Mini Reviews – The Graphic Novels Edition

Santa Clauses by Bob Raczka

I checked this out primarily for Katie’s benefit. She loves all things Christmas, so I knew that this heartwarming series of haikus from the perspective of Santa as he prepares for the holiday season would make her super happy. It also made me super happy. Easy to read, full of cheer and warmth and all thing Christmas, these haikus gave me a cozy feeling inside. The book also helped get me even more in the mood for Christmas (can you believe it’s next week??). These poems are best served with carols and cocoa! 🙂

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

I can’t remember why I wanted to read this, other than it’s one of the most popular graphic novels of the year. My first impression was that it reminded me a lot of my vacation to Tybee Island in October. There are two sides to any tourist spot, as the girls in the book find out – the pristine sections of beach heavily contrast with the run-down residential areas. My second impression was that the book was surprisingly deep for a vacation story. Between the movie rentals and long days on the beach are pockets of sadness, interruptions from real life, and a story of things gone wrong.

El Deafo by Cece Bell

This book made me cry real, actual tears. The story is about a kid, only 4 years old, who is struck with meningitis and loses her hearing as a result. She is stuck with a large intrusive hearing aid set from then on, hindering her ability to make friends and do life “normally”. This book really resonated with me because I suffered from hearing problems for most of my childhood, and still do to a lesser degree. I had three or four sets of hearing tubes before I was a teenager, after which they couldn’t perform the procedure anymore. So this book made me realize how lucky I am, because I know how hard it was for me with only a little bit of hearing loss.

Batman '66, Vol. 2 by Jeff Parker

Holy King Tut, Batman! I love this book! I don’t have the time or money to visit my local comics store each week to pick up the new issues as they release, so I usually wait for compilations like this. This is Batman ’66, Volume 2, a graphic novel compilation of several issues of some gloriously campy, cheesy, melodramatic Batman stories in the vein of the old action-packed, 60s style superheroes. The issues are off the wall crazy and introduce some villains that don’t usually make an appearance in Batman’s Rogue Gallery. Reading this was just plain fun!

Batgirl, Vol. 1 by Gail Simone

You know what I love? How the world of comics has different universes, parallel paths for our favorite superheroes that show us how things could have been different had a crucial point resulted in a different outcome. For the New 52 reboot, Batgirl is back. After being shot by the Joker in 1988’s The Killing Joke, an event now widely accepted as canon, Barbara Gordon is restricted to a wheelchair and forced to give up her role as Batgirl, sidekick and friend to Batman and Robin. Traditionally, this is where she transforms into her role as Oracle, where she uses her awesome librarian skill and eidetic memory to become the eyes and ears for the Bat when he’s on the field. But in this graphic novel, she regains the use of her legs and becomes Batgirl once more. She is both vulnerable and kick-butt as she returns to crime-fighting, a wonderful and all too rare trait in our superheroes. This was my first experience with Batgirl comics, and I can’t wait for more!



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3 responses to “Mini Reviews – The Graphic Novels Edition

  1. Pingback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? | Jancee Reads

  2. I LOVED the artwork in This One Summer! I was surprised by how serious it got though too…it really touched on a lot of things girls deal with at that age.


    • The artwork was gorgeous. At first, I was annoyed by the mono-color scheme, but it grew on me. I’m glad the author used the backdrop of going on vacation to offset some of the serious stuff.


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