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Archive for the ‘Comics/Graphic Novels’ Category

Batgirl Year One

Batgirl: Year One
Written by Scott Beatty and Chuck Dixon
Art by Marcos Martin and Alvaro Lopez
ISBN: 978140120080s
Publisher: DC Comics
Date of Publication: 2004

Reader’s Annotation:
Barbara Gordon’s first year of fighting crime as Batgirl.

Plot Summary:
Barbara Gordon wants to be a detective like her father, Gotham City Police Comissioner Jim Gordon. The problem is that Barbara is having is that no one is taking her dreams seriously. She’s been rejected by the FBI and the Gotham City Police Academy. As Barbara continues to work at the local library, she can’t help but dream for her desired future.

At the Gotham City Police Department’s Masquerade Ball, Barbara’s costume gives her the opportunity to do what she has always wanted to do; fight the bad guys. Now she has a chance to prove her worth to the city and to Batman and Robin. That is if she can survived these first days as Batgirl.

Critical Evaluation:
Scott Beatty and Chuck Dixon treats the rise of Batgirl with care. Barbara Gordon’s portrayed as a strong willed woman with legitimate dreams and desires. Her role at the library isn’t shown as a waste of her time and provides the reader reasons why research is a detective’s best asset.

When someone else decides you are unworthy of your goals and dreams, you can either stand up and fight or walk away disappointed. Barbara’s refusal to give up is inspiring and proves to be a great example for young female readers.

The art by Marcos Martin and Alvaro Lopez is fresh and exciting, providing bright colors without making the book too flashy and girly. Readers looking to enter the comic book medium would be better served picking up this fun story.

Batgirl Martin Lopez

Information about the Authors:
From Chuck Dixon’s Amazon Biography, with over twenty-five years of comic book experience, Dixon has maintained a reputation as a talented writer. He has worked for both big comic publishers, DC and Marvel, as well as independent comic publishers. Dixon is the author of action novels as well.

From Scott Beatty’s Wikipedia page, Beatty has worked in the comic industry since the mid-90s. He has written comic book guides as well as comic book stories.

Information about the Artists:
From Marcos Martin’s Wikipedia page, Martin is a Spanish artist who has worked on projects for both DC and Marvel comics.

Beyond a credit for the book, there is no further information about Alvaro Lopez

Genre:
Superhero, Comics/Graphic Novels

Curriculum Ties:
Self-worth

Booktalking Ideas:
If you could be a superhero, what kind would you be?
Why is research important in detective work?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
15 and up.

Challenging Issues:
There are no current challenges for this book. The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Why did I include this book in the title selections?
Barbara Gordon is the Patron Saint of librarians. Her story does have a tragic background but her spirit is inspiring. Her intelligence should be admired by teens as something one should achieve.

Reference:
Amazon. (n.d.). Chuck Dixon. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Dixon/e/B001HOL26O

Wikipedia. (n.d.) Scott Beatty. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Beatty

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Marcos Martin. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcos_Mart%C3%ADn

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Confessions of a BlabbermouthConfessions of a Blabbermouth
Written by Mike Carey and Louise Carey
Art by Aaron Alexovich
ISBN: 1401211486
Published by DC Comics (Minx)
Date of Publication:

Reader’s Annotation:
When Tasha’s Mom starts dating an intensive newspaper columnist, she’s find out that truth is often stranger than fiction.

Plot Summary:
Tasha is a modern girl. With her popular blog, Tasha can connect with a large audience around the world. Her mother runs an online lingere store and suffers from bad-boyfriend syndrome.

Tasha doesn’t want to meet her mom’s new dating prospect, a romance writer by the name of Jed. Tasha isn’t quite sure that she likes him and tries to avoid any interaction when she can. Jed’s daughter, Chloe, is a young newspaper columnist and now attends Tasha’s school. As Chloe and Tasha deal with their new roles, while their parents continue to date, each discovers that there’s more to the surface they either of them first perceived.

Between Tasha’s blogging and Chloe’s column, the girls also discover that just because you use words in public, doesn’t mean that their meanings are true. Each must find their own voice and the power to speak up before their voices are replaced with another person’s words..

