Category Archives: Graphic Literature

Yeo Beop-Ryong and Park Hui-Jin’s Chronicles of the Cursed Sword 1-3

Yeo and Park’s first collection of Chronicles of the Cursed Sword contains the first three volumes of the original manhwa series. Like King of Hell, it’s a Korean action/adventure story with heavy supernatural overtones, this time involving not one but … Continue reading

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Ra In-Soo and Kim Jae-Hwan’s King of Hell,Vol.1-3

King of Hell is manhwa from Korea, a medium that, along with Chinese man hua, fits within the overall manga model. It’s what I’ve taken to calling a supernatural adventure, based on the exploits of one Majeh, an envoy for … Continue reading

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Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta

It was Dickens who said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” but by the time it rolled ’round to Alan Moore and David Lloyd, it was worse: nuclear holocaust, fascist dictatorships, concentration camps for … Continue reading

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James Tynion IV’s Justice League Dark, #1-2

First, a disclaimer: I almost never read single-issue comics, for reasons that will become clear. Secondly, I haven’t been following DC’s Justice League Dark, a series first introduced in 2011. In fact, I have to confess to not being a … Continue reading

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Tite Kubo’s Bleach Volume 1: Strawberry and the Soul Reapers

Tite Kubo’s Bleach is a wildly popular manga and anime series (which was initially rejected when Kubo offered it to his publisher) that went on for 74 volumes of the collected manga and 300 episodes of the anime before Kubo … Continue reading

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Joss Whedon and Georges Jeant’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Volume One — The Long Way Home

If you’re a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer like I am, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Volume One: The Long Way Home is something you’ve been looking forward to for a few years now. If you’re only generally aware of … Continue reading

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Peter Straub and Michael Easton’s The Green Woman

The Green Woman, written by Peter Straub and Michael Easton, is a hallucination in full color — the latter thanks to John Bolton’s art. Reality gets severely warped here — if we can figure out whose reality we’re seeing. Fielding … Continue reading

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Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: Season of Mists

Rebecca Scott penned this review. To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and th season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devils his due. –Hob Gadling’s toast When his sister Death shames him … Continue reading

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Allan Heinberg’s Avengers: The Children’s Crusade

As our story opens, the Young Avengers are battling the Sons of the Serpent, a paramilitary group (read “militia”) devoted to racial and moral purity — their words, not mine — when Captain America, Iron Man, and Ms. Marvel show … Continue reading

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Allan Heinberg’s Young Avengers

After reading Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways, I decided that Young Avengers was one series I definitely wanted to follow up on. It was worth it. The story starts with the “Sidekicks” story line, and a full-page frame of … Continue reading

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Charles Vess’ The Book of Ballads

This review was originally published in 2004. Really cool things arrive here at Green Man for review, some so cool that they barely make it out of the wrappers before being snatched up by an eager staffer. Fortunately the revised … Continue reading

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Youka Nitta’s Otodama 1: Voice from the Dead

BL manga legend Youka Nitta’s Otodama: Voice from the Dead, is not BL. It’s a crime thriller, and it’s a good one. Kaname Otonashi is a former police investigator who was known as “the Ears of the Police” — his … Continue reading

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Jim Butcher’s Welcome to the Jungle

Jim Butcher has moved the Dresden Files into the realm of graphic novels with Welcome to the Jungle, a prequel of sorts to his series on the adventures of Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only wizard for hire. It looks open and … Continue reading

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James Asmus’ Quantum and Woody! Vol. 1: The World’s Worst Superhero Team

I’ll be very honest here: James Asmus’ Quantum and Woody! had me at the cover. How can you beat “The World’s Worst Superhero Team”? (And yes, there’s a goat.) Derek Henderson is a physicist who has been working on some … Continue reading

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Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; Jess Nevins’ Heroes and Monsters: The Unofficial Companion to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Who among us hasn’t, at one time or another, played the “What if….” game with characters, ideas or settings we’ve found particularly appealing? Maybe we spin out a colourful yarn in our head, or if we’re inspired enough, we put … Continue reading

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David Peterson’s Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, Vols. 1-3

Given the popularity and critical acclaim of David Peterson’s Mouse Guard series (as witness our own very positive review of the first book, Mouse Guard: Fall 1152), it was almost inevitable that there would be spin-offs. And indeed, Peterson has … Continue reading

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Justin Hall, ed., No Straight Lines

It’s tempting to say that comics underwent a radical transformation in the 1960s and ’70s. They didn’t. What did happen was that comics as a medium, with the rise of underground comics through the agency of R. Crumb and his … Continue reading

