Lucid by Michael McMillian
Official Summary: “Lucid is an action-packed, pop-fantasy series that draws inspiration from the spy genre, Arthurian legend, and 21st-century folklore! Dark forces are conspiring to prevent humankind from reaching its true potential. Thankfully, as newly appointed “Protector of the Realm,” Agent Matthew Dee uses his skills as a covert spy and Combat Mage to ensure America’s freedom from the grip of evil.”
Michael McMillian, best known for playing Steve Newlin on “True Blood,” has created a new series of comic books, Lucid, about an alternate reality where magic is not only a real force, but is utilized by a special branch of the government to aid in espionage. This volume collects the first several issues of the comic into a hardcover book for the first time. Over the course of these issues, readers are introduced to Agent Matthew Dee who uses his magical powers to protect America from evil powers. He is helped in this endeavor by a cast of characters from both the U.S. and Britain. These first several issues introduce not only these major players but also some of the villains on the other side of magic that Dee works against. Readers will get a sense of Dee’s work and be left eager to see what Dee will confront next.
While much of what is included in this volume is introductory in nature, it does provide a good sense of the world Dee inhabits and helps to set up the future of the series. The characters are well-realized both through the writing and the art work, which captures the world very effectively. Even in the relatively brief 100 pages of this first volume McMillian includes several separate stories, which left me wishing that the author had focused on fewer stories in more depth, though I expect that will come once the series has settled down to a normal pace, particularly now that its world has been introduced to readers.
Overall, I think that this series will appeal to fans of urban fantasy. It put me in mind of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series, and, while they are very different, I think that fans of each will enjoy the other. This comic is definitely worthwhile.
Check it Out: Lucid is currently available.
Readalike: If you enjoy Lucid, you’ll probably also like The Unwritten by Michael Carey or Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files (start with either the original Storm Front novel or the graphic novel based on that book).
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks
Official Summary: “You wouldn’t expect Nate and Charlie to be friends. Charlie’s the laid-back captain of the basketball team, and Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. But they are friends, however unlikely—until Nate declares war on the cheerleaders. At stake is funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms—but not both.
It’s only going to get worse: after both parties are stripped of their funding on grounds of abominable misbehavior, Nate enrolls the club’s robot in a battlebot competition in a desperate bid for prize money. Bad sportsmanship? Sure. Chainsaws? Why not. Running away from home on Thanksgiving to illicitly enter a televised robot death match? Of course!
In Faith Erin Hicks’ and Prudence Shen’s world of high school class warfare and robot death matches, Nothing can possibly go wrong.”
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks is a fun look at what can happen when the two ends of the high school social spectrum realize that they can accomplish more if they band together. In this particular case, this realization comes after a political war that leaves each of them in trouble at school and lacking the funds that they need for their respective clubs - the cheerleaders need money for new uniforms and the robotics club needs money to cover the expenses of their competition. The chance to compete in a battlebot competition that will pit their robot against others in a match to the “death” offers enough prize money to solve all of their problems, but they will have to pool their resources and come together if they can have any hope of winning.
This is a very cute and fun book that is perfect for fans of Friends with Boys, which was also written by Faith Erin Hicks. The plot makes good use of the high school stereotypes, having characters that both embody stereotypes and break the mold. I particularly enjoyed the character of Charlie who seems as though he should be a standard jock who is tough and solely focused on sports, but is, in reality, relaxed and eager-to-please enough to end up a pawn caught between the cheerleaders and the robotics club. Beyond this, he is also struggling with his family’s issues, which include a mother who has moved away and a father who is always at work. Charlie makes a great, very relatable main character around whom the other characters, and particularly Nate, his friend and the leader of the robotics club, orbit.
This is a fairly quick read, but by the end of it, you will definitely be rooting for both groups. It is perfect for both fans of graphic novels and those who are new to the genre. It would also make a great recommendation for those who aren’t typically big fans of reading. I would definitely recommend this cute read.
Note: Review based on ARC from publisher.
Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes by Matt Kindt
Official Summary: “Welcome to the city of Red Wheelbarrow, where the world’s greatest detective has yet to meet the crime he can’t solve—every criminal in Red Wheelbarrow is caught and convicted thanks to Detective Gould’s brilliant mind and cutting-edge spy technology.
