Thursday, May 7, 2015

Reviews: From Hell and Habibi

I know this is mostly a blog about manga, but I did say I'd post things about other graphic novels as well, so here goes.

Now, these particular ones are more geared toward adult readers due to subject matter and certain situations. There also may be a few trigger warnings for rape and sexual assault, so please proceed with caution.

First, is my review of the GN Habibi by Craig Thompson:


I had heard many wonderful things about this graphic novel and much of it was definitely warranted.

I did want to read Craig Thompson’s other seminal work Blankets, but I have yet to do so.

The art is simply beautiful. The way the Arabic letters are incorporated into the art is simply amazing. There is a fair bit of female nudity, but it isn’t all just for sexual glorification. One of the characters becomes pregnant, and it shows the changes she goes through as well as her feeling towards her changing body during the time.
There is also a few scenes of non-consensual sex, so if that is a trigger, I do suggest you may not want to read this book. Overall, however, it’s a story of love. An enduring love between two people. It’s not always the same kind of love throughout the whole story, but it exists. It exists throughout years of trials and tribulations and long absences and extreme hardships and luxury.

It’s quite long at almost 700 pages, but it took me less than a day to read it, as is the case with most graphic novels. I did tend to pause and soak in the artwork as I am wont to do sometimes with many graphic novels and other artistic mediums.

The story is nonlinear, so that may be a bit confusing for some, but I was able to follow along quite well. Several of the flashback moments were done with black borders on the pages to set them apart, much like many manga series tend to do. It’s a helpful visual aid.

There are those that say that this book reeks of Orientalism, which may or may not be true. I do know it doesn’t paint a glamorous picture of this fictional land, but like many societies, there are good and bad aspects to it. I will say that the ending left me very satisfied.

I will say, however, that the copy I read was borrowed from the library and I was disappointed to discover that several of the pages had been torn out. I don’t know if it was accidental or through someone’s misguided attempt at censorship. I do hope to be able to perhaps read a whole copy of this book at some point.
Next is From Hell by Alan Moore:

I'd heard many good things about this graphic novel from various sources, so it made me intrigued to want to read it. I was fortunate enough to find a copy in my local library. However, there were a few pages that had been torn out randomly for some reason. I don't know if by accident or design. I may ask the staff at the library if they're aware or not.

Anyway, having had a long fascination with Jack the Ripper and true crime in general, I knew that this was the sort of thing that I'd be interested in reading. And I was right. Alan Moore definitely did his research in the case of Jack the Ripper, as he himself mentions in his detailed appendix. He did take creative liberty with a few details in order to tell the story he wanted to tell, but there were a number of things that were historically accurate at the time.

I am usually a stickler for well rendered art, and while the art by Eddie Campbell did take a bit getting used to, I do know why it was done in the particular style in which it was. It's reminiscent of the illustrations used in Victorian era newspapers, even down to the layout of the panels. After awhile, I never even noticed the 'primitive' sort of style and just enjoyed the tale that was being told. Mr. Campbell did his research as well, not leaving out a single gruesome detail, especially for the death of the Ripper's last victim.

Although there was a film made, starring Johnny Depp, I do suggest reading the graphic novel if you have any sort of interest in Jack the Ripper, the Victorian era or true crime in general. Although it's a fictionalized account and no one know the true identity of the Ripper to this day, it's a very intriguing story in it's own right.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Welcome newbies!

I've linked to this blog in particular in relation to a school assignment for my Media Technology in Teaching class for my Master's in School Library Science.

I believe the graphic novels and manga are a legitimate source of literature. I have seen many examples in the public library as well as school libraries. Manga and graphic novels are becoming increasingly popular with teens and young adults as well as some younger elementary age students. I have even seen certain books made into a graphic novel format, such as Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book and Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

I hope to continue to be not only an advocate for reading any kind of book, but for manga and graphic novels as well in the hopes to eliminate the stigma that is often attached to the genre.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Hello everyone! Remember me?

Yes, I'm still around. I know I haven't been keeping up with this little project as much as I would like to. Since I've been going back to school, time has been very sparse. 

I do hope to take it up once again sometime in the near future however. I still want to introduce people to the world of manga and anime as much as I can, not being an expert or anything.

