Mini Reviews: Anya's Ghost, Mudman, and Sumo

Standalone. First Second (June 2011) Library
Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn't kidding about the "Forever" part...

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.                          
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya's normal life might actually be worse. She's embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she's pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.                                                                                                                                                               
Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya's Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

I don't know what I quite expected with this book. I think I must have gone with the thought that this was going to be like Friends with Boys which is a previous ghost graphic novel book that I absolutely loved. Although Anya's Ghost wasn't as amazing as Friends with Boys it still was great in it's own way. Anya comes from a culture that is just so not her. She feels like an outcast at her school because of her background. She doesn't really have any friends and when she finds one in a ghost she's surprised and a little freaked out at first (which is the appropriate response). The ghost helps her cheat in life and it's all good and dandy until Anya figures out who she really is and what she attends to do.

I liked the lessons in the story. Be yourself, accept where you come from, and don't let anyone change you. Her family was sweet especially her little rascal of a brother. She's very different but also very "artistry". Not that she draws or anything just that she could be that weird/different/cool type of person. The illustrations were amazing. I loved the way the characters and the MC's story was depicted. I wish the author would write another graphic novel like this one already.

She did this mini comic you can "read" here. It's pretty sad but cool.

Mudman #1. Image Comics (October 2012) NetGalley
It's the first day back at school for Owen Craig, and it's not going too well. He's been run over, got detention, and his police officer father has been taken prisoner by armed bank robbers. And now his body seems to be turning to mud... 

A guy who's super power is slinging mud around? Cool. Or so I thought... I really couldn't get into the story and the MC. The author tried to do this mysterious background but you know what? It just didn't get me excited or wondering what was going to happen. I was mainly confused or like meh with the story. The illustrations weren't that great either. I thought for a while that maybe it was the format in which I was reading the comic but I've read others the same way and didn't get this shaky kind of rushed feel to the illustrations. This book just wasn't for me.


Standalone. First Second (December 2012) NetGalley
Scott is a washed-up football player who never made it, and whose girlfriend abandoned him along with his dreams of playing pro football. But things have a way of working out, in this sweet, poetic tale--and a new chapter in Scott's life begins as the old one ends. Offered a position in a Japanese sumo training "stable," Scott abandons his old life, his old name, and even his old hair color, and becomes an aspiring sumo wrestler. And in so doing, he begins to find some kind of center in himself...a center that had seemed lost for good.

Thien Pham, the acclaimed illustrator of Gene Luen Yang's Level Up, returns as the writer and artist of a unique new graphic novel.Highly poetic and structured to echo the slow build and sudden clash of a sumo match, Pham's Sumo is an unusual and beautiful book. It's nearly a contradiction in terms: a delicate, deft, tender tale about...sumo wrestling.

Sumo is a very light, simple read. Scott failed at his dream and lost his girlfriend because of not becoming this great football star so he decides to leave his family, his friends, and his home to move to Japan to train to become a Sumo wrestler. What's funny is that his ex-girlfriend didn't want him to go or something and felt bad when she left him because he didn't become this big huge football player. Such a hypocrite. Anyways the idea that an ex-football player would leave everything to become a sumo wrestler intrigued me. It is such a random thing to do that I wanted to know how it turned out.

The story/illustrations/feel of the book reflected Scott. It was a very quiet book. It was giving you time to contemplate life like it seemed Scott was always doing. He was trying to overcome his failure and find something to fill that void. It was somewhat inspiring in a way how it all turned out. I also liked that he found a girl that appreciated him. The illustrations were alright. They kind of fit the feel of the storyIt was a very sweet story although it didn't amaze me.

I must read more graphic novels... I love them so much.


  1. I haven't had a chance to read any graphic novel. Simply people here don't make them and finding a book in English is rare but graphic novel probably impossible. I'm glad you liked these. Great post :)

    1. That's such a shame! It's just comic books but in a novel form... maybe you can get lucky with NetGalley.
      I liked only two but thanks (:

  2. I would really love to read more graphic novels myself! I really have no clue what's out there or what's good, so it was nice to read your thoughts on these. I'm definitely most interested in Anya's Ghost. Beautiful animation is a must for me, I think!

    1. Well Friends with Boys is a must just to let you know. The author even has it online so you don't have to buy the book although I really do want to. There are a couple online actually. I'm sure you will love Anya's Ghost :D

  3. I have on my list to read some graphic novels. Thanks for sharing these because they sound like books I will enjoy. I think I might start with Anya's Ghost. It sounds interesting. Great reviews. :)


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