Graphic novels aren’t the typical books I read. I used to read a fair amount of comics when I was younger, mostly because Kris was really into them.
I’ve always wanted to read more graphic novels, but I rarely do because they’re more on the expensive side and they never take me too long to read. So, I always end up getting novels than graphic novels.
But I love a good one every now and then and, as you all know, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately.
The other day Kris and I went to the bookstore and she was in the mood to buy. And when I say buy, I mean buy a lot. Then again, I also had $50 in gift cards so we went a little nuts.
There are always a lot of graphic novels I want to buy whenever we go to the bookstore. There are a ton of series I want to read, most being superheroes that I don’t know where to start since there are so many different versions.
So, what exactly did we buy?
We ended up buying four manga books and two graphic novels. We bought the third volume of Archie, the first volume of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the first and second volumes of the original Pokemon manga, volume one of Ninja Turtles Universe, and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords (which is technically the fifth volume).
I also wanted to get the first volume of Ouran High School Host Club and Fruits Basket, but we figured we’d stop at $100. We could have gone on and on and on… We could have gotten Batman, Wonder Woman, Justice League, etc. The list goes on.
I think reading these will help me get out of a slump and get me back into reading great stories again. I can’t wait to give them a shot and buy the next volumes in all the series.
Do you typically read graphic novels? How do you get out of a reading slump? Let me know in the comments below!
Title: Archie, Vol. 1: The New Riverdale Author: Mark Waid, Fiona Staples (illustrations), Annie Wu (illustrator), Veronica Fish (illustrator)
Published: March 2016 by Archie Comics Genre: Graphic Novel How I got the book: I borrowed it from my sister
America’s Favorite Teenager, Archie Andrews, is reborn in the pages of this must-have graphic novel collecting the first six issues of the comic book series that everyone is talking about. Meet Riverdale High teen Archie, his oddball, food-loving best friend Jughead, girl-next-door Betty and well-to-do snob Veronica Lodge as they embark on a modern reimagining of the beloved Archie world. It’s all here: the love triangle, friendship, humor, charm and lots of fun – but with a decidedly modern twist.
Kris used to have a subscription to the Archie comics for as long as I can remember. She’d get Archie, Betty & Veronica, Jughead, pretty much all of them. There are two drawers in my bedroom filled with all the Archie comics (mixed in with some superheroes and Looney Toons, I believe). She used to read them to me when I was still learning how to read and with this new artwork and storyline, we were both intrigued.
Volume 1 has six issues inside that all continue the same overall plot. Archie and Betty have broken up due to some “lipstick incident” after being together for practically their entire lives. Then rich girl Veronica moves to Riverdale and Archie falls head over heels in love.
It’s not until issue four when we find out what exactly broke Archie and Betty up. Still, the premise is that they miss each other, they miss being friends even though Betty moves on and Archie follows Veronica around like a puppy.
Most of the kids at their school scheme to get them back together, but Betty and Archie want nothing to do with it. Archie is more concerned about not being clumsy so he can keep a job all the while trying to impress Veronica’s father.
But then at the end, Reggie, the school bully, steps in to impress Veronica’s father even more.
Personality and characteristics wise, all the characters have pretty much stayed true to themselves. I’ve missed reading the Archie comics and reading these updated characters brought me right back to the olden days when I used to read them with my sister.
Archie, being the main character, is also the narrator. He talks to the reader knowing he’s telling a story. He’s an overall good guy, gives just enough back ground information, and is too clumsy for his own good. I absolutely love his character and he is ridiculously funny.
Betty is her tomboy self and Veronica is her rich-girl self. In this first volume they never actually met one another and Betty would watch Archie with her from afar.
Reggie is his normal bully-like self and then there’s Jughead. Jughead is one of my favorite characters. He witnesses all and as Archie’s best friend, he helps him out no matter what. Still, he acts as though he’s on nobody’s side but his own.
Volume 1 is made up of six comic issues, each one being broken up into three short “chapters.” At about 200 pages and being a graphic novel, this is a fairly quick read.
The script is funny and engaging the whole time and the illustrations are beautiful and incredibly detailed.
I love a good graphic novel every now and then and reading Archie brought me back to my childhood. If you were a fan of the Archie comics back then, you won’t be disappointed by this newest version.
Archie, Vol. 1: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid gets… 5 out of 5 stars
“You are who you are. Not what people think you are. Be straight. Be weird. Be whatever. Just be what you wanna be.” –Mark Waid, Archie, Vol. 1: The New Riverdale
The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. On the heels of their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name. Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs. With penetrating insight, she reveals not only the defining power of the names and expectations bestowed upon us by our parents, but also the means by which we slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define ourselves.
The Namesake is a coming of age novel about a young boy named Gogol. From being a young boy through his young adult life, he hated the name Gogol and was always embarrassed by his name. He didn’t like telling people his actual name so he would lie. When he finally turned 18, he changed his name to Nikhil with both his parents’ blessings.
Despite that, his parents continued to call hi Gogol–so did the narration.
It isn’t until halfway through the book where we–and Gogol–discover who he was named after and why. It is a touching father and son moment in which Gogol feels guilty, but he still doesn’t regret his decision to change his name.
Through long narration and very little dialogue, we go through Gogol’s life from birth to adulthood. We follow him as Gogol and as Nikhil as we learn more about him and he learns about himself.
Overall, it was a good story about a young boy finding himself and trying to figure out who he is. However, I felt as though there was a lot more to the story that wasn’t necessarily needed. Because of that, the book was boring to me. It was a quick-read, but felt extremely tedious.
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri gets 3 out of 5 stars.
“She has the gift of accepting her life; as he comes to know her, he realizes that she has never wished she were anyone other than herself, raised in any other place, in any other way.” –Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake
Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role-playing game where she spends most of her free time. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends.
But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer–a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake.
In Real Life is a graphic novel told through a young girl playing an online role-playing game. We follow her character both inside the game and outside. Through the game, she discovers that real life can be a harsh world.
It’s through the video game that Anda, the protagonist, realizes that she wants to make a difference in the world. She wants to help people–even if it’s through a video game.
I’m pleased that the story is a graphic novel. The pictures certainly help piece together the differences between reality and virtual reality. It’s awesome to see the main character in real life and her avatar in-game. She has two different personalities that end up merging into one.
It was a wonderful story about a girl gamer doing what she loves to do and not letting anyone stop her.
My only complaint for this was that it was too short–I would have liked to see more of the story. However, it is a graphic novel, so you can only go so far with it.
In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang gets 4 out of 5 stars.
“It is not gender, nor age, nor race, but your ability to work hard at what you love.” –Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang, In Real Life