Mar. 19th, 2017

rynet_ii: A deoxys (alien-like pokemon) with a neutral expression. (Default)
I've got a bunch of non-graphic novel books I need to read but I am veeerrrry slowly making my way through a book on Marxism that is less easy to plow through than a novel or comic so that's slowed down my progress this month, I think. But anyway.

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Zita is a young girl playing around in a foresty area with her friend Joseph when they come across the site of a meteor crash. Inside the crash site Zita and Joseph find a strange device with a big red button and Zita teases her friend by pressing with it- resulting in a portal opening up and a strange creature with black tentacles and a diver's helmet to kidnap Joseph.

After a brief freak out Zita takes a chance on reopening the portal to go rescue Joseph, and winds up stranded on an alien planet far, far away from earth. Worse, Zita quickly discovers the planet in question is due to be destroyed by an out of control asteroid in three days, leaving her with a very small amount of time to find Joseph and get the two of them off planet. Luckily Zita's able to make friends with a motley assortment of aliens and robots, who help Zita out on her quest.

The story is very predictable but as it's aimed at kids and I'm an adult, the target audience might find it less so. If you can get past that, it's otherwise incredibly charming, aided in no small part by the adorable artwork.

Sample page. )

Cardboard by Doug TenNapel

This graphic novel is about an Incredibly Poor carpenter named Mike, who's so poor that he can't afford to get his son Cam anything decent for his birthday. Luckily for Mike he stumbles across a stand being run by a mysterious roadside salesman, who sells Mike a cardboard box for 78 cents with the caveat that Mike 1) can't ask for more cardboard and 2) must return any unused pieces. Cam fortunately is pretty understanding of the fact his dad is poor as shit, and he and Mike are able to have a lovely time building the cardboard figure of a boxer out of the box- and then discover the following morning that the cardboard boxer has come to life.

The boxer is dubbed Bill and Cam and Bill pal around and mow lawns, until Cam's jealous, spoiled rich kid neighbor Marcus and his friend Pink Eye nearly kill Bill with some super soakers. Mike and Cam then have to break the rules the salesman set out, using the remaining scraps of cardboard to make a device that can create more of the magic living cardboard. Bill's life is saved- but then Marcus gets his hands on the magic cardboard maker and things become progressively more dangerous.

There are some pretty funny bits- the scene where the salesman explains the origin of the cardboard is a stand out- and sweet moments, and the comic is very nicely drawn if you don't mind some occasional grotesque bits. I felt the writing was a bit spotty in places though, but I admit I have a hard time putting my finger on what exactly was missing?

Some spoilers + a sample page. )

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

Long before I read this book I'd already seen both the animated movie adaptation and the graphic novel adaptation. I liked both quite a bit- the graphic novel a bit more than the movie off the top of my head but they were both enjoyable- and consequently I have been meaning for ages to read the original novel but always kept forgetting and might have put it off longer if I hadn't just literally randomly noticed it on a shelf at the library. Of course, between the fact that I'd seen two different faithful adaptations of the book and how often I've seen snippets and quotes from this book, reading it felt peculiarly like I was rereading this book, even though I'm quite sure I've never actually picked up the original novel before.

The story is about a unicorn who lives alone in an enchanted forest- enchanted pretty much as a result of her presence, as unicorns in this setting are the most beautiful creatures in the world, magical and immortal and awe inspiring. They are also fairly solitary creatures, and so the unicorn lives in the forest for a long time, unaware that the other unicorns have disappeared from the world until she overhears a conversation between some passing hunters about it. Concerned, the unicorn sets out on a quest to find the other unicorns, pointed by a semi-helpful butterfly in the direction of a mysterious creature called the Red Bull in the realm of King Haggard. Along the way she picks up a pair of companions in the form of Schmendrick, a magician of dubious talents, and Molly Grue, a middle-aged woman who nevertheless has the pure heart of any youthful heroine you care to name. After various misadventures and travels they do find the Red Bull and King Haggard's kingdom- but that may be where the unicorn's real troubles only begin.

I enjoyed the story in movie and comic book form already, and the novel was no exception. Interestingly, I think I picked up on more of the humor when reading the book itself. (Lir's fucking poetry. My god.)


rynet_ii: A deoxys (alien-like pokemon) with a neutral expression. (Default)

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