by Noelle Stevenson
Reviewed by SA

Yes, I know, I’m breaking this blog’s trend a bit by talking about ANOTHER graphic novel (and not a recent one, or one about to come out!). But it’s for good reason. This amazing book came out last year, though I’ve only now gotten a chance to read it and review it. Because I have to say, it is epic in so many ways. So strap in – we’re going to talk about Nimona.


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.

What first attracted me to this book was the promise of “Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism!” which are all things I love. I have a love of villains and novels thereof, and being a scientist in training, seeing them all come together with dragons is like christmas. I even bought a hardcover: I’m so glad I did, I will love this book forever.

When you start off the novel, it seems as though Nimona will only be the sidekick, a character for us to follow the story through. But as the story progresses, you can see she is much, much more than that. Her story is deeper than you would expect, and she’s more dangerous than the cheerful beginning would suggest. There is something dark to her… something that urges you to keep reading and know more. But this blog is spoiler free, so you have to pick it up to read it!

The world itself is amazing: while it appears to take place in medieval times, there is a firm knowledge of science, which is fundamental to the plot. The villain combines traits of both a knight and a scientist, which I now realize I want to be when I grow up. Lord Blackheart is awesome, smart, has an evil backstroy, but he also follows a set of morals, which is great to see in his kind of character. Magic is also seen as not so unusual in their world, so magic and science come together on a day to day basis.

While the novel follows the usual super villain tropes, it does so to perfection, both to poke fun and to add to the genre. It makes this book an incredibly fun read. I found myself laughing at some point, and then gripping the novel in anticipation as it threw me a curveball. I did not see that ending coming, and was swept off my feet.

So if you’re a fan of science, magic, knights, dragons, and super villains, you will love love love this graphic novel. Enjoy!


by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Reviewed by SA

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a graphic novel on here, so I thought I’d try something a little different. I bought Seconds during a stress-induced shopping splurge as I crammed for my finals, and I am so excited to have this awesome book on my shelf. It’s gorgeous, the story is great, and I’m sure to read it again and again.


Katie’s got it pretty good. She’s a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one. Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt. And just like that, Katie’s life goes from pretty good to not so much. What she needs is a second chance. Everybody deserves one, after all—but they don’t come easy. Luckily for Katie, a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with simple instructions for a do-it-yourself do-over:

1. Write your mistake
2. Ingest one mushroom
3. Go to sleep
4. Wake anew

And just like that, all the bad stuff never happened, and Katie is given another chance to get things right. She’s also got a dresser drawer full of magical mushrooms—and an irresistible urge to make her life not just good, but perfect. Too bad it’s against the rules. But Katie doesn’t care about the rules—and she’s about to discover the unintended consequences of the best intentions.

I’m a huge fan of the Scott Pilgrim novels – I’m dying to get myself that lovely boxed set, but my wallet sobs at the thought – so when I saw the author had written a new novel, I hopped on it. Admittedly, I’m late to the party – it came out way back in 2014 – but I only just saw it in a french book store, so come on, I’m just happy to read it.

Just like with Scott pilgrim, there’s something special about this graphic novel. First of all, the artwork is both fun, and fantastic: the style is really unique. It goes from being down to earth to really whimsical, to really dark. It’s something I’d like to be able to do with art. I’ll even say this whole book is a work of art in its own right.

It’s good fantasy: the story starts with something seemingly lighthearted – you get to fix your life by redos, who doesn’t want that? – before they go out of control, and the story tips into the really, really dark. And I mean scary.

But I’m a sucker for a good alternate timeline story. The more Katie’s redos extend back in time, the more changes sink into the present – until everything starts to unravel. It’s clever, and done in a way I’ve never seen before in a story like this. From small to very major changes, everything is different.

The story follows this kind of tale-like quality I haven’t seen in ages. A kind of moralizing, growth driven story with magic. Katie turns out to be really selfish, and her selfishness starts to derail the universe. There’s a good lesson for all of us at the end of the story, and it’s not delivered in any kind of preachy way. In a way, it’s a bit of a modern fairy tale.

I fully recommend this to people who want a warm welcome to graphic novels (this book will get you hooked), who want standalone stories and relatable fantasy. I think fans of Neil Gaiman will like this story in particular; and people who liked the Scott Pilgrim vs the World movie will definitely have a lot to love. If you’re all of the above, then this book needs to be in your hands right now.


Poorly Drawn Lines

by Reza Farazmand

Reviewed by SA

A short and sweet review brought to you by an overworked Astrophysics student! When I’m stressed and mad at the amount of work I need to do for fluid dynamics, or electromagnetism, I tend to procrastinate… a lot. This leads me to the internet, and, inevitably, to A fantastic webcomic I am sure you must have seen at least once on your own internet wanderings. It’s funny, it’s unusual, and now, it’s also a book.


A bear flies through space. A hamster suffers a breakdown. Elsewhere, a garden snake is arrested by animal control and jailed for home invasion, while a child marvels at the wonder of nature as worms emerge from the ground and begin looking for vodka (as they always have). These are common occurrences in the world of Reza Farazmand’s wildly popular webcomic, Poorly Drawn Lines. Traveling from deep space to alternate realities to the bottom of the ocean, this eponymous collection brings together fan favorites with new comics and original essays to share Farazmand’s inimitable take on love, nature, social acceptance, and robots.

Grab this book as soon as you can! If you’re a fan of Poorly Drawn Lines, the comic that somehow keeps showing up in the strangest places on the internet and making you laugh no matter what, then you’re going to love this version that you can actually hold in your hands. It’s funny, thought provoking, and over all, incredibly fun. If you’ve never read Poorly Drawn Lines before, this book is a great place to get you started. You can also find the author’s blog, which is chock full of the awesome comics.

