Xpress Reviews: Graphic Novels | First Look at New Books, September 21, 2012

Week ending September 21, 2012

Lemire, Jeff. Lost Dogs. Top Shelf Prods. 2012. 104p. ISBN 9781603091541. pap. $9.95. F
Timothy Callahan introduces this newly relettered and republished version of Lost Dogs, the first professional work of Lemire (Essex County; Sweet Tooth). Originally conceiving the story under Scott McCloud’s 24-hour Comic Challenge, Lemire took the challenge several steps further and won a Xeric Grant to print it in 2005. In thick black ink and black and red watercolor, Lemire tells the apparently Victorian-era tale of a huge, ugly man from the countryside whose daughter is killed and wife beaten as the result of the family’s ill-fated trip to the city. After his aggressors cast him into the sea, the man makes his way back to the city only to be forced into a fighting match in order to find out where his wife was taken.
Graphic novel fans who can look past the violence and roughness here will appreciate the clarity and depth of Lemire’s storytelling. Although the world treats the large man like an animal, he never wavers in his love for his family nor gives up his basic sense of human dignity.—Heather Williams, Whatcom Community Coll., Bellingham, WA

Walters, Mac & John Jackson Miller (text) & Omar Francia (illus.). Mass Effect: Invasion. Vol. 3. Dark Horse. 2012. 110p. ISBN 9781595828675. $16.99. F
This four-part graphic novel is based on the wildly successful role-playing video game of the same name. A female humanoid named Aria T’Loak works the cosmos as a sort of pirate queen of criminal gangs that conduct lucrative commerce on the frontiers of space/time. The gangs operate out of the Omega space station, a sordid outpost on the edge of the galaxy that has hosted every kind of galactic outlaw but never anything as evil as what turns up at the start of this episode. The Adjutants are a creepy hive of lab-experiments-gone-wrong unleashed onto the unsuspecting universe by a shady biotech outfit tied to the human militia group Cerberus. When the Adjutants invade Omega station, Aria is driven to adopt risky tactics to save her home base, her empire, and her own magenta-hued skin.
Verdict The art is eye candy, the color gorgeous. Every panel is packed with detail to the point of being extremely busy, with especially nifty, nerdy graphics in the final pages. Unfortunately, those unfamiliar with the game may find the story convoluted and confusing, as the tale is ongoing, with an open-ended finish.—Russell Miller, Prescott P.L., AZ

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox (blfox@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Now in her 46th year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ's Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews. She received the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Vivian Stephens Industry Award in 2013 for having "contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner"