“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 November which features a journey to new lands, diverse romance narratives, and classic fairy tales.
Spera Vol.1 by Josh Tierney (2012)
Synopsis: Lono’s life as a princess consisted of sitting, reading, and dreaming–until the day Pira, princess of a neighboring kingdom, arrived with news of a waking nightmare! With the help of Pira’s best friend–a fire spirit in the form of a dog named Yonder–the princesses now find themselves in a race against evil. The goal: Spera, a magical realm of which the princesses had only ever heard the tallest tales. The prize: their very lives!
Written, created, and edited by Josh Tierney, Spera Volume 1 is the first book in an ongoing series of graphic novels illustrated by artists from around the world. (description from Goodreads)
Spera is a fun adventure story where two princesses escape from their lives after a terrible incident brings imminent danger to their kingdoms. Together they face new lands in order to search for Spera, a magical realm. I liked watching the princesses friendship grow over the story. Even though they’re total opposites of each other they learn they have more in common. Pira, is a sword fighter and an extrovert and Lono is more reserved and a cautious thinker. Both use their skills to defeat enemies and make it through challenging obstacles.
Reading this book reminded me of when Wicked + The Divine feature various artist in volume three. While it didn’t really flow for me in that comic, this one seemed to work a lot better and I found it very easy to follow the plot. I admired all the different styles the artists used. The story had a smooth flow and the characters/action scenes kept me engaged throughout the book. But as much as I enjoyed the story I felt that something was missing from the plot.
Fresh Romance Vol.1 by Various Authors (2016)
Synopsis: The critically-acclaimed anthology FRESH ROMANCE is finally available in print! Have you been wondering what the fuss is all about? FRESH ROMANCE is an exciting collection of romance comics from some of comics most talented creators, including Kate Leth, Arielle Jovellanos, Sarah Vaughn, Sarah Winifred Searle, Sarah Kuhn, Marguerite Bennett, and Trungles. From unhappy historical marriages to covert teenage romances, there’s something for everyone in FRESH ROMANCE.” (description from Goodreads)
Fresh Romance is an amazing collection of diverse narratives/love stories. There are four tales total in the first volume. One story is infused with magic, another is period drama, there is a cafe romance, and a beautiful retelling of The Beauty and Beast. Ruined, the historical story, was my favorite tale out of all four. It ended on quite the cliffhanger so I’m looking forward to reading the next part!
I loved that this books was infused with PoC /LGBTQ characters.It was nice to see diverse comic romance collection of stories from a genre that is severely lacking in diversity. And while there the numbers of diversity are slowly growing in romance it still need to be a lot better.
I thought the writing was solid and each story left me wanting more. The art style were beautiful and I also appreciated the Q&A sessions after each story. It was a nice touch to learn how the stories came to life and the behind the scenes process. I can’t wait for volume two!
Fairy Tales Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists by Various Authors (2013)
Synopsis: From favorites like “Puss in Boots” and “Goldilocks” to obscure gems like “The Boy Who Drew Cats,” Fairy Tale Comics has something to offer every reader. Seventeen fairy tales are wonderfully adapted and illustrated in comics format by seventeen different cartoonists, including Raina Telgemeier, Brett Helquist, Cherise Harper, and more.
Edited by Nursery Rhyme Comics’ Chris Duffy, this jacketed hardcover is a beautiful gift and an instant classic. (description from Goodreads)
Fairy Tale Comics is a really cool collection of fairy tales that are well known from around the world. It was interesting to see each artists take on these classic tales and some authors even added their own unique flair. Red Riding Hood has a female lumberjack and in Snow White and the prince wait till they come of age to get married.
I chose to pick up this book because it had some of my favorite artists: Jillian Tamaki and Emily Carroll. The variety of artwork also made the reading experience very entertaining. This is a good book for readers of all ages, especially if you like reading folktales. My only complaint is that I felt each story was rushed in order to fit more stories in one book.
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. 🙂