Wednesday, February 26, 2014
The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed by the holy power that life itself comes from. You can survive on your own. You can grow strong on your own. You can even prevail on your own. But you cannot become human on your own.
--Frederick Buechner, The Sacred Journey
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Based upon the hit series LEGO NINJAGO: MASTERS OF SPINJITZU that airs on the Cartoon Network, LEGO NINJAGO: MASTERS OF SPINJITZU #7: STONE COLD begins after LEGO NINJAGO: MASTERS OF SPINJITZU #6: WARRIORS OF STONE. Jay, Cole, Zane, and Kai are all exhausted after each taking on a stone warrior and after each being defeated. At the end of the day, Sensei Wu reveals to his students the real reason he brought them together and tells them about his past, hoping that the story will strengthen them and encourage them for the battles to come. The illustrations are really colorful and look like an animated cartoon instead of panels from a graphic novel. I’m looking forward to the further adventures of the Masters of Spinjitzu in the next volume of the series.
Based upon the animated show THE GARFIELD SHOW that aired on The Cartoon Network in the United States, THE GARFIELD SHOW #1: UNFAIR WEATHER features five stories based upon cartoons in the series. The stories are:
“Unfair Weather” – the weather has been incredibly hot and humid, but Jon’s nieces Drusilla, and Minerva show up prepared for a camping trip that he promised them. Then do go camping, but then the weather changes and Jon, Garfield, and Odie know that something isn’t right and investigate.
“Down on the Farm” – Jon, Garfield, and Odie visit the family farm. Garfield is upset when he discovers there is no tv and sets out to convince the animals they need tv.
“Mailman Blues” – Herman the mailman goes on vacation and has a substitute to take his place while he’s gone.
“The Robot” – Jon gets a cleaning robot to clean the house and clean Garfield and Odie.
“Wicked Wishes” – Odie finds a genie bottle at the beach but instead of containing a genie that grants wishes, the bottle contains Omar, a genie who demand three wishes from his owner. Garfield has to think of something fast before Omar ruins all their lives.
Fans of Garfield and the tv show THE GARFIELD SHOW will probably enjoy THE GARFIELD SHOW #1: UNFAIR WEATHER. The illustrations in the book seem like cells taken from the tv show. Personally, I find the style of illustrations slightly disturbing, but children might like them.
A Toon Book publication, PATRICK EATS HIS PEAS is a collection of four Patrick graphic novel stories by Geoffrey Hayes. Patrick is a tiny mouse who deals with many of the same challenges that young children do: eating the food served him, learning to help out, taking a bath, and going to bed when he’s supposed to. The stories in PATRICK EATS HIS PEAS are:
“Patrick Eats His Peas” – In this story Patrick’s mother is trying to get Patrick to eat his peas. He does what he can to avoid doing so, but his mother won’t let him.
“Patrick Help Out” – Patrick’s father is busy doing yard work and Patrick wants to help, but Patrick seems to be more in the way than helpful.
“Patrick Takes a Bath” – It’s time for Patrick to take a bath, but he doesn’t want to. Then he spies his toys.
“Patrick Goes to Bed” – It’s time for Patrick to go to bed, but he doesn’t want to.
Children will easily relate to Patrick’s dilemmas and the stories are short and entertaining. PATRICK EATS HIS PEAS is a good book to read to or with a child.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Collecting together issues 31-36 of the comic book, THE WALKING DEAD, VOL. 6: THIS SORROWFUL LIFE picks up where Vol. 5 left off. Rick, Glenn, and Michonne have been captured by the Governor at Woodbury and are being held captive. In the previous volume, the Governor cut off Rick’s right arm and brutally tortured and raped Michonne. In this volume, Michonne is sent to the arena and “betrays” the Governor by killing her opponent and all of the zombies in the arena. Later, with the assistance of one of the guards named Martinez, Rick, Glenn, Michonne make their escape from Woodbury along with Dr. Stevens and his assistant, Alice. Michonne leaves the group to get her revenge on the Governor. Meanwhile, Rick and the rest of the escapees make the journey back to the prison only to find another surprise waiting them.
THE BEST DEFENSE picked up the storytelling of “The Walking Dead” after several slow issues. THIS SORROWFUL LIFE keeps that pace going. It’s full of action, a few twists, and some key realizations by Rick Grimes and his company. As Tyreese points out to Carl, Rick is what holds the group together. Overall, THIS SORROWFUL LIFE is a solid collection in a captivating series.
NANCY DREW AND THE CLUE CREW is a graphic novel series from publisher Papercutz turns back the clock and modernizes Nancy Drew and her friends by setting them in a modern setting as elementary school students. The illustrations are drawn in a style similar to comics such as “Archie.” In this story, NANCY DREW AND THE CLUE CREW #3: ENTER THE DRAGON MYSTERY, Nancy, Beth, and George are supposed to be able to take one of the class pets home for the weekend. When they get to class, there’s a new animal there, a bearded dragon. However, there’s nothing to indicate where the bearded dragon came from, how to take care of him, or why he’s there. Mrs. Ramirez agrees to let the girls take the animal home with them for the weekend and they promise to figure out exactly where the creature came from. I read many of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew stories as a kid. I understand why some elements of the stories might be needed to be updated, but I didn’t think it was necessary to set revamp the whole tone of the series. With that said, of the first three graphic novels published in this line of NANCY DREW AND THE CLUE CREW, ENTER THE DRAGON MYSTERY is the best story so far. Perhaps the stories in the series will improve as the series moves on.