But lately there has been a rash of crimes so eccentric and random that even Detective Gould is stumped. Will he discover the connection between the compulsive chair thief, the novelist who uses purloined street signs to write her magnum opus, and the photographer who secretly documents peoples’ most anguished personal moments? Or will Detective Gould finally meet his match?
Matt Kindt operates with wit and perception in the genre of hard-boiled crime fiction. Red Handed owes as much to Paul Auster as Dashiell Hammett, and raises some genuinely sticky questions about human nature.”
Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes by Matt Kindt is an unusual mystery story. It follows “the world’s greatest detective” as he solves each and every crime in Red Wheelbarrow using both skills and technology. But, as the book opens, a series of random crimes plagues the city and defies even his amazing analytical powers. As the book proceeds, the reader watches these bizarre crimes unfold wondering what exactly is happening while also seeing glimpses of Detective Gould’s successes mixed in with these unsolvable crimes. As these disparate pieces come together, both readers and Detective Gould will come to understand exactly what all of these events mean.
The mysterious nature of Red Handed becomes obvious very early on. Within the first few pages of the book, readers will be both fascinated and confused as they watch strange events take place over the course of beautifully drawn panels. And, rather than becoming more clear over time, the mystery only deepens as even more seemingly unrelated crimes are introduced to further obscure what is happening. The story is clearly a carefully crafted and plotted puzzle because it is impressive how all of the little details prove to be important to untangling the core mystery at the heart of the book. Even if you somehow don’t find yourself drawn in by the complex plot, the beauty of the book will make it clear why the subtitle of the book refers to “fine art.” The style of the drawings varies over the course of the book and always complements the elements of the story. All of these pieces come together to create a satisfying graphic novel that is perfect for both mystery fans and those who appreciate the artistic side of the genre.
Check it Out: Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes will be released on May 7th.
Note: Review based on ARC from publisher.
Dial H by China Mieville
Official Summary: “Hugo Award-winning novelist China Mieville breathes new life into a classic DC Comics series as part of the second wave of DC Comics—The New 52.
In the small run-down town of Littleville, CO, a troubled young man stumbles upon the lost H-Dial and all of the secrets and power it possesses. It has been many years since the H-Dial has been seen, though legions of villains have been scouring the globe looking for it and its ability to transform users into a variety of superheros and take on their powers and psyches. Will our hero be able to harness the power of the H-Dial and protect it from falling into the hands of evil? Will this newfound power plunge our hero to madness? And will we ever discover where the H-Dial came from and its true meaning?”
Dial H by China Mieville is the latest take on the classic comic series, Dial H for Hero, originally released in the 1960’s. As in those books, the action revolves around a man who finds a mysterious dial, but in this book, the dial is attached to a payphone that is discovered by a man who has been struggling to find his place in life. When he tries to use the phone to call for help when his friend is attacked, he discovers that while it won’t call help, it will turn him into a superhero. From there he is thrust into a world of superheros and villains that he can’t begin to understand. While trying to protect the city, he must also try to figure out the mystery of the dial and determine who he can trust.
This new series offers an interesting take on the classic comic series on which it is based. It is a dark and fairly violent graphic novel, though it has elements of humor mixed in as well, particularly after the scene has been set early in the series. The artwork, particularly the representations of all of the various superheroes that are generated by the dial, are great and Mieville’s writing will have readers invested in the outcome of the story from the very beginning. He also does a good job of creating the world of the dial without resorting to lengthy descriptions or background descriptions. The backstory of the dial emerges over the course of these initial issues of the series giving readers enough information to draw them in while still always leaving you wanting more.
This is a great new series for those who are fans of the original series or for anyone who enjoys superhero comics.
Check it Out: Dial H will be released on April 23rd.
Readalikes: If you enjoy this, you may want to check out the original series, available in a collection called Showcase Presents: Dial H for Hero. If you like Mieville’s writing style, check out one of his other works, such as The City & The City.
Note: Review based on ARC from publisher.
Jerusalem: A Family Portrait by Boaz Yakin and Nick Bertozzi
Official Summary: “Jerusalem is a sweeping, epic work that follows a single family—three generations and fifteen very different people—as they are swept up in chaos, war, and nation-making from 1940-1948. Faith, family, and politics are the heady mix that fuel this ambitious, cinematic graphic novel.