7878_x-9

Critical Evaluation:
Tasha and Chloe are like every other modern young girl in the world. They experience heartache, pain, and love in the harsh world of high school. Bullies threaten you during one day and parents punish you on the next day. As your emotions become more disastrous with each wrong turn, the only way out would be to find an outlet in which to express yourself.

As blogging and social networks have shown, young people use this as a means to express that frustrations or joy in their daily lives. But as it is proven in reality, and with Tasha’s experience, it can come back to haunt you. How you present yourself online versus how you present yourself in the real world can vastly different. How you deal with these situations is how you grow-up and become the person you were meant to be. The internet is a means to establish your voice, but it can also be your enemy.

Author Mike Carey’s writing collaboration with his daughter Louise provides for an entertaining read. The accompanying art by Aaron Alexovich provides a manic tone which matches Tasha’s personality.

Information about the Authors:
From Mike Carey’s Webpage, about a British author, whose works include comic books and original prose, has been a writer since the early 1990s. Carey’s work with Vertigo Comics (Sandman-spinoffs) have lead to the creation of the original series The Unwritten, which we co-collaborates with artist Peter Gross. Carey is the author of the Felix Castor novels.

Louisa Carey is the daughter of Mike Carey. An inspiring writer whose work has been featured on the London Metropolitian Archive, Louisa has recently collaborated with her parents for the soon to be published boo, The Steel Seraglio.

Information about the Artist:
From Aaron Alexovich’s Facebook page, graduated from the California Institute of Arts with a focus on Character Animation. Alexovich has worked on comic books through DC Comics and SLG Publishing as well as animation on the Invader Zim cartoon.

Aaron Alexovich on Twitter

Aaron Alexovich’s Web Page and Comic

Genre:
Realistic Fiction, Family Relationships

Curriculum Ties:
Journal Writing, Plagarism

Booktalking Ideas:
How do you connect with others on the Internet?
Is it important to be yourself or to have a fake name on the Web?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
Ages 15 and up

Challenging Issues:
There are no current challenges for this book. The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Potential Issues would include profanity and slight violence.

Why did I include this book in the title selections?
When the Minx line first came out, I thought that the selections were fun and approachable for teen readers, especially for teen girls. While the publishing line has been discontinued, the books still remain fun and approachable.

Reference:
Alexovich, A. (n.d). About. Facebook. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/aalexovich/infoAlexovich

Carey, M. (n.d.) About. Retrieved from mikeandpeter.com/

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Drama
Written and Drawn by Raina Telgemeier
ISBN: 9780545326995
Publisher: Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic
Date of Publication: 2012

Reader’s Annotation:
During her school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, Callie finds that the drama of the stage can follows her off stage.

Plot Summary:
Ever since her parents took her to a performance of Les Miserables, Callie has loved the theatre. While she might not be gifted in the area of musical talent, she maintains her love of performance art by working behind the stages. As the set designer for her middle school’s annual play, Callie has been assigned to transform a blank stage into a Civil War setting.

With the help of her fellow stage crew members, Callie is set to take the drama world by storm. Yet, admits this backstage adventure, the drama of the front of the house begins to merge with the back, creating tensions amongst all the players. New friendships are forged, love is lost and won and all the players learn that in theatre the show must go on.

Critical Evaluation:
Using elements from her own middle school and high school drama classes, author and artist Rania Telgemeier has created a believable story of what it’s like to be on and off the stage.

Telgemeier’s characters are drawn in a way that there’s no confusion about who is who, which could have been an issue with a large core of characters presented. The romantic storyline is an interesting part of the book in that the romance does not primarily focus on Callie. The dynamics between Callie and the twin brothers, Justin and Jesse, highlights that sexuality in theatre is not always black and white. Telgemeier handles the questions and concerns of sexual identity with care, never making judgements or assumptions about one’s worth in a potential relationship or in sexuality. As the entire idea is treated in a positive, affirming manner, the story would be a great recommendation for any LGBT teen looking for relatable material to read.

Overall, Telgemeier’s tale of stage hijinks is a fun read. While the setting is in middle school, high school audiences will still be able to connect with Telgemeier’s themes and situations.

Information about the Author:
From Raina Telgemeier’s Webpage, a current resident of New York City, specifically Queens, Telgemeier is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts. Telgemeierhas adapted and illustrated the first four Baby-Sitters Club books in graphic novels. She has worked on art for X-Men.