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Alex Woolfson’s Artifice

I’m not sure how I ran across mention of Alex Woolfson’s Artifice, but I did. It originated as a Web comic, and what I saw of it interested me enough that I bought the hard copy. Deacon is a prototype … Continue reading

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Brian Vaughan’s The Escapist

The Escapist is an original comic creation springing from Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. And though it’s not at all necessary to have read that marvelous novel to enjoy The Escapists, readers should, because … Continue reading

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Warren Ellis & J. H. Williams III’s Desolation Jones

The long shadow of John Constantine lingers over the figure of Desolation Jones. But whereas Constantine is a spiky-haired Brit occult operative who abuses his odd network of friends while intimidating people into giving him answers by sheer force of … Continue reading

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A. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker’s Air: Letters from Lost Countries

Blythe is not your typical airline attendant. Sure, she’s blonde, pretty and personable, playing into every conceivable stereotype there is. But Blythe is much more than that. For starters, she’s acrophobic, surviving each flight only through the wonders of modern … Continue reading

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Bill Willingham‘s Fables, The Deluxe Edition: Book One

As might be surmised from the subtitle to this collection, Vertigo has given Bill Willingham’s long-running series Fables the deluxe treatment, much as it has with other top series, such as Sandman, V for Vendetta and Death. This gorgeous volume … Continue reading

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Studio CLAMP’s Legal Drug, Vols. 1-3

Legal Drug is a series by CLAMP, with story by Ageha Ohkawa, illustrated by Tsubaki Nekoi, that, sadly to my mind, was dropped in 2003 when the magazine in which it was being serialized ceased publication. The first three volumes, … Continue reading

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Charles M. Schulz’s The Complete Peanuts: 1957 to 1958

In a recent interview, cartoonist (and the designer of the Complete Peanuts books) Seth described the appeal of Charles Schulz’s iconic comic strip. Schulz was a premier influence on me. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved Schulz. … Continue reading

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Jordan Mechner and A. B. Sina’s Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia presents us with another of the increasing number of spin-offs from gaming. It’s an intriguing story, sometimes filled with pathos, sometimes hair-raising, and always ambiguous. (And in case you were wondering, the plot of the graphic novel … Continue reading

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Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s Brain Camp

I think the best description I’ve seen of Brain Camp, written by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan, drawn by Faith Erin Hicks, is “creepy.” Camp Fielding is a parent’s dream: a summer camp dedicated to taking your young loser and … Continue reading

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Simon Oliver’s Hellblazer, Vol. 1: The Poison Truth

John Constantine is back in London, after suffering exile in New York — the result of a curse by a demon that caused remaining in London to infect Constantine with a possibly fatal disease. But, as usual, Constantine has found … Continue reading

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J. Scott Campbell and Andy Hartnell’s Danger Girl: The Ultimate Collection

Let’s face it; if you spent your life stealing stuff to make a living, wouldn’t it be tempting to chuck your “career” for a guaranteed gig with a group of save-the-world types? Especially if that group just saved your bacon? … Continue reading

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Momoko Tenzen’s Seven

Momoko Tenzen’s Seven is another one of those boys’ love manga that, like Kimi Shiruya, moves the genre boundaries outward, although unlike the latter — and most popular examples of the type — it is rather bleak, at least at … Continue reading

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Satoru Ishihara’s Kimi Shiruya: Dost Thou Know?

A few general remarks on Japanese comics first, for those who are new to this area. Manga is the term for Japanese comics in general, within which the two major divisions are shoujo, or “manga for girls,” and shounen, “manga … Continue reading

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Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s The Umbrella Academy: Dallas

Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba have come up with what is one of the most original “superhero” series I’ve seen: The Umbrella Academy. It’s a group, all young, who have powers of one sort or another, but don’t look for … Continue reading

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Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite

Part steam punk, part superhero comic and all attitude, Umbrella Academy is the brainchild of rock front man Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance). The titular “academy” is actually a group of oddly powered kids, raised by an eccentric space alien … Continue reading

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David Wohl et al’s The Witchblade Compendium, Volume 1

Andrew Wheeler penned this review. Some stories are merely bad — dull, uninspired, or simply misformed. Others are bad in entertaining ways — bad movies, outsider art, and demented pulp fiction. Some stories are so horrible that it’s physically painful … Continue reading

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David Wohl et al’s Tomb Raider Compendium

My, that was a great deal of truly fun reading! All fifty issues of the series, (1,248 pages!) including the covers for each individual issue, have been collected in a trade paper edition. Oh, did I mention the superb color? … Continue reading