With Jerusalem, author-filmmaker Boaz Yakin turns his finely-honed storytelling skills to a topic near to his heart: Yakin’s family lived in Palestine during this period and was caught up in the turmoil of war just as his characters are. This is a personal work, but it is not a book with a political ax to grind. Rather, this comic seeks to tell the stories of a huge cast of memorable characters as they wrestle with a time when nothing was clear and no path was smooth.”
Jerusalem: A Family Portrait by Boaz Yakin and Nick Bertozzi traces a family torn apart at the seams by both personal conflict and war at the same time that the country of Israel was coming into existance. Either of these would be a huge undertaking for any book, but in this case, they work well together since they are both focused on different aspects of conflict. The family consists of two branches. One is wealthy and the other struggles to get by. While the young boys of each branch of the family are inseparable, the older members of the family cannot get past the conflict that has followed them since their youth. While this is central to much of the book, there are several other strands of narrative that are only tangentially related to this fight and around the edges of this family’s lives readers also see much of the history of Israel’s foundation unfolding.
However, with such a vast scope and sizable cast of characters, the book feels as though it is overreaching a bit. The book does say a lot about families and the types of conflict that are unique to family members, but with so many characters, I found that I didn’t know enough about each of the characters to understand the context of their actions and their motivations. This sounds as though it should mean that I didn’t like the book and do not recommend it, but in many ways I felt that the artwork in the book and the historical elements, which were woven into the story seamlessly, made up for its other shortcomings. In the end, I would recommend this book more to those interested in a graphic novel about the foundation of Israel than those who are primarily interested in the family dynamics.
Check it Out: Jerusalem: A Family Portrait will be released on April 16th.
Note: Review based on ARC from publisher.
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
Official Summary: “Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe—many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy’s original inventions.
A welcome read for anyone who ever felt more passion for a sandwich than is strictly speaking proper, Relish is a book for our time: it invites the reader to celebrate food as a connection to our bodies and a connection to the earth, rather than an enemy, a compulsion, or a consumer product.”
In Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, Lucy Knisley, an accomplished comic artist, has turned her attention to representing her childhood spent growing up around food into a memoir in graphic novel form. In many ways, this novel may remind some readers of her first work, French Milk, which was “a drawn travel journal” about a trip to Paris with her mother. Clearly, important events in Knisley’s life often involve food in some significant way, in part due to her mother’s work as a cheesemonger, farmers’ market worker, chef and caterer, but even more due to her entire family’s keen interest in fine cuisine. While Lucy shares this love of food, she also embraces “bad” food, such as fast food and junk food in a way that horrifies her parents. In this book, she touches on both types of food and uses them as the backdrop for stories about her family relationships, her travels and her studies.
Beyond simply being a fun memoir about food, family and friends, Relish is also a cookbook. Knisley ends each chapter with a recipe for a dish or drink that is somehow related to the events of the chapter. For her travels through Europe, she details how to make sangria. For her trip to Mexico as a child Huevos Rancheros. And so on, through each chapter. The recipes include fully illustrated ingredients lists and instructions which manage to be both cute and delicious sounding.
This memoir really impressed me. The drawings are both cute and, in the case of the recipes, informative. And, Knisley makes her childhood seem like a lot of fun, deftlt mixing humor and heartfelt emotion. I also thought that the photo album that Knisley included at the end of the book was a nice touch since it gave readers an opportunity to see the family members that they had grown to know through the book. I would highly recommend Relish to fans of graphic novels, memoirs or food books!
Readalike: Fans of Relish will want to try some of Knisley’s other works; start with French Milk or Radiator Days, which both include autobiographical elements. If you want to branch out to other illustrated memoirs, I would recommend Japan Ai by Aimee Major-Steinberger or Carnet de Voyage by Craig Thompson.
Note: Review based on ARC from publisher.
