Friday, May 29, 2015

Graphic Novel Mini-reviews #33

Chew: International Flavor (Volume 2)

Written by: John Layman; illustrated by: Rob Guillory

Published: 2014

My Thoughts: I read the first volume of Chew aaaaaaages ago, but I never got around to buying the second volume. God knows why because these comics are side-achingly funny. To recap a bit, Tony Chu is a cop who is cibopathic - meaning that he can get the "history" of something by tasting it. Yes that means he can tell whether that black market chicken soup is made with real chicken, yes that means he also takes the occasional bite out of a dead person. It makes for some disgusting moments (especially when you factor in a boss who hates him) but they're always hilarious. In this volume Tony finds himself on a little island renowned for its lax chicken laws, something which attracts everyone from his chicken-chef brother and a host of tourists and chefs to the island. But it turns out the chicken isn't actually chicken, and perhaps some of the chefs aren't here of their own volition. Throw in a vampire, a bionic partner, a host of cibopathic-style specialties and you've got the best cop comic written about illegal chicken ever. EVER.

Thor: Goddess of Thunder (volume 1)

Written by: Jason Aaron; illustrated by: Russell Dauterman

Published: 2015

My Thoughts: Lady Thor!! YES! I put off reading this run until the first volume came out because I instinctively knew that it'd be one that would make me sad if I couldn't just read through a big chunk of it. Basically, male Thor has become unworthy of wielding Mjolnir and a secret female has picked it up and been transformed into the female incarnation of Thor. Who she is out of Asgardian armour we don't know (yet) but what we do know is that she knows male Thor to some degree. There's a really interesting discussion about what makes a person Thor, is it a mantle that can be adopted by whoever holds Mjolnir or is it intrinsically tied to the man who originally held that name. And are you worthy of the name just because you can hold the hammer, or does the name hold another measure of worthiness? The comic subtly plays with male vs female expectations within the comics world, weaving it into the broader story while never making it the story. I'm not familar with Russell Dauterman's other work, but his illustrations in this volume (all but one issue) are really evocative and beautiful. 

Cat Person

Written and illustrated by: Seo Kim

Published: 2014

My thoughts: A few weeks ago Tom and I headed down to the Gold Coast to attend the final weekend of their film festival. We had some time to spare before seeing a movie, so we ended up popping into a library and having some reading down time. I picked up Cat Person because, duh. OF COURSE I picked up a book that was clearly written for me. It's a short collection of 1-4 panel comics created by Seo Kim. In direct contradiction to the title, the cat comics are only actually a small part of the book. The comics are broken into 4 autobiographical sections about her love life, her cat (I want to say Jimmy?) and her life as an illustrator. It's really cute and relateable, but it's probably not made to be read front to back in one sitting like I did. It's the kind of book that you flick through and read a couple of comics every now and then.


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