Telgemeier grew up in San Francisco. Her previous work include an autobiographical graphic novel called Smile.

Raina Telgemeier on Twitter

Curriculum Ties:
Art, Theatre

Booktalking Ideas:
Have you ever talked to a crush?
What is your artistic talent?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
Kirkus Reviews suggests an age range of 10-14. Due to the content of the story, this can still have an impact on older audiences, specifically high schoolers.

Challenging Issues:
There are no current challenges for this book. The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Potential Issues include homosexuality.

Why did I include this book in the title selections?
I thoroughly enjoyed Telgemeier work on the Baby-Sitters Club adaptations. While this book is set in middle school, the situations can easily be transferred to a high school setting.

References:
Kirkus Reviews. (2012). Drama. Retrieved from https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/raina-telgemeier/drama-telgemeier/

Telgemeier, R. (n.d). Info. Retrieved from http://goraina.com/info.html

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Kimmie66
By Aaron Alexovich
ISBN:9781401203733
Publisher: Minx, DC Comics
Date of Publication: 2007

Reader’s Annotation:
Telly Kade has just received a suicide note from her best friend, Kimmie66, to which Telly must discover if it’s fake or real.

Plot Summary:
Telly Kade, a Seattle resident, lives like any other teen in the 23rd century. She lives with her brother and her overworked father. When she’s not stuck with the dishes or the many chores of the house, Telly escapes into her Virtural Reality world where she spends time with her friends Kimmie66 and Nekokat.

One day Telly receives a letter from Kimmie66. The letter is a suicide note, though Telly hears no news about the act. Telly is confused and decides to find the truth behind Kimmie66’s note.

But there have been problems with the VR and Telly can’t help but wonder if Kimmie66 has become a ghost in the machine.

Critical Evaluation:
Alexovich’s tale of technology gone awry is actually a bright story where many fictional technology stories are more bleak. There still is sadness in Kimmie66’s tale and you can’t help but feel sympathy with Telly’s search and discovery. But overall, the future that Alexovich paints is far more hopeful than many other futuristic teens stories currently on the market.

The art has a fun balance with whimsical and gothic tones. The black and white shadowing adds to the stories mystery. Alexovich’s uses of blocking gives the story a more added mysterious flare that supports Telly’s journey.
kimmie 66 art

Information about the Author:

From Aaron Alexovich’s Facebook page: Graduated from the California Institute of Arts with a focus on Character Animation. Alexovich has worked on comic books through DC Comics and SLG Publishing as well as animation on the Invader Zim cartoon.

Aaron Alexovich on Twitter

Aaron Alexovich’s Web Page and Comic
Genre:
Science Fiction, Mystery/Crime

Curriculum Ties:
Virtual Reality

Booktalking Ideas:
How are online friendships different than real life friendships?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
Ages 15 and up.

Challenging Issues:
There are no current challenges for this book. The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Potential Issues would include violent situations and horrific elements.

Why did I include this book in the title selections?
Having feel in love with Aaron Alexovich’s art in Confessions of a Blabbermouth, I was excited when he published his own work. The story is fun and unique and would appeal to young science fiction fans.

References:
Alexovich, A. (n.d). About. Facebook. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/aalexovich/infoAlexovich

 

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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Various Artists
Genre: Soundtrack
Released by ABKCO Records
Date of Release: 2010

Annotation:
Music from the film directed by Edgar Wright.
Summary:
1.   We Are Sex Bob-Omb by Sex Bob-Omb
2.    Scott Pilgrim by Plumtree
3.    I Heard Ramona Sing by Frank Black
4.    By Your Side by Beachwood Sparks
5.    O Katrina! by Black Lis
6.    I’m So Sad, So Very Sad by Crash and the Boys
7.    We Hate You Please Die by Crash and the Boys
8.    Garbage Truck by Sex Bob-Omb
9.    Teenage Dream by T. Rex
10.   Sleazy Bed Track by The Bluetones
11.   It’s Getting Boring by the Sea by Blood Red Shoes
12.   Black Sheep by Metric
13.   Threshold by Sex Bob-Omb
14.   Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl by Broken Social Scene
15.   Under My Thumb by The Rolling Stones
16.   Ramona (Acoustic Version) by Beck
17.   Ramona by Beck
18.   Summertime by Sex Bom-Omb
19.   Threshold (8 Bit) by Brian Lebarton

Critical Evaluation:
Featuring music from both the film and material cited in the original graphic novel, the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack serves not only as an outlet for great music but an anthem to young punk rock love.