Grandville Bete Noire by Bryan Talbot
Official Summary: “The baffling murder of a famed Parisian artist in his locked and guarded studio takes the tenacious Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard and his faithful adjunct, Detective Ratzi, into the cutthroat Grandville art scene to track the mysterious assassin. As the body count mounts and events spiral out of control, the investigation points to Toad Hall, where a cabal of industrialists and fat cats plot the overthrow of the French State…by use of steam-driven automaton soldiers! A Victorian anthropomorphic thriller, Grandville Bete Noire signals the welcome return of master storyteller and graphic-novel pioneer Bryan Talbot to his Eisner and Hugo Award nominated steampunk detective series.”
Grandville Bete Noire by Bryan Talbot is set in the same world as his previous two Grandville books. This is a world where animals make up the upper echelons of society and humans are relegated to a lower social position where they are viewed as little more than servants. But, this alternate reality goes far beyond simply inverting the social roles of man and beast. In the series, France won the Napoleonic war and Britain has forever been in its shadow, only having thrown off French occupiers a few decades before the events of Grandville Bete Noire. The series includes elements of the steampunk, spy and noir genres, in a skillful balance that creates a consistent back drop for Talbot’s stories. The main character in these stories is Archibald “Archie” LeBrock, a badger who works for Scotland Yard with his partner, Roderick Ratzi, solving all manner of mysteries. In this volume, the story revolves around a locked room mystery in which an artist dies while locked alone in his studio. As if this isn’t mysterious enough, another artist is murdered a short time later, suggesting that there may be something more nefarious at work than even simple murder. Into this mix, Talbot adds references to everything from art history, to spy fiction, to children’s books and more.
This series can always be counted on to provide a fun romp through an alternate Europe that is impressively detailed and clearly well-researched. Though the story includes elements from many different genres, they all complement one another and never make the story feel overdone. Beyond the gorgeous artwork, readers will also find themselves occupied with trying to catch all of the subtle references to art, history, literature and films that are peppered throughout the book. The story manages to work as both a self-contained mystery and an addition to the series that advances some ongoing plotlines.
I have enjoyed all of the entries in this series and this book was no different. I loved Talbot’s artwork throughout the novel and particularly liked the steampunk elements that he integrated throughout the book, even in the details in the background of the story. It is a quick and fun read that is perfect for fans of the series while still remaining accessible to those who haven’t read the other Grandville books. I would highly recommend this book and the entire series. Talbot has already plotted out the next two books in the series, and I, for one, can’t wait to read them.
Readalike: While you’re waiting for this book to come out, you can catch up on the past volumes in the series, Grandville and Grandville Mon Amour. For other graphic novels in the same vein try Fables (start with Legends in Exile) or Unwritten (start with Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity).
Note: Review based on ARC from publisher.
Holiday Gift Guide
‘Tis the season for holiday gift giving and nothing makes a better gift than a great book, so here are my recommendations for the perfect book for everyone on your list.
For book, technology and puzzle lovers:
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A novel unlike any other, this book will equally delight those who love books and those who love technology. It is about a mysterious secret society, a 24-hour bookstore, Google and curiosity. A great option for virtually any reader.
For the World War II enthusiast:
Code Name Verity: This book was marketed as a young adult novel, but in reality readers of all ages will love it. The book is structured to keep you guessing until the very end, which makes the beginning a bit mysterious, but it pays off in a major way by the end.
The Maggie Hope mysteries: Set in London during World War II, these books follow Maggie Hope, a brilliant young mathematician, as she serves London - and solves mysteries - in the midst of dropping bombs and German spies. Two books, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary and Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, are currently available with the third scheduled to be released in 2013. Perfect for those who love mysteries or World War II.
For the mystery fan:
The Informationist: If the Maggie Hope series doesn’t sound quite right for the mystery lover on your list, consider The Informationist or its sequel, The Innocent. These books follow the tough and independent Vanessa Munroe as she travels the world and solves crimes. Perfect for fans of darker mysteries like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
For the magical realism fan:
Moscow But Dreaming: I’m not usually one for short stories, but both of my recommendations in this category are anthologies. This one by Ekaterina Sedia paints a haunting picture of Moscow. The stories are widely varied with each relating to Sedia’s native Russia in some way. Many have the feel of a fairytale and all have fantastic elements. Perfect for fans of Russia or magical realism.