Whether you’re a die hard fan, or completely unaware of what you’ve gotten yourself into, the book is perfect for anyone. It compiles some of the best comics, as well as some completely next ones I had never seen before, and some short essays/stories which can be funny or smart, or both. It is a book you will surely enjoy.

While the book comes out next week, October 6th, you can already get excited by reading up on some old favorites, right here at

I have a personal soft spot for the astronaut ones.

The Story of My Tits

by Jennifer Hayden

Reviewed by SA

Fans of this blog may notice that this book is a little out of the ordinary. Not only does it deal with a serious issue, it also doesn’t come out for a while, not until the end of September. But I wanted to talk about it now, to push people towards it.

I wanted to read something new: a graphic novel, sure, but also a true story about something incredibly serious. Breast cancer is something that will affect 1 in every 8 women (in the US); and for women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer. I wanted to read a first hand experience about dealing with this disease, and The Story of My Tits may be one of the most interesting and honest graphic novel I ever picked up.


Jennifer Hayden has had her ups and downs with her breasts: they weren’t always there for her, in many ways. Growing up flat chested and only blossoming while in college, she has a definite connection with her tits. But the usual family drama unfortunately is undermined by a cruel visitor: cancer. Three women, all diagnosed with cancer, fighting to survive. Not to mention the divorces, the mistresses, relationship issues with boyfriends, husbands and parents.  Jennifer’s relationship with her tits slowly grows, matures, and changes completely, as she realizes just how much of a story they have to tell.

This book is very different from the ones we review on this blog. For starters, it is a memoir. It’s also a graphic novel, and a book about breast cancer. But it’s so unique, it is definitely worth the read, and a bit of contemplation. It’s a book that made me think, and really talked to me on a personal level, woman to woman. It made me grateful for the body I have, and aware that it may not always be there for me. It’s life affirming, empowering.

The story itself seemed a little long at times, as a whole lifetime is captured. Some events seemed somewhat irrelevant to the story as a whole, but it is a life that is being conveyed, so each part must matter to the author. It is how Hayden has chosen to tell her story, so I listened. And so should you.

What struck me was how honest and unashamed she was. The story really got to me because the author didn’t seem to hold back. Every thought, every fear was shared: fears for her family, her mother, her mother in law, herself. She speaks of what helped her through the worst, be it the support around her, or finding her own ‘goddess’ to bring her through the bad. It was like listening to a personal friend tell you everything about her experience with cancer. It really was eye opening.

The artwork really added to the essence of the novel: the author drew her experience for us to comprehend it better, which really helps create that author-reader connection. She’s a surrealist grappling with reality, with the sharp reality of cancer: as of such, her artwork reflects that, sometimes veering into the fantastic. This is how the author interprets her situation, and she takes you on a real journey with her.

In the end, it made me thankful for the tits I have. The odds of me or someone I know developing breast cancer as not in my favor, and this book reminds to me treasure my body, and my friends, and be thankful for the present. I feel like it’s required reading for people with tits: you never know how good you have it until this huge part of you is gone.

It’s sweet, sarcastic, skeptical, and honest. Well worth the read. The Story of My Tits comes out on September 29th.


by Si Spencer 

Review by KM

It isn’t often that I’m able to review comics or graphic novels and it’s always a nice change when I am. The cover of this miniseries, all compacted into one book, is so eye-catching that I couldn’t pass it up. I will say, though, if you have an option to get either the physical form or the digital, go with the physical book. There is just something entrancing about reading a graphic novel or comic in book form that you don’t get when you have to scroll down a single page.


VERTIGO brings you a graphic novel with four detectives, four time periods, and four dead bodies – all set in London. Edmond Hillinghead is an 1890s overachiever who’s trying to solve a murder no one cares about while hiding his own secret. Karl Whiteman is our dashing 1940s adventurer with a shocking past. Shahara Hasan is 2014’s kickass female Detective Sergeant, who walks the line between religion and power. And Maplewood, an amnesiac from post-apocalyptic 2050, brings a haunting perspective to it all.

Si Spencer (HELLBLAZER: CITY OF DEMONS, THE VINYL UNDERGROUND) executes a centuries-spanning murder mystery like nothing you’ve ever seen before, with four sensational artists illustrating a six-page chapter in each issue: Dean Ormston, Phil Winslade, Meghan Hetrick and Tula Lotay.


I have to warn you: This isn’t a book about housewives from the 50’s committing murders. I kind of wish it was, because that’d be awesome and it’s totally what I thought of when I saw the cover, but this plotline is just as good.

While compelling, this story is definitely a part of the what-the-hell-am-I-reading genre. I really didn’t know how the four stories through time were linked even half way through the novel, which made the resonating lines, “This is brutality,” and “Know you are loved,” even more creepy. Seriously, this isn’t a book I’m pulling out before bedtime — you could be preparing yourself for nightmares.

My favorite detective had to be Shahara Hasan. She’s brilliant and not going to put up with anyone’s BS. I loved reading her pages, watching how she handles the ideas of patriotism and racism while trying to solve this ancient murder. Her artwork, in my opinion, was the best, too. I think Maplewood’s story pulled everything together for me, even though her’s started out the most confusing.

The story ties together in a way you wouldn’t expect, focusing on the cyclical patterns of life, death, and prejudice. It’s a great read, overall, and I can’t wait to get a physical copy.