Lenni Reviews: “The Stars of History: Marilyn Monroe” by Bernard Swysen, Paty Christian

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

This graphic novel is a fast-paced biography of Marilyn Monroe starting from birth until her untimely death.

And by fast-paced, I mean very, VERY rushed account of her life. I like the art style for the expressive faces but the body proportions are iffy in places; like all of a sudden someone will have a HUGE behind or look like their back is broken. Unlike something like Irena – a biographical comic that is entertaining and detailed enough to act as a jumping-off point for further research – this book is more like a cliff-notes of a real biography. It’s ok but superficial. I think it should have taken more time to really dig deep but maybe they had page constraints. 3.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Irena: Life After the Ghetto” by Jean-David Morvan, Séverine Tréfouël & David Evrard

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

This volume follows Irena as she continues to help children and others as the war winds down; acting as  a nurse to help injured people.

This is still a great series highlighting the bravery of a woman who just wanted to do the right thing during horrible times. Everything is handled tastefully and it’s really inspiring. I think Irena would like this series if she could see it. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Paris 2119” by Zep & Dominique Bertail

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Set in the far future, Tristan Keys is one of the few who still looks back on the past with nostalgia; avoiding teleportation devices in favor of walking and loving printed books. But when he see what appears to be a duplicate of his current boss wandering around insane, he is sucked into a noir-ish mystery witn dark sci-fi elements.

I like the concept and Tristan is an interesting character to follow through this adventure but it just… Stops. I expected more; maybe taking down the big baddie or exposing a really dangerous secret but, nope. It just ends. It felt too anticlimactic for me to give this more than a 3 out of 5, even if the art is really good.

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Lenni Reviews: “Elfen Lied Omnibus” Volume 4 by Lynn Okamoto

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In the final volume, Lucy makes her final stand against the organization hunting her and putting her friends in danger.

Well, everything just goes completely sideways in this volume. It’s not the ending I expected but it seemed fittingly bombastic and touching. I feel it was well worth my time getting through four huge books. The plot got fleshed out with the Diclonii vs Humans and Lucy wanting a normal life. But of course, if you are familiar at all with this series’ reputation, you may want to avoid it due to the high body count, nudity, and gore. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Scarlet Gospels”(Hellraiser #2) by Clive Barker

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After reading Hellbound Heart, I made sure to get my hands on the sequel. This stars Detective Harry D’Amour, who has devoted himself to the supernatural after an encounter that killed his partner. As Pinhead makes some major moves leaving a trail of death, Harry and other mystically inclined friends move to stop him.

Okay… I kinda liked this book. It functions really well on it’s own. My problem with it is that it’s a sequel to a book that barely featured Pinhead. I’m left with a feeling that the movie’s popularity impacted this story; because the main Cenobite in the first was female and there’s hardly a mention of her here. 

In viewing this book as a better sequel to the movies (anything after Hellraiser 2 is not worth watching, in my opinion), it’s a worthy addition to the universe. It’s really dark, the stakes are high, and it’s just brutal – as to be expected of anything Hellraiser.  It was just strange reading these back to back and not feeling the connection from one to the next. I liked it but this is clearly riding on Pinhead’s popularity. 3.4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Komi Can’t Communicate” Vol. 11 by Tomohito Oda

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

In this volume:

  • Komi goes on a family vacation and her family runs into Tadano’s
  • Side story with Shouske – Komi’s brother.
  • Another side story about a bunch of first-years who mistake Katai for Komi and want to fight her thinking she’s as tough as Katai appears.
  • Komi has some girl talk with Kato.
  • A fashion contest.
  • And another side story featuring Komi’s parents as teens.

This series continues to be as adorable as ever but with Tadano and Komi getting closer, I wish there was more focus on them and the larger narrative goal of Komi making more friends. But, the side stories are funny and entertaining so this volume is forgiven. 4.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Saint Young Men” vol. 4, by Hikaru Nakamura

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In this volume, we meet their moms as the story continues to operate on the concept that all religions are real and the deities can interact with each other on and off Earth with humans.

This series is still decent and has some cute moments but by the middle of this, I was just flipping through the pages. My brain just checked out. I even restarted this book 3 times and still. There just wasn’t enough here to keep me interested and I couldn’t get into it. Perhaps I’ll give this series a revisit later on but for now, I’m gonna drop it. 2.7 out of 5.

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Happy New Year!

I am sure I’m not alone in my joy in 2020 being over. But for 2021, I’m keeping my goals simple. I don’t wanna jinx myself.

I’m gonna take it easy on myself and just try to write more and get healthier. I don’t even wanna be specific lest the gremlins of 2020 reach out to attempt to destroy me.

Let’s all have positive vibes to make this year better than the last. I mean, the benchmark isn’t that high.

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Lenni Reviews: “My Broken Mariko” by Waka Hirako

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Tomoyo Shiino’s best friend Mariko had a rough life of abuse and depression but was always able to rely on Shiino’s support. Shiino has a crappy job and is going through a rough patch and hadn’t heard from her friend in awhile. Until Shiino unfortunately hears of her friend’s suicide. Bravely saving her ashes from her abusive father, Shiino goes to take a trip with her friend one last time.

There is also a side story about Yiska, a young Native man trying to cross the border and ends up meeting a man fleeing from his old gang.

The main story is really sad. Watching a normally snarky Shiino struggle to deal with her best friend’s death is very real; alternating between shock, anger, humor, and pain in a way you can’t help but empathize with. Of course if this subject matter is triggering for you, I’d avoid this book but if not, it’s moving and in the end I’m glad I read it. 4.5 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead” Vol. 1, by Haro Aso & Kōtarō Takata

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Akira Tendo has a crappy job, a crappy apartment, no time for friends or a girlfriend and hates waking up every morning. Until one day he looks out his window and hordes of zombies are everywhere… And breathes a sigh of relief that he doesn’t have to go to work. The zombie apocalypse gives Akira a chance to life again and he makes a list of 100 things he wants to do before he becomes a zombie.

In a genre so saturated it’s collapsing in on itself with sheer redundancy, this is an original and hilarious idea. Akira is funny and dynamic, making a story about the end of humanity by flesh eating monsters enjoyable and light hearted. I can’t wait to see how this goes! 5 out of 5.

 

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