The opening track by Sex Bob-omb is one of four tracks created for Scott’s band. The songs are indie pop with a fun, catchy beat. Garbage Truck and Summertime highlight the carefree nature of the band, while Threshold is an anthem of anger and determination. Beck wrote the Sex Bob-omb tracks as well as the Ramona tracks that Scott Pilgrim writes in the film.

Black Sheep by Metric is the highlight of the soundtrack as it was used to introduce Scott and Ramona’s respective ex’s. The track stands out because of Emily Haines’s vocals and the sexy bass beat in the background. Haines is featured later in the soundtrack with her work with Broken Social Scene.

The album was produced by film Director Edgar Wright, Nigel Godrich (who has worked on various Radiohead albums) and Marc Platt. Fans of the soundtrack will be pleased to know that there is also a score soundtrack for the film as well as a soundtrack to the Scott Pilgrim video game.

Curriculum Ties:
Music, Songwriting

Interest Age:
14 and up

Challenging Issues:
n/a

Why did I include this in the title selections?
Having been a fan of Scott Pilgrim since the first graphic novel, I can’t help but constantly recommend the book. When the film adaptation was released, I was hooked and fell in love with the music. The album is great for not only fans of the film and the book series, but for anyone looking to expand their music tastes outside of the mainstream.

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Anya’s Ghost
By Vera Brosgol
ISBN: 9781596435520
Publisher: First Second Books
Date of Publication: 2011
Reader’s Annotation:
When Anya meets a real ghost at the bottom of an old well, her already confusing life begins to morph into something uncertain and potentially dangerous.

Plot Summary:
Anya isn’t having the best day. Her mother doesn’t understand why Anya doesn’t want to eat all the time. She has a crush on a boy that doesn’t know she even exists. Her only friend is mad that Anya doesn’t want to share her cigarettes. And if her day wasn’t complicated enough, Anya has accidentally fallen down into an abandoned well with no chance of an immediate rescue.

But this accident proves to be interesting as at the bottom of the well lives a lonely ghost who now wants to be Anya’s friend. Eventually, Anya is rescued but she discovers that the ghost, Emily, has followed Anya out of the well. Now Anya and Emily have formed an unlikely alliance, with Emily helping Anya in her class work and gaining the attention of Anya’s crush. But Anya soon discovers that a friendship with a ghost is a different experience, especially when Anya begins to investigate how Emily became a ghost in the first place.

Critical Evaluation:
Author and artist Vera Brosgol was once herself a Russian immigrant. Using her own experiences with cultural emergence and immigrant parental confusion, Brosgol succeeds in creating a believable character in Anya. Brosgol’s art is delightful in that it is accessible to both teen and adult readers. The colors are not primarily black and white but a mixture of both with a lighter dark purple contrast. The results provides a suitable background for the horror elements of the story.

In regards to the writing, Brosgol uses a simple ghost story to highlight the trials and tribulations of the teen experience, quite similar to the analogy of terror that Writer/Director Joss Whedon used in his Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series. The high school experience is horrific in that the boundaries of childhood and adulthood are riffed with confusion and heartache. Anya wants to fit in but she knows she never will. She’s an immigrant, an outsider to a different world. This is served to highlight that it’s okay to be different and that sometimes these differences can change everything.

Brosgol succeeds in creating a relatable story while still using horror elements to enhance the story. The art is wonderful and would be a great book for anyone looking to explore the graphic novel medium.

Information about the author:
Born in Moscow, Russia, Vera Brosgol currently lives in Portland, Oregon. A graduate from Sheridan College, Brosgol’s focus was in animation, a skill she has used in her illustration work for various comic book anthologies. Brosgol began honing her animation talent early in her life.

“As for comics, I started drawing comics for fun when I was in high school. I’d actually been drawing them even earlier as a little kid, but I didn’t know to put the drawings into boxes so they were just sequential drawings floating on a page.  I guess that’s how my brain works” (Brosgol, 2011)

Anya’s Ghost is her first graphic novel. Brosgol has also worked on the recent animated film, Paranorman.

