Lenni Reviews: “Embodied: An Intersectional Comics Poetry Anthology” by Wendy Chin-Tanner

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

This graphic novel is a deeply creative collection of art and poetry. Since the words are part of the art, the poems are reprinted in the back of the book as text only; as sometimes it is admittedly difficult to read some of the fonts. It even includes a study guide.

I did find the whole experience reading this moving but I’m not a poetry expert. I love the idea behind this collection and all the different perspectives; even if I didn’t quite ‘get’ all of it. 3.7 out of 5. 

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Lenni Reviews: “White All Around” by Wilfrid Lupano, Stephane Fert & Montana Kane

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

In Canterbury Connecticut 1832, Black people may not be slaves but they are not free. When an all girls boarding school moves to accept Black students, that fact becomes sadly and dangerously clear.

This is as realistic a portrayal as it can be if you want young children to read it; telling a little known story in American history. I think people should check tis book out as a starting point to learning more as it shows how racism endured after slavery and what education access means – especially to minorities. It’s beautifully drawn but breezes along a bit too quick but that’s to be expected of historical graphic novels as page limits and entertainment value are factors. 4 out of 5. 

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Lenni Reviews: “The Tea Dragon Tapestry” by Kay O’Neill

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While Greta works on her smithing skills and trying to care for the grieving tea dragon Ginseng, Minette struggles to find her place in her faith after leaving the monastery.

I’m almost mad at this book for being so light-hearted, sweet, and simple while the real world continues to be a dumpster fire of disappointment. As with the previous books, it’s beautiful soothing, and just a pleasure on the eyes to read. If you’ve been on this blog long enough, you know I love me some horror, gore, and dark fantasy; but books like this are a sweet treat after such bitter pills. If you like this series, this is a worthy addition. 4.8 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Mieruko-chan” Vol. 2, by Tomoki Izumi

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

Mieruko notices her best friend, Hana, is haunted by a particularly nasty creature and tries to help without tipping off that she can see these spirits. We also add Yuria, who wants to be a powerful fortune teller one day and sees Mieruko as a rival.

As adorable as Mieruko is, the best part of this manga is the creature design. Each one is different and unique from the ones before and some of them are really gross. We are also getting a solid storyline around the shorts in this volume; and those shorter stories also get a follow-up. So, if you were wondering about the cat from the first volume, you get more of that here. 4.6 out of 5. 

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Beast Complex” Vol. 1, by Paru Itagaki

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

Taking advantage of the wealth of stories this universe has to offer, Beast Complex is a collection of stories featuring various stories of different types of beasts.

We would want to assume that Legoshi is unique in his relation to herbivores in the main series, this collection really brings to light what a delicate balance is in place and how different types of beasts handle the need to be civilized when your instincts tell you otherwise. It was nice to live in this world for awhile without the threat of a murderer hiding in the wings; just normal day to day stories from kids as friends, to drama between hosts of a cooking show. If you’re even a casual fan of Beastars, this is worth checking out! 4.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Komi Can’t Communicate” Vol. 12 by Tomohito Oda

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

Instead of listing the events, I’ll just do a quick overview.

We have a new teacher introduced, go through exams and summer vacation, and some interesting backstory with Komi’s mom and dad when they were teenagers. We also have a new kid staying with Komi’s family, Rei, for a while since her mom is in town for work.

The stories seem to be getting shorter; very rapid fire. But it still keeps up the same light-hearted, cute, slice of life nature of the rest of the series. Right now, it’s still cute that people mistake Komi’s silence for standoffishness or toughness but I can see this getting old soon. I mean, it’s great to see people warm up to Komi but I would like to see more development. But, if you’re a big reader like I am, this series and those like it are a great break from darker material. 4.9 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Asadora!” vol 2, by Naoki Urasawa

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

Jumping in to the future, it is now 1964 and Asadora is now 17, a pilot, and working with Kasuga at their advertising company; while also going to school and raising her younger siblings. A strange man comes around asking questions about the creature they saw destroy their hometown and the likelihood it is still around and a threat.

This is a strange little series so far. I’m totally here for it; I love Asadora, I wanna know more about the creature and what will happen next but whatever expectations I had were completely subverted. Sometimes that can be frustrating but I found it welcome and look forward to seeing how this continues. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Infinitum: An Afrofuturist Tale” by Tim Fielder

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

This graphic novel follows warlord AjA Oba, a ruthless ruler cursed with immortality from our past far into the future. 

First off, the art is amazing. It’s like flipping through scenes from a movie with these beautiful panted renditions of the film. The story is smart and very creative. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes speculative science fiction and Afrofuturism.

Also, random thought with a spoiler sprinkle – there’s some random LGBTQ content in here and it’s just dropped in without being made aa big deal of. I’m on the fence as to if it feels shoved in because of how its just glossed over, or it fits because it shouldn’t be a big deal. I’ve read it twice and still haven’t decided…

Other than that, 5 out of 5! Go read this!

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Lenni Reviews: “The Fall” Volume 1, by Jared Muralt

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

Amid a mysterious flu outbreak, food shortages, and environmental crisis, a single father of two teenagers struggle to survive.

This was just… Ok. For an apocalyptic drama, this was surprisingly dry and if you’ve read anything in this genre before, this doesn’t bring much new to the table. The art style does its job and the characters left by the end of this volume are people I’d want to continue to follow. Good, but nothing special. 2.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Mieruko-chan” Vol 1, by Tomoki Izumi

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High schooler Mieruko is cursed with seeing horrible, twisted spirits all around her; but no one else can. She just does her best to ignore them while also protecting her best friend from these things.

This manga is cute but oddly fanservicey with all the up skirt and cleavage shots. It’s really sweet how Mieruko just want to protect the people she cares about as best she can without revealing she can see ghosts. I won’t spoil it but there’s a story about a kitty that sold me on this series. All the stories are quick one shots so I’m wondering how this will progress and if there will be an overarching story line. 4 out of 5.

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