Monday, March 29, 2010
I don't usually read graphic novels, let alone buy one. I purchased "Kick Ass" at our Books-A-Million only because I've seen the trailers for its upcoming film adaptation due out next month. It took me about a day to read it, so I thought a "mini review" would do just fine for it.
"Kick Ass" is the co-production of writer Mark Miller (Ultimate X-Men, Wanted, Civil War) and illustrator John Romita Jr (Amazing Spider-Man World War Hulk), both legends in their respective fields. It tells the tale of Dave Lizewski, a teenager living with his widowed father, who ponders about the lack of costumed crusaders in the real world. He decides to suit up and fight injustice as the masked hero Kick Ass. A simple You-Tube video away, he earns international fame and inspires many others, such as Red Mist and the father-daughter team Big Daddy and Hit Girl, to answer the call.
The storyline was first class, and the illustration was a pleasure to look at. My only grumble was its length, for I felt the story could have had more meat on its spine (Hehe- get it?). If I'm going to read a graphic novel, I'd prefer something more complex like "Watchmen".
But still, I found myself drawn in from the first page and loved all it had to offer- even the brief nudity (I'm a guy, remember?). I think you guys should pick this up and come see the movie with me when it hits theaters in a few weeks.
Until next time.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Imagine a contest where twenty four children are chosen to compete in a fight to the death to claim a reward of a year's worth of food for themselves and their family. Welcome to the Hunger Games: a Gladiator-style Olympics publically watched on TV for entertainment.
Written by Suzann Collins, "The Hunger Games" takes place in Panem, a country in the ruins of North America made up of twelve districts. Enter Katniss Everdeen- a girl from District 12 whose impressive skills with a bow keep her impoverished mother and sister from starving. After her father was killed in a mining accident, she took responsibility into her own hands and began killing game illegally outside of her district, becoming an extremely skilled hunter in the process.
On Reaping Day, two tributes from each district are chose through a lottery, and Katniss's sister, Prim, is chosen. Fearing for her sister, she volunteers to take her place in the Games. The other tribute is Peeta, the son of the town baker who assisted Katniss once in the past.
Once the Games begin, she finds the battlegrounds a lethal environment, with mutant animals and geographical pitfalls used to weed out weak players in a spectacle fashion. If one manages to survive past that, deadly alliances between other contenders, the forces of nature in control of the viewer-conscious Game makers, and the simple dangers of dehydration and starvation. Supplies are limited, to ensure players fighting tooth and claw over them.
While I was reading this book, I found a few places where the grammar became a bit confusing, and I had to re-read a few times to grasp what the author was trying to say or describe (hey, maybe I’m just an idiot). Overall, the story moved slowly, but only because Collins took the time to thoroughly explain all that was happening. I’m glad she took the time to do that- instead of slapping a story arc on paper, shoving a handful of characters into it, and calling it a novel.
Don’t laugh. You know who you are.
Overall, I found the story unique and interesting. It’s rare to find a young adult post-apocalyptic novel that doesn’t involve some sort of nuclear fallout or zombies. The characters were well-developed and original, thus making them more believable. I enjoyed it, and I look forward to reading its sequel, “Catching Fire” in the near future.
Over and out.