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: “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: “The Adoption” by Zidrou & Arno Monin

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

When a couple adopts a young girl from Peru named Qinaya, new grandfather, Gabriel, doesn’t understand why. He doesn’t connect with the child but eventually warms up to her; forcing him to contemplate what sort of father he was to his own son.

This book… Did NOT go how I expected. I refuse to spoil when the plot took a left turn off a cliff so you’ll have to read it for yourself. But the art is beautiful; soft colors and great art. It’s perfect for the story. I just wish there was more about Qinaya but the story isn’t really about her. It’s about Gabriel. 4.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Mirka Andolfo’s Un/Sacred” Vol 1, by Mirka Andolfo & Marguerite Bennett

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Damiano and Angelina (a demon and angel respectively) meet as children and have an instant connection but end up not seeing one another again until they’re adults. This collection of comic strips follows their relationship.

They are a cute couple, with Angelina being pretty naïve and Damiano being a full on horndog leading to some funny misunderstandings. These jokes work in the short strip format and somehow manage not to feel overdone when collected together. Our main characters are clearly an odd couple but they make it work and it’s a fun read. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Asadora!” Vol. 1, by Naoki Urasawa

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

Taking place in 1959, Asa is one of so many siblings she gets lost among them; frequently mistaken for the others if not forgotten about entirely. When her mother goes into labor during a typhoon, Asa runs out to get the doctor. She ends up kidnapped by Kasuga; a desperate war veteran who needs money.

Well, this book went in unexpected directions. And no, nothing horrible happens to Asa. This is a wholesome read about a random little girl swept up into an adventure and has this positive energy to pull in others along with her. Asa is very sweet and I can’t wait to see what’s next; even if it all comes off as a bit too idealistic But the world id dark enough already. I’ll take it. 4.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “How Do We Relationship?” Vol. 2 by Tamifull

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is recommended for mature readers.

Miwa is trying to become more confident not only in her relationship but in telling others she’s gay while Saeko is struggling with her own jealousy. While they grapple with their feelings, a guy named Kan joins the band club too and starts fishing around in their relationship and hates Miwa for some reason.

We also get a little backstory on their friend Usshi who doesn’t feel like it’s possible to get a boyfriend. It’s enjoyable save for Kan, who is seriously creepy and I hope he doesn’t hurt our main characters. I do want to see what happens next, though. And again, this is mature but not overly explicit. 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “How Do We Relationship?” Vol. 1 by Tamifull

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

Miwa is an introverted college student that has trouble making friends or finding a girlfriend. When she meets an outgoing and out of the closet Saeko they become fast friends but Saeko suggests they date each other. They join the music club together but Miwa is scared to come out to any of them.

They are both so cute together as they figure things out. Miwa had never been in a relationship before so Saeko has to be patient with her. And this isn’t very graphic; focusing more on our main characters’ emotions. The art is soft and expressive, perfect for these two as they grow closer. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Unknown” by Anna Sommer

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is recommended for mature readers.

This graphic novel tells the story of Helen, who finds a baby in her clothing store dressing room as well as Vicky, who is having an affair with one of her teachers. Their very different lives converge in unexpected ways.

This is a strange little book. It never does quite what you expect and is about as random and twisting as real life can be sometimes. Helen is a bit of a ditz but she’s sweet and Vicky is clearly a young woman with some issues to work through before she really grows up. It’s alright but kind of a spark that fades away fast. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Crow: Lethe” by Tim Seeley, Ilias Kyriazis, Katrina Mae Hao, Samuel Murray, Meredith Laxton & Will Cook

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In this comic, we get two stories continuing The Crow mythos.  The first is Null Narcos, a sideshow performer with no memory of who he is. The second is the story of Brandi, getting revenge on those who murdered her and her father.

If The Crow was to be continued, I like the idea of showcasing different people in the role. I am one of the few who enjoyed The Crow: City of Angels but the tv show was a disaster. I don’t think anything can capture the magic of the original (which I’d bet money would never get made today… The 90’s were a special time) but the stories in this are good and the art style suits each story and their completely different tones. If you’re curious to see what other writers would do with this property, I’d give it a shot. It’s short but decent. 3.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Daphne Byrne” by Laura Marks & Kelley Jones

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

Still mourning the loss of her father, fourteen year old Daphne Byrne doesn’t get along with her rich classmates and sees things others don’t. While her mother continues to see a charlatan medium in a desperate attempt to contact her deceased husband, Daphne’s visions get stronger and even talk back to her.

While the creature design is fantastically horrifying, some of the panels with the human characters are wonky. I get what the shadows are trying to convey in terms of emotion but the end result is blobby and unfinished. Thankfully, this isn’t a lot of the book. The rest of the art is perfect for a Victorian horror. And Daphne’s story is cool but I wanted more. I want to know where her abilities are coming from and the demon world clearly connected to her. I do hope a sequel is in the works for this one. 4 out of 5.

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