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Showing posts with label GraphicNovel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GraphicNovel. Show all posts

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

The Mission of Joan of Arc Issue 1 - Philip Kosloski, Alexandre Nascimento and Jesse Hansen

The Mission of Joan of Arc
Issue 1
Philip Kosloski
Alexandre Nascimento (Illustrator)
Jesse Hansen (Illustrator)
Voyage Comics & Publishing
ISBN 9780578578606
ASIN B07XZMTRNF


Over the years I have read a lot about the maid of Orléans. At one of the church collages at the university I attended there was an entire course offered as both Religious Studies and English Literature on books about Joan of Arc. Unfortunately, the course never fir my schedule, but I did get the syllabus from the professor one year and read through much of it. So the story hand how Kosloski and crew would handle it was of much interest to me. I have been very impressed with Kosloski’s nonfiction works, and have been enjoying the stories he is bringing to life through the comic book format. I will admit I am not much of a comic book or even that much of a graphic novel guy. I have a few authors who have done cross overs that I have enjoyed. And a few stories I have followed. I know I will pick up the other offerings in this story line as they come available.

This first installment in the story follows Joan from a young age as a simple peasant girl. Through her calling by the Archangel Michael, to the battle to reclaim Orleans. The story is well told. But the artwork is more hit or miss for me. Some of the artwork I love. And some just does not work for me. The frames with oversized mouths and teeth are in a style that does not appeal to me. But some of the other pages and frames are stunning. The overall story is well executed between the text, the lettering and the artwork.

A good beginning in what looks like it will be a fun comic book run. Looking forward to the next installment.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!
 




Books by Philip Kosloski:
Basic Field Manual for Hearing God's Voice
3 Methods of Prayer That Will Change Your Life
In the Footsteps of a Saint: John Paul II's Visit to Wisconsin
Star of the Sea: A Mariner's Journey
A Practical Guide to Discern God's Will
Serviam: A Practical Guide to Discerning God's Will
Distractions: A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Stay Focused During Prayer
The Horarium: A Simple Guide to Creating a Daily Prayer Schedule That Will Change Your Life
The Last Monks of Skellig Michael

The Tale of Patrick Peyton
...

Finnian and the Seven Mountains:
Issue 1
Issue 2
Issue 3
...

The Mission of Joan of Arc:
Issue 1
...











Tuesday, 7 January 2020

The PLAIN Janes - Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg - 3 in 1 Edition

The Plain Janes
Janes 1-3
Cecil Castellucci (Author)
Jim Rugg (Illustrator)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN 9780316522724 HC
ISBN 9780316522816 PB
eISBN 9780316522748
ASIN B07RFL4HR7


This is a book nearly a decade in the making. Cecil and Jim collaborated on the first two Janes stores in 2007 and 2008. And had a third planned. And it never happened. I interviewed Cecil in 2010 and the working title of a third story at that point was Janes Go Summer. In this finally released three in one edition the title of the third instalment is Janes Attack Back. So the sections in this volume are:

The PLAIN Janes
Janes in Love
Janes Attack Back.

The first two were previously release as single volumes and were done with color coves and the artwork was black and white and grey-scale. In this edition each of the three stories are in a different monochromatic scale. Part 1 is blue, part 2 is fuchsia and part three is green. And this new edition is being simultaneously release in hard cover, paperback and digitally. I went back and check my reading log and I have read both of the first two volumes 10 times. I reread them nearly once a year since I discovered them. And now I will likely be reading this new edition annually. When this book arrived I read it immediately. And it did not disappoint. And I have already started reading it a second time with my oldest daughter who is 13. I can’t wait to find out what she thinks of the Janes.

The Janes are:
Jane - DramaticJane
Jayne - BrainJayne
Polly Jane - SportyJane
Jane - MainJane

Part I: The PLAIN Janes

The story is set shortly after 9/11 and features a girl, Jane, who was near one of the blasts. Her whole life is turned upside down. He parents move her to a small town. Her mother is not getting better from the shock of 9/11; she is getting more frightened, and protective and a little paranoid. Jane was popular and in the 'in crowd' at her old school in the city. Here she decided to make conscious changes; she joins the outcast, a group of Plain Janes. And they use Art as therapy and as a way of understanding themselves and the world around them. 

Part II: Janes in Love

MainJane is still dealing with the aftermath of being near ground zero of a terrorist attack. She is getting better but her mother is getting worse. All of Janes' art is an attempt to bring her mother back out of her shell. The Janes get in trouble for their public art. But decide to try and work with the system. This one does go into greater depth about relationships and overcoming adversity.

Part III Janes Attack Back

This story starts with the girls doing art installations in the park. They want to expand to more public spaces but the city threatens to take even the park they have. So then compromise. This causes them to start losing focus and the edge to their art. Then each of them ends up going a different way for the summer. When they come back MainJane hopes her renewed passion is carried by the group, but that at first does not seem to be the case. They are preparing for university the next year. And life is busier than ever. A New girl at school really clashes with MainJane even though she is an artist. They are very different in their styles and approach. But they end up feeding off each other and inspiring each other. And in the end it comes down to a showdown with the city of the art space, and keeping it around for others to take over.