In the meantime, if you want to follow me and what I'm doing, feel free to follow one of my social media pages:



The Mini Adventures of Jasper and Alice -- This is the blog I keep following the travel (and other) adventures of my two NECA Twilight action figures of Jasper Hale and Alice Cullen.



See everyone soon!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Nope, still haven't forgotten everyone. However, there are some changes a'comin' to my life somewhat soon (if everything works out, that is). 

I'm currently in the middle of applying to Graduate School to obtain a Master's Degree in Library Sciences with a specific concentration on School Library Media. 

If I do get accepted, I may or may not use this blog as a part of my studies since I do want to get the word out on Graphic Novels and Manga as a form of legitimate literature. Hopefully I can balance both my school work with my social and leisure activities with the upkeep of my various online activities.

Also, you may have noticed that I connected this blog to my Google+ account, so that perhaps I can connect with more people. Since my name is already in the header, I thought it'd be worth a shot.

My profile is mostly public, so it should be easy to access. 

I'd like to do an overall series review of Sailor Moon since not only have I finished the entire series (all 12 volumes), but it's the 20th Anniversary of the series debut. Let's hope I can get my act together in time. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hey everyone!

I bet you thought I'd forgotten his place, didn't you? Nope, I didn't. However, we're in the middle of preparing for a move out of state, and so things have been a wee bit hectic lately that I haven't had time to update much of anything, including my regular day-to-day blog.

So, I just wanted to drop a line saying that I haven't forgotten, but I may not be able to update the way I'd like to during this time until we move and get settled.

Please be patient with me during this time.



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Manga Review: High School Debut

Here is a small review of recent series I've read recently. I'll probably have these every once in awhile in between other postings. Hopefully I won't do too badly, lol!

I'll probably be mostly reviewing shoujo manga since that's what I've been reading lately. First up, High School Debut!

title: High School Debut (aka Koukou Debut)
author: Kazune Kawahara
genre: romantic comedy, drama
plot summary: "Haruna Nagashima gave her all to softball in middle school, now that she has made her high school debut, she has decided to give her all for a new goal: getting a boyfriend and falling in love. However, she has one small problem—since she never paid any attention to fashion or trends in middle school, she has no idea how to go about attracting her yet-to-be-found love. But a chance encounter with the popular Yoh Komiyama provides her with the opportunity she needs. If he coaches her in how to become attractive, surely she can find herself a boyfriend. He agrees to coach Haruna after her great persistence but on one condition: she mustn't fall in love with him." -- Wikipedia

I have a little bit of a bias toward this series since it's one I really like a lot. I've read it multiple times and still get enjoyment out of it. The overall story is good with the travails of a formerly athletic (and a little bit dorky) girl who tries to change her image once she enters high school. 

The characters are very likable, in particular the main character of Haruna. She's not drop dead gorgeous or perfect. She's very much flawed and insecure, but her earnestness and general personality make it that you want to root for her. 

The artwork is pretty decent. I will admit I've seen better rendered characters, but it's pretty pleasing and the characters are very distinct, and you can tell the characters apart pretty easily. Normally I tend to be a bit of an art snob when it comes to manga. If the story is good, yet the art is terrible, I don't tend to read it. Manga is a very visual medium, and if it's not pleasing to the eye, then it's difficult to read. At least for me.

There are a total of 13 volumes, all of which have been released in English by Viz Media. The volumes are difficult to find in bookstore since the series has been finished for awhile, but they can all be found on Amazon

Instead of being made into an anime like the majority of manga tends to be, this series was adapted into a live action movie. Now, I've seen the movie, and despite a few minor changes here and there, I enjoyed it and found it to be cute. 

So I highly recommend this series if you like a nice fun and cute story with humor and a touch of drama. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Now I realize I haven't posted an entry in a while, and I apologize for that. I've been on vacation for a few weeks, and a lot of my time was taken up with that and preparation for that.

However, I did find an old LiveJournal I used to keep that I had originally used for various Anime and Manga topics, primarily reviews. So, while I try to gather my thoughts and info for my next original entry, I'll be posting some of the old entries here (with some additional notes here and there) in the meantime.

Oh and I do apologize ahead of time for any fangirlishness I may engage in occasionally.