Mini Reviews: The Prince and the Dressmaker, Catboy, Snotgirl

Hello lovely bookish friends!

Today I was going to post my NCIBA haul that I've been hinting at... but wowowow that post is really long and it's taking forever. Instead of rushing it or staying up all night, I decided to just switch my schedule around a little bit. So if all goes to plan, it will go up tomorrow!

This edition of Mini Reviews is going to be focused on three graphic novels (well, graphic works) that I've read recently. And, spoiler alert: I liked them all!

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
YA Graphic Novel, 288 pages
February 13, 2018 from First Second
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My rating: 

This book hit the perfect sweet spot between being a page turner, an atmospheric and visually stunning piece, and a heartwarming story. It follows a prince who, secretly, at night, takes on a feminine alter ego and dresses in, well, dresses, when he goes out at night. It also follows his dressmaker, whose designs rise to fame, but who is held back by the prince's secret. I love that this book presents a character who breaks gender roles without it necessarily being about gender identity; I just think that's a nice angle to be represented. This book also presents several really lovely relationships that just leave you feeling good inside.



Catboy by Benji Nate
Graphic/Sequentials, 138 pages
September 1, 2018 from Silver Sprocket 

My rating:  

The star of this collection is 100% Catboy's cute outfits. The story reads like a bind-up of loosely sequential but free-standing comics, interwoven with portraits of Catboy and Olive, featuring said cute outfits. The bits were funny and cute and the art was truly, truly gorgeous. The story starts with a human girl, Olive, wishing her cat were more like a human, and getting what she wishes for. Shenanigans ensue as Catboy adjusts to a more human-like existence. This one's not a novel or full-on engaging story, but it is a really nice piece of art with a few laughs as well.


Snotgirl, Vol. 1: Green Hair Don't Care by Bryan Lee O'Malley and Leslie Hung
Comic Series, 136 pages
February 28, 2017 from Image
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My rating:  

A new project from Byan Lee O'Malley that's also an exploration of social media culture? Yes please, I said. And how could I resist such alluring art, a style that reflects the romanticized visions of ourselves we share on social media? When I first delved into the story, however, I found it to be a little lackluster. It wasn't quite the critique that I was looking for, and there seemed to be no satisfying take-away from a pretty vapid story about a pretty vapid girl. Yet for some reason, it became a guilty pleasure. Vol. 2 was slightly more satisfying as a mystery began to unveil itself. Perhaps O'Malley is really going for the Bojack Horseman-type unlikable antihero, or perhaps he's missing the mark with social media critique. Regardless, I like this enough that I plan to see it through.


What are your thoughts on these graphic novels, if you've read them? Are there any graphic works you've been recommending lately?



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