Graphic Novels

It’s been a long time for something that I’m trying to update “regularly”. Sorry about that. I tried to get all of the Caldecott Honor books, but one of them is has become wildly popular, unexpectedly so it seems. I’ve been trying to get a copy for a while, my library system just put in its third order for the title, and multiple trips to B&N have been fruitless. I’ve also been trying to get through Trigger Warning before it’s overdue, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, it’s fantastic so far, but I need to pick up a copy for myself at some point.

Enough excuses. This post an earth shaking death(not really), an octopus(really), and some sex (kinda).

Death of Wolverine

Written by Charles Soule
Illustrated by Steve McNiven
ISBN: 9780785193517
Comic books, graphic novel, superheroes, death

Wolverine (the short, wild haired, alcoholic, Canadian, samurai, soldier, mutant, with a penchant for stabbing people) isn’t doing so well. At some point in the recent past his mutant power of healing was turned off. For some comic book reason or another. This is a problem, because he’s “the best at what he does” and what he does seems to be making enemies. Word has gotten out that he’s mostly depowered, and someone has put a astronomically high bounty on his head. So mercenaries and lowlifes around the world are coming out of the woodwork going for Wolverine. Logan decides to be proactive about finding who put out the bounty, and sets off looking. In the book you travel from Canada, to Japan through Mandipoor. You have old villains from Logan’s past show up, some are expected (Sabretooth, Viper and Lady Deathstrike). Some are pretty obscure (Lord Orgun, Cyber and Abraham Cornelius).

This is an interesting mini-series, you know what the end point is, as it’s titled The Death of Wolverine, but it’s interesting to see Soule write out the end to one of the most popular Marvel characters ever. I feel like it’s purely out there as a comic book death, one of Marvel Comics “unkillable”, pillar characters. He’s anchored his own movie franchise as well as the whole X-Men franchise at FOX. He’s been in every conceivable medium from comics, to movies, video games, cartoons, manga, t-shirts, and anything else you can think of. And now he’s dead in the both the Ultimate Marvel universe(happened a few years ago in Ultimatum) and in the prime, 616 universe. Just in time for it all to be wiped away when Secret Wars happens in a few months. He’s been a cash cow for Marvel through the 90s anti-hero surge, and in to the new Millennium, but as shock death events go, I can’t see him staying dead for long.


Walking Your Octopus: A Guide to the Domesticated Cephalopod

By Brian Kesinger

ISBN: 9781614040064

Steampunk, pets, humor

Walking Your Octopus is a tonge in cheek guide for raising your new pet, the newly popular domesticated Cephalopod. It’s a quick read, and quite entertaining (and has a good explanation of octopi vs octopuses). Each page in it’s widescreen format has a good tip for your new pet, and then on the opposite, Kesinger has a great illustration of the Victoria Prismall and her new pet Otto to accompany the suggestion.

It’s got many good recommendations for your new pet: tips on socialization (visit a dog park), ideas for activities that you can partake with your new octopus (ride bikes, go to the beach, take up music (apparently octopuses have perfect pitch)), hide and seek or how to train them (action/reward works, and octopuses like ice cream and carousels). Octopuses have many unknown talents beyond the perfect pitch, including a keen fashion sense and a sophisticated pallet.

Quite an entertaining picture book, very fun steampunk humor book.



Sex Criminals: Vol. 1, One Weird Trick

Written by Matt Fraction
Illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
ISBN: 9781607069461
Graphic novel, space and time, science fiction

This is a weird book. Well written, good characters, great coloring and art style, but boy is the concept out there.

Suzie is a librarian. When she has sex, time stops. Not a metaphor. Literally. Growing up with this happening makes an awkward childhood that much more so. Eventually she meets Jon, an actor at a party. They hit it off, and one thing leads to another and then she discovers that he can do the same post-coital time stop. Then it gets weird. They decide to use this power for good.

Just kidding. How bizarre would that be.

They decide to rob banks. But for a good-ish purpose. Her library is being foreclosed on by the soulless bank that he works for. So they are trying to do the right thing.

Then it gets weird.

There are other people who can stop time. They have costumes, code-names and secret identities. They want to stop Suzie and Jon.

It’s fantastically written, Matt Fraction is a great writer as always, coming off his great runs of Invincible Iron Man and Hawkeye. It seems that he decided to do something as far from that as possible, and he has succeeded. I’d never seen Zdarsky’s art before, but it works, all of the “sexual content” is tasteful and more awkward/funny then titillating. It has been nominated for several Eisner Awards for best ongoing series, and it looks like the series has been optioned for an ongoing TV series.


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