Archive for the ‘graphic novels’ Category

Allen Say, Portland, Oregon author, reflects on moving to California from Japan only eight years after World War II.  A cold father dumped Allen into a youth military camp where he endured persecution, finally being thrown out.  His alter ego, a cartoon based on himself by his Sensie,  Noro Shinpie, was his only companion.  But opportune guardians helped him with  kindnesses along the way:  Willard who taught him to drive, the train engineer, Mr. Price who called him son, and Mrs. Swope, the art teacher who set him on the path to his eventual career.  He gives homage to them while not minimizing the trials.  Artfully done!

I am a fan.  Rather “Grandfather’s Journey,” or “The Boy of the Three-Year Nap” (Caldecott winner), Say has a way of harvesting a human experience from the reader’s heart by sharing his own.

say_allan_lg                                                                         inkers

Reading Rockets Video

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I wanted to share two more graphic novels in the “Female Force’ series.

Princess Diana includes a good narration with dialog bubbles for stand-out speeches and Diana/Charles interchanges. The cartoonist narrator comments on her life and the speech by Tony Blair was wonderfully captured. Diana’s style was evident, and I have to admit, I am in awe of illustrators who can draw great knees.

Hillary Clinton’s graphic novel has her in a fun Superwoman pose in front of Old Glory. Again, loved the quotes, especially her concession speech after losing the nomination for the Democratic nominee for president. There will be lots of discussion of her demonic pictures and the gang attack of Hillary. So why those unsettling images are used?

ENDERS’ Rating: Biographies gone graphic!

Bluewater Comics Website


Luckily I tuned in the AM Northwest out of Portland, Oregon to see Darren G. Davis of Bluewater Comics talk about his “Female Force” comic series of notable women in politics, writing and whatever comes next….entertainment? science? sports? The possibilities are endless!

How could I pass up a bio on Stephenie Meyer, our fave author of the Twilight Saga? This graphic novel is narrated by a grateful vampire who tells her story from a macabre chamber that has an old tome of her life, and chubby spiders for reading snacks. I loved the vampire’s book morphing into the comic frames of her life, and the vampire narrator chortling, “Years of going hungry and now they love us!”. The history of Forks, after the bio, was drawn in sepia hues and told in a “historic comic” style. Great cover art. Stephenie has to be pleased. The only page I didn’t like was the wolf/Forks page dividing the bio from the history. But that was a small blip in a fun Female Force comic.

ENDERS’ Rating: Already sold out…what more can I say?

Bluewater Comics Website


As a fan of the original (I memorized Portia’s courtroom soliloquy, who didn’t?) I was really curious about the graphic novel version. Would the art distract or assist the storyline? How is Hinds going to deal with the King’s language?

I am happy to say that I loved it! Creating characters with his acquaintances in mind was wonderful, as it was so apparent that each person’s face has to be just so. Well, the story was adapted, but I was happy to see that major soliloquies were nicely cadenced or very close to the original. It all sounded more Shakespearean as the story progressed, pulling the reader totally into it. Bravo!

The controversies of the story regarding sexual orientation, race discrimination and hate are as topical today as ever. And check out his website!

ENDERS Rating: Not to pass up in English class!

Garth Hinds’ Website