Are you surprised that Superman likes graphic novels? He brings them over to our house regularly – what fun! Too bad I couldn’t convince my library to let me start an adult gn collection.
Hikaru No Go by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata This is a series of Japanese manga, the comic books where the characters have huge eyes and small mouths and their emotions splatter ever-so-cutely all over the page. If they’re done right for the aficionados, they read from right to left, which does take a little getting used to. I’ve read the first two volumes in this little series – the third should be out this month. The first was a gift for amnachaidh’s birthday; good enough for him that he went out and bought the second one himself. I think the title translates to “Hikaru and Go” – Hikaru being our main character, and Go being the ancient Asian game. So Hikaru is a typical cool middle school kid, not interested at all in something so old and uncool as Go. But he discovers a haunted Go board in the attic, and now is being followed around by the ghost of an ancient Go master. This means that he can honestly say that he knows nothing about Go, while still beating the best players. It is a lot of fun, probably more fun if you (like amnachaidh) are nuts about Go. On the other hand, it’s credited with single-handedly starting a Go revival in Japan.
Astonishing X-Men Vol 1: Gifted by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday I guess my primary interest in this book is that it’s written by Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy and Firefly, two of my favorite TV shows ever. Ok, growing up without a TV, that may not be too hard, but I digress. While I enjoyed the X-Men movies, I’d never before read any of the comic books. They’ve been going on for a long time, so there’s a lot of back-story that I just don’t have. It took me a while to figure out who all the characters were, since (gasp!) they didn’t all appear in the movie. Once past these hurdles, however, it’s fine story – somebody’s created a vaccine to make mutants normal again. The moral issue: is this moral? Can a mutant accept that not all mutants want to be that way? The adventure: who’s behind the scientist, and the large-scale attacks using obviously mutant powers? Plus, lusciously beautiful full-color art on glossy pages. I guess this is standard now, but that doesn’t make it less enjoyable.