“Monthly Comic Corner” is a segment that compiles mini-reviews of comics, graphic novels, and manga that I’ve read for the month. Here are my reviews for the month of January which features a female superhero, ghost brides, and a high school trip turned into a disaster.
The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Hicks (2013)
Synopsis: What if you can leap tall buildings and defeat alien monsters with your bare hands, but you buy your capes at secondhand stores, and have a weakness for kittens, and a snarky comment from Skeptical Guy can ruin a whole afternoon? Cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks brings her skills in character design and sharp, charming humor to the trials and tribulations of a young, superhero battling monsters both supernatural and mundane in an all-too-ordinary world. (description from Goodreads)
Review: The Adventures of Superhero Girl is a comic about a girl who wants to be the best superhero she can be. Her older brother is famous and she is not very popular as a superhero. She has a lack of arch nemesis’, lives in a small town that doesn’t really need a crime fighter, and she has to figure out another way to pay the bills so she doesn’t go broke. She does her best while trying to live the best of her life.
This was such a cute and lighthearted story. The illustrations are vibrant and match the overall tone that the book is striving for. Sometimes the story didn’t always flow together, but then I realized this book is a bunch of comic shorts compiled together in one book. I felt that superhero girl is a relatable character as she not only struggles with her self-identity as an underdog superhero, but as a civilian trying to get through life one day at a time.
The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff (2014)
Synopsis: In the mountains of Northern China ancient custom demands that every man have a wife to keep him company in the afterlife.
Deshi Li’s brother is dead—and unmarried. Which means that Deshi must find him an eligible body before the week is up.
Lily Chen, sweet as a snakebite, needs money and a fast ride out of town.
Haunted by the gods of their ancestors and the expectations of the new world, Deshi and Lily embark on a journey with two very different destinations in mind.
They travel through a land where the ground is hard and the graves are shallow, where marriage can be murder and where Lily Chen is wanted—dead and alive. (description from Goodreads)
Review: The Undertaking of Lily Chen follows a man named Deshi whose brother suddenly dies. His parents fear for Wei in the afterlife and don’t want him to journey there alone so they send him on a quest to find a ghost bride. On the journey Deshi meets Lily, a young woman fed up with her life at home, and they form a bond with one another as Deshi runs away from the incident that haunts him.
I was really excited to read this book but found it underwhelming and a bit disappointing. I felt that the story was a bit disjointed in many parts which disrupted the flow of the overall narrative. One concept would be introduced then the story would abruptly change. The art style was definitely different and it was wasn’t my favorite. I didn’t like the overall design of the characters, but I loved the beautiful, watercolor style backgrounds.
Dragon Head Vol.1 by Minetaro Mochizuki (2006)
Synopsis: The end of everyone was just the beginning…
Returning home by train after a class trip, Teru Aoki takes a most frightening ride inside a mountain tunnel. When the train derails, nearly everyone aboard is killed. Amidst the bloody carnage, Teru discovers two survivors – but salvation is far from their grasp. As they try to dig out from the wreck in order to come up with a plan to stay alive, the lack of light and food, combined with the stench of death and decay, will lead one member of the group down a dark and demented path. And with sudden, violent earthquakes shaking the tunnel, escaping to the outside world may lead them to an even greater danger… (description from Goodreads)
Review: Dragon Head is an action/horror story three high schoolers who are the sole survivors of a train accident. The are trapped within in a tunnel, deep underground where nobody is coming to their rescue.
Mochizuki’s drawing style is detailed and thorough. It embodies the dark tones and fearful emotions presented in the manga. It poses the question of “What would you do?”. It’s a scary situation and with no light and little food I’d be grasping at straws too. I got scared for the Teru and the female character because the other both Nobuo seemed to be going off the deep and becoming very violent.
I am still new to reading horror manga (it’s so different to me), but I enjoyed the high suspense aspect that keeps the reader on edge. Can’t wait to see what happens next!
What comics, graphic novels, or manga have you read lately? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. If you have any recommendations feel free to share those as well. 🙂