Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allen Poe

Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allen Poe

 

Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Release: October 17th 2017
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitty rating

 

I received an advanced copy of Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allen Poe from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

Edgar Allen Poe’s stories have been transformed into almost every media possible, so it should come as no surprise that he’s finally made his way into manga form. Five of his most famous works are included in this novel, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Masque of the Red Death, The Raven, and the Fall of the House of Usher. This book is releasing at the perfect time of year, being out and available on the shelves by Halloween.

The Tell-Tale Heart is the story of a man going mad and murdering an older gentleman he lives with. This story is truly creepy and eerie and is really enhanced by the imagery accompanying it. The face of the man shows his emotions (and lack of sanity) in such a way that it brings the story to a whole new level.

The Cask of Amontillado is probably my favorite of Poe’s works, and is about a man driven by the concept of getting revenge on a man who has slighted him. There’s a lot of play of words going on in this story (for example the two characters in the story have vastly different ideas of what a mason is). The story is both beautiful and disturbing, as is the artwork that accompanies it.

The Raven is possibly Poe’s best known work, and is a poem about a man descending into madness at the loss of his lover. It’s a poem that has almost a musical quality to it, and which artwork compliments perfectly.

The Masque of the Red Death is about a Prince’s desperate attempts to stave off mortality (represented as the plague called the Red Death) by shutting himself and his court into a lavish and isolated abbey. This story is very much an allegory about death and its inevitability, and flows very well with the help of artwork to tell the story.

The Fall of the House of Umber is a perfect example of Poe’s totality (where every detail and event is connected to the rest), it’s the tale of a man who rushes to the aid of his side friend, only to discover that things are worse than he believed. Events descend into madness as the emotional state of the characters takes its toll. This story translates superbly into manga form, and flows very smoothly with the details being translated into a more visual sense.

This novel would be perfect for both people who are new to Poe’s works, as well as for long-time fans of his. Stacy King flawlessly translated Poe’s works into manga, making as few changes to the stories (usually just trimming them down) as possible. The effect enhances the stories being told, blending his spine-tingling tales with visual evocative images. I’ll confess I was only able to read one story a night, as I found them so intense and so beautiful I couldn’t continue to the second right away.

 

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The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana

 

Library of Fates

Publisher: Razorbill
Released: July 18th 2017
Received: Own
Rating: 3.5

 

I was so excited for Library of Fates when it came out. The cover caught my attention at first – it’s so bright and delightfully designed. It was the description that really sold me on it though. If you’re looking for a book full of symbolism and mythology, this is the book for you.

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Spider-Man/Deadpool Vol 3: Itsy-Bitsy

Spider Man Deadpool Vol 3

 

Publisher: Marvel
Released: October 10th 2017
Received: Own
Issues: Spider-Man/Deadpool 9-10, 13-14, 17-18
Rating: 3.5

 

Itsy-Bitsy marks the conclusion of the Spider-Man and Deadpool team-up; at least for now. I personally have no doubt that they will be back (especially if the sales for this series were good). I have to confess; while I loved the first two volumes I felt that volume three was a bit lackluster. Which considering it’s the last one (again, for now) is a bit disappointing. On the bright side the artwork continued to be amazing and the quips never stopped flowing.

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Manga Classics: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

 

Manga Classics the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Released: September 1st 2017
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitty rating

 

I received a copy of Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is another flawless adaptation into Manga done by the wonderful Chrystal Chan and Chan (the artist). I’ve now read a handful of the Manga Classics, and I’ve got to say, I am still in love with the concept. Converting classics into Manga form creates beautiful and approachable works of art. Chrystal is skilled at adapting the plots into the shorter length required by the style and Chan is fantastic at drawing all the details that would otherwise be lost when cutting descriptions. Together they’re a fantastic team capable of creating fascinating works.

I really enjoyed the adaptation for the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. While there are many parts of the story itself I do not love, I have no intention on blaming the manga version for that. I have to admit I was absolutely tickled seeing Huck in Manga form. Perhaps it is just me, but he totally reminded me of Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist. Needless to say the similarity made me even fonder of Huck than I had been previously (though I had not thought to consider Huck a “pretty” boy before this). I feel like the pacing was better done in the adaptation as well, and can easily see many people having an easier time getting through this version (not to disparage the classic of course).

There were certainly multiple points in the novel that were enhanced by the imagery style used. Huck dressing as a girl is an obvious one of course. Another scene that I felt was more impactful was the section containing the feuding families (the Grangerfords and the Shephersons). I felt the loss more keenly than I ever had while reading the original. There were many other scenes as well, but that one in particular really struck me.

