Written by Lauryn Smith
The first and last graphic novel I read was for a contemporary fiction class in college. From that experience, I learned that there are some things that pictures, or a combination of pictures and text, can better accomplish than text alone. I used to think that graphic novels were only for young readers, but I have since changed my mind—graphic novels can actually be full of meaning. So when Reviewer Beth Winters suggested I read “Nimona” by Noelle Stevenson, I agreed.
I was not disappointed.
"Nimona,” which falls in the young adult genre, is a full-color graphic novel based on Stevenson’s web comic of the same name. In this work of fiction, there are heroes and villains and dragons and science and contemporary ideology. Essentially, Stevenson’s story consists of classic premises sprinkled with modernity.
The eponymous character, young in relation to the book’s other characters, one day shows up at the home of bad guy Lord Ballister Blackheart asking to be his sidekick. Reluctantly, Blackheart agrees. He and Nimona, who turns out to be a skilled shapeshifter, make and execute "villainous" plans, one of which leads them to discover that the powerful Institution of Law Enforcement is up to no good. Complicating matters is the fact that Blackheart’s once good friend Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin works for the Institution. Naturally, chaos ensues.
Written by Beth Winters
What is the point of "The Sandman" by Neil Gaiman? I think I missed it.
I read the entirety of Gaiman’s acclaimed graphic novel series on a recommendation from a friend. He said "The Sandman" was supposed to be a super great graphic novel series, that anyone who likes graphic novels should read it. So, I thought, why not? I like a good graphic novel. ("Buffy" seasons 8, 9 and 10, anyone?) Plus, Gaiman wrote one of my all time favorite movies, Stardust, which I watch every year as a birthday treat. I still have "Stardust," the book, in my TBR pile.
But I digress. I did not understand "The Sandman" at all. I was bummed the stories are so broken up. The series pretty much boils down to this: 10 volumes, where odd-numbered volumes move the plot along while even-numbered volumes are vignettes. The story revolves around the Dream King, who is in charge of the dreaming realm. As far as the storyline goes, I am not sure I can accurately describe the series’ plot, because, as stated above, I am pretty sure I missed the point.
I enjoyed the odd-numbered volumes. It was interesting to see the adventures of the Dream King and his siblings. Throughout the series, I rooted for the Dream King. He seems to be a lost soul figuring out what to do with his immortality. The Dream King also seems very lonely, despite all the other people in his realm.
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