoyed Looney Tunes will really enjoy this series.

I borrowed this book from my younger sister. She probably bought it for $10 from Books-A-Million or Barnes&Nobles.

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Overview: Two years before Edgar Rice Burroughs became a worldwide celebrity with the publication of Tarzan of the Apes and its twenty-two sequels, which together have sold more than 30 million copies, he published the futuristic sci-fi romance, A Princess of Mars. A Princess of Mars tells the story of John Carter, a Civil War veteran who inexplicably finds himself held prisoner on the planet Mars by the Green Men of Thark. With Dejah Thoris, the princess of another clan on Mars, John Carter must fight for their freedom and save the entire planet from destruction as the life-sustaining Atmosphere Factory slowly grinds to a halt.

A Princess of Mars is the first in Burroughs’ eleven book Barsoon series, following the continued adventures of John Carter.

My thoughts: I had a hard time getting into this book at first. I had to reread many sentences to understand what the author meant. A few sentences contradict themselves. First, the author says, “Most…” but then counters with “A few…” right after it. Reading carefully is required to understand what’s going on. I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi, but the construction of the author’s world is very believable with a few flukes. He adheres to general scientific reasoning, especially considering it was published back in 1917.

The gender roles and characterization of the Indians in the book annoyed me a bit, but it was written a long time ago. I had to keep reminding myself of that fact as I scoffed at Dejah Thoris being unable to protect herself although the author seemed to set her up as someone who could fight for herself.

Towards the end of the book, I became more engrossed in it. It’s not the most interesting, entertaining, best thing I’ve read, but the middle and end of the book keep my interest and pulled me in. I don’t recommend me this for everyone. However, if you like sci-fi, then this will probably be a good match for you. Even though this book is a part of a series, I think the first book is complete in itself. I don’t plan to read anymore of this series, but we’ll see what happens.

I found this book for free on Amazon.com and downloaded it onto my kindle.