Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of an American Founding Father

Title: Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of an American Founding Father
Author: Jonathan Hennessey
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Rating: ★★★

Alexander Hamilton was born in the West Indies in the 1700s. His mother died when he was young and his father abandoned him. He wished for a war to start, so he could make a name for himself in the world. Years after arriving in America he got his wish. He fought alongside George Washington to make America an independent country. Following that, he became a lawyer and polititian. 

This story tells about the early America, under the influence of Hamilton. He is just a part of the narrative. It tells about things happening around his life, but not just about him. 

The graphics are really nice in this book. Each frame shows a different place, from South America to New York. They are great depictions of the time period. 

There wasn’t enough dialogue in this book for me. The only speech parts were taken from real quotes. Graphic novels can be great teaching tools for young readers, but there was so much narrative and not enough story, so I think kids would get bored. Just because it’s a historical story, doesn’t mean it has to be boring and just state the facts. It could tell the story in an exciting way to entertain as well as teach, but I don’t think this story did that. It felt like more of an essay with pictures than a graphic novel. 

Poe: Stories and Poems

Title: Poe: Stories and Poems
Author: Gareth Hinds
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

This collection of Edgar Allan Poe stories and poems begins with The Masque of The Red Death. In this story, Prince Prospero has a party in his castle, so his friends can escape the red death that is happening in the city. He has 7 different rooms, each decorated in a different colour. But when the clock strikes 12, an unusual guest makes his way through each of the rooms to the Prince. This is a very illustrative tale, because of the colours in each room. I loved the way that the colours even reflected on the people in the images.

The Tell-Tale Heart is one of my favourite Poe stories! A man doesn’t like his boss’s glass eye. He steals the glass eye and kills his boss. He chops up the body and hides it in the floor boards. When the police come to investigate the screams that were heard by neighbours, the man feels so guilty he ends up confessing to the whole thing. The images in this story were quite dark at times, but it was a good representation of the tale.

The final poem in the collection is “The Raven,” Poe’s most famous work. I loved the illustrations for this poem. They really highlighted the raven, sitting on top of the door. It’s interesting that the narrator in this poem was illustrated as Poe himself. I love this poem and the graphics that went along with it were amazing.

This is a great graphic novel. I really liked that there was a legend with the themes of Poe’s works, such as   The themes of each story or poem were listed at its beginning. This makes the collection a great pick for young readers or people who are just being introduced to Poe’s stories and poems.

Jane Eyre (Manga Classics)

Title: Jane Eyre (Manga Classics) 
Author: Charlotte Bronte, Stacy King
Genre: Graphic Novel, Manga
Publisher: UDON Entertainment
Release Date: November 15, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

Jane Eyre was orphaned at a young age. She was sent to live with her aunt and cousins, but they never treated her well. After an incident with her cousin, Jane’s aunt, Mrs. Reed, send Jane to a school. The conditions weren’t good at the school, with the girls being underfed and underclothed. Eventually the school got better, and Jane taught there for a few years when she finished her own schooling. Then, she put out an ad to be a governess. Mrs. Fairfax asked Jane to come to teach Adele, Mr. Rochester’s charge. Soon after Jane arrives, strange things happen. She thinks the house is haunted. 

Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books. It has just enough mystery in it to make it suspenseful. 

This graphic novel is great! It tells the story very well. 

I liked the way that Jane looked very evil as a child. She had dark hair and eyes, and she was always yelling at people. It made her very spooky and set the tone for what will happen later in the story. 

Each of the characters looked very distinct, so I could distinguish between them. Sometimes, if the characters are drawn in the same style, they can blend together and become confused. But the characters all had a separate style of clothes and looks in this story. 

This is my favourite book in the Manga Classics series! 

Joyride Vol. 1

Title: Joyride Vol. 1
Author: Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Rating: ★★★

The people of Earth can no longer see the stars. Uma Akkolyte wants to escape into space to finally see the stars. Along with her friend Dewydd, they sneak onto a ship and travel into space. When they try to escape the ship, they are followed by a woman, Catrin. She follows them so far that she ends up leaving with them. Then, they proceed to explore other planets and pick up some friends along the way. 

This was a good story. There was a lot of action, and the graphics were good. 

I was a little lost sometimes when they brought up new terms. There were new planets and creatures. Also, sometimes they used the word “space” in place of swear words, but it took a while for me to figure that out. 

This was a pretty good graphic novel with an interesting plot. 

Gotham Academy: Second Semester Vol. 1

Title: Gotham Academy: Second Semester Vol. 1
Author: Brenden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, Karl Kerschl
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Olive Silverlock stayed at Gotham Academy for the winter break. Before school started, a girl showed up in her room, claiming to be her new roommate. Amy convinces Olive to do bad things. They throw a rock through a window. They break into a house on the school property and then torment Eric. Then, a new club starts up, competing with Maps’s detective club. The new club is filled with witches who plan on burning the library books. Maps’s friends have to rescue her after she is brainwashed to join their club. But after saving her, Colton gets caught breaking into a classroom. The headmaster wants to expel him but he gets a trial first. He disappears during his hearing, so the rest of the gang set out to find evidence that he should remain at school and Olive has to face her past yet again. 

This is my favourite book in the Gotham Academy series. It was cohesive from the first comic to the last. It followed one major storyline throughout. Some of the other graphic novels have started with one plot and then drifted off into something else. This one was very consistent. 

The new characters also had a purpose in the story. In past graphic novels, some characters have been introduced but then they disappear. The new character, Amy, shows up for a reason which is revealed at the end of the story. 

I loved this new volume of Gotham Academy. It’s the best one so far! My reviews for Gotham Academy Vol. 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy is here, Gotham Academy Vol. 2 is here, and Gotham Academy Vol. 3 is here

Flash Gordon

Title: Flash Gordon
Author: Jeff Parker, Jesse Hamm, Grace Allison
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Dynamite
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

The world has been invaded by Ming, who is Flash Gordon’s nemesis. He placed a new continent in the Pacific Ocean, which created tidal waves around the world. Flash Gordon and his team go to the new land to defeat Ming and send him to another planet. But first they have to face apes, an animal army, and hallucinogenic plants. 

I had never read any Flash Gordon comics before this one. I liked that the illustrations were done in an old fashioned style, so it looks like the original comics. The cover also looks like an old newsprint comic. 

The story was pretty good. I had a hard time getting into it at the beginning because I’m not familiar with the history of the characters. But I liked it by the end. The final action scenes were exciting. 

This graphic novel is great for fans of the original comics and new readers. 

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Volume 1: Revolutions of Terror

Title: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Volume 1: Revolutions of Terror
Author: Nick Abadzis
Genre: Graphic Novel, Science Fiction
Publisher: Titan Comics
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Rating: ★★★★

Gabby Gonzalez works in her father’s laundromat. One day while she is there, all of the washing mashines turn on at the same time and open a portal. Everyone in New York starts acting strangely, but they just assume it’s because it is the Day of the Dead. Then the Doctor shows up. There are creatures that play on people’s fears that attach themselves to humans. They entered through Gabby’s washing machines. Only the Doctor can save them now. 

This is a good continuation of the Tenth Doctor’s adventures. I love that even though some doctors are gone, they can live on in the comics and novels. 

The graphic novel played out in the same way that the TV series does when a new companion enters. Gabby was introduced and then we get her reaction to the Doctor. It’s like watching the series with new characters. 

One thing that bothered me is that it was set in New York. I wish the graphic novels were set in London like the majority of the show. It’s a British show so the graphic novels should continue that tradition.