Suddenly, A Knock On The Door: Another great anthology, this time from Etgar Keret, who specializes in stories that integrate fantastic and unbelievable elements into mundane daily life. Perfect for Keret’s existing fans, but also wonderful for anyone who enjoys stories condensed into an extremely short form.
For the science fiction fan:
Amped: From the author of Robopocalypse, this book tells of a future where anyone can be “enhanced” with implants. As those with implants exhibit superior performance to the rest of humanity, society quickly turns against them. An action-packed adventure tale that has already been optioned for a movie.
Redshirts: Do you know a Star Trek fan? This book is for them. John Scalzi’s affectionate send-up of Star Trek and scifi tropes more generally will be a great gift for anyone who is obsessed with science fiction but also willing to laugh a bit at this obsession.
For the urban fantasy fan:
The Alex Verus series: New this year, Benedict Jacka’s new series is perfect for fans of Harry Dresden books or really any urban fantasy fans. Alex Verus is a mage in London who has attracted the notice of some very powerful people and is thereafter dragged into the politics and in-fighting of magical society. These great, fast-paced mysteries will be a new addiction for the recipient. The series starts with Fated.
This Case Is Gonna Kill Me: The first in a new series about a world where the Powers (vampires, werewolves and elves) control the upper echelons of society holding places of power in a wide range of industries. Linnet Ellery is a new associate attorney at a law firm run by powerful vampires. Given the worst of the worst cases because of her low status as a non-vampire, Ellery gets drawn into the mystery of one client’s case. Great worldbuilding and an interesting variation on typical urban fantasy tropes make this a worthwhile gift.
For the steampunk fan:
Shadow and Bone: Not exactly a steampunk novel, this book takes place in a fantasy country that has many elements reminiscent of steampunk, which has been referred to by the author, somewhat facetiously, as Tsarpunk. It is a young adult novel, but will appeal to steampunk fans of all ages.
The Friday Society: Another young adult book that will be a good gift for steampunk fans of all ages, this one is a set in London and has a great cast of characters. The story flies along and will leave the reader hoping that this book is just the first in a new series.
God Save The Queen: Another steampunk novel set in London, this time in modern-day London, this is a very different approach to steampunk. Perfect for fans of the genre who are growing fatigued with its cliches.
For the horror fan:
White Horse: I disliked this book, but in this case, that is a good thing. It is a creepy, unsettling horror novel that was a bit much for me, but will be perfect for fans of the genre.
For the graphic novel fan:
Saga, Volume 1: Great for fans of Brian K. Vaughn’s Y: The Last Man, this volume is the first collection of a new comic book series from the author. It is a dark and adult story, but adult graphic novel fans who enjoy science fiction will enjoy it.
For the college-bound teen:
Easy: Part of the New Adult genre, this is the story of a girl who grows up and gains independence while at college. Parts of the story are dark, but it is an excellent book that really surprised me. Great for fans of realistic stories with a hint of romance.
For the young adult literature fan:
The Fault in Our Stars: Easily one of the best books I have read this year (and named best book of the year by Time Magazine), this story of two teen cancer patients never becomes too sentimental. It will make you cry but it will also make you laugh. Perfect for fans of young adult literature, or in fact anyone else.
Every Day: Another great book for readers of all ages, this book combines elements of fantasy and romance into a book that is more than either genre. It tells the story of A who is trying to build a relationship despite waking up in a different person’s body each day.
Dark Star: This book is perfect for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer fan on your list. Set in a world where superheroes really exist, it follows one high schooler as she learns the truth about herself and her family and finds her place in this world. Funny and action-packed at the same time.
For the tween fantasy fan:
Iron Hearted Violet: Violet is not a typical princess and this is not a typical fairytale. This is a story that has kingdoms and dragons and all of the other trappings of a typical fantasy tale, but also has a very modern sensibility and a unique take on these tried and true genre elements. Great for fans of fantasy and fairytales.
Ghost Knight: Filled with ghosts and knights as the title would suggest, this book follows a young boy as he leaves home for boarding school and discovers a ghost. It is a fun story with great characters. Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series.
I hope these suggestions help you with your holiday shopping!
Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
Official Summary: “A coming-of-age tale with a spooky twist!
