Have you noticed a pattern anywhere in my posts?
Now that I’m looking right at the cover, I’m a little bit confused: the silhouette looks Tinkerbell-esque, and she is most certainly not from a Grimms fairy tale. That’s not important though. In fact, although there are plenty of fairytale references throughout, including (of course) Snow White, in large part in reference to the protagonist Lumikki, who is named after Snow White, the storyline itself isn’t very fairytale-like (apart from the fantastical elements – not fantasy, mind you).
Fast-paced, with a clear progression of events, As Red as Blood keeps you hooked from beginning to end and is a promising beginning to a trilogy. We do not yet own the next two books of the trilogy, As White as Snow and As Black as Ebony, but I’m looking forward to reading them!
(Spoiler alert under the cut!)
At the end of Skam’s third season, three words shine across a dark screen: “ALT ER LOVE.” “Everything is love”, in Norwegian. If you spend as much time on the Internet as I do, you may have heard of the little teen show from Norway that has become a viral phenomenon. It’s easily one of the most binge-able shows ever (flashback to me marathoning season one on New Year’s Eve, and only stopping because my plans got in the way) and it will briefly take over your life. Of course, an American adaptation has already been announced. In the grand tradition of teen shows, Skam deals with a variety of issues. But show creator Julie Andem wanted it to be as honest as possible: no character is wholly good or bad, and they all have a lot of learning to do. And isn’t that exactly what growing up is? Eva must face the consequences of betraying a friend; cool feminist Noora can be preachy and hypocritical; and Isak’s internalized homophobia rises when he falls for the enigmatic Even. The issues aren’t high drama; they’re relatable. And it’s all handled in such a normal way that it’s easy to forget it’s fictional.
I don’t read nearly as many graphic novels (or comic books, if you will) as I used to. To be honest, I often find myself a little intimidated about starting in on any long-running series – because I can easily get through three or four volumes on a regular day’s commute, I find it especially hard to manage reading comic series’ through the library, and since that’s where I get all of my reading material these days, it means i mostly stick to regular old prose. But, that’s not really a great excuse! The thing is, there’s plenty of great stand-alone graphic novels out there, and I have been remiss in dropping them off my reading repertoire.
So, anyway, as a reminder to myself to get back into the graphic novel-reading game, here’s a list (in no particular order) of some of my favourite stand-alone graphic novels:
Pride of Baghdad Brian K. Vaughan
Pride of Baghdad, by Brian K. Vaughan
Based on true events, this graphic novel follows the story of a pride of four lions that escaped from the Baghdad zoo following an American bombing raid. The lions ‘ newfound freedom is, inevitably, fraught with danger and new challenges that they can’t understand and were not prepared for.
To be honest Niko Henrichon’s artwork is more than enough reason to pick up the book, but I also found the story deeply affecting, as the lions leave behind the caged safety they’ve always known, instead choosing freedom, whatever the cost (and the cost is high). Continue reading