The Circle

Title: The Circle
Author: Damon Clark
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Rating: ★★

Christian and his father move to a new town to be closer to his grandparents after his mother dies. He gets into some fights with other kids on the first day at his new high school. Another group of kids notice him and invite him to go to their hangout in the forest. They say they need one more person to join their group to complete the ritual. They proceed to perform rituals, which involves killing people from their school.

This is a strange story. It was very unpredictable.

The art was confusing at times because of the dark colours. The style reminded me of Tim Burton. However, many of the characters looked alike so I couldn’t differentiate between them.

There was a lot of unnecessary profanity in the story. The feelings of the characters could have been displayed in a more emotional way if there wasn’t as much swearing.

Some parts of the story were inconsistent too. On one page, Christian’s father tells him he doesn’t have school because it’s Sunday, but in the next frame he is heading out the door for school. I couldn’t tell if he was dreaming, if his father was wrong, or it was a mistake in the comic.

I think this story could have been much more successful with some more editing.


The Royals: Masters of War

Title: The Royals: Masters of War
Author: Rob Williams
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Vertigo
Release Date: December 16, 2014
Rating: ★★★★

The British royals are not supposed to get involved in WWII. The King doesn’t want his sons to fight. This is because all of the royals in the world have special powers. This includes the Emporer of Japan and the Tsar of Russia. Princess Rose of England can read minds and her brothers can fly, as well as shoot lasers from their eyes. The royals end up joining the fight, which leads to many deaths.

I really liked the art in this graphic novel. It is very realistic. The pictures of Winston Churchill were especially good, since I could recognize what he looked like.

The story had a twist on a traditional WWII story since the royal families intervened with their magic powers. I enjoyed this unique story!

A-Force Volume 0: Warzones!

Title: A-Force Volume 0: Warzones!
Author: Marguerite Bennett, G. Willow Wilson
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Marvel
Release Date: November 18, 2015
Rating: ★★★★

A-Force is an all female superhero group in Arcadia. The members are She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, Sister Grimm, Dazzler, Ms. America, Loki (female), and Medusa, among others. In this opening graphic novel, they first battle a giant megalodon. Ms. America puts civilians in danger so Dr. Strange orders her to be banished to the Shield for the rest of her life. Sister Grimm is the most distraught over the loss of Ms. America. However, she finds a new creature that looks like the night sky. But this new girl also creates dangerous portals that bring enemies to Arcadia. They have to decide if she is a friend or foe.

I love this female driven comic! She-Hulk is my favourite superhero so I love that she is their leader. It’s important to see all of these powerful women, since there are so many male-dominated superhero groups, such as the Avengers. It’s amazing to see how many female superheroes there are in this comic, when they aren’t normally given the spotlight.

This graphic novel is just the introduction to the A-Force series. There are two more volumes that I hope to review soon!

Hockey Karma

Title: Hockey Karma
Author: Howard Shapiro
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult
Publisher: Animal Media Group
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

Jeremiah Jacobson is a 32 year-old hockey player. He has back problems and his game is suffering from it. Everyone can see that he is close to retirement. He starts taking a lot of pain medication, so much that he forgets to spend quality time with his wife and children. His friend Tom Leonard wants him to look over a plan he has to improve their neighbouring city, Bump City, but Jeremiah keeps forgetting. Meanwhile, Tom is having his own romantic issues. He is dating his high school crush, Jaelithe, but she lives across the country in Pittsburgh. Tom goes back to a high school reunion and is reunited with his old bandmates. Jeremiah has to deal with his new drug problem, while Tom has to decide what to do with his new relationship.

I loved this graphic novel! It’s the third and final part in the Friends Forever series from Howard Shapiro. This one is definitely my favourite in the series. I love that it brings together the points from the first two books. I didn’t see as much of a connection between the first and second books, but this one brings back all of the characters from the series in a reunion.

The only part that was a little confusing was determining which character was which while they played hockey. Since they were all wearing helmets, I couldn’t tell which character was speaking at first glance.

I really enjoyed this series. This third book was a great conclusion to this heartfelt series.

Mythic Vol. 1

Title: Mythic Volume 1
Author: Philip Hester
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Mythic Lore Services is a company that solves the problems of supernatural beings in the world. Waterson is the leader. He is immortal, and has been around for thousands of years. Waterson, Nate, and Cassandra are one of the teams that work for Mythic, but when a bunch of robots start destroying the world, they end up being the only team left. This first volume covers them fighting off a variety of mythical creature.

The premise of this graphic novel was so interesting. I love mythology. I like how mythical creatures are brought into the real world in this story.

At times, I found the story and pictures confusing. There were so many different sides to the fight, from the Mythic team to the mythical creatures to the robots. There were many fight scenes where the explosions made it unclear what exactly was happening. Also, each issue in the volume followed a different creature attacking the earth, so by the time I figured out who one character was, they were gone.

The ending of this graphic novel was very good. It was a bit of a cliffhanger and now I want to go find out what happens next!

Sense and Sensibility: Manga Classic

Title: Sense and Sensibility
Author: Stacy King, Po Tse
Genre: Graphic Novel, Manga
Publisher: UDON Entertainment
Release Date: August 10, 2017
Rating: ★★★

When their father dies, the Dashwood sisters and their mother are displaced by their half-brother, John Dashwood. Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret Dashwood move to a relative’s house in the country along with their mother. Marianne meets the dashing Willoughby and falls in love almost immediately, despite Elinor’s warnings to be cautious. Marianne wears her heart on her sleeve, so when Willoughby’s secrets are revealed, she is publicly humiliated. Elinor also has a romantic interest, though she is more sensible in the way she hides it. This story a study in sense and sensibility, with characters displaying both traits.

