I probably won’t have that many movies in my Movies Watched in May 2015 post, but I’ll more than make up for it in graphic novels. Here are just a few of the books I’ve read so far in May (with at least six more that I’ll get to in the next installment).
The Fox Sister (2012-2015) Christina Strain, Jayd Aït-Kaci (originally a webcomic; self-published)
In the middle of the night, a girl named Yun Hee awakens to discover that a demonic-looking fox has killed her parents. Yun Hee thinks that her big sister Sun Hee is Kumiho, a Korean nine-tailed fox/shapeshifter/demon who takes the form of a woman before going on killing rampages.
Years later, Yun Hee has become a shaman, seeking to find and rid the world of Kumiho. The Fox Sister is filled with action, horror and a bit of romance, effectively presented by writer Strain and artist Aït-Kaci.
The Fox Sister is actually an ongoing webcomic that has been published in three (so far) physical chapters. You can read from the beginning up to the current page here. Derek and I discussed the title on the May edition of our webcomics show over at The Comics Alternative.
Last of the Sandwalkers (J/Y 2015) Jay Hosler (First Second)
Soon to be reviewed at The Comics Alternative.
Kafka (2006/2013) Steven T. Seagle, Stefano Gaudiano (Image)
Although the Eisner-nominated Kafka has no tangible connection to the writer of the same name, the book establishes a great noir-ish/nightmarish mood and atmosphere in the midst of a gripping tale of espionage and its consequences. The stark artwork really grabs you, adding even more bleakness to an already bleak world. Although some of the plot elements don’t quite work, Kafka is still an effective story. (This newer 2013 edition features several pages in color, a change from the original edition.)
Derelict, Book 1: Deluge (2014) Ben Fleuter (originally a webcomic; self-published)
A young woman navigates her modest boat through a flood-ravaged world, scavenging food and supplies. Although she avoids people – especially the strange race of gargoyles – she has some interesting weapons at her disposal.
Fleuter’s story is compelling, yet often frustrating as he has the reader jump back and forth (in location and time) frequently, asking far more questions than he answers. I found the book compelling, but it certainly has its frustrating moments. The webcomic has continued into Book 2, but it looks like Derelict hasn’t been updated in some time. This is another webcomic that Derek and I recently discussed.
Palookaville 22 (2015) Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)
Although Palookaville has been a comic since 1991, I’m just now starting with the latest installment which features two stories (separated by a photo essay, including a two-page comic) of nostalgia, isolation, and loneliness. Fun times, right? But for the right reader at the right time, Palookaville can be an amazing, life-affirming read. I’m certainly going to seek out the earlier comics (#1-19) and graphic novels (#20-21). Derek and I recently discussed Palookaville 22 on a recent episode of The Comics Alternative.
Exquisite Corpse (2010/2015) Pénélope Bagieu (First Second)
A romantic comedy (originally published in France) with a twist ending, but unfortunately not one that works for me. Bagieu has a nice artistic style and excellent pacing, especially for this genre. Let’s hope we see more of her work translated into English. Derek and I also discussed this one recently.
Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score (2012) Dawryn Cooke (IDW)
Parker reluctantly engages in a heist with twelve other guys (far too many for his liking) to rob an entire town. As always, Cooke’s art is stellar; the comic could be wordless and I’d pick it up. Although the story involves far more characters than a typical Parker novel or graphic novel, Cooke makes it clear this is Parker’s story.
And there’s more to come… Stay tuned!