Book Reviews

Over the Garden Wall Vol. 3 by Jim Campbell, Kiernan Sjursen-Lien, Danielle Burgos, Art by Cara McGee

Over the Garden Wall Vol. 3 (Over the Garden Wall (Collection) #3) by Jim Campbell, Kiernan Sjursen-Lien, Danielle Burgos, Cara McGee (Illustrations)Rating: 🍁🍁🍁🍁

I enjoyed this volume much more than 1 & 2 because even though Greg is still stuck on his quest with the frog, we finally ARRIVE somewhere froggy rather than just passing through more silly meandering shenanigans in the forest. Wirt is still following his brother’s trail and his story is even more fun too because a companion joins him, adding more continuity between each chapter.

The last chapter is similar to the one at the end of volume two, featuring a vintage palette of limited colors, a squiggly squishy drawing style, and a story about the little schoolhouse with all the animals. The story centers on the kitty cat family and it’s really just cute, funny and precious. I loved it!

Book Reviews

Orphan Black, Vol. 1 by John Fawcett, Graeme Manson, Jody Houser, Art by Szymon Kudranski, Cat Staggs

Orphan Black, Vol. 1 (Orphan Black #1) by John Fawcett, Graeme Manson, Jody Houser (Goodreads Author), Szymon Kudranski, Cat Staggs (Artist)Rating: 🍁🍁🍁🍁

This volume includes chapters about: Sarah, Helena, Allison, Cosima, and Rachel. Each chapter ends with a slight mention of the next featured clone, and Rachel’s chapter ends with a mention of MK/Mika, so I’m guessing the next chapter/volume will start with her. Every chapter has a slightly different art style to match the personality/mood of each clone.

If you’re a fan of the series, I highly recommend this. but just don’t expect it to be a sequential story.

Each chapter is a self-contained standalone backstory for each character, all with the intention of helping you understand the nurture side of each clone’s life; which is something we don’t get to see a lot of in the show. (Spoilers for the show in each chapter are minimal.)

Book Reviews

Orphan Black: Deviations by Heli Kennedy, Art by Wayne Nichols

Orphan Black- Deviations by Heli Kennedy, Wayne NicholsRating: 🍁🍁🍁🍁

Orphan Black Deviations is what would have happened if Sarah had prevented Beth from dying in the first episode of Orphan Black.

If you’re a fan of the series, I HIGHLY recommend this comic. BUT it would definitely be advisable to have watched at least some of season 4 before you read this because it contains tons of spoilers for that season.

Basically if Beth hadn’t died, the story would have zoomed by at Mad Max speed, skipping over a lot of the nuance, character and relationship building from seasons 1-3.

The downside is that Beth and Sarah are quite similar characters in that they’re both forceful alpha leaders to the Clone Club. With Beth being in the picture, Sarah (literally) has her hands tied for most of it, and you don’t get to see her shine as a character with her skillfull impersonations of Beth and her improvisation skills.

A couple more clones are added to the team, but they hardly make up for all the soul that Sarah brings to the story.

The other downside is: no Tatiana Maslany. We already know she is a mind-blowingly skilled actress, but it’s even more evident when reading this story through a comic and not having her voices and acting to help distinguish the clones from one another. The text bubbles were confusing to follow at many points and it made me sorely miss the voices that she designed for each character.

But I guess the advantage is they can freely write the story with groups of clones congregating as often as they want?

The comic ends quite tragically and I really hope they follow it up with a second volume rather than keeping this as a one-shot exercise in re-imagination.

Book Reviews

Scooby Apocalypse, Volume 3 by Keith Giffen

Scooby Apocalypse, Volume 3 (Scooby Apocalypse (Collected Editions) #3) by Keith Giffen.jpgRating: 🍁🍁🍁

I was really reluctant to start Volume 3 because Volume 2 ends with a villain inspired on a real-life madman I hear enough about already. If you’re worried about the same problem, don’t be. It’s worth it in the end.

