Category: Graphic Novels
Calling All 28 Days Later Fans...
It should not come as any surprise that someone would adapt this story into a graphic novel but for those that didn't realize it, this nice little edition offers a treat for the fans!
London Calling by Michael Alan Nelson
Summary: Picking up where the first movie leaves off, this original graphic novel bridges the gap between the first film and its sequel. The novel features Selena and her new comrades who struggle against the infected, the American presence in the UK... and themselves. Selena is a survivor but even she must give pause when the mission has her breaking into the land she fought so hard to get out of.
Review: FVZA: Federal Vampire Zombie Agency
Courtesy of the Graphic Novels Blog.
FVZA: Federal Vampire Zombie Agency by David Hine
May's Review: First, let's clear up any misconceptions you might have about me. Yes, I have read Meyer's Twilight as well as watched the movie in a theatre and read the graphic novel. Yes, I do read the occasional paranormal romance involving vampires. And yes, I enjoyed watching Buffy on TV. But no, I don't think Robert Pattinson is cute. Nor do I spend all of my downtime fawning over how cute vampires are, how misunderstood they are, etc. As far as I'm concerned, vampires are meant to be vicious bloodthirsty creatures of the night meant to horrify not arouse you.
With this sentiment in mind, Hine portrays his vampires in FVZA as cruel ferocious killers with little to no regard for humanity. Unlike what you see on TV, Hine's vampires are deliberately ugly. My favorite line in this book was when the head vampire points out once a vampire is turned, he or she loses his/her physical beauty--meaning that the hair falls out, the skin turns ashen, the head starts to shrivel, etc. Gross!
Aside from the scary portrayal of vampires which is aided immensely by the terrific artwork, this graphic novel is also strengthen by a well-thought out storyline. The book opens with a FVZA (Federal Vampire Zombie Agency) agent named Landra Pecos ready to shoot her grandfather who has just been turned. In a series of flashbacks, we see her upbringing, her training and subsequent entry into the field, and the tragic deaths of both her brother and her lover which have brought her to this point. Intermingled with these scenes is the return of the vampires who were nearly wiped out by the FVZA in the 60s. This new wave of vampires is now plotting to utilize a zombie plague to bring society's to its knees by unleashing the virus into a small town. Ah, nothing like a little mayhem and chaos thrown in to amp up the adrenaline.
The story is obviously well-paced with a number of terrific plot twists at the very end. I won't reveal what happens with Landra and her grandfather but suffice it to say, you will be surprised. This was an enjoyable read from start to finish. Since there doesn't appear to be a sequel, if you enjoy FVZA, you might also want to check out Scott Snyder's American Vampire and Steve Niles' 30 Days of Night for the mere fact that their vampires are equally scary, vicious and just a tad bit crazy as well. Enjoy!
Zombies + Frank Darabont = AWESOME
This fall AMC has combined forces with Frank Darabont to bring us a zombie-licious series based on Robert Kirkman's Walking Dead graphic novels.
Why you should be watching:
1) Zombies - Zombies rock okay?? Beyond their meta-mystique appeal, they are truly terrible and terrifying. Anything that is driven by pure, mindless instinct to rip you apart and EAT you from the inside out, you just gotta respect. Furthermore, Zombies are usually accompanied by an apocalypse, and who doesn't bow down to a good "the world's gone to hell you better kiss your behind goodbye" scenario? I do! I do!
2) Frank Darabont you're my hero - very few writers/directors can successfully translate the sheer storytelling genius that is Stephen King to the big screen. Most of the time, the adaptations wind up a great big steaming pile of you know what. There are exceptions, and Frank Darabont's work is among them (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Mist). Darabont *loves* horror, and has wanted to "work with zombies" since he was 14 years old.
3) AMC The rise of specialty cable networks like HBO, Showtime and AMC have ensured that talented writers are not fated to go the way of the Do-Do bird, at least not yet. It's no coincidence then that AMC's tagline is: Story Matters Here - the network home of Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
Review: Legends: The Enchanted
Courtesy of the Graphic Novels Blog...
Legends: the Enchanted by Nick Percival
May's Review: Wow! If you prefer your fairy tales extremely dark mixed with steampunk elements, then this graphic novel is for you!
A band of supernatural but very familiar fairy tale characters including as Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, and the giant-killer Jack have been charged with the protecting the lands from the never-ending horde of nightmarish creatures. Unfortunately, this supernatural band of heroes' greatest weapon--their immortality spell--has been broken and now they must race against time to identify and stop their mysterious nemesis before it's too late.
This is an incredibly dark and gritty story with multiple references to torture and sexual violence that may cause some to be slightly squeamish. This is certainly not the "happily ever after" type of graphic novel. The artwork is gorgeous but slightly twisted in a surreal kind of way. Definitely a recommended read for the Fables fan who is looking for a more adult graphic novel series.
New Graphic Novel
New in the library! Arkham Asylum: Madness by Sam Kieth.
Description: It is the most feared house in all of Gotham City. It contains the worst that the city has to offer. It is the place The Dark Knight's most dangerous and psychotic foes call home. Writer/artist Sam Kieth, creator of THE MAXX and artist of the acclaimed miniseries LOBO: HIGHWAY TO HELL, invites you to spend 24 hours in Arkham Asylum – the most unsettling house in the DC Universe.
May's Comment: Okay, maybe not so horror-filled but then again, who knows what madness lurks behind the walls of Arkham Asylum...
Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Courtesy of the Regina Public Library's graphic novel blog.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith, and Tony Lee
May's Review: What happens when you mash up zombies and the beloved Austin classic novel Pride and Prejudice and then adapt the story into a graphic novel? Well, you get a slightly better take on an otherwise horrible storyline (read my initial review of the book). At least this time around I was able to finish reading the graphic novel, which was a huge improvement over the book. I have no problems if authors want to mash up and re-invent stories. I just wish Grahame-Smith had picked something other than zombies as the villains. If you liked the original book, chances are you will enjoy reading the graphic novel. Otherwise, if the thought of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Dracy battling zombie sounds absolutely ridiculous, then this graphic novel isn't for you.
Check out this posting on Robert Kirkman's zombie graphic novel series taken from Regina Public Library's graphic novel blog.
I just finished reading Walking Dead, Volume 11, and I really enjoyed it. Kirkman goes in new directions with some of his characters, exploring ideas of justice in a world that has gone crazy, and the darkness that inevitably starts to stain each of the survivors. I don't know how he managed it, but this volume seems darker than many of the previous ones, and the emotional impact of some of the events will linger long after you finish reading them.
If you haven’t read any Walking Dead, start with volume one. While I am normally not a fan of zombie movies, I am hooked on this series.
Stephen King graphic novels
Here's a new post from the graphic novel blog that might interest horror fans:
Every time a new Stephen King graphic novel comes out, I am blown away by the artwork. The covers are so vivid, and the quality stays true through the entire book, which unfortunately isn't always the case in graphic novels. If you haven't tried any Stephen King graphic novels, I suggest you start with either The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born or The Stand: Captain Trips. Each of these books is the first in a separate series. But, if you've been reading them all along, check out Fall of Gilead, the latest in the Dark Tower series.
More Horror-Inspired Graphic Novels Coming Soon
The following horror-inspired graphic novels are either ON ORDER or in processing meaning that if you wish to borrow the item when they arrive in the library, make sure you place a hold on them!
Criminal Macabre: Cell Block 666 by Steve Niles, Nick Stakal and Tim Bradstreet
Summary: Cal McDonald faces his greatest challenge yet - hard time! Framed in the death of a cop, Cal finds himself at the mercy of a sadistic and corrupt police force. But now, in some of the bleakest moments of his life, the things that make him different from the rest of the world might be the only things capable of keeping his sorry butt out of deeper trouble. Because it turns out that the things that would make most people want to give up and die - the strange, inhuman voices coming from adjacent cells, the mysterious visitors, the unlikely saviors in demonic disguise - are the things that have kept Cal alive long enough to see a way out. And just when Cal begins to unravel the conspiracy behind his own downfall, he uncovers a nightmare world of murder and corruption at the prison that has dozens of former prisoners turning in their graves - and clawing their way out!
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith, and Tony Lee
Summary: This graphic novel adaptation, featuring all-original art, will bring this sensational tale to a whole new audience. 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains'. So begins "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" - Jane Austen's immortal classic, now brought to glorious, gory new life with original, all-new scenes of zombie mayhem. Seth Grahame-Smith's irreverent and witty reworking of this novel immediately struck a nerve: The book quickly became "A New York Times" bestseller - and one of the most buzzworthy and blogged-about pop culture sensations of the year. Now "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" is a graphic novel - the perfect format to bring this remixed masterpiece to zombie-loving pop-culture fans.
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane and Christian de Metter
Summary: In 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner, Chuck Aule, are sent to Shutter Island to find a mass murderer who has escaped from Ashecliffe Hospital, a fortress-like federal institution for the criminally insane. As an intense hurricane bears relentlessly down on the island, the marshals are forced to piece together clues to a shocking puzzle hidden within Shutter Island, taking them on a dark, twisted journey, where paranoia assumes an air of cool rationality and the line between sanity and madness disappears...
2 horror classics get the graphic novel treatment
Richard Matheson has long been recognized as one of the founding fathers of modern horror. Stephen King has called Matheson: "the author who influenced me most as a writer."
An American literary legend, Matheson has not only published some of the most well-known and influential horror novels out there (Hell House; I Am Legend; The Incredible Shrinking Man; Stir of Echoes), he has also written countless short stories, including many teleplays for the original Twilight Zone series. Steven Spielberg's directorial debut, the 1971 made-for-TV Duel was also a Richard Matheson screenplay based on one of his short stories.
Now two of Matheson's most famous novels are available in graphic novel format, in black and white drawings that perfectly capture mood and action. Filled with moments of dreadful anticipation and hair-raising sequences. Whether you know the original Matheson novels or not, you will not want to miss out on these visual treats!
Richard Matheson's I Am Legend
adapted by Steve Niles and illustrated by Elman Brown.
Summary: The tale of the last human on an Earth overrun by the undead - returns to graphic novel format in a single volume collection of four long out-of-print books. A pandemic is unleashed upon the world, the symptoms of which are very similar to vampirism. The lone “survivor” of this apocalypse is Robert Neville and his solitary battles to remain uninfected and fight off numerous nocturnal attacks makes for riveting storytelling. Fantastic in premise yet firmly grounded in reality, I Am Legend is an original "vampire" story unlike any other. Even if vampires aren't your thing, this apocalyptic tale of survival is a must read.
Richard Matheson's Hell House
adapation by Ian Edginton ; illustrated by Simon Fraser
Summary: IDW brings you this lavishly illustrated adaptation of Richard Matheson's tale of newspaper publisher Rudolph Deutsch facing his impending demise. To help Deutsch forestall his death and to learn the secrets of life after death, a team of experts must survive a night in Belasco House, a place known amongst the local townsfolk as "Hell House." The notorious Belasco House starts to exert its dark influence on the group of scientists and spiritualists as they unearth the perverse and wretched secrets from within its walls. Hell House has let them in... but will it ever let them leave?
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