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Literally Graphic

Joined 9 months ago

An avid audiobook and comics reader with few IRL outlets for what has become a very special interest.

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2023 Reading Goal

4% complete! Literally Graphic has read 4 of 100 books.

Djeliya (2022, TKO Studios) No rating

Inspired by West African folklore and stories handed over centuries, this unique graphic novel follows …

This graphic novel is not overtly rated and I did find it in the general adult section of my library. That said, both Goodreads and WorldCAT have categorized it as young adult and that certainly did not surprise me.

Flipping to the back of the book, Juni Ba describes themselves as "what happens when the influences of 2000s era Cartoon Network enter the brain of an average Senegalese boy. Since growing up in Dakar, he has come up with several works including the Monkey Meat Comics, the Kayin and Abeni miniseries with co-writer  Keenan Kornegay, as well as being featured in the publications of the Nigerian house Kugali. Djeliya is his first graphic novel, but hopefully the first of many, to tackle subjects in and out of Africa."

Keywords that came to mind: Folklore, colour, adventure, cartoon network nostalgia, and storytelling.

Looking at the art, it was by far the …

Are you listening? (2019, First Second) 3 stars

Bea is on the run. And then, she runs into Lou.

This chance encounter sends …


3 stars

Cataloged in the young adult/teen section, I would describe the genre as contemporary dreamscape low key horror if that makes any sense.

Content notes for teen runaway, being hunted, and cat in danger.

Keywords that came to mind reading this comic were Texas, vehicle, sunset colour scheme, escape, highways, pit stops, breakdowns, found family, loss, and menace.

Not dissimilar to other Walden books I've read the art sucks you right in and the vibes carry you through, but by the end you are left scratching your head a little bit about what exactly happened. But in an ok way.

Unlike the two other fiction graphic novels I've read by Walden, Are You Listening had the strongest sense of place. Both literally, but also thematically. I've never been to Texas, but it did feel heavily tied to Walden's experience growing up there.

That said, it still felt like Walden pushed at …

What Remains : Colombia (2022, Uncivilized Books) 4 stars

"What Remains is an innovative graphic novel that weaves documentary and memoir forms to capture …

Personal Histories

4 stars

Content notes for a military dictatorship and all the the horrible things that obviously involves.

A book that almost no one has read, it was also kind of hard to track down author information. But according to his entry in the 2020 MCBA Prize "Camilo Aguirre is a Colombian artist whose practice shifts between comics and fine arts.

In his comics Camilo uses the elements of documentary format to tell non-fictional stories, implementing anecdotes and interviews from his immediate context, addressing the asking how his own subjectivity is constructed from the Colombian context, and reflecting on this context towards the ideas of globalization and belonging. Camilo has been the author of graphic novels such as Ciervos de Bronce (Bronze Deers, 2014), Calidez Aislada (Isolated Warmth, 2012) and has been coauthor of graphic novels such as Caminos Condenados (Condemned Paths, 2016) and La Palizua (2018). During his career in comics Camilo …

Kimiko Does Cancer (Paperback, 2020, Arsenal Pulp Press) 5 stars

At the age of twenty-five, Kimiko Tobimatsu was a young, queer, mixed-race woman with no …

A potent personal story

5 stars

Published by Vancouver publisher Arsenal Pulp Press in 2020.Content notes for cancer and nudity.

Flipping to the back of the book, this creative duo describes themselves as

"Keet Geniza is an illustrator and comic artist. Born and raised in Manila, she moved to Toronto in 2006 and has since immersed herself in zines and comics as a way to document her struggles as a queer immigrant woman of colour. Kimiko Does Cancer is her first book."

And Kimiko Tobimatsu "is an an employment and human rights lawyer by day. Kimiko Does Cancer is her first book."

What keywords came to mind reading this beautifully concise work? Illness, family, relationships, queerness, age, medicine, gender, work and survival.

A book with a clear mission, and not a centimeter of room was wasted. This is a potent and very personal story.

The art felt a bit reminiscent of Fun Home but different enough …

Nubia (Paperback, 2021, DC Comics) 5 stars

"Nubia has always been a little bit...different. As a baby she showcased Amazonian-like strength by …

A really impressive read

5 stars

Content notes for school shooting, police killing/brutality, armed robbery, and SA.

Looking at the nature of the violence that is one of the things that perhaps most impressed me about this book. Because with some of these young adult DC titles issues of violence and poverty have sometimes felt insultingly cartoonified, even considering they are supposed to be for younger readers. That's not to say that I have no critical thoughts about the depiction of violence... It would literally make no sense for the robbers to kill anyone in this or any story as that would up the consequences for all of them exponentially. Not to say that sort of thing never happens, and people make mistakes. But I do feel like, the media's depiction of armed robbery makes it seem much more likely to happen then it actually does in real life. Flipping back to the positive side though, …

Kwändǖr (GraphicNovel, 2022, Conundrum Pres) 5 stars

Indigenous Voices Award winner Cole Pauls returns with a robust collection of stories that celebrate …


5 stars

What keywords came to mind reading this book? culture, heritage, community, language, teaching, learning, colonization, the land, art, and sovereignty.

The summary is as follows "Indigenous Voices Award winner Cole Pauls returns with a robust collection of stories that celebrate the cultural practices and experiences of Dene and Arctic peoples Gathering Pauls’s comics from magazines, comic festivals and zine making workshops, these comics are his most personal work yet. You’ll learn stories about the author’s family, racism and identity, Yukon history, winter activities, Southern Tutchone language lessons and cultural practices. Have you ever wanted to learn how to Knuckle Hop? or to acknowledge and respect the Indigenous land you’re on? Or how to be an ally to Indigenous people? Well, gather around and hear this Kwändǖr!"

Much like the rest of his work that has been published so far, rather then being a straight forward graphic novel Kwändǖr is a …

Two stars because that’s legitimately how this book made me feel. One of those books I’ve meant to pick up a decade ago when I was reading a lot of dystopian fiction that was influenced/inspired by it. And one I should have perhaps culled from my TBR as my interest in those dystopians faded. While the internal monologue of our main character is heavily influenced by the extremely toxic culture that he finds himself in (that we are not supposed to be a fan of) it did make reading the book like being continually pricked by needles. Although, I guess I can see where people are coming from when they say that Zamyatin treats at least one of his female characters better then Orwell ended up doing. For all his general distaste for this novel. I seem to recall that one thing I did appreciate about 1984 that overlaps here …

Yotsuba&! 1 (2009, Yen Press) 3 stars

The story of the new kid in town - little Yotsuba, a green-haired and wide-eyed …

First Review of the Year

3 stars

Content note for adoption.

Looking at the mangaka, Kiyohiko Azuma he is apparently best known for his much shorter work Azumanga Daoih. Otherwise, I guess their main work is not publishing manga so publication of Yotsuba has been on the slower side. I certainly assumed that the series was long over, but apparently not. Comparing my local comic shop and goodreads it does appear as if all 15 volumes currently available are also translated; so that's nice. Currently my plan is to try and read these volumes by the end of the year and do another review once I've caught up? Because I've had bad experiences reading these sort of slice of life volumes one after another after another, but who knows when this series will be over. Knowing my luck, I'll do all this then Azuma will announce in 2024 that they are finishing up the series after one …