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Joss Whedon’s Fray

I was, once uponn a time, one of a mere handful of people who had had no experience of the work of Joss Whedon. The others were, I’m sure, comfortably ensconced in caves in the Himalayas. (I’m a non-TV person. … Continue reading

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John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad: Trial by Fire

I first ran across the work of John Ostrander in his collaboration with Gail Simone in Secret Six: Danse Macabre. I had my reservations, but now that I’ve read what may be considered the forerunner to that series, Suicide Squad: … Continue reading

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Hyouta Fujiyama’s Ordinary Crush, Vols. 1 & 2

Hyouta Fujiyama has become one of my favorite mangaka doing BL, mostly because of her strong, clean graphics and charming stories. (For some general remarks on BL, see my comments on Dash!.) In Ordinary Crush we have the core of … Continue reading

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Isaku Natsume’s Dash!

Isaku Natsume’s Dash represents an excellent example of the genre in shoujo manga (“manga for girls”) known in Japan as BL (boys’ love), bishonen-ai or shonen-ai, or, as is generally the case in the West, yaoi (pronounced, if one is … Continue reading

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Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele’s The Surrogates: Flesh and Bone

Flesh and Bone is a prequel to The Surrogates, taking the story back fifteen years to the anti-surrogate riots of 2039. The incident that sparks the crisis is the beating death of a derelict by three teenagers who are using … Continue reading

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Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele’s The Surrogates

Robert Venditti’s The Surrogates, drawn by Brett Weldele, is right up among the top graphic works I’ve run across recently. Set in a near-future megalopolis, it’s a fast-moving crime drama with a couple of unique twists. The central motivator in … Continue reading

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Stephen J. Brooks’ Alexander Asenby’s Great Adventure; Creatures of the Night

Stephen J. Brooks, a former federal agent, is a writer of children’s books, and two of his newest happened to cross my desk. I think it’s probably an open secret at this point that I enjoy children’s literature, with a … Continue reading

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Protected: Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima’s Lone Wolf and Cub, Volume One: The Assassins’ Road and Lone Wolf and Cub, Volume Two: The Gateless Barrier

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Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón’s Vlad the Impaler: The Man Who Was Dracula

The historical Vlad III, the Impaler, whose story this book purports to tell, was a voivode — “prince” — of Wallachia in the later fifteenth century. He is known mainly for his policy of independence from the Ottoman Empire, of … Continue reading

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Antonio Prohias’ Spy vs. Spy: The Complete Casebook

Those of us who remember Mad magazine in the 1960s and ’70s also remember “Spy vs. Spy,” Antonio Prohias’ ongoing series about the Black Spy and the White Spy (and sometimes the Gray Spy, a female counterpart, as well) who … Continue reading

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Peter Milligan’s John Constantine: Hellblazer India

I’ve read the entire three hundred issue run of Hellblazer in trade editions save some in the middle of the run that Vertigo, a unit of DC Comics, from reasons not terribly clear to anyone was not released in that … Continue reading

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Keith Giffen’s Lobo: 100 Page Spectacular

Lobo is another of those DC characters with a somewhat checkered past. Introduced in 1983 as a hardened villain (with, in that incarnation, a short shelf life), he was resurrected in the early ’90s as one of a growing number … Continue reading

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Chris Van Allsburg’s The Polar Express: Twentieth Anniversary Edition 

Christopher White penned this review. Perhaps it’s the season, or the utter magic of Van Allsburg’s talents, whatever the reasons, the Twentieth Anniversary Edition of The Polar Express appears luxurious and incandescent. If you have (as we do) a beloved dog-eared copy that … Continue reading

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Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis’ Blackest Night/Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi’s Brightest Day, Vol. 1

Blackest Night and Brightest Day mark another DC “crossover event” in which pretty much everyone gets reinvented. These have become almost a requirement in superhero comics, I suspect because of the periodic necessity of reconciling the various universes occupied by … Continue reading

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Grant Morrison’s Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne

Batman has probably been rethought and retooled more than any other superhero, and The Return of Bruce Wayne, a six issue mini-series here collected in a hardback edition, gives us an extended reconstruction as Wayne works his way through history … Continue reading

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Tony Bedard and Kevin VanHook’s Oracle: The Cure

You don’t really need tights and a cape to be a superhero. You don’t need super strength or mutant abilities. You don’t even have to have your body surgically or chemically altered. (Willingly or otherwise.) Mind, these things don’t hurt, … Continue reading

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