Friday, July 6, 2012

Comic Review: Storm Born by Richelle Mead

Title: Dark Swan: Storm Born (Volume 1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Artists: Jennyson Rosero, Dave Hamann, Adam Markiewicz, Nelson Cosentino De Oliveira (colorist)
Publisher: Sea Lion Books
Release Date: January 3, 2012
ISBN: 0982818645

I freaking love this graphic novel. There's my review in a nutshell, so if you're someone who doesn't want to read reviews and just wants to know if this volume is worth it, go for it. It's totally worth the price of admission and well worth the time it takes to read and re-read it.

Eugenie Markham never asked for any of this. Until now, she''s been content with her job as a freelance shaman, battling and banishing Otherworldly creatures. When a prophecy suddenly makes her the Otherworld''s most popular bachelorette, Eugenie finds herself fighting off unwanted supernatural suitors, as well as the evils that begin emerging from her past...

If you're a comic book fan then you're well aware that there's been an increasing amount of comic book adaptations of urban fantasy books and of supernatural themed books in general. Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter has gotten the graphic novel treatment, as has Kim Harrison's Hollows series. (Hers was a prequel, but it's still a graphic novel.) Storm Born is what both of these adaptations really wants to be, but couldn't quite accomplish.

I haven't read the source material (although I now have this book in my possession and in my TBR pile) so I can't comment on how closely the series has been adapted, but I can say that this was easy to get into and follow along with. I didn't have to have read Mead's book in order to understand what I'm reading, although the cliffhanger ending of this volume really does make me burn to read it! (Spoiler alert: this is only the first volume of what I hope will be many based upon Mead's Dark Swan series.) One of the big common flaws of book-to-comic adaptations is the assumption that almost every reader will be familiar with the source material, it's good that Storm Born manages to avoid this for the most part. There's a few scenes that I'm sure were longer in the book, but I didn't feel like I was missing something that impacted my enjoyment.

The other thing I loved about this volume was the artwork. It's gorgeous- especially the covers, which are shown in-between the chapters. There's a nice playful style here that manages to be easy on the eyes while still showing emotion. I was especially grateful that the artists didn't decide to erm... "accentuate" Eugenie's "assets" to super-human proportions. Fans of comics and manga are well aware that it's easy to throw a little extra fan-service in by enlarging the female characters' chests or making their clothing especially scantily clad. (Well, scantily clad in places and scenes where there's no call for it. There are some naked to half-naked scenes in this book, but it's part of the plot and they're tastefully done.)

I was pretty disappointed when I saw that I'd reached the end of my review copy because this meant two things: it meant that I had to wait for the next issue/volume to come out to keep reading the graphic novel version of this story and it meant that this volume went from "probably will buy" to "definitely will buy". (As I speak, I've already located which Barnes & Nobles in my area closest to me has a volume on their shelves.) I need to collect this series. And you, dear reader, need to check it out as well.


OK, so I actually just gave in and bought it from Amazon. I figured I could justify it by saying that I could also buy two cheap paperbacks that I've been wanting to read as well.

Five out of five stars

(Reader copy provided by Sea Lion Books)

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