The story didn’t hook me a lot. Scooby Apocalypse is falling into the post-apocalyptic trope of: “let’s constantly question what’s going on without actually discovering any answers, oh and there’s consistent violent encounters with zombie creatures.” I don’t really care about random bouts of fighting, tell me what’s going on!!!

The art style is unfortunately just as eye-rollingly male-gazey as in Volume 2, but besides that, I do appreciate how dynamic and detailed it is. (p.s. If trypophobia bothers you, there’s a bit of it in these monsters, but nothing you can’t ignore or cover up with your hand if need be.)

Besides that, this volume introduces the side story of Secret Squirrel (remember that squirrel from Hanna-Barbera days, wearing a white lab coat and a purple hat that went all the way down to his eyes?). We’ve yet to see how it ties into Scooby Apocalypse (if at all?) but it was mildly entertaining to see that character revived as well.








Looking forward to something that is hopefully more engaging in Volume 4.

Book Reviews

Jughead, Vol. 2 by Chip Zdarsky & Ryan North, art by Derek Charm

Jughead, Vol. 2 (Jughead (2015) #2) by Chip Zdarsky, Ryan North (Goodreads Author), Derek Charm (Illustrations)Rating: 🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

Jughead Volume 2 is even more absurd and funny than Volume 1!

This one adds Sabrina the Teenage Witch! She’s VERY different from the one in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina though. Super lighthearted and no sacrificing goats in the woods. Salem’s here too!

The first chapter sets up Jughead’s disinterest in girlfriends (he’s not girl-crazy like Archie), and in the following chapters, we see just how quickly this makes his friendship with Sabrina turn south.

Most pages also had meta, fourth-wall-breaking jokes in the margins. They are a huge part of why this volume was even more fun than the first one. (p.s. If you’re reading this on Comixology it’s a bit annoying because the Guided View skips them over.)

If you liked Jughead Volume 1, you’ll love this too!

I would recommend this to: people who want to read funny lighthearted comics with absurd humor.

Book Reviews

Monstress, Vol. 3: Haven by Marjorie M. Liu, art by Sana Takeda

Monstress, Vol. 3- Haven (Monstress #3) by Marjorie M. Liu (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Sana Takeda (Artist)Rating: 🍁🍁🍁🍁

The art in Montress Vol 3. is as mindblowingly gorgeous as in the previous volumes. I’ll keep coming back if only for the art any day of the year.

As for the story, if I’m being 100% honest, I’m having trouble piecing it all together and I didn’t find this volume as engaging as the previous two. What is it all leading up to? Who are all these new characters? What the actual fuck is happening? 

I’m sure it’ll make sense eventually. 

If you’ve followed Monstress this far, there’s no reason not to continue.

p.s. It ends in a teeny tiny cliffhanger that isn’t terribly frustrating.  

Book Reviews

Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir (Author), Steenz (Illustrator)

Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir (Goodreads Author), Steenz (Goodreads Author) (Illustrator)Rating: 🍁

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is not a book I can honestly recommend.

The main character is very unlikable. She is: immature, stubborn, willfully ignorant, self-indulgent, and as other reviewers have pointed out, emotionally abusive. She is offered help constantly but always refuses it and instead flips those offers on their heads in order to accuse the people who are trying to help her. She also mistakes anger for determination.

At one point she fully admits that she doesn’t want help and that apparently what she needs to do to feel better is to lash out at people? Again, that’s emotionally abusive.

There’s also a small hint of romance that is not believable because it plays out like a fantasy from the main character’s mind. The person who seemingly has a crush on her lists qualities that she has NOT displayed up to that point in the book, and it just sounds like he’s saying what she’s wanted to hear all along, which is a lie.

The most enjoyable aspect of this book is found in the character design. The cast was diverse (including body types) and a lot of thought was put into the outfits and their bright colors and patterns.

But I was often pulled out of the story because the action was sometimes hard to understand, and the transitions from scene to scene were too abrupt. I found myself flipping back and forth in multiple occasions, trying to figure out if I had missed something. I hadn’t, it was just a sudden transition.

The story itself (archivist at a museum helping the ghost who haunts it) is not a bad pitch; it is the reason why I wanted to read this, after all. But the execution could be much improved.