Lenni Reviews: “The Photographer of Mauthausen” by Salva Rubio & Pedro Columbo

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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 is a dramatized story of Francisco Boix, a Spanish press photographer who ended up the confidant of an SS officer at the Mauthausen concentration camp.

This isn’t an easy read but so many stories came out of this time and a man risking everything to expose the truth of the Nazi camps and try to bring justice is a great addition. How much of this is true, I don’t know but I found this to be compelling and respectful. It’s drawn well with enough detail to get the point without being gratuitous. Just have something happy lined up to read after. 4.7 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Moon Lake” by Dan Fogler, Tim Seeley, R.H. Stavis, Nick Tapalansky, Stefan Hutchinson, Brian Holguin, et al.

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

This is a horror anthology centering around a cursed area called Moon Lake.

With a Crypt Creeper like narrator called “Man in the Moon,” these stories are chock full of gore but not so much with the horror. I almost feel bad comparing it to Tales from the Crypt because while the campy nostalgia of that show is a reflection of it’s time and kinda predictable in a way, this collection is trying WAY too hard. It keeps reaching to appeal to the ‘farts are funny’ crowd and as that is not me, I was mostly bored and just flipping through the pages. I can’t give this a 1 out of 5 because clear effort went into the art. I’ll be generous and give this a 2 out of 5 because the last story in the collection saved me from complete boredom. 

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Lenni Reviews: “Komi Can’t Communicate” Vol 9 by Tomohito Oda

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

In this volume, we are treated to:

  • Kimo wanting to continue her friendship with the girls she hung out with on the school trip
  • Learns to play “Eraser War”
  • Makes and gives chocolates to her friends for Valentine’s Day
  • Gets creeped on by Yamai again
  • Goes with her friends to a batting cage
  • Meets a girl, Akako Sato, who has issues being too nice
  • White Day shenanigans
  • Side story of Komi’s parents

The stories felt shorter this time, as there are more of them in this volume. I would have either preferred less stories with more length or a longer volume. Things flashed by at a breakneck pace and this is the first volume where I didn’t feel like I wanted more because it was so adorable (even though it was), I wanted more because it went by too fast. Still good but not as good as the others. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Kusama: The Graphic Novel” by Elisa Macellari

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

This graphic memoir of Yayoi Kusama, an artist who used painting to deal with and express her mental issues. It’s a breezy book, giving broad information at a fast pace. It’s a beautiful introduction to Kusama’s life and art. A longer book would have dived deeper but you understand who she is and why she loves art so much.

Not knowing much about Kusama myself, I felt satisfied by what I learned about her from this book. You can tell a lot of love went into the art and even if you aren’t into is, its worth checking out. 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Karmen” by Guillem March

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

Karmen comes upon Catalina as she’s cutting herself and takes her on a journey in order to rethink how she is living her life.

Trigger warning for self harm, suicide, and rape.

Karmen, clearly a spirit of some kind, reminds me of Death from the Sandman comics in a way. The difference here is whatever Karmen is, there’s a bunch of them and there’s in implication she’s taking too ling with shepherding Catalina’s soul to wherever she’s supposed to go. I wonder what is so special about Catalina, or perhaps what’s so special about Karmen, that will keep this story going. It’s trippy and cool with some amazing art. I am very curious to see what happens next. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Jealousy” Vol. 2 by Scarlet Beriko

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

In this volume, more of Akitora doing crazy things to try and be with Rogi and join the yakuza. Their relationship is further complicated by Akitora meeting Rogi’s wife.

While Akitora and Rogi are all hot and play off each other well, the highlights for me in this volume are the bodyguard Asoda and Asami; Rogi’s wife. Asoda is funny and Asami is just a badass. I like how she sees Rogi’s attachment to Akitora but retains her place as a yakuza wife.

Also, trigger warning for a gang rape scene.

Overall, this was a strange, meandering sort of volume. I was interested in the drama but at the same time, I could have lived without the gang rape and I feel like the story with Hachi living with the older Rogi isn’t getting the attention it deserves. Akitora’s tale is good but I’d like to see them both interwoven more. 3 out of 5.

 

 

Lenni Reviews: “Revolutionary Girl Utena: After the Revolution” by Chiho Saito

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

This manga celebrates the 20th anniversary of the original series release in Japan.

Damn, I’m old…

This takes place years after the original story and is a series of shorts featuring the cast coming in contact with Utena and the magic of the revolution. It’s a cute but trippy dive back in to the world and characters of Utena. The stories are very quick and beautifully drawn; hitting all the nostalgic feels. In the end, it doesn’t make much sense because I don’t get why any of this is happening other than ‘it’s the 20th anniversary of Utena.’ I give it a 3.7 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: ” Koimonogatari: Love Stories” Vol. 1 Tohru Tagura

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

When Yamato comes out to a friend that he has a crush on a male classmate, Yuji overhears. When they end up in a study group with some other kids who flake out and they end up alone, Yuji lets Yamato know that he knows he’s gay and wants to be supportive.

This was… Okay. The whole volume felt like a set up for things to come later so it moves slow. However, Yuji’s clumsy way of being a friend and learning about the LGBT community is kind of adorable since it’s coming from a place of a genuine desire to learn about what he doesn’t understand. He seems to really care and that’s great! I am waiting for the fallout of him borrowing his mother’s computer to look up information, though.

I’ll give this a 3.5 because of the nice art and how much I liked Yuji. I’ll reserve broader opinions once I get my hands on the second one.

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Lenni Reviews: “Levius/est” Vol. 6 by Haruhisa Nakata

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

After Natalia’s bout, it takes four superior fighters to subdue Balthus and clear the field for the main event, the last day of The Southern Slam: Oliver vs Levius in a fight to the death.

Adding an extra edge to the fight, this is also Oliver’s retirement match and being one of the longest active fighters ever, Levius isn’t going to have many fans in the crowd. There’s also the introduction of the legend of an ancient god called Est, who came to Earth during the Blood Moon; which happens to be the day of the match.

I had a feeling this volume would end on a cliffhanger but it’s not the type that feels like a punch in the gut. I felt excited to get the next one and willing to wait and glad to re-read this one for more details. This volume has the perfect mix of action and plot but what makes me concerned is it is a fight to the death. Is this going to drag out too far or paced as well as it has been so far? We shall see but this volume is a 5 out of 5 for me.

Lenni Reviews: “Venus in the Blind Spot” by Junji Ito

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

In another great collection, we get a nice selection of more of Ito’s signature nightmare-inducing tales; including one about how his interest in horror grew as a child. What sets this collection apart is some color pages! They look beautiful, even if Ito’s art is fantastically effective in black and white. If you are a fan of horror, this will fit the bill with ghoulish perfection. 4.9 out of 5.

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