Vera Brosgol on Twitter
Vera Brosgol on Flickr

Genre:
Horror/Thriller, Mystery/Crime

Curriculum Ties:
Family Relationships, Ghost Stories, Second Generation Immigrants

Booktalking Ideas:
Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
Have you ever felt self-conscious about your family?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
Kirkus Reviews suggests a reading age of 12-18.

Challenging Issues:
There are no current challenges for this book. The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Potential issues would include violence and horror elements.

Why did I include this book in the title selections?
I had read this book for a course on Graphic Novels and Comic Books. I found the art to be enjoyable and the story engrossing. As the protagonist deals with ghosts and alienation, I thought this would be a great choice for those looking for an alternative to the mainstream paranormal titles.

Reference page:
Brosgol, V. (2011). Frequently Asked Questions. Verabee.com. Retrieved from verabee.com/2011/12/frequently-asked-questions/

Kirkus Reviews. (2011). Anya’s Ghost. Retrieved from https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/vera-brosgol/anyas-ghost/

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The Complete Persepolis
By Marjane Satrapi
ISBN: 9780375714832
Publisher: Pantheon, a division of Random House
Date of Publication: 2003/2004 (Originally published in the United States in two volumes)
Reader’s Annotation:
Young Marjane Satrapi’s family adapts to the changing politics of Iran in the 1970s and the 1980s.

Plot Summary:
It is the early 1980s and Iran has entered the Cultural Revolution. Women are veiled or must wear a head covering in public. American Capitalism has been denounced and the nation turns its eyes onto Islamic Fundamentalism. Dissidents are arrested, inprisioned or executed.

In the midst of all this political and religious upheaval, a girl by the name of Marjane Satrapi is witness to the changes in her country, and then in her family. Marjane is an only child with an active imagination and a curious mind. Her family’s history is tied to the country’s history and these changes are felt intimately. As the years go by, young Marjane must reconcile her choice of freedom and her love of her country and family. Spanning decades and two continents, Persepolis is the story of how a young girl becomes a young women and how a country struggles to find it’s voice in change and conflict.

Critical Evaluation:
Drawing on her personal history, Marjane Satrapi weaves an artistic masterpiece. The art is bright and illuminating, even in black and white shadowing. In the parts describing the history of Iran, there is a magical, mythical quality, despite the horrific nature of the country’s history. Beyond Satrapi’s art, the story that Marjane presents feels honest and true. Satrapi’s family is a supportive bunch of individuals who want nothing but the best for young Marjane. Their conversations on politics and religion are meant to educate Marjane, though it leads to dire consequences later in her life. The path of change is not easy and Satrapi is honest in her assessment of her history and the power of Iranian politics.

Many memoirs expected some form of sympathy from their readers, grasping for pity as a means to feel supported. Satrapi expects her readers to be open-minded to her history and her country’s history. She doesn’t expect pity for her tale but convey what it meant to live in Iran and how the changes of the Cultural Revolution changed her family’s life. An example of this could be found in Satrapi’s conversations with God. When God does not answer, Satrapi begins to realize that the price of her decisions is her own and no one else’s. This concept is highlighted later when Satrapi is sent abroad to study. Satrapi’s tale could be a parallel history of the new Iran. As Satrapi begins to find her voice, so to does Iran in regards to its policies and actions. Mistakes are made but how we handle the mistakes define who we are as a person or as a nation.

The Complete Persepolis is both a beautiful art piece and a moving story. It is a great example of how art can influence a story and vice versa.

punk is not ded

 

Information about the Author:
Marjane Satrapi was born in Iran and was raised in Tehran. Satrapi studied Decorative Arts in Austria and eventually moved to Paris where she lives today. Satrapi has become an internationally recognized artist in part due to her work in comics but in the film adaptation of Persepolis. Satrapi has adapted her book Chicken with Plums to film and is working on third film that will be released in the Winter of next year. Her art work has appeared in various print media across the globe. (Barclay Agency)

Genre:
Memoir, Non-Fiction

Curriculum Ties:
Iran History, Modern Islamic History, Art, Personal Stories

Booktalking Ideas:
What is the role of religion in politics?
What would it be like to leave your family to live in a different country?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
Persepolis is a crossover title. This title would be perfect for ages 15 and up.

