Nimona by Noelle Stevenson Verdict: So much more than I expected, and so sweet and savage that I absolutely loved it!
Recommended: For a great example of how much story and building can be included in a graphic novel, for a story that grows in scope imperssively, for unexpectedly deep bonds and betrayals
Summary: Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
Thoughts: I found this as part of a reading challenge to read a book someone else rated five stars. And you know what? I wholeheartedly agree with that person. A surprise at it developed, I did NOT anticipate what this story would grow into. Laughter? Justice? Vengeance? Tears? It’s brilliant y’all.
Recommended: YEEESSSS For a fantastic representation of how a little goes a long way, for a dark story that also makes me laugh out loud, for characters who are a lot broken but you still like them anyway
Summary: On earth there are bad people, and then there are REALLY BAD people. If you’re one of the latter, you don’t just get sent to Hell, you get sent to Hell and get assigned a job collecting the souls of some of the worst people on Earth. Such is the career path of a young woman named Scarlet, who dies and is delivered down to the fiery underworld only to find herself in an entry level position as…The Grim Reaper!
Thoughts: I stumbled upon this comic recently and I am so glad I did! ‘Scarlet’ is the worst kind of sinner, and delays her eternity of damnation by becoming a grim reaper. But she’s got a quota to fill — one sinner killed per day. Things get hairy quick, though, when a rogue detective happens to find her immediately after she slices up her first kill. Mutual suspicion is had.
I absolutely adore the art style. It’s almost entirely in black, gray, and red, and it’s stunning. It fits the story so well, and you might be surprised by how much drama the scheme adds to it. Plus when we get a surprise pop of brights or pastels, it’s a dramatic punch in the face that lets you know something is seriously different. Beyond that, it’s just raw and gritty and scary in that unsettling way. Multitudes of eyeballs usually are. And you know what? A story about the grim reaper and killing sinners really should be a bit unsettling.
Helloooo! Even in my reading, I’m always in search of things that make me smile and laugh. Web comics are fantastic for this, particularly because they convey so much of the artists’ personality and style for the story through every aspect of the art, not just the story itself. I found one that’s been started relatively recently that I have absolutely fallen in love with.
HOLY CRAP AM I EXCITED ABOUT THIS ONE.
Synopsis: The focus is on Greek mythology, and primarily focuses on the lesser-known love story of Hades, God of the Underworld, and Persephone, Goddess of the Earth (in a life & growth kind of way). It’s totally consensual, and the original myth is actually pretty illuminating. Side plug to check out Mythos by Stephen Fry for their original story, as well as how Hades became God of the Underworld with a lot of bad luck.
The art is GORGEOUS. When you’re drawing the realm of gods, it’s pretty important that you make it look absolutely stunning. And let me tell you, sigeel (real name Linda Sejic with Katarina Devic assisting on coloring) succeeds. The skies are so so pretty. The clever framework, with spit-takes bursting the outlined boxes around the panels, are incredibly immersive, and are that extra special touch that makes it stand out.