Thursday, February 26, 2015

Comics February: Blankets, Castle Waiting, and Relish

Blankets   Castle Waiting, Vol. 1 (Castle Waiting Omnibus Collection, #1)                                                                           Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

Blankets: This autobiographical story details Thompson's adolescence and transition into adulthood. This book is about first love - Craig falls for a girl named Raina at church camp. They start to build a relationship in fits and starts as they deal with their complicated families. Both teens have been brought up to believe in God and go to church. Their faith is slowly unraveling as Craig deals with childhood trauma and distant parents and Raina watches her parents go through a painful separation as she cares for her siblings with Down's Syndrome. This story is difficult to read as Craig and Raina are let down by every adult in their lives. I desperately wanted someone to step in and take care of them and hoped they could find a happy ending.

The illustrations are incredibly striking, even though they are black and white. In fact, the lack of color matches the story. It's the perfect winter read as we watch Craig trudge through the bleak Wisconsin snow.



Castle Waiting: You know the story: a princess is cursed to prick her finger on a spinning wheel's needle and fall asleep until awakened by true love's kiss. She is saved by her prince and they ride off into the sunset. But what happened to the inhabitants of the castle after they left? Castle Waiting imagines the members of the court who stayed behind in the only home they had ever known. The castle becomes a refuge for those who need a safe place or those who don't quite fit in elsewhere.

This is a wonderful story that jumps into the backstory of multiple characters. We are treated to all of the usual tropes of magic, romance, and heroism but the heroes in this story are not the ones we expect. The women in these tales are all pretty good at saving themselves, even the nuns. I loved this one so much that I went ahead and ordered the second volume from the library.




Relish: This graphic novel is a life story told through food. Lucy is the daughter of a chef and she learned to appreciate cuisine early in life. Food evokes very specific memories for her, as it does for most of us. Lucy tells readers about helping her mother with catering and the farmer's market, balancing a relationship with her chef mother in the country and her food snob dad in the city, trying to make croissants in Venice, and visiting a friend in Japan.

The illustrations are quirky, colorful, and beautiful. Each chapter ends with a recipe that is doable for any level of cook. Her drawings and conversational style help readers to remember their own culinary memories and feel like it is possible for us to create and love food the way that she does.




What are your favorite graphic novels? 

15 comments:

  1. Blankets was one of the first graphic novels I read and I absolutely adored it. I keep hearing great things about Relish, too, so I think I need to give that one a try!

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    1. It was my first too and I think it's a great choice to wade into the world of graphic novels!

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  2. You've reminded me that I need to seek out more graphic novels. I agree with Shannon, Blankets is amazing. So heart-breaking. It might seem like an obvious choices but check out Watchmen or Maus if you haven't already done so. I'm no expert on the genre but these two are often ranked quite highly and for good reason.

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    1. Yes! Those are great suggestions. They are both on my list.

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  3. All of these books sound interesting, but especially Relish. I really do need to read more graphic books!
    :-)
    Life’s Open Pages

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    1. Relish, I think, is fun and the easiest read of the three. Blankets is beautiful but really sad. Castle Waiting is a lot of fun but it's huge and there are a lot of characters to keep straight!

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  4. Wonderful reviews, Lindsey! I haven't read 'Blankets' yet and so I skipped your review. But I read 'Relish' last year and loved it. Glad to know that you liked it too. I loved all the recipes in it - such a wonderful pleasure to read and probably try.

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    1. Relish was just so colorful and relatable, even if your mother isn't a gourmet chef! I should remember to copy some of those recipes before I take it back to the library.

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  5. Lucy Knisley is my favorite! I finished Displacement last night and it was wonderful! I probably won't review it officially, but you should definitely read it!

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    1. Good to know! I've been thinking about which of her books I would like to read next.

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  6. I've heard lots of good things about Relish. I'll have to give them a try. The first graphic novel I've read was Maus, so I pretty much read the gold standard first. Too bad, as every one I've read after that was a little disappointing.

    I just finished read two others recently that I posted about today: This One Summer and Strange Fruit.

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    1. Maus is one I have yet to read although I feel like I need to be in a certain frame of mind to tackle that one!

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  7. Three of my favorites! I'll be curious what you thought of Castle Waiting II. I was so bummed out to learn that the series isn't being continued that I haven't been able to muster the energy to check out the second one only to be disappointed again. Ha!

    Blankets was a heavy read, huh? But those pictures--the way that he drew Raina. I just absolutely fell in love.

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    1. I didn't know Castle Waiting II was going to be the last one. I thought I read somewhere that she was working on a third volume. The second volume is great, but it doesn't have any particular sense of finality to it.

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    2. That would be AWESOME!! I read it last year so hopefully what I heard has changed...I heard something about "creative differences" between her and the publisher.

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