Challenging Issues:
There are no current challenges for this book in America. The book has been banned and challenged in Satrapi’s home country of Iran and the neighboring country of Lebanon on the basis of religious reasons. The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Potential Issues would be religion, violence, language, and sexual situations.

Why did I include this book in the title selections?
As a fan of Satrapi’s art, I can’t help but be excited to talk about her books and films to anyone willing to try something new. Satrapi’s memoir focuses primarily on her youth and what it means to find an identity in a climate of political and religious change. Young readers who feel alienated from their peers and their family will find a kinship to Satrapi’s tale.

Reference:
Adnkronos International. (2008). Iran: Oscar-nominated film branded ‘anti-revolutionary’ by authorities. Adnkronos International. Retrieved from http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/CultureAndMedia/?id=1.0.1914777928

Barclay Agency. (n.d.). Marjane Satrapi. Retrieved from http://barclayagency.com/satrapi.html

France 24. (2008). Lebanon lifts Persepolis ban. Retrieved from http://www.france24.com/en/20080328-lebanon-lifts-persepolis-ban-film-lebanon

Bonus Features!

Mini Film Review:

(more…)

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Swallow Me Whole
By Nate Powell
ISBN: 9781603090339
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Date of Publication: 2008

Reader’s Annotation:
Two siblings face separate cases of mental disorders.

Plot Summary:
Ruth and Perry are step-siblings, whose ill grandmother has recently moved into their home. As Ruth and Perry grow older, their grandmother’s condition worsens and the siblings begin to struggle with their lives in high school.

Ruth takes comfort in her organized jars filled with insects and creatures stolen from her high school’s science department. This carefully organization helps Ruth maintain some control in her mind, as she consistently sees insects that threaten to overwhelm her. Ruth later discovers that she suffers from schizophrenia as well as obsessive compulsive disorder.

Perry has a wizard that talks to him, claiming that there’s a quest that must be occur. He draws the wizard as a means of controlling the wizard’s commands. Perry just want to make sense of his life without the added bonus of being potentially crazy.

As time passes for each sibling, things grow worse and there looks like there’s no escape from the dangerous of one’s mind.

Critical Evaluation:
Told through black and white drawings, author and artist Nate Powell’s graphic novel is at first a simple family story that merges into a discussion of teen mental disabilities. Powell’s visual style emphasizes Ruth’s struggle as well as Perry’ s encounters with the voice in his mind. The art is so striking that the visions of Ruth’s mind allow us a unique view into her struggle to survive and to be understood. While this visual example could be easily described in graphic detail in a prose format, Powell’s use of shadow is a very effective way of seeing how a mental disability can shape how one sees the world. We see how it affects Ruth’s mind and how Ruth’s perception of the world is contrasted with “normal” sight.

Perry’s struggle, while not nearly as dramatic as Ruth’s problems, still speak about the issues of mental engagement. The voice in Perry’s mind doesn’t control his life as it might for Ruth. It’s still an issue that Powell handles delicately and with respect.

The end result of Powell’s art and story is thoroughly engaging. The ending to the sibling’s story is beautiful and sad and will linger with readers long after they have read the final page.

nate-powell-art

Information about the Author:
From Nate Powell’s Top Shelf Publisher’s page, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Powell began to work as an art professional at the early age of fourteen, creating pieces for self-publishing. For ten years, Powell worked with adults who had developmental disabilities, which later influenced Swallow Me Whole. Powell is the manager of Harlan Records and continues to performance in various bands. He currently lives in Indiana.

Powell is the author and artist of Any Empire and has worked with different co-collaborators for the historical graphic novel, The Silence of Our Friends and the future graphic novel, March.

Nate Powell Blog

Genre:
Realistic Fiction

Curriculum Ties:
Mental Illness

Reading Level/Interest Age:
Amazon gives a suggested age range of grades ten and up.

Challenging Issues:
There are no current challenges for this book. The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Why did I include this book in the title selections?
I feel in love with this book when I first read it. There are not many books that explore visually the concepts of mental illness, specifically with teen protagonists.

Reference:
Amazon. (n.d.). Swallow Me Whole. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Swallow-Me-Whole-Nate-Powell/dp/1603090339/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355025611&sr=8-1&keywords=swallow+me+whole

Top Shelf Productions. (n.d.). Nate powell. Retrieved from http://www.topshelfcomix.com/catalog/nate-powell

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