Maggie McKay hardly knows what to do with herself. After an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mother and rough-housing with her older brothers, it’s time for Maggie to face the outside world, all on her own. But that means facing high school first. And it also means solving the mystery of the melancholy ghost who has silently followed Maggie throughout her entire life. Maybe it even means making a new friend—one who isn’t one of her brothers.
Funny, surprising, and tender, Friends with Boys is a pitch perfect YA graphic novel full of spooky supernatural fun.”
Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks is a quirky and fun graphic novel about Maggie, a teenage girl about to start her first year at the local public high school after having been home schooled until that point. She is understandably nervous to be starting school and is simultaneously dealing with the emotional fallout of her mother having recently run out on the family. To make matters worse, her brothers leave her to walk to school on her own on the first day and her father is the local sheriff so her only other option is to arrive at school in a squad car. To further complicate her life, she frequently sees a ghost who has started appearing to her even more often.
After years learning alone at home, Maggie is completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of students at school, but soon she finds friends in Lucy and her brother Alistair. The book follows her efforts to understand the social stratas of her high school and to confront the ghost that follows her.
Though it started out as a web comic, Friends with Boys works well as a graphic novel and tells a funny and completely relatable story of high school. As someone new to the public school system, Maggie provides a good lens though which to view the typical cliques that form in high schools. In addition to her own struggles to find her place, she also watches her brothers and Alistair who are older but are still finding or dealing with their place in the high school social order. This vantage point allows Hicks to offer memorable insights into high school (perhaps my favorite line in the book describes one character by saying: “He’ll either be a politician or a supervillian when he grows up.”)
Friends with Boys is a fun, impressively drawn, picture of high school as seen by someone who is dropped into it without an understanding of the stereotypes and traditions of a typical public high school and, as such, it is an entertaining and charming story.
Readalikes: Fans who enjoy Friends with Boys should read Anya’s Ghost, another book about a teenager who can see a ghost, or one of Hicks’ other web comics such as Demonology 101 or The Adventures of Superhero Girl.
Sumo by Thien Pham
Official Summary: “Scott is a washed-up football player who never made it, and whose girlfriend abandoned him along with his dreams of playing pro football. But things have a way of working out, in this sweet, poetic tale—and a new chapter in Scott’s life begins as the old one ends. Offered a position in a Japanese sumo training “stable,” Scott abandons his old life, his old name, and even his old hair color, and becomes an aspiring sumo wrestler. And in so doing, he begins to find some kind of center in himself…a center that had seemed lost for good.
Thien Pham, the acclaimed illustrator of Gene Luen Yang’s Level Up, returns as the writer and artist of a unique new graphic novel. Highly poetic and structured to echo the slow build and sudden clash of a sumo match, Pham’s Sumo is an unusual and beautiful book. It’s nearly a contradiction in terms: a delicate, deft, tender tale about…sumo wrestling.”
Sumo by Thien Pham tells the story of Scott, an American football player who has realized that he is never going to make it at the sport, has broken up with his girlfriend and decided to risk everything on a move to Japan to train as a sumo wrestler. The book moves between the time leading up to Scott’s departure for Japan, his time spent training at the gym and a fishing expedition he takes while in Japan. The panels for each of these strains of Scott’s life use a unique color palette that differentiates them and also contemplates Scott’s emotional state at each point in the story. At the start of the book the reader sees hints of Scott’s past life that slowly unfolds over the course of the book. Scott upends his life, leaves his friends and starts at the bottom of the totem pole at his sumo stable to work his way up the ranks as a competitive sumo wrestler. Throughout Sumo, the reader can sense that he is questioning the wisdom of his decision.
Much of the story is told through simple yet beautiful illustrations and an economy of words that leaves the reader with time to appreciate the artistry of each panel. The story is an inspirational one about the value of having enough confidence in oneself to risk big for a dream. While Sumo ends on an ambiguous note, it has a quiet power that fans of artistic graphic novels will greatly appreciate. I highly recommend this book for those interested in graphic novels, Japan or sumo wrestling.
Check it Out: Sumo will be released on December 11th and can currently be preordered.
Readalike: If you enjoy Sumo and are interested in reading more about Japan, try Japan Ai by Aimee Major-Steinberger. Alternatively, for a similar take on travel in Europe, try Carnet De Voyage by Craig Thompson.
Note: Review based on ARC from publisher.