Monday, February 25, 2013

Three Graphic Novels

Over the past week, I've had the enjoyment of reading three different (and for Kentucky fairly new) graphic novels.

The first was Richard Sala's latest Delphine, a very creepy story of a young man who goes to his college sweethearts hometown in search of her after she disappears.

Delphine images via Comic Book Resources

Sala's work strikes me as if Expressionism and the Hudson River School got together and had a child...that child being Tim Burton back before he became enamoured of Johnny Depp and the idea that simply being a goth made him interesting rather than being interesting made him interesting. But I digress...

If you are into Rosemary's Baby spookiness, definitely pick this up, also be sure to check out Sala's previous work The Chuckling Whatsit.

The second was Hope Larson's adaptation of Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.

Image via BadAss Digest

Wrinkle is one of my favorite books from my childhood. I still have the browned and tattered paperback copy that I bought in grade school, so I was excited to see that we got the graphic novel adaptation. That is, until I had it in my hand, because suddenly I was afraid that Larson's vision of the book would become my own...much as seeing the movie adaptation of a book tends to set what I see in my head reading the book in stone.

But I was happy with Larson's faithfulness to the original piece, and now I plan to pick up the other books in the series...which I've never read.

Then, last night I finished Mark Siegel's Sailor Twain, or the Mermaid in the Hudson.

Over all, I found Sailor Twain amazing. For me, there was only one glitch and that came at the end of the story, and I try to be forgiving of endings, typically because endings are difficult. (However, I give no leeway to Stephen King cause he is prolific enough that he should by now be able to get endings.) Well, in the case of Sailor Twain, it was the ending before the ending...read it and you'll see what I mean.

Sailor Twain is the story of Captain Twain who discovers a mermaid who has been attacked trying to board his steamboat the Lorelei. He takes her to his cabin, nurses her and begins to fall in love with her. But he makes her promise that she won't sing to him. But already the arc of tragedy is set as numerous other members of the crew and the boat's owners have already come under her thrall.

The work here also reminds me a lot of the Hudson River School...the landscape, the city, the river and the boats...the scenes in which it rains are a miracle. While the characters are very cartoonish allowing for a level of emotionalism that I think would be difficult if they were more realistic.

I enjoyed all three pieces and recommend them to anyone looking for a good read...even if you typically don't read graphic novels.

4 comments:

Loki's Log said...

I am so glad that you lked Sailor Twain -- I've met Mark and he is so incredibly talented. this book is actually the first graphic novel I've ever read and I really loved it.

Writer said...

Really, Loki? The first?? Wow.

I did really like it. I know my review doesn't do it justice. I tend to talk out my ass...but oh well.

Loki's Log said...

I'll get you an autographed copy. he does these amazing illustrations when he autographs them. And your review was great. As is your ass

Writer said...

WOW! Loki! That would be awesome! Thank you! Thank you! :)