Off the Charts – a Muster of Mini-Reviews of Graphic Novels and Comics

Ahoy there me mateys!  For those of ye who are new to me log, a word: though this log’s focus is on sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult, this Captain does have broader reading tastes.  Occasionally I will share some novels that I enjoyed that are off the charts (a non sci-fi, fantasy, or young adult novel), as it were.  So today I bring ye a muster of reviews.  What be a muster?

Well the Oxford English Dictionary defines it as:

  1. assemble (troops) especially for inspection or for battle;
  2. collect or assemble (a number or amount); or
  3. a group of peacocks.

I don’t have enough information to give full reviews because many of the facts fail to muster and fall out of me noggin.  Yet I have to review everything I read.  Here be four such recent reads.

Side note: the book covers come from Goodreads and ye can click on them to add the books to yer Goodreads’ Ports for Plunder List.

narwhal: unicorn of the sea (Ben Clanton)

I be the first to admit that I am not really a graphic novel or comics person.  While I like art, I do not have a visual mind at all.  For example, me film friends laugh good-naturedly at me all the time when when I watch tv or movies with them because I miss the visual cues of storytelling.  This means the tv or movie must be paused so the can explain the plot points I literally didn’t see.  I need words!  Dialogue!  Something!  But the First Mate and I had donated books to a local library sale and had time to kill.  So of course we chose to remain at the library while time went by.  The most avaliable place to sit ended up being next to the juvenile graphic novel section.  I had heard good things about this series and saw it so naturally I picked it up.  I have to admit that while cute, I was underwhelmed.  There was barely any real storytelling.  I thought it would be one story overall but instead there were basically vigenettes.  Me favourite part ended up being the animal facts section.  I did the waffles were silly.  But of course it was short so then I read:

super narwhal and jelly jolt (Ben Clanton)

I have to admit that I liked this tale much better than the first.  It actually made this salty, grizzled, grumpy Captain smile.  I enjoyed all the silly animals and their silly super powers.  The animal facts still made me happy.  I acknowledge that the little cartoons are happy despite their simplicity.  It gave me enough hope that I decided to read:

peanut butter and jelly (Ben Clanton)

And I went back to not really caing about narwhal because there wasn’t a fun story here.  Narwhal discovers peanut butter.  The end.  But there was still a wee bit of time left and no more narwhal books so I decided to read:


hilda and the troll (Luke Pearson)

I just don’t get it.  How is there a story here?  I actually did enjoy the artwork but the story was fragmented.  The blurb says that ” The magic and folklore of the wild, windswept North come alive in this book about an adventurous little girl and her habit of befriending anything, no matter how curious it might seem.”  Hilda doesn’t befriend the troll and runs away from it and is scared.  She also doesn’t like the little wooden man either.  She learns the error of her ways because a) wooden man is nice to her and b) she hurts the troll because she failed to read the whole book before doing something impulsive.

Is this a trend with comics and graphic novels that I am unaware of?  That the storytelling jumps around and I am supposed to somehow connect the dots?  Perhaps it is just me weird non-visual noggin.  I am beginning to think that graphic novels and I are not friends.  But I am willing to take suggestions from the crew of graphic novels with a story in order to try again.  I may like a different one but I am not holding me breath.  Arrrr!

6 thoughts on “Off the Charts – a Muster of Mini-Reviews of Graphic Novels and Comics

  1. Graphic novels do seem to be a step between books and movies. So if you need more explanation from movies, you may also have that same problem with graphic novels. Many times they seem to use the theory that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and rely on images to explain things. It’s worked for me, but I read adult graphic novels and so don’t know how the ones you reviewed today compare.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least with paintings and sculpture the viewer can interpret the medium as they see fit. I have heard good things about March so I may give that series a chance before deciding that I just suck at graphic novels. I keep hoping and failing. But try try again right? Thanks for the comment.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I wondered if the tv show was any good. Is it on Netflix? I might try an episode and see if that makes a difference. Ye read a lot of graphic novels so it is unlikely that ye will have a problem with Hilda in that format. Thanks for readin’.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

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