Posts Tagged 'Great Graphic Novels'

Life Sucks Review

Life Sucks cover art

Life Sucks cover art

 Abel, Jessica, Gabe Soria, and Warren Pleece.  Life Sucks.  First Second Books.  2008.

192 Pages

3Q – 4P – S – G

Grades 9-12

There are two types of people in this world: Goths and people who make fun of Goths.  This book appeals to both groups.  A subculture of real vampires rules the southern california nights.  They murder, steal and help run a 24 hour convenience store during the night shift?!  Yep, even the immortal undead need to make some cash to keep up appearances.  And for the novels main protagonist, Dave, “working for the man” has a whole new meaning.  He is a “wage slave” working to keep the vampire who “made” him in the bucks.  When he falls in love with a goth, but lovely Latina human named Rosa, the story takes all the relationship twists of a teen romance, but being a vampire only complicates things for Dave and eventually Rosa.  Dave meets her night after night and vies for her affection with another vampire named Wes.  Wes, a self-obsessed “rich-boy” surfer type, is a vampire with a mean streak.  Wes’ infatuation with vampiric powers and outright cruelty lead to his eventual reprimand by his (and Dave’s) own master, Radu, but only after a violent encounter with Dave where all of Dave’s friends come to Dave’s aid; including a mysterious Harley Davidson riding loner vampire who has befriended Dave and pops up occasionally to offer Dave “life” lessons.

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Uzumaki Review

 

Uzumaki cover art

Uzumaki cover art

Uzumaki by: Junji Ito

208 Pages

4Q – 3P – S – G

Grades 9-12

 

Original: Japan, 1998 by Shogakukan, Inc.

English: America, 2001 by Viz Media LLC.

Uzumaki is a manga book for older teens chronicling a series of strange events that occur in a seaside Japanese town called Kurozu Cho.  The manga is narrated by a former resident and the main protagonist: Kirie Goshima.  She’s an average high school student until a series of terrible events consumes her life.  The manga’s first story follows the “gruesome” tale surrounding the deaths of Shuichi Saito’s parents.  Shuichi is Kirie’s boyfriend and confidant.  The theme of “spirals” begins to emerge as the spiral symbol consumes Shuici’s father and mother in two separate psychological break downs which lead to the commission of strange acts of self-mutilation and their deaths.  Shuichi’s father literally bends his body into spirals in a large basket and Shuici’s mother succumbs to the visions she has of her late husband haunting and telling her all the places on her body that have spirals.  Her demise arises when she realizes that the human ear has a small organ that is spiral shaped.  She jabs scissors into her ears and suffers debilitating injuries that slowly kill her.  
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