In this edition you get not only three complete incredible stories you get a whole lot more. There is a wonderful forward by Mariko Tamaki. Between part 1 and 2 there is original concept art for Main Jane. Between parts 2 and 3 there is a section called ‘The Evolution of a Graphic Novel’  with a full page to each of the four steps. Then we are treated to original cover sketches, and 8 evolutions of cover options. And the book ends with other artists renditions of the Janes including: Joshua Middleton, Sophie Campbell, Becky Cloonan, Cliff Chiang, Tom Scioli and Philip Bond.

When I reviewed the first one 10 years ago I stated: “The story is great. It has a message every high school student and maybe every adult could learn from. It is incredibly well written and Jim Rugg did an amazing job illustrating the story. I have a feeling this will become one of those books I read annually because there will be more I can get from it each time I read it.” It has proved true and I am sure will be even more so with this third instalment added. I would love to see what happens to the Janes in University, or even after. But to finally have the third Janes story is a blessing and a treasure. If you have read either of the others you must pick up this to find out how the story continues. And if you have not it is an incredible read. 

Books by Cecil Castellucci:
Boy Proof (2005)
The Queen of Cool (2006)

Beige (2007)
The P.L.A.I.N. Janes (2007)

Janes in Love (2008)
Geektastic (Editor & Contributor 2009)
Rose Sees Red (2010)
Grandma's Gloves (2010)

First Day On Earth (2011)

Odd Duck (2013)
Tin Star (2014)

Stone in the Sky (2015)
The Plain Janes 3 in 1 (2020)
...

Music By Cecil Castellucci
Twist Her - Nerdy Girl (1996)
Whoever - Cecil Seaskull (1998)

...

A Visual Bibliography for Cecil Castellucci
Author profile interview with Cecil Castellucci






Friday, 20 December 2019

The Tale of Patrick Peyton - Philip Kosloski, Jim Fern, Michael Lavoy, and Willy Raymond C.S.C.

The Tale of Patrick Peyton
Philip Kosloski
Jim Fern (Illustrator)
Michael Lavoy (Illustrator)
Willy Raymond C.S.C.
Holy Cross Family Ministries
Voyage Comics & Publishing
ISBN 9780578571027
ASIN B07ZRZWFGC


I am not much of a comic or even that much of a graphic novel guy. But this one really grabbed my attention. I knew the name of Father Patrick Peyton but really did not know about his story. And this book was every eye opening. This book has been a real challenge to me, and I have added other books by and about Father Peyton to my wish list. And it all started with this little volume.

The life of Father Peyton presented in this book is incredible. Follow him from his time as a young boy dreaming of being a priest. Being turned down by ever order in Ireland. Coming to America with his brother to make his fortune. To returning to that original dream of the priesthood. He miraculously overcame tuberculous. And he lived to spread devotion to Mary and the Rosary.

The work that he did first developing radio programs for the family rosary. Then developing television and movies to support the ministry. Some of the stars and media personalities that he got to work with the ministry. And His traveling the world to teach the importance of the Rosary. No matter what the station of life. Parents, families, prisoners, the elderly. He believed everyone could pray the rosary. And that it was important for them to be doing so for themselves, for their country, and for the whole world. 

The story itself is incredible. And the illustrations are wonderfully done and really add to the story. There is a wide variety of page layouts, and designs used. And it makes it an excellent story. I have read this and reread it with my son. And I will look for other biographies from Kosloski and Voyage Comics & Publishing. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!
 





Books by Philip Kosloski:
Basic Field Manual for Hearing God's Voice
3 Methods of Prayer That Will Change Your Life
In the Footsteps of a Saint: John Paul II's Visit to Wisconsin
Star of the Sea: A Mariner's Journey
A Practical Guide to Discern God's Will
Serviam: A Practical Guide to Discerning God's Will
Distractions: A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Stay Focused During Prayer
The Horarium: A Simple Guide to Creating a Daily Prayer Schedule That Will Change Your Life
The Last Monks of Skellig Michael

The Tale of Patrick Peyton
...

Finnian and the Seven Mountains:
Issue 1
Issue 2
...

The Mission of Joan of Arc:
Issue 1
...











Thursday, 3 October 2019

Finnian and the Seven Mountains Issue 2 - Philip Kosloski and Michael Lavoy

Finnian and the Seven Mountains Issue 2 
Philip Kosloski
Michael Lavoy (Illustrator)
Jaymes Reed (Lettering)
ISBN 9780578533520 
ASIN B07TM3KFP2


These days I am not much of a comic book guy. Sure, when I was younger there were certain comics or authors I followed. But I have seldom bought physical comics in the last several years, and even less often bought electronic copies. Those I have bought have been because of authors I love. Typically, I would rather wait for the graphic novel compilation of the run. There are only two exceptions in recent history. This series and Cecil Castellucci’s Shade the Changing Girl. And the wait of almost a year for this volume 2 was hard, I often wondered if it would see the light of day. If it had not it would have been a pity for the story is wonderfully written and excellently illustrated. 