This is my least favourite Jane Austen novel. I love her other books so much, but I just couldn’t get into this one. Likewise, I wasn’t as crazy about this graphic novel.

The story was told very well. It is more straightforward than the novel, especially since it is able to demonstrate what is happening through pictures. However, I found that a lot of the characters looked alike. Since there are many girls around the same age in the story, they ended up looking very much alike. Even the three sisters were difficult to distinguish between sometimes, though they had slightly different hairstyles.

Though this isn’t my favourite graphic novel in the Manga Classics series, I would still recommend it for anyone looking for an introduction to the classics.

The Hockey Saint

Title: The Hockey Saint
Author: Howard Shapiro
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult
Publisher: Animal Media Group
Release Date: Oct. 14, 2014
Rating: ★★★★

Tom Leonard is a hockey player and a sophomore in university. His coach made him assistant captain for the team and he may get a full scholarship for his next year at school. He lives with his grandmother because his parents were killed in a car accident when he was a kid. He loves hockey and his favourite player is Jeremiah Jacobson. When he finds out where Jeremiah lives, he goes and sits outside his house, just to think about the problems in his life. Jeremiah goes outside and starts talking to Tom. Jeremiah tells Tom that he lost his father as a child too, so he understands what Tom is feeling. He invites Tom to go out with him the next day.

When Tom meets him the next day, they go to a food bank where Jeremiah volunteers every week. Tom assumed that Jeremiah went there to sign autographs but he wants to help people. Then he takes Tom to his next stop at a hospital to visit with veterans and children with cancer. Jeremiah continues to defy Tom’s expectations of who a stereotypical athlete should be.

Tom learns that his idol is very generous. Jeremiah is a famous hockey player who uses his status to help people who are less fortunate. Tom is shocked when he does this without asking for recognition. There are some celebrities that do this in the real world. Celebrities, whether they are athletes, singers, actors, or another profession, have a lot of influence over large portions of the population so they could make a positive impact on the world if they use their influence in a good way. However, many don’t use their power to make positive changes.

This is a really good graphic novel because of the way it looks at helping people who are less fortunate. Tom’s assumptions of Jeremiah looking for recognition of his good deeds are also knocked down. I like this positive message in the story. It is the third graphic novel in a trilogy from Howard Shapiro. The first one is called The Stereotypical Freaks. You can find my review of it here.

New Release: Ocean of Secrets Vol. 1

Title: Ocean of Secrets Vol. 1
Author: Sophie Chan
Genre: Graphic Novel, Manga
Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Rating: ★★

When Lia, an orphan, falls into the ocean during a storm, she is rescued by Moira and Albert. Not only did she fall into the sea, but she fell into a different world. Moira and Albert are runaways who stole their ship. They show Lia the secrets of their mysterious world, and solve the mystery of the King’s long lost daughter.

This story is simple. It moved very slowly. There could have been more details to make it more exciting.

I liked the twist at the end, when they discover the identity of the lost princess. However, the story was so short, I wasn’t really invested in the characters. The idea behind the plot was good. However, if it was more detailed, I would have felt more of a connection to the story and the characters.

New Release: Betty Boop

Title: Betty Boop
Author: Roger Langridge
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Betty Boop works as a waitress at the Oop-A-Doop club. Sometimes she sings, despite complaints from her boss about not doing her proper job. She lives with her grandfather, who they call Grampy. Grampy is very gullible. A creature named Lenny Lizardlips wants to get Grampy’s house. He sends his henchmen to Grampy’s house, and each time Grampy signs the house over to them, believing their story of why they need the house. Betty has to rush home from work every time to save their home from Lenny Lizardlips. Her friends Bimbo, Sandy, and Koko help her out too.

This is the first Betty Boop story I’ve read. I was familiar with most of the characters from their appearances in other places in pop culture.

This story was very entertaining. Many of the characters sing throughout the comics, such as Betty, Skat Skellington (the club singer), and Lenny Lizardlips. They sang songs about what was happening to them in the moment.

I liked how each comic had the same general outline, with Grampy selling their house and Betty having to go to his rescue. However, the last comic had a great twist at the end that I didn’t see coming!

I enjoyed this graphic novel, and I look forward to reading more Betty Boop comics in the future.


Title: I.D.
Author: Emma Rios
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Rating: ★★★

Noa, Charlotte, and Mike want to undergo a new transplant surgery to get a new body. They meet in a cafe to talk about it, while terrorist attacks happen around them. Noa is a girl who believes she is a man inside. She wants to get a man’s body. Charlotte is a middle-aged writer. She’s curious about the transplant to a new body. Mike is researching the surgery, so he wants to try it to know what it’s like, hands-on. The three of them go to a meeting about the procedure, where they learn about the process of having their brain removed from their own head and implanted into a new body. At the end of the story, they all have the surgery.

The stories of Noa, Charlotte, and Mike were moving. The three of them came together over a procedure, when they wouldn’t normally have had any reason to know each other.

The idea of the procedure is also intriguing, because one thing that most people would want to change about themselves is their body. This was a great premise.

I loved the monochromatic art in this graphic novel. The graphic novel format was perfect for this kind of innovative topic because the modern comic art reflected the modern subject.