REVIEW: Sharky Malarkey

Thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with the ARC


Sharky Malarkey by Megan Dong is probably the funniest series of comic strips I have read in my life. Full disclosure: I was almost in tears in the lunch room at my day job, I was trying so hard not to full on cackle.

I don’t even know how to explain this book but to show two of the comics that had me laughing the most.

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This series of comics is random, hilarious, and unapologetic about being alive, and that’s really all I can say other than: Buy this book when it comes out in September. If you like things like Sarah Scribbles, then you should definitely read Sharky Malarkey.


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Author: Megan Nicole Dong
Published: September 18, 2018
Pages: 224
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN: 9781449487553

Synopsis: Sharky Malarkey follows the adventures of Bruce, a washed-up shark actor, and a colorful assortment of dysfunctional people, animals, and inanimate objects.

Bruce is equally outlandish and relatable—he’s vain but insecure; hotheaded but cowardly; craves attention but fears intimacy—his over-the-top antics are all too human. Based on Megan Nicole Dong’s popular webcomic, Sketchshark, her debut print collection mines the absurd in everyday life.

REVIEW: The Wicked + The Divine: Commercial Suicide

This volume was all about backstory for several of the gods, including Tara who up until this volume has been only mentioned by the others.

I found this volume to be really sad, to be honest, because the backstory provided for Tara, Sakhmet, and Amaterasu was really sad. Especially when it came to poor Tara, who’s story is truly the struggle so many women are force to deal with: unwanted attention from men (trigger warning: her story contains suicide). I don’t care about Woden because he’s kind of a dick anyway, and I’m not super surprised by the twist he reveals. It’s fairly obvious at the end of the day, anyway.

It was really the ending that had me freaking out and I’m so very excited to get my hands on Volume 4.

Conclusion ★★★★★


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Authors:  Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, and Clayton Cowles
Published: February 9, 2016
Pages: 200
Publisher: Image Comics
ISBN: 9781632156310

Synopsis: After the detonation of FANDEMONIUM the gods-as-pop-stars of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE try living in the long dark shadow.

Team WicDiv are joined by a stellar cast of guest artists to put the spotlight on each of the gods. The multiple Eisner Award nominated series continues in the only way it knows how: darker, weirder, faster. Don’t worry. It’s going to be okay.

REVIEW: Saga Volume 1

Continuing once again with the graphic novel binge, I’m here today with Saga Volume 1!

The Story

Something of a Romeo & Juliet story between rivals in war, Alana and Marko are fugitives in love who only want to find a peaceful, safe life, for their new child. While running from their respective worlds the couple face bounty hunters, ghosts, and even their old friends who all want them and Hazel dead.

To me, Saga is so far a wonderful blend of science fiction and fantasy combined with the gorgeous artwork of Fiona Staples. There’s more sex in this than I was expecting, but that’s what I get for going in blind. It’s a wonderful story so far and I look forward to reading more.

The Characters

Alana is a total badass and Marko is a sweetheart who is very willing to mess people up for hurting his family. Neither of them are perfect, but it’s clear right from the start how much they love each other.

I’m also a huge fan of The Will (one of the freelancers after Alana and Marko) and his magnificent cat, Lying Cat. He seems like he’s a bit of a prick, but he doesn’t seem to be a bad person. And let’s be real, his partner is a giant cat to hisses “LYING” when people are full of shit. They’re amazing.

Lastly, there’s Prince Robot IV. It’s interesting to see that there’s a whole race of royal people with TV heads and he’s definitely an asshole, but I’m curious enough to learn more about him that I don’t entirely hate him.

The Issues [ trigger warning ]

The only big thing in this comic that made me feel gross is the Sextopia planet where The Will is essentially looking for a “slave girl” to have sex with. It’s gross and yucky on it’s one, but the man leading him through the planet to find someone good, the “slave” chosen for him is a six-year-old girl. Now The Will immediately kills the pimp and tries to escape with her but it’s still gross.

