Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Short booknotes on graphic novels 23

For this compilation, I found some volumes of Garfield in my local public library, so I went on a bit of a reading binge. I also have a couple of small Star Wars titles, which also come from my local public library. The TMNT title came from my college library.

Jim Davis, Garfield Takes His Licks. New York: Ballantine Books, 2012. ISBN: 9780345525871.

This is a re-issue edition of the 24th collection; the original was published in 1993. Like other collections, it is entertaining and witty. We get Garfield being funny as he kicks Odie off the table or "does" lunch with Jon's goldfish.  Though by now these strips are older, they still hold  up very well. 4 out of 5 stars.

Jim Davis, Garfield Will Eat for Food. New York: Ballantine Books, 2009. ISBN: 9780345491763.

Moving a bit further ahead, this is the 48th collection. Jon continues on his dating misadventures, but the breakthrough finally happens. Jon gets kissed by Liz the veterinarian, who as it turns out, well Jon has grown on her. The whole scene in the restaurant is quite amusing. As for Garfield, he is just as surprised. 4 out of 5 stars.

Jim Davis, Garfield Souped Up. New York: Ballantine Books, 2014. ISBN: 9780345545633.

The fun continues in the 57th collection of the series. For me, these books are a comfort read. When I need a few smiles, a laugh or two, and just to be amused, these books are a good option. In this volume, among other things, Garfield has to put up with Mrs. Feeny, who is not too keen of him messing in her yard. Also, he keeps making friends with the mice, and while this is not new, it certainly is amusing. Mouse catching is for other less lazy cats. 4 out of 5 stars.

Jim Davis, Garfield Goes to His Happy Place. New York: Ballantine Books, 2014. ISBN: 9780345526021.

For the most part, the happy place is any place with food in it. Jon continues dating Liz, which is a nice touch, and I hope the author keeps it down the road. This volume had a lot of Christmas season comic strips, so it was a nice read to get me warmed up for the holidays. This is the 58th collection in the series. 4 out of 5 stars.

Jim Davis, Garfield Left Speechless: Comics without Words. New York: Ballantine Books, 2012. ISBN: 9780345530585.

This one is a little different. It is basically the comic strip without words. It is a selection of Garfield comic strips that have a lot of visual elements. Basically, you get strips that are good without words because the visual gags and jokes are perfectly clear. According to the book description, this is a great book for kids who cannot read yet, and I have to agree. For those younger kids, this is a nice alternative to many of those other books for children who can't read yet that are not very substantial. Those kids can feel they are reading a "big people" book. Plus, us "big people" can still have some fun as well. In the end, it's fun for all ages. 4 out of 5 stars.

Jeremy Barlow,, Star Wars, The Clone Wars: The Colossus of Destiny. Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse, 2010. ISBN: 9781595824165.

This is part of their series for young readers. The art is much more simple and basic, sometimes lacking in detail. Overall, the art works. The story is that Mace Windu travels to Simocadia to prevent the planet from falling into the hands of the Separatists. He has a long friendship with the people there, a friendship that will be severely tested as the rulers resist getting help from the Republic, and instead move to awaken the Ardana Shadex, an ancient mechanized giant that could make things worse. This was a light and quick read. Definitely a good one for children who are fans of Star Wars. 3 out of 5 stars.

Mike W. Barr,, Star Wars, The Clone Wars: The Starcrusher Trap. Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse, 2011. ISBN: 9781595828316.

From the book description: "In The Starcrusher Trap, the Separatists unleash a terrifying new weapon on Republic-held systems - an enormous starship, the Starcrusher, is destroying every ship sent against it! Yoda agrees to a risky plan to stop the Starcrusher, and assembles a Jedi strike force that includes Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, and Ki-Adi-Mundi. Too late, the Jedi realize that the Starcrusher mission has become a trap - one specifically designed to kill Jedi!" I found this one a bit better than the previous book reviewed above. I think it caught the feel of the animated series it draws from a bit better in terms of story and art. Again, a very good selection for young readers. 4 out of 5 stars.

Kevin B. Eastman and Peter Laird, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection, Volume 2. San Diego, CA; IDW, 2011. ISBN: 9781613770887.

Some of what I said about the first volume of this series in terms of overall series quality applies here.This volume collects more of the early work by Eastman and Laird. It is black and white with some color covers. As before, the oversized format makes for a great reading experience. This volume collects issues 8-11 of the Mirage Studios run plus three micro-series one-shots (one each for Michelangelo, Donatello, and Leonardo; Raphael's one-shot was featured in volume 1). It also has excellent annotations from the authors after each issue, which make for a great bonus. If you enjoy learning how the comics were crafted, the annotations are a great read. A must have for fans. 5 out 5 stars.

These books qualify for the following 2015 Reading Challenges:

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