Welcome to an illustrative double dip review with a side order of odd. Before we start noshing on with graphic novels however, I must remind participants and lurkers alike that Fiction in 50 for February kicks off on Monday. This month’s prompt is….
To participate, simply create a piece of fiction or poetry in less than 50 words, post it somewhere, then add the link to the comments section of my Fi50 post on Monday. It was great to see some new players last month, so if you’ve been dithering about whether or not to join in, the time is NOW! For more information and future prompts, just click on the Fi50 button at the top of this post.
To the Double Dip! I received both of these titles from their respective publishers via Netgalley, and it would be tricky to find two more different works. First up, for the young and young at heart we have Gronk: A Monster’s Adventure by Katie Cook.
Gronk is a little, not very scary monster. After leaving Monsterland, due to her lack of scaring ability, Gronk is picked up by Dale, a human lady, and taken home to live with Kitty (Dale’s cat) and Harli (Dale’s Newfoundland dog). We join Gronk as she negotiates the joys and terrors of the human world and tries to fit in as just another creature in a houseful of interesting ones.
Dip into it for:
…a cutesy, episodic tale featuring a cute little monster. Gronk is undeniably adorable and there are some chuckles to be had as she tries to join in with various human activities with varying degrees of success.
Don’t dip if…
…you’re looking for something with substance. This really is just a bit of fluff for those days when you need a dose of cheerful monsterism to brighten your mundane existence.
Overall Dip Factor:
To be honest, I was a little underwhelmed with the overall Gronk experience. As it is based on a web comic, the book follows an episodic format, jumping around to different incidents in Gronk’s human-world experience. While this suited the cartoonish, cute feel of the character, I tend to prefer a more linear storyline to make things a bit more meaty. The undeniable star of the book for me was Harli, the massive dog. He’s an absolute scene-stealer. Recommended for monster fanciers and those looking for a non-calorific distraction.
Now to something for the grown-ups and a definite contender for my Oddity Odyssey Reading Challenge under the category of odd subject matter. I speak of Suffrajitsu: Mrs Pankhurst’s Amazons by Tony Wolf.
In London, 1914, the Suffragist movement is alive and well. Women are prepared to fight, go to jail and hunger strike in order to secure the right for women to vote. The last line of defence in this fight is an elite band of women trained in the martial art Bartitsu and the time is coming when these suffragettes aren’t just in danger from the police, but a conspiracy that reaches further then they could have imagined.
…feminist ninja activists! Honestly, if that doesn’t convince you then nothing will. The story is a socio-political, action-adventure, historical mystery, so if you like a bit of genre-mashing you should appreciate this one.
Don’t dip if..
…you don’t like non-cartoony art styles or blood-splashing violence. This is a graphic novel with a serious tone, so if you’re looking for a bit of light humour this might not fit the bill. Also, as this is only the first volume the tale ends on a cliffhanger.
Overall Dip Factor:
I would be very interested in seeing where this series goes, as feminism and martial arts are two of our interests on the shelf, and quite frankly, we are pleased someone decided to put the two together. The level of illustrated violence is probably at the top end of my tolerance level, but I was certainly drawn into the mystery that was revealed at the end of this volume. Give it a go if you like your graphic novels with a social history twist.
Perhaps, these graphic novels have inspired some ideas for Monday’s Fi50? We’d love to see you join in!
Progress towards Oddity Odyssey Challenge Goal: 3/16
To find out more about the Oddity Odyssey Reading Challenge (and jump on board!) click on the image at the top of the post.
Until next time then,