Supernatural Graphic Novels

I’m not sure if that’s the right description, but “fantasy” and “paranormal” didn’t quite work for this pairing either.

First up:
Kin (The Good Neighbors, Book 1)
by HollyBlack and Ted Naifeh
ages: 14+
First sentence: “West City, Thursday evening.”
(First sentences in a graphic novel is almost self-defeating…)

I’m conflicted about this one. I liked it well enough: the basic story is a girl, Rue, whose mother has disappeared after a fight with her father. Soon afterward, Rue starts seeing things she’s not supposed to. Turns out her mother was a faerie, and is slowly dying because Rue’s father had betrayed her. The art was a lush black and white (I think color would have overwhelmed the book, so I appreciated that choice), and I liked the characters okay (especially Tam; even though he doesn’t have a large role, I appreciated that nod). However, while I think it’s a good beginning to a series, it doesn’t really hold up as a stand-alone. It’s all set-up, no action, no resolution. And just leaves you feeling weird. However, I’m going to have to get the next volume, if only because I’m curious what happens to Rue.

Up next:

Life Sucks
by Jessica Abel, Gabe Soria, and Warren Pleece
ages: 16+
First sentence: doesn’t really have one. As I said, that’s pretty self-defeating when you’re dealing with a graphic novel.

This one has a fantastic premise: the undead are alive and among us. Dave, a college schlep who needs a job, applies for one at a 24 hour convenience store called Last Stop. Little did he know that applying for the job comes with a catch: being turned into a vampire. Stuck in a dead-end job (ha, no pun intended) working for a vampire master he loathes, Dave figures there’s nothing worth living (ha, again) for. So far, so good. Dave making his way as a vampire is pretty funny, the fact that he’s got a human roommate, and undead friends. His boss, Lord Radu is a great parody of the immigrant entrepreneur.

Then Dave sees Rosa, that is. A goth girl with an obsession with vampires, she would die (ooh, I’m killing myself… whoops, did it again.) to actually know (or be) one. He musters up some courage and strikes up a friendship with Rosa, not revealing that he’s a vampire. Then things start to go south, at least for me. Wes — the evil undead surfer dude (such an oxymoron) — decides Rosa is hot, and he decides that what he really wants to do is bite and bag her. (He’s got three vampire brides and could use one more.) Dave makes a valiant attempt to stop Wes, making in the end a dare out of seeing who Rosa would go for. And that’s when the book tanks. It gets all sex-obsessed (big-boobed, scantily-clad bimbos anyone?), and violent, and just plain weird. It wraps up badly — could they not think of anything better? — and leaves us hanging.

Sigh. I had such hopes for both of these.

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6 thoughts on “Supernatural Graphic Novels

  1. So many faeries lately. Seems like every YA I pick up as of late has a faerie in it. The Abel book is one I ran across when I was making up my library wishlist. I can’t wait to read it.

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  2. The Good Neighbors… I just read that too and I TOTALLY see what you mean on that one. I hopefully will be able to get the sequel from the library because the first book didn’t do a lot for me. Not something I want to own!

    Life Sucks… I admit that, well, I think the only reason I liked this book so much was because I kept thinking of Kevin Smith and his movies… It was all sentimentality for me. If I didn’t have that connection, I would’ve hated the book. Actually, I probably did dislike the book, but well, it was sentimental, I guess.

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  3. I’m completely clueless, Kailana… I’ll have to look up Kevin Smith and his movies. And I didn’t dislike all of the book. Just Wes, and the last third. 🙂

    Andi — I’m curious to hear what you think of The Abel. I’m all for faeries in graphic novels. Usually. You’re right, though. Faeries and zombies are the in thing in YA fantasy right now.

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  4. I totally agree with you on The Good Neighbors and like you I’m going to read the next one because I must know what happens. Life Sucks is sitting in my Graphic Novel pile at home right now. I have (had) high hopes for this one too!!

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  5. I really liked The Good Neighbours as I love Ted’s artwork. I hope you do continue, I really want to know what happens next! I haven’t heard of the other one but will definitely look out for it thanks 🙂

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