Book Reviews: Another Graphic Novel Edition

“Getting a degree” online does not count, just like “having sex” online does not count.

Roche Limit Volume 2
Subtitled “Clandestiny.” Nice.
Around an orange motif there’s an alien planet where a female badass wants to kill a monster; I’m guessing you have to read volume 1 in order to know what monster she’s referring to. From there it seems to go into flashback, but it’s not clear. The reason I think that is because the next thing that happens is the ship being attacked by a missile and crashlanding.
As the story goes on there’s a woman who’s lost her memory, but I can’t tell if she’s the same badass from the beginning—that’s not good. I digitally flipped to the end to see if there was a character guide, but nope. I had such a hard time telling them apart, partly due to the artwork but mostly because in their uniforms they look similar.
Finally, almost at the end, we’re back to the beginning, with the badass wanting to kill the monster, but by then I’d already been lost and couldn’t follow. And it hardly mattered, because the story will continue, which is just an erudite—and silly, now that I think about it—way of saying it ends on a cliffhanger.
The author’s point, if there is one, might lie in this phrase: “You humans bend your world around what you like to hear, then you shut the rest out.”
This is one of those stories where it appears you need to be in on it from the beginning, because this was just too confusing. I wish the artwork was more on point, more in focus; some of the drawings are blurry on purpose. And in all my graphic novel reading, this is the first time I’ve had a complaint about the lettering, with the font a little wonky, especially with the R.

Shutter Volume 3
A woman in Venice—Italy, not Beach—surrounded by aliens in a café, is writing a journal while looking through old photos; eventually it’s made obvious that she has amnesia. Then she’s on the run. Considering this is volume 3, I shouldn’t expect to know what the hell is going on, but rather than an exposition dump they use a peyote dream to inform, which is totally weird but actually kinda refreshing in its originality.
Unfortunately about halfway a new storyline pops up which makes everything confusing. What had been a good story got sidetracked by taking the plot somewhere completely different, to a kingdom of lions. Again I’ll assume this has something to do with previous volumes, but if they’re trying to sell this as a standalone it’s far too jarring.
There’s some sneaky humor in here: {“Are we gonna explode?” “Yup.”} And as wrong as it is, I had to laugh when a guy’s head is knocked clear off his body with one punch and the rest of the assassins complain about the brutality.
There’s ten pages of sketches and other extras.
So to reiterate, this is one of those where you have to be familiar with the previous editions to understand what’s going on here. That said, it had a few wonderful moments and the artwork, especially the cat people, was excellent.

Southern Cross Volume 1
The Southern Cross is a spaceship going to Titan, where a woman is traveling to after her sister died there. She’s as antisocial as possible, chip on her shoulder and all that. She knows she’d have an easier life if she could keep her anger down, but she can’t help herself; might have made her too unlikeable to root for. She uncovers a conspiracy dealing with drug running and a very strange means of propulsion that might be the cause of all the weird goings-on throughout the ship.
The entire story takes place on the ship, and most of the artwork is browns and yellows, some blues, yet somehow it works. The only red thing is her hair. The story could have been sharper, tighter, and of course it ends in a sequel hook, but that should be expected by now, with a continuing story. After all, there’s no point in naming something “Volume 1” if there isn’t going to be a “Volume 2.”
Covers and bios at end.

Starve Volume 1
Former celebrity TV chef now dropout in Asia gets called in to do more shows as the world economy plunges; he quickly realizes he’s in over his head, much like New York (global warming). But he’s too stubborn or uncaring to give in, and plays the game as ruthlessly as those against him, especially when the show tells him he has to fight his way into restaurant kitchens for the next challenge.
This is basically a morality tale about how much the rich can screw the poor. Of course the protagonist is an ass, but then so is everyone else, especially the ex-wife and ex-friend. The only really good person is the only beautiful one, his daughter; those things tend to go together in comics. The whole thing is painted bleakly, much like this future, with an overabundance of gray, making for fuzzy images.
Since this is Volume 1 you can expect more to come, so there’s no resolution. The story cuts off just as it’s getting good!



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