Having read and loved Philip Kosloski’s The Last Monks of Skellig Michael, and also Issue 1, I was already familiar with the setting of this story, and it’s ties to the latest Star Wars movies. Over the last year I have also read numerous books by Alice Curtayne including a few collections of stories about Irish Saints. Thus, making the setting, characters and events, in this story are even more familiar. Any yet even with that familiarity it is great to see this story come to life in a new format.

Again in this issue Philip Kosloski does a great job with the story, and Michael Lavoy does an excellent job with the illustrations. And this time Jaymes Reed does the lettering. The text is easy to follow, and the illustrations done with a bright vibrant pallet. It is interesting that based on the art and the story Brandon is portrayed or appears older and more mature than Finnian, when historically Brandon was about 15 years younger. But based on the variation on the tale and the typing it to a Lord of the Rings ethos it makes sense for the age change.

I have read this story through twice now, once by myself and once with my son. He loved the illustrations, but was hoping for another full page picture of Saint Michael. At 11 years old he is still determined to become a priest, he was familiar with both Brandon and Finnian from other books we have read this year. But the introduction of Merewyn was new to him.

This story is based on legends about Skellig Michael, and tales of historic Saints. It will bring to life, in a new way, saintly men who many might be unfamiliar with. And even if the reader is familiar with the stories to see it rather than just read it. I know my son would prefer a physical copy, but I am a devotee of the electronic format. It is a great second installment and we look forward to the continuing story. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!
 



Books by Philip Kosloski:
Basic Field Manual for Hearing God's Voice
3 Methods of Prayer That Will Change Your Life
In the Footsteps of a Saint: John Paul II's Visit to Wisconsin
Star of the Sea: A Mariner's Journey
A Practical Guide to Discern God's Will
Serviam: A Practical Guide to Discerning God's Will
Distractions: A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Stay Focused During Prayer
The Horarium: A Simple Guide to Creating a Daily Prayer Schedule That Will Change Your Life
The Last Monks of Skellig Michael

The Tale of Patrick Peyton
...

Finnian and the Seven Mountains:
Issue 1
Issue 2
...

The Mission of Joan of Arc:
Issue 1
...










Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Finnian and the Seven Mountains Issue 1 - Philip Kosloski and Michael Lavoy

Finnian and the Seven Mountains Issue 1 
Philip Kosloski
Philip A. Kosloski

Michael Lavoy (Illustrator)
ASIN B07GD9G6HS
ASIN B07G8DPY8V


I need to state two things at the beginning of this review. First is has been over 20 years since I have purchases a serialized comic as each issue came out. I tried last year when Cecil Castellucci’s Shade the Changing Girl Came out, but just find it hard to get into a weekly serial. If I am reading this format, I prefer the anthology format, or compiled graphic novel versions of story arcs. I am pretty sure the last comic I picked up an entire series for was Frank Miller’s Batman Year 1 that came out in 1987. But if the other volumes in this series are as good the counter on that might just reset.

Having read and loved Philip Kosloski’s The Last Monks of Skellig Michael, I was already familiar with the setting of this story, and it’s ties to the latest Star Wars movies. Over the last year I have also read numerous books by Alice Curtayne including a few collections of stories about Irish Saints. So the setting, characters and events, in this story are even more familiar. As such it is great to see this story come to life in a new format.

Philip Kosloski does a great job with the story, and Michael Lavoy does an excellent job with the illustrations and the lettering. The text is easy to follow, and the illustrations done with a bright vibrant pallet. It is interesting that based on the art and the story Brandon is portrayed or appears older and more mature than Finnian, when historically Brandon was about 15 years younger. 

I have read through this story twice now, once by myself and once with my son. He loved the illustrations, especially of Saint Michael the Archangel, he also asked a lot of questions about the Star Wars link. At 10 years old and determined to become a priest, he was familiar with both Brandon and Finnian from other books we have read this year.

This story is based on legends about Skellig Michael, and tales of historic Saints. It will bring to life, in a new way, saintly men who many might be unfamiliar with. And even if the reader is familiar with the stories to see it rather than just read it. I know my son would prefer a physical copy, but I am a devotee of the electronic format. It is a great beginning and we look forward to the continuing story. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!
 



Books by Philip Kosloski:
Basic Field Manual for Hearing God's Voice
3 Methods of Prayer That Will Change Your Life
In the Footsteps of a Saint: John Paul II's Visit to Wisconsin
Star of the Sea: A Mariner's Journey
A Practical Guide to Discern God's Will
Serviam: A Practical Guide to Discerning God's Will
Distractions: A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Stay Focused During Prayer
The Horarium: A Simple Guide to Creating a Daily Prayer Schedule That Will Change Your Life
The Last Monks of Skellig Michael

The Tale of Patrick Peyton
...

Finnian and the Seven Mountains:
Issue 1
Issue 2
...

The Mission of Joan of Arc:
Issue 1
...