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Red Hood and the Outlaws, Vol. 2: Who Is Artemis?

Red Hood and the Outlaws, Vol. 2: Who Is Artemis?

 

Publisher: DC Comics
Release: October 10th 2017
Received: NetGalley
Issues: Red Hood & The Outlaws 7-12
Rating: 4 kitty rating

 

I received a copy of Red Hood and the Outlaws, Vol. 2: Who Is Artemis? from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

Red Hood and the Outlaws is a very unique and interesting hero team-up (though they wouldn’t appreciate you calling them heroes, maybe anti-hero is a better fit). Together Red Hood (obviously) Artemis, and Bizarro take on missions that matter to each of them. Volume two is focused more heavily on Artemis and the Bow of Ra that she is hunting down. Though there is an issue focused more on Bizarro, for all the fans of him that are out there.

Scott Lobdell (Daredevil, Teen Titans Rebirth, Uncanny X-Men, etc) continues writing for the series, which is fantastic because I don’t know if anybody else could set the tone the way he does. The artwork is done by Dexter Soy (known for Batman Beyond, Batman: Arkham Knight – Genesis, but is best known for his work with Red Hood and the Outlaws), and I just love what he creates for us to enjoy.

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Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps, Volume 1: Sinestro’s Law

Hal Jordan Vol 1

 

Publisher: DC Comics
Released: February 14th 2017
Received: Own
Issues: Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps (Rebirth) 1-7
Rating: 4 kitty rating

 

First things first, I should admit that I may have jumped the gun a little bit here. I’ve really enjoyed Green Lantern comics in the past, but I’m not exactly up to date. I have yet to read the New 52 version of the comics, so the beginning had some events that I don’t know the backstory to.

Also worth noting – the artwork is exactly what I would expect and hope for when it comes to a Green Lantern graphic novel. It’s full of bright colors that are both bold and distinct (and important factor when considering how many lantern colors there are).

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Harley Quinn, Vol. 6: Black, White, and Red All Over

Harley Quinn Vol 6

 

Publisher: DC Comics
Released: January 24th 2017
Received: Own
Issues: 26-30
Rating: 3 kitty rating

 

Black, White, and Red All Over is the final volume for Harley in New 52. Needless to say it’s been a wild ride (I mean, after all it is following Harley Quinn, what else do you expect?). We’re back in New York for this one, with a new character added to the mix, Red Tool.

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Lyra’s Oxford: His Dark Materials

Lyras Oxford

 

Publisher: Yearling
Released: September 5th 2017
Received: Own
Rating: 3 kitty rating

 

Lyra’s Oxford takes place after the events at the end of the His Dark Materials Trilogy (AKA The Golden Compass series). I’ll admit I felt a little heartsick when I realized where this fit in the timeline (I found the ending to be more bitter than sweet, personally).

This short story reads a bit more like a child’s book than I remember the series being (though admittedly it has been awhile), and didn’t quite suck me in like The Collectors did. On the bright side it comes with a wonderful map that can be pulled out. I’m sure this is something that collectors would like (my reference to the other short story being completely unintentional here).

I think the most quotable line in the story will give any potential readers a good feel for what they’re in for: “Everything means something,” Lyra said severely, “We just have to find out how to read it.”

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Throwback Thursday: Runaways Vol. 7: Live Fast

Runaways Vol 7

 

Publisher: Marvel
Released: April 25th 2007
Received: Own
Issues: Runaways 19-24
Rating: 4 kitty rating

 

I’m continuing onward in my journey to read all of the Runaways comics before September. Having read volume 7, I’m not officially only a decade behind! That’s worth celebrating, right? Live Fast takes place after the events of Civil War, which explains some of the tension as well as some of the references made (Nico stating that they’re all unregistered super heroes and thus at risk of being arrested, for example. Or you know, the ending).

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Boruto, Vol. 2: Naruto Next Generations

Boruto Vol 2

 

Publisher: VIZ Media
Released: September 5th 2017
Received: Own
Rating: 3.5

 

Boruto continues to surprise me and confuse any expectations I have based off of Naruto. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s a different author (not that it is a bad thing). I’m still torn on how I feel about a lot of the character designs. On the one hand, I love that you can tell who is whose kid, but on the other I feel like kids wouldn’t dress so similarly to their parents, given half a choice. Though admittedly I don’t love how the original character designs look either (they remind me too much of the filler characters in the Naruto TV series).

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