Conclusion ★★★★

In the end, I give it a four out of five. If it wasn’t for the nasty sex planet, I’d be ranking this up there with The Wicked + The Divine but, who knows, maybe it’ll earn my love entirely with the next volume.


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Authors:  Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Published:  October 23rd 2012
Pages: 160
Publisher: Image Comics
ISBN: 9781607066019

Synopsis: When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

 

REVIEW: The Wicked + The Divine: Fandemonium

I mentioned in my review of The Wicked + The Divine volume 1 that it’s been a long time since I’ve read “real” comics, but with this review I want to mention that I haven’t screamed over a comic since 2013-ish. And boy did I scream over the ending of this one.

In my last review, I mentioned the American Gods vibe of the first five issues, well combine that vibe with the death count of Game of Thrones and you’ve got what volume 2 is all about. Of course, what differentiates this from what I’m referencing is the inclusion of so much diversity in race, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

From what I’ve gotten so far from the way the characters – especially the gods – present themselves, no one is straight. Like, no one. Not only that but the trans character, Cassandra, is always referred to with female pronouns and terms. It may be a story of death, grief, and violence, but the inclusion and respect is truly wonderful.

This is an incredible story, an incredibly series, and I’m already devastated by the end of this second volume. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into volume 3 and continue to suffer.

Conclusion ★★★★★


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Authors:  Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, and Clayton Cowles
Published:  July 1, 2015
Pages: 168
Publisher: Image Comics
ISBN: 9781632153272

Synopsis: The second volume of the award-winning urban fantasy series where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. Following the tragic and unjust death of Lucifer, it takes a revelation from Inanna to draw Laura back into the worlds of Gods and Superstardom to try and discover the truth behind a conspiracy to subvert divinity. Includes issues 6-11 of the series, plus supplementary material.

 

REVIEW: The Wicked + The Divine: The Faust Act

It’s been a hell of a long time since I’ve read comics, but I’ve been needing more fast, fun things to read lately and figured I’d get caught up on the good stuff. Starting off this graphic-novel binge, I chose The Wicked + The Divine from one of my favourite authors, Kieron Gillen (who’s Journey Into Mystery run gave me life).

The Story

The plot of The Wicked + The Divine is that every 90 years, a pantheon of gods assume the form of regular people who will die within two years of gaining their forms. There are non-believers of course, but for the most part the youth of the times idolize these gods in a similar way as celebrities are adored by society now. But there have been several gruesome murders, and Luci (Lucifer) is being held accountable despite insisting innocence. Her biggest fan, Laura, is now responsible for finding the true murderer and freeing her friend and idol before all hell breaks loose.

It gave me strong American Gods vibes with the flashy colours of something out of the 80s (although it’s set in modern times) and I loved every page.

The Characters

Being a comic series of less than 150 pages in this volume, there’s still a lot to learn about the several main characters – that I’m hoping to get out of volume 2. To keep it simple, I’ll just talk about Laura specifically and then the gods as a whole.

Laura is kind of hypnotic as she narrates her life. She’s lonely and just wants to be a part of something special, something important, something bigger than herself. She wants to mean something. It’s a really relatable feeling and her passion is fierce as she defends Lucifer.

The gods themselves are intriguing. It makes me want to read up on more mythology as they aren’t from a single culture. Sure, we have Lucifer of the Catholic faith, but we also have Baal, The Morrigan, Sakhmet, and even Minerva. It’s a curious combination and I’m really looking forward to learning more about all of them and how this reincarnation thing works.

The Issues

None. None at all.

Conclusion ★★★★★

I loved this. It was a lot of fun and the writing leaves enough holes in the story to make you want to continue reading, while still giving you enough information to keep from being confused. I am majorly surprised there’s been no talk of a TV series out of this one and would die to see it (even more so if Evan Rachel Wood played Luci – the two of them are identical). I’m already starting volume 2 and look forward to seeing where this series is going to go.


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Authors:  Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, and Clayton Cowles
Published:  November 12, 2014
Pages: 144
Publisher: Image Comics
ISBN: 9781632150196

Synopsis: Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.