Tag Archive | comics

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.

Blue Exorcist, Vol. 1 by Kazue Kato

Overview: Raised by Father Fujimoto, a famous exorcist, Rin Okumura never knew his real father. One day a fateful argument with Father Fujimoto forces Rin to face a terrible truth – the blood of the demon lord Satan runs in Rin’s veins! Rin swears to defeat Satan, but doing that means entering the mysterious True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself. Can Rin fight demons and keep his infernal bloodline a secret? It won’t be easy, especially when drawing his father’s sword releases the demonic power within him!

My thoughts: I’m usually a sucker for exorcists and demons in manga. It’s why I enjoy Bleach and D. Gray Man. Blue Exorcist puts a spin on the exorcist part and has a demon exorcising demons. This volume takes a long time to develop, but the hidden secrets of characters can keep readers interested. The supporting characters have just as much beef to them as the main character. In particular, Rin’s brother’s secrets are explored in this volume, and the main character’s secrets are merely touched on. It seems he doesn’t know much about himself right now. Unfortunately, just as the plot is unfolding and the reader learns more about the characters, the volume ends. It’s a bit disappointing. This series has a lot of potential. I hope the next volume is better, though. I really like the premise of this story. It’d be better if it moved a bit faster, but I’ll find out if it goes faster once I read the next volume.

Besides that, the art is very nice with great facial expressions. The mangaka is very good at drawing details. I’m really looking forward to the next volume once I can buy it.

I found this volume for about $8 at Books-A-Million with the member’s card discount.

Chi’s Sweet Home, Vol. 1

  Overview: Chi is a michievous newborn kitten who, while on a leisurely stroll with her family, finds herself lost. Seperated from the warmth and protection of her mother, feels distraught. Overcome with loneliness she breaks into tears in a large urban park meadow., when she is suddenly rescued by a young boy named Yohei and his mother. The kitty is then quickly and quietly whisked away into the warm and inviting Yamada family apartment…where pets are strictly not permitted.

My thoughts: Even though the series is labelled as a manga and found in the manga section, it’s drawn in newspaper style, but the storyline flows like a manga. It’s really funny with most of the story in the kitten’s perspective. The mangaka does a great job of exploring the thoughts and ideas of an animal. Although it seems a bit sad at first, the story quickly turns happy again when Chi becomes attached to her human family. The kitten and the son are shown growing along side each other, both learning the proper place to deposit their bodily waste. I recommend this to everyone, pet lovers and haters alike. It’s a very enjoyable story.

I bought this volume for about $12 at Books-a-Million with a member’s card discount. It’s a bit expensive for a short manga, but it’s worth it.