BooksOfTheMoon

Nimona

By Noelle Stevenson

Rating: 3 stars

I don’t know if it was because I was ill while I was reading it, but this book doesn’t seem to have left that much of an impression on me. Or it could be that the person who recommended it praised it to high heaven and I had too high expectations? Nimona shows up at Lord Blackheart’s secret lab one day and announces herself as his new sidekick. Cue many chapters of fun, mayhem and shapeshifting, with more heart developing in the book as we go on. We find out more about the relationship between Blackheart and his arch-nemesis Sir Goldenloin; the obsessed head of the Institute and the lengths they go to; and the relationship between Blackheart and Nimona becomes really sweet as they start to care about each other.

The art is serviceable but not really to my taste, although it does seem to suit the story quite well.

Book details

ISBN: 9780062278234
Publisher: HarperAlley
Year of publication: 2015

Lumberjanes: To the Max Edition, Vol. 2

By Noelle Stevenson

Rating: 4 stars

The second To The Max volume of Lumberjanes is just as pretty as the first, with a lovely hardback cover and gorgeous internal artwork. The story continues to be engaging and fun as well. The first issue within this volume is a standalone story of the various Lumberjanes telling each other ghost stories. After that, we move into a longer story of Molly and Mal getting trapped Somewhere Else (with dinosaurs!) after following the Bear Woman, and then something which fleshes out Rosie’s backstory, gives the Bear Woman a name and introduces a new character with a dangerous obsession.

It took me a wee bit to get back into this; the standalone and somewhat disjointed first story didn’t really help, but once it got going, I very much enjoyed it. The tension between Jo and Barney was interesting and had a lovely payoff at the end. It was also nice to see Rosie’s character fleshed out a bit more, and more beats between the Roanoke gang (especially Mal and Molly and also the friendship between Jo and April).

There’s obviously something going on at the Lumberjanes camp and I look forward to finding out more about what it is, not to mention spending more time with the Lumberjanes themselves.

Book details

ISBN: 9781608868896
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Year of publication: 2015

Lumberjanes: To the Max Edition, Vol. 1

By Noelle Stevenson

Rating: 4 stars

The Lumberjanes camp is a girls’ scouting-type camp (officially Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqual Thistle Crumpet’s Camp For Hardcore Lady Types) and this adorable story follows the occupants of Roanoke cabin and the decidedly supernatural goings-on that happen around them. I loved the characters here: the gang themselves are fantastic, each with their own very distinct personality as well as the cabin scout-leader, Jen and the enigmatic but awesome camp director, Rosie.

The art style of the comic is quite cartoony but it suits it down to the ground. It’s also clear, distinctive and very readable. The comic has very strong themes of friendship and loyalty, the camp’s motto, after all, is “Friendship to the max”, and it’s something that the girls take very seriously. Right from the start, it’s clear they’re already close friends (or closer, in the case of Mal and Molly) and this bond develops over the course of the book, as their lives, their relationships and their friendship are tested again and again.

Obviously, given the title, the protagonists and most of the characters in the book are female and it’s wonderful to see such good characters and such good role models. I can’t wait until my niece (and my nephew, come to that) is older so that I can introduce her to this.

Finally, a word on the book itself: this beautiful hardcover edition collects the whole of the original eight-issue mini-series and is a lovely thing in its own right to hold, with glossy paper and vibrant colours. Since the series has gone monthly, they are collected in paperbacks and also more of these “to the max” editions, which are similar to “deluxe” editions of series such as Saga or Rat Queens.

(4.5 stars)

Book details

ISBN: 9781608868094